Monday, 28 April 2014

Margaret Thatcher and her stirring words to Falkland heroes

I've been out chatting to my residents today and I knocked on the door of one household which was answered by a gentleman with a strong Scottish accent.

I've learnt never to assume anything when it comes to people and elections so, after an initial chat, I asked him if he was going to support me in the upcoming local election.

He said 'Oh yes, I am - but my family were staunch labour and so was I until 1982'.

So I said 'Please tell me more'. He then proceeded to proudly narrate the story of his time serving his country and had set sail to the Falklands for War.

He told me about the address the great Margaret Thatcher gave to all of the men on board, who were about to fight for their country and it literally brought tears to my eyes. Her final words to them were:

'Remember, you have the country behind you, God behind you and I am right beside you.'

Such were the power of her words and the genuine way in which she spoke them that, he said, if she'd asked the men to defeat the Argentinians by lunchtime, they would've finished it by breakfast! And so with lumps in their throats they were energised and determined.

And that was the time he switched..

It was glorious listening to that story and several others - He had a few funny anecdotes about the day he received a medal from her and about the accompanying Michael Heseltine. He also said that when they returned victorious from the war, she would not leave the vessel until she had shook the hand and said thankyou to every single person on board, making her late for her next appointment.

These are the things we do not hear, these are the real people that met and learnt what a great, compassionate woman she was. This resident has loved her from that day onwards and it showed.

But there was more to come. Finally he said to me, 'You have a good reputation around here and we know you work hard. You can be assured that I will be going to vote for you'.

The whole thing just made my day and in fact his words spurred me on too. Thanks Mrs T!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Out and About with Vicky Ford MEP

I've made no secret of the fact that if there was a referendum tomorrow, I would vote to quit the EU.

However I much prefer the idea of trying to renegotiate to make the EU work for Britain before I decide to vote for such a momentous step. This is a complicated affair.

So I was delighted to see Vicky Ford MEP this morning and campaign with her in Stoke Park.
Vicky is always a pleasure to knock on doors with. Her positivity and energy is evident for all to see and she is patient at the door, happy to listen to their concerns and explain what the Conservatives are doing

We have a strong, united team in Brussels that ensures the best for Britain and they have already cut the EU budget, vetoed a fiscal treaty and kept us out of the Eurozone bailout.

We also have a long term plan to make sure immigration to Britain is controlled and manageable but we know we need to make changes in Europe if the people of Britain are to vote to remain in.

The referendum is a simple In or Out vote - and so we must give ourselves choices.

Below is the plan for change that only the Conservatives can deliver - UKIP want out without thinking of the consequences or the exit strategy, Labour are not going to give you a choice, or exit, Liberals have definitely nailed their EU colours to the mast.

That leaves us - which means YOU decide:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Left wing hysteria and their Poisonous agenda

Make no bones about this – I am deadly serious. If I do not speak out against the mob of nasty hysterical (faux hysterical?) dangerous left wing individuals and groups, I will not be doing my job, nor would I be using my blog for the right reasons.

Where do I start?

Imagine the hand, if you will, of socialism. The thumb has the word Victimhood stamped across it and it is pressing down on millions of people. This is how I see the Labour party and their associates. From Union Leaders to some on the Twitterati, (who jump in gangs onto anyone who disagrees with them with their nasty narrative in order to bully) and from local labour councils who love nothing more than to keep people in their place with nothing to offer but policies that ensure national policy fails.

Now imagine the hand of Conservatives – Hope, empowerment, hard love, fairness and positivity.
I know which world I belong to.

There are many examples of the Left wanting to keep the language negative, to make people feel bad about themselves and to stir up a whole load of trouble but I will use yesterday as an example.

With total predictability, and after more good news about the economy, I already knew that within hours of the media release of said good news, up would pop the subject of foodbanks. I tweeted that this was boring. I meant and I think it was quite obvious to the not-so-hysterical that the timings of bringing up the subject of foodbanks was boring.

Many of my left wing followers/ees did not join in but that’s because they’re grown up and know how to disagree with respect. Usually the spite comes from a complete stranger that has seen my tweet from a certain labour councillor who retweets my stuff. 

Anyway I digress - It’s as if every bit of good news has to be buried under old news but it serves only one purpose. Why? Because they don’t really want to debate it, they don’t want you to scrutinise what they say is happening, they want you to just agree with them, that it is a ‘national crisis’ and ‘shameful’ and woe betide you if you disagree or can see through their motives.

I don’t remember them ever mentioning foodbanks when Labour were in power or that their usage then was going up ten-fold.. Do you? How convenient for them now, then they wonder why some of us are appalled at their narrative. Why not discuss how stringent it really is to get access, (you only have to google to find out that it isn’t as stringent as they make out) or who are the people using them and can they get monetary help elsewhere, are the figures correct or is it a smaller number of people using them more than once? 

Having to go to a foodbank does not correlate with poverty – The majority is down to benefits being suspended or a delay in receiving welfare, so these are short term positions and does not equal poverty. All of us at some point have had a short term financial crisis but we wouldn’t call ourselves poor! But again it suits the left agenda to ignore any mitigating facts and call it a national shame and them spit venom at you when you question it. Only 20% of users are down to low income so please let’s not use foodbanks as a tool for measuring poverty.

I was told yesterday that it was insensitive to call the subject of foodbanks boring. That isn’t what I said – so I repeat – It is the Left wing agenda of bringing it up, without any real solutions or proper discussion, that is boring. But overnight I realised I was being kind. It is actually poisonous.

Why is it poisonous? Good news like the fact that wages are now rising faster than cost of living, isn’t saying ‘oh great, everything is wonderful now’. It’s saying that we are going in the right direction. I remember when my salary (as a single parent) started to be more than my outgoings. It didn’t mean I felt the benefits straight away but what it did do was put a big smile on my face and give me peace of mind, because it meant I could start clearing the backlog and save again, or spend some money on non-essentials.

The Left want to take away the joy of living – it’s as simple as that. They don’t want you to have hope or joy. It will mean you might be happy with the coalition government and they cannot bear the thought of them being re-elected. You might even start feeling a bit confident – heaven help you then. They’ll soon knock that out of you. Or you might start spreading the feel-good factor and spend more. Oh my word, that would be disastrous for the Left. They are hating every minute of this upturn, and almost rub their hands with glee when figures like foodbanks are wheeled back out again. They talk about money more than any other group and think happiness can only depend on its availability. They are obsessed with money forgetting that being 'rich' is much more than that, no, in fact probably nothing to do with money. They suck your happiness juices right out of your body and then pretend they care.

My cynicism goes even further. I believe there are some charities that are enjoying just a little too much fame and hero status in all of this. I am starting to think they are losing their way and slipping dangerously into ‘PR means more business, means we survive longer’ – yet another left wing agenda akin to turkeys not voting for Christmas. 

I also believe that the more they are talked about, the more people will seek them out, thereby self perpetuation and increase in usage. That’s pretty obvious too although it wouldn’t account for all of the increase.

Labour and their partners in crime have no solutions but they’re determined to keep you down, under their thumb. They remind me of a jealous and inadequate partner who recognises that if you start feeling good and attractive, you might leave them. They will be quick to keep you away from others who might influence you whilst feeding you with negativity so that you don’t get too confident.
Labour have nothing to offer this country – They disgust me along with union leaders who use their members as pawns to fit their agenda. They are poison and the symptoms are clear to see. The only anecdote is to continue with a government that believes in people, knows and understands economics and how we all fit the agenda of confidence, positivity and, initially, some tough decisions that hurt.

And if you think this post is about foodbanks then read it again. I just used it as an example of how this hysteria needs stopping in it's track if we are to be a country of survivors, not long term victims who shrivel up under the thumb of Left wing pressure. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Delivering the best schools and skills in Ipswich

Not usually my area of expertise but a great interest of mine, especially as my day work within my business has often been in schools. So I asked for some information and I share that with you, regarding Ipswich.

There's also been a lot of negative publicity by Labour councillors without really giving any facts and figures, as is their want, on anything much at all. So I felt it important to look into this.

Labour failed our young people as we plummeted down the international league tables for school performance. Between 2000 and 2009 England fell from 7th to 25th in reading, 8th to 28th in maths, and 4th to 16th in science in the PISA league tables (PISA study, DfE Press Release, 7 December 2010)

So what are we doing?

Academies – giving schools more freedom

·         Academy status gives schools more freedom, allowing them to help each child reach their full potential. Over half of England’s secondary schools are now benefiting from Academy status, including 6 in Ipswich.

Free Schools – innovative, community-led education

·         Free Schools let talented and committed teachers, charities and parents respond to local demands, raising standards and improving education in their community. There are now over 300 Free Schools in England, but there are none in Ipswich yet.

Capital Spending – investing in schools

·         We are ensuring that Local Authorities have the money they need to provide enough school places because nothing is more important than investing in the next generation. Between 2011 and 2015 schools in Suffolk will receive over £59 million of extra funding to provide new school places.

·         We are making sure school buildings are repaired so that children can learn in the best environment possible. Between 2011 and 2015 schools in Suffolk will receive over £48 million for repairs.

In addition, in Ipswich:
·         Suffolk New Academy is being rebuilt under the Priority School Building Programme:.
·         And, Coppleston High School received £46,500 from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund.

EBacc – the core academic subjects

·         Thanks to our EBacc more pupils are taking the key subjects that they need to get a good job. The EBacc incentivises schools to encourage more pupils to take core subjects at GCSE. It recognises pupils who achieve A*-C grades in English, Maths, 2 sciences, a language and History or Geography.
  • In 2010 only 21.1 per cent of pupils in Ipswich studied for the EBacc, but this rose to just under 40 in 2013, with nearly 22 per cent achieving the qualification, a rise of over 8 per cent.
Under Labour the number of pupils studying an academic core collapsed. The EBacc encourages more pupils to take core subjects at GCSE. It recognises pupils who achieve A*-C grades in English, Maths, two sciences, a language and History or Geography.

Ipswich (National Average)
% rise
% entering a combination of EBacc subjects
21.1 (21.6)
39.5 (35.3)
87.2 (98.0)
% achieving the EBacc
14.1 (14.9)
21.7 (22.5)
53.9 (82.3)


Pupil Premium- supporting the poorest children                 

·         The Pupil Premium gives schools extra funding to raise attainment for disadvantaged pupils and close the attainment gaps between the most disadvantaged pupils and their peers. Between 2011 and 2015, schools in Ipswich will receive over £12.1 million through the Pupil Premium.

Ofsted – expecting the highest standards

·         We have toughened up the Ofsted regime to ensure that all schools are giving the best possible education to our young people. In 2010, 27 schools in Ipswich were rated good or outstanding; this has fallen to 23 schools in 2013.

Aug 2010
Dec 2013
Requires Improvement

Apprenticeships – getting our young people into work

·         Apprenticeships give young people the chance to earn a salary and gain a qualification whilst gaining valuable workplace skills and experience. 630 people started an apprenticeship in Ipswich in 2012/13. An increase of over 62 per cent compared to 2009/10. In total, 2,930 people have started an apprenticeship in Ipswich since 2010.

Ipswich – Ben Gummer MP

Ipswich (National Average)
May 2010
Feb 2014
Number of converter Academies
0 (0.0)
2 (4.2)
Number of sponsored Academies
0 (0.4)
4 (1.3)
Total number of Academies
0 (0.4)
6 (5.5)
% primary schools that are Academies
0 (0.0)
3.4 (7.3)
% secondary schools that are Academies
0 (6.8)
50.0 (50.2)

Pupil Premium
Eligible pupils

Amount (£)

Capital Spending

School repairs (£)
School places (£)


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

♪ How Do we Solve a problem like Maria? ♪♪

The Maria Miller saga goes on and of course the normal witch hunt presides.

If I was David Cameron, I wouldn't give in to the bullies either. Maria has been investigated and the findings have been found, the remedy spelt out. He should not bow to pressure, and I hope he remains stubborn.

However this is not The Sound of Music to many ears and if I was Maria I would take a different stance. The problem with this particular Maria is that she's not given of her best humble side, nor shown any remorse and these are her biggest mistakes.

There's been enough history, shame and scandal on this matter and surely enough to make every MP check their expenses, taking it back as far as they can to ensure they are totally without fault..

Once upon a time a mistake by an MP, on an expenses form, would've been forgiveable by me and most reasonable people, anyone can make a mistake - but it isn't now. This should be a meticulous affair, double checked and reconciled.

Maria's second biggest mistake was to be obstructive and to not seem to have any remorse whatsoever for her errors. I maybe doing her a great injustice because often when we're attacked, we put on a bit of a defiant air in which to defend ourselves. But this is for the rest of us, not for an MP in the cabinet who should've apologised profusely, unequivocally and at the first opportunity. It is her stance that has distanced me from any sympathy.

So if I was in Maria's shoes, I would do the decent thing and resign from the cabinet, ensure that it was my decision and not that of the PM's and show a genuine remorse in
1) Letting my boss down
2) Letting my party down
3) and more importantly, letting the people down

not because of greed or fraud, as this was proved not the case - but because I was stupid enough not to check all the facts to ensure I didn't become a casualty of Labours vindictive campaign to bring down a Tory, in the hope everyone will forget about the several imprisoned Labour MP's.

We don't need stupid anymore - we need careful, meticulous, reasonable submitted expense accounts.

I have one easy solution to the expenses that I can claim as a councillor - I just don't - although some would say that it doesn't show a true reflection on the cost of the council if we all did that.

Well so be it but that's my choice. Peace of mind is far more valuable.