Sunday, 26 July 2009

Football Fantasy

When I was young and still able to play a 90 minute game of football without my knees or ankles clicking, I used to dream of headlines of headlines like THIS. To celebrate Crouch’s signing, and my birthday last week, I have just mocked up my new shirt for the season…you better not let me down now Peter!!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Launching Tashi’s campaign for change

We had a massive team out today for the launch of Tashi Bhutia’s local election campaign in Luton & Wayfield. A by-election has been called for 3rd September after it was revealed that Dennis McFarlane was under investigation for “irregular benefit claims”. Tashi, who was in the Brigade of Gurkhas, was selected by the Chatham & Aylesford Conservative Association on Wednesday to be their candidate and today we went out in force to let local residents know that it is time for a change.
Most of the team were delivering Tashi’s introductory letter but I joined Tashi on the doorsteps canvassing. Out of a whole morning of canvassing we only found one person who said they were a solid Labour voter. There were a number of people who had previously voted Labour who were highly unlikely to do so again and some were very clear as to why – they don’t like Gordon Brown, they are fed up with uncontrolled immigration, they were finding things difficult financially, and they certainly didn’t like the way Labour treated the Gurkhas!
The message on the doorsteps this morning was clear – people felt let down and want a change. We are going to campaign hard to bring change to Luton & Wayfield locally, and then we are going to campaign hard to bring change nationally by winning Chatham & Aylesford at the next General Election.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Chatham Conservatives Choose Former Gurkha for By-Election in Luton and Wayfield

Local Conservatives have this morning issued the following press release:

Chatham Conservatives Choose Former Gurkha for By-Election in Luton and Wayfield

Chatham Conservatives have unanimously selected Tashi Bhutia, a former member of the Brigade of Gurkhas, as their candidate for the forthcoming by election in Luton and Wayfield.

Tashi was born in 1955 and followed his family tradition by joining the Gurkhas. Whilst posted in Hong Kong he met his wife who was serving in the Royal Navy. Following marriage they were posted to Chatham Dockyard in 1980 and have lived in Chatham ever since. Tashi still works in the defence industry as a technician for BAE Systems at Rochester.

Tashi Bhutia said, “Whoever is elected to represent Luton and Wayfield needs courage and determination to tackle the problems which often blight this proud community. Combating anti-social behaviour, including drug abuse, binge drinking and the ‘yob culture’, will be my priority. I will work with anyone, regardless of political party, to do what is right. Chatham has a proud military history as was demonstrated at the recent Armed Forces Day celebration, and that includes a long standing connection with the Brigade of Gurkhas. I am therefore deeply saddened that our Labour MP put his Party above his constituency when he chose to vote with Gordon Brown against the pension rights for retired Gurkhas.”

Chatham and Aylesford Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman, Tracey Crouch, said “I am delighted to endorse Tashi Bhutia and look forward to working with him in this campaign. Labour have taken urban areas like Luton and Wayfield for granted for far too long. This is a chance for local people to send a message to Gordon Brown: It’s Time for Change.”


Monday, 20 July 2009

A coach trip to Norwich North

I took the day off from work and joined a team of 20 activists on a coach trip to Norwich North for the by-election. We left the Park & Ride in Blue Bell Hill at 9am and arrived in Norwich just after 11.30 to be greeted by Shadow Cabinet Ministers and election co-ordinators. We were immediately given our orders and sent off to a deliver 3000 leaflets about 10 minutes or so from HQ. Having finished in about 90 minutes we stopped for a drink, crisps and a quick read of the paper in the pub where our coach had parked up before heading back to HQ for a next set of orders. Again we disembarked from the coach, were divided into teams and then sent off to various neighbourhoods varying distances from HQ. I was in a team, led by Richard Bacon MP, which had 6 delivery sets but we only managed to get 4 done before our time was up and we needed to head back to the coach.

It is difficult to comment on how I feel it is going when we only delivered leaflets and although I spoke to a couple of people (one of whom is traditionally Labour but is so disgusted how the Party treated Ian Gibson he is voting UKIP) the only sense I got was people couldn’t wait for the by-election to be over!
Although we only spent 6 hours in Norwich, we hope that our little team from Kent have helped Chloe’s campaign. We all felt pleased that we’d made the effort to go up and look forward to seeing the result on Friday.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Quick – a Tory in the Stocks!!

Having spent the morning with my nephews and niece, I popped along to Abbeyfield in St Martin’s Square, Larkfield for their summer fete/fun day. The Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling, Cllr Sue Murray opened the event and thankfully during the time we were both there not a drop of rain fell! I had a quick go in the stocks – although to be honest, I wimped out and ducked every time a sponge came any where near me! The young man in the stocks with me (annoyingly I forgot to ask his parents if I could post his picture on my blog) was far braver/crazier than me and got hit by one or two sponges but just laughed and waited for the next one!

After the stocks, I moved on to the coconut shy and despite having my eyes closed in the picture actually managed to hit one!! Since I don’t have a clue what to do with a coconut I let them keep it! Then I moved to the penalty shoot out – 3 shots for 50p – and this time, having scored a goal, I kept my prize of a packet of Haribo sweets. Back inside I bought two hardback books for 50p – one on Disraeli and one on the Royal Family written by Jeremy Paxman. It was a great little fun day and I hope the weather held off for the rest of the afternoon.

UPDATE: I have been contacted by Jamie’s mum and I can publish his picture so here is one of the brave little lad preparing to take a sponge in the face for a good cause. Well done Jamie!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Canvassing in Luton

We’ve had in the schedule for some time today’s canvass session in Luton so it was rather coincidental that earlier this week it was announced that one of Luton’s Labour councillor’s has resigned his seat, forcing a by-election. I have heard rumours as to why Cllr McFarlane has stepped down, and if true then rightly so, but it was interesting to hear what the general public were thinking of Labour in one of their safest wards!

It was a good session although I was desperately sad to knock on the door of a much needed maths teacher who said he was leaving the UK to live in South Africa – it seems he has just had enough and it was easier for him to go there than his lawyer girlfriend coming here! Immigration was mentioned to me more than once on the doorstep this morning and it is quite clear that the longer the issue is ignored by Government, the stronger the anger gets.

We went to the Robin Hood for lunch where a wedding party turned up half way through lunch in a fabulous old car. We slipped away quickly and quietly, not wanting to get in the way of the bride and groom’s special day.

Having been at a 40th birthday party last night, I am off to a 30th birthday party this evening. After an extremely busy week at work, I’m exhausted and would love to spend the night in with my feet up but I am going to pop by to give her my best wishes. However, my other half has made his excuses and plans to watch the golf/cricket instead!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Glued to the TV

I have failed to do any of my domestic chores this afternoon having sat and watched England cling on for a draw in the first Test of the Ashes. Paul Collingwood has to be crowned hero of the day having put in a brilliant, all day performance for the team. As for Monty…it is no wonder he is the crowd’s favourite! I fear my domestic duties are going to suffer quite heavily as the series progresses…

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Papers, Planning and Party Time!

I started today by meeting the troops in Chatham to deliver my latest newspaper. Despite the fact that it was spitting with rain we managed to get 12 helpers out delivering which was absolutely fantastic. Not only is delivering a great way to keep fit but it is a wonderful way to see roads in the constituency that you normally drive down but rarely walk along – plus it is an excellent way to clock gardening ideas!

However once the troops were allocated roads I met with residents in Park Crescent about a planning application. I also met the applicant who I had met during a previous canvass session and who came out to say hello this morning. These things are always very difficult and having been involved in a previous application in Luton where the Council threw the application out only for the Government inspector to come along and disregard the objections and grant the application, these things are never certain.

After rejoining my colleagues and delivering the papers, I headed down to Snodland for the annual carnival. I think there were more stalls this year than last and it was nice to catch up with some familiar faces – the bikers on their stand, the cake ladies, Paul in the beer tent and of course the Mayor who this year arrived on a motorbike!! The arrival of the floats was merely the start of the party…it was clear that despite the rain it was going to be a good one!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Helping Rochester

We took time out from our own campaign in Chatham & Aylesford this morning to help colleagues in Rochester & Strood deliver their latest In Touch. It was nice to lend them a hand since they often provide us with help, especially if we have a big delivery, but boy were we hot afterwards. The landlady of the house designated as today’s HQ clearly didn’t know what had hit her when we all arrived back gasping for cold water, juice and mugs of builders’ tea! However, the sandwiches, sausage rolls and mini pork pies all went down very well after our morning of hard work – we’ll come back with service like that!