Monday, May 30, 2011

Tax Freedom Day

Britain's 21st Century serfs can now start earning for themselves. However, if we take into account the money the local Lord-of-the-manor is borrowing then we must toil on until July.

Invitation to Dinner on Monday 6th June

Coleridge Conservatives' dinner series resumes with guest speaker County Councillor Sir Peter Brown, formerly Sir John Major's constituency agent.

Provisional menu:

Miton of chicken*/**
Veal chops with wild mushroom sauce
Nectarines baked in amaretto

Excellent value at £25 per ticket (£20 for students). Leave your name and number in the comments below (I won't publish them!) to order tickets.

* a posh kind of soup to the likes of you and me.
** Now informed that it's a terrine. Discover something new with the Coleridge Tories!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

BBC's Obama Blindspots

If George Bush had...

1. Written the wrong year in a guest book;or
2. Kept saying 'England' instead of United Kingdom;or
3. Fluffed his lines at the formal banquet;

then the BBC would have gone to town on his 'gaffe-prone presidency'.

Alas, President Obama mangaged all three.

Last Orders at the Beer Festival

Today's the last day for the beer festival on Jesus Green. Once again Cambridge CAMRA have done a great job. Top ale from outside the shire for me so far is Hertfordshire-based Red Squirrel's 'Red Tail' but get there early as the beer is running out..

Photo is of a contented customer from last year... he liked the soft drinks for designated rocket ship drivers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pot to Kettle

EU auditors find fault with EU aid channelled through the UN

European Voice reports that the EU’s Court of Auditors has found major shortcomings in the way that close to a billion euros in EU aid is channelled through the United Nations every year. The ECA found “frequent weaknesses” in the design of projects funded by the EU through the UN, unrealistic timelines for implementation, and insufficient reporting by the UN.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Campbell Bannerman Comes Home

Well, the ’Kippers lost their most convincing member of the European Parliament today. Maybe this explains why, “MEP?” overtures were made to me at the Huntingdonshire District Council election count by the 'Kipper's regional organiser.

And the answer is still,"No."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sainsbury's is Tesco, Discuss...

News of Sainsbury's plan to take over the rather dire pool hall in Mill Road - yes, I have been there, played pool and left as soon as I could - is raising the ire of the anti-chain shop activists in the area.

Of course, we have seen some odd planning decisions.

Tesco - alcohol licence turned down for East Road when, "Waitrose was granted a licence round the corner in Fitzroy Street."

Tesco - alcohol licence turned down for Mill Road store when earlier, it was a non-Tesco shop that was slammed for selling to drunks in Mill Road.

And while I am at, remember the Mill Road Co-op with some Keep Mill Road Shops Independent platitude posters displayed, when the Co-op is also national chain? (nb. because it is a right-on, holier-than-thou, "ethical" chain, it gets a bye from the local protestors). When we have a commitee to campaign against the Co-op national chain, take the Mill Road store's licence away and halve the shop's square footage, I'll take the 'anti-chain' protestors seriously. Until then... "Hypocrites".

Friday, May 20, 2011


Five-vehicle pile-up blocks part of A14
The A14 was partially blocked by a five-vehicle collision this afternoon...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fly those flags...

Labour bent the flag flying rules to favour Brussels...

Under current planning rules, only a select few flags are allowed to be flown without express permission from town hall officials. Getting this approval can incur fees of up to £335. In a speech to the Flag Institute, the Communities and Local Government Secretary is today announcing his intention to launch a consultation to allow a wider variety of important and historic flags to be flown by people keen to celebrate their local and national heritage and culture.

The last Government changed planning rules to allow the European Union flag to be flown without permission. The coalition Government will make it easier for communities wanting to celebrate the contribution of our armed forces by easing rules on flying local regimental flags. Other local flags, and projects like environmental awards, could also all be freed up from existing bureaucratic restrictions.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A14... Again

"Multi vehicle crash partially closes A14"


"Wheel scare brings A14 traffic to a standstill."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

‘Political’ Cambridge is not Eton with added colleges; it is Islington with medieval trappings.

The last set of local elections were difficult for the Cambridge Tories. The full results, helpfully provided by a local Lib Dem, can be found here while the AV referendum result is here.

There are three points.

The first is that Cambridge is unlike the rest of the county that takes its name. While everywhere else in the shire was against the voting change, the burghers and students of the city went for a "yes" to AV; along with the Guardianista heartlands of Camden, Hackney and Islington, and the academic rival but equally cloistered-in-mind city of Oxford.

The second is that Conservative support is spread across the city. There is no obvious Tory ward for the faithful to retreat into – or to be incarcerated by the ‘progressive majority’. The dispersed vote was the traditional fate of the Liberal Party who turned to worship at the altar of PR, hoping for a miraculous change of the voting system to give their partisans places on the local councils or a pivotal role in Parliament. However, the Tories 2010 performance showed how it was possible not to win a seat on the council and yet to come second in a General Election held on the same day.

The third is to accept that hard work is sometimes not enough. I have seen textbook campaigns leading to meagre results: the simple reason being a lack of a pool of sympathetic voters. For those who doubt this, examine the travails of Tom Woodcock and his far-left party in Romsey (there’s no point in providing a party name as it keeps changing). Tom’s always had a high profile campaign with posters, leaflets and canvassing, but nevertheless has lagged in the middle to bottom half of the results table for half a decade.

Some thoughts...

1. Accept Cambridge is Different.

The AV referendum showed us how ‘political’ Cambridge is not Eton with added colleges; it is Islington with medieval trappings.

Once you’ve grasped this point, it gets better!

Here, the language and conduct of campaigns inside and outside election time will be different to the rest of the county. It will always mean much tougher challenges for fewer electoral rewards. I met some people – even very well qualified professionals who in other settings seemed to be quite sensible – who could not grasp this. For them, their optimism bias meant bitter disappointment when a textbook campaign did not end with a victory as set out in the textbook, and would search for scapegoats inside the party. Or just leave in a huff after an attempt or two.

2. Candidates Everywhere; Campaigns in a few places

Getting a full slate of candidates across the city is always an achievement. It means Tories can declare themselves via the ballot box in even the most left-wing political neighbourhoods.

The Conservative way is to work at the local elections, taking our chances at the individual ward polls. The pious hope is for a rising national tide to take several seats across the city simultaneously… when the tide comes. However, in the real world targeted campaigns on those seats most likely to turn to us are essential. Choosing those seats, however, is an art and not a science. It depends on having the right candidates in the right wards at the right time.

3. Individuals Count.

If you are not involved in politics, you may refer to a ‘party machine’ almost with awe. If you are in politics, you know that it is actually Mr and Mrs Smith with Mrs Smith’s bridge partner who delivered all of those leaflets. If a few more Smiths volunteer to help a campaign then it really does make a difference.

4. You can make a difference outside the council

The politically correct euro-loving eco-loon climate obsessed ‘diversity’ spendthrifts are wrong. Cambridge needs value-for-money, front-line service orientated Toryism to keep them in check. Andrew Bower in Coleridge showed how someone who is not elected to the council can still get things done for local residents.

5. Don’t Give Up.


Friday, May 6, 2011

AV Result in Cambridge

Cambridge says 'Yes' to AV as the rest say 'No!'

Yes - 21,253 (54.32%)

No -17,871 (45.68%)

Well, it will provide a talking point in the sixth form common room.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Voting Today

Polling stations open at 7am and shut at 10pm.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coleridge Should Back Bower on Thursday

Andy's worked hard and deserves to win. Unlike in Ramsey (where I am writing from now) and its UKIP folk, his campaign is against flyposting, not practicing it for a fortnight.

Working hard in Coleridge for over three years, these are some of the things Andy
Bower has achieved without being a councillor:

Andy Bower was at the forefront of the successful campaign to persuade the county council to resist the previous Labour government’s plan to impose congestion charging on Cambridge. Sadly Labour’s county councillor voted or the plans despite being elected on a pledge to stop it.

Andy persuaded Conservative colleagues that we needed police speed enforcement in Coleridge resulting in this being secured by Conservatives, despite initial opposition from all the other local parties.

Andy has got numerous things fixed in Coleridge by reporting potholes, graffiti, fly tipping and damaged signs to the council, not to mention his cycle streetlight survey where he identifi ed
over 30 broken streetlights.

Monday, May 2, 2011

If this is a legal election practice, I'm a fish.

His council says, "Graffiti and Flyposting activity is illegal, as well as being an unsightly nuisance." This includes, "notices tied to lamp-posts". So what do you do think of the Ramsey councillor - and UKIP agent - who is allowing this? Someone has explaining to do.

"Just because you are a county councillor doesn't mean you can treat county council property as your own..."

Other blogs make interesting reading on the Ramsey 'Kippers, like this one and this one.