Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Labour doesn't like St. George

In Basildon at least. The Conservative administration on the Council replaced the EU flag with the Cross of St. George alongside the Union Flag for Council meetings. Apparently our local Labour party don't like this. In particular Lynda Gordon, the Labour leader, has connected the EU with trips to MIPIM.
She said it was "two faced" of the Conservatives to jet to Cannes in the south of France and try to lure foreign investment to Basildon without recognising the benefits of being in Europe
If you don't know, MIPIM, which is held in Cannes, is the largest property development conference in Europe and Conservative Councillors have attended for the last two years in order to bring investment to Basildon. However, it is nothing to do with the EU, being entirely privately run. Anyway, why is that if any objection to anything to do with the EU if automatically equated to a dislike of all things continental European? We just think it is better to fly the English flag in, well, England.

The good news for Lynda is that Associated Press have picked up on the story and so in may get some national coverage. So, do you think that Labour HQ will be pleased at Basildon's Labour's firm rejection of English patriotism, regarding it as a surefire vote winner? Or do you think that she might be getting a pointed phone call sometime this evening?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Peter Oborne on Labour's financial meltdown

Peter Oborne sums is up here.

It is difficult to predict what will happen if Labour collapses financially. One outcome is that they may be finished permanently. Another is that the party reforms as new legal entity, albeit with senior figures from 'old' Labour personally bankrupted in the process. Of course, the unions may bail them out, but as Peter Oborne writes, at what cost? An obvious deal would be politically suicidal. Their best hope is that some lenders are forgiving and the remaining rich supporters dig deep.

What they should be doing, of course, is to cut costs like any business or public body would in the midst of a budget squeeze. There appears to be little sign of that.

John Baron MP officially opens the new George Hurd Centre

MP secures scooter shelter in car park for local residents

John Baron MP has opened the new George Hurd Centre, in Audley Way, Basildon. Whilst there, John secured a promise from Lovells to provide free of charge a scooter shelter in the car park to protect against the rain when residents are visiting the centre.

John said:
“This fabulous day Centre will allow residents to access a wide range of services all in one place for the first time. With the elderly population growing, this facility will play an important role in helping older people to continue to live independently and to fully enjoy their retirement. It is a great community asset.”

“I am also delighted that today I have been able to secure from Lovells a scooter shelter on behalf of local residents. This is badly needed and our thanks go to Lovells.”

“Congratulations to everyone for working together to produce such a fantastic new day Centre at no expense to council tax payers. Our thanks also go to the teams involved in now making this work for the local community.”
There is a little more as well. The George Hurd Centre is primarily a day centre for the elderly, built right in the middle of the largest concentration of the elderly in Basildon, in a ward that traditionally returns Labour Councillors, and its construction was fought tooth and nail by the Labour party. Yes, you read that right. Labour didn't want it built in their backyard, and as the Cabinet member responsible at the time I had to fight off both Conservative and Liberal Democrat Councillors that would all have been happy, nay eager, for the building to have been put up in their wards. Anyway, we pushed it through, as you have to sometimes in politics, and winding forward a few years we came to the opening. Now, the new centre is in Angela Smith's constituency, but as her party didn't want it built, we asked John Baron from the other constituency in the District to do the honours. Labour's reaction was to focus on some local disquiet at the lack of a scooter shelter, not that they did anything practical about resolving the matter. John sorted it out in about five minutes.

So, there was have it. Labour put party politics above providing for Basildon's elderly. Tories got the job done, doing what's best for the whole District, not just those parts that mainly vote Conservative.

Poll Summary from Electoral Calculus

Considering the latest polls Electoral Calculus has it thus:

The Conservatives have continued to increase their lead over Labour following their
wins at the local elections and the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.

Populus (Times) has a Conservative lead of 11% (up from 10%), ComRes (Independent)
has 17% (up from 14%), ICM (Guardian) has 14% (up from 10%), and YouGov (Daily Telegraph)
sees the greatest lead of 24% (up from 14%). Ipsos-MORI have not published a poll this month.

Overall the Conservatives now have 43% on average and Labour are on 27%, a Conservative lead of 16%.
This is unprecedented in recent years. If this result were repeated at a general election,
it would compare with the 1983 victory of Mrs Thatcher's Conservative party over Michael Foot's
Labour party (Con 42%, Lab 28%).

The current prediction is that the Conservatives will have a majority of 92 seats,
winning 371 seats (+18 seats since 1 May 2008).

In one poll, YouGov for the Daily Telegraph, Labour is polling at their worst level ever. Brown has actually managed to do half a point worse that Michael Foot, which is saying something.