Very pleased with my bag of gifts

Very pleased with my bag of gifts

It was very nice to be presented with a card and a bag of gifts from my Wisbech Conservative colleagues this evening.

I acted as Campaign Manager here in Wisbech and we bucked the national trend and had a pretty good result, improving on our previous election results from four years ago.

It was a lot of hard work, but I really can’t take any credit.  We had a brilliant raft of candidates and I am proud to serve alongside them.

I’m only sorry for the three that we lost – but there will be other days.

What I Don’t Get

What I Don’t Get

I’ve been puzzling over something that I can’t quite get my head around.  It has been clear since last year that Theresa May was – and I put this as diplomatically as I can – not working out as Leader of the Conservative Party.  But the full gravity of it had perhaps not dawned on all Conservative MPs when the vote of no confidence took place last year.

What I don’t get is why – as the situation has got worse and worse and worse – nobody seems able to do anything about it.

Yes, I understand we have a constitutional crisis.  I get that the country is split and the Remainers will do anything and everything to prevent us leaving.  I get that the Leavers are split on the right way forwards.  I get that the media are just impossibly biased on the whole thing and are broadly for Remain also.  I even get that there are some (too many) Conservative MPs who seem willing to join the Lefties in frustrating Brexit.  They should all have the whip withdrawn, in my view.

But that’s not what I’m asking.

I understand why the Parliamentary system is in a mess and I can see that maneuvers are being used to frustrate and prevent any sort of true Brexit.  I know that the Prime Minister doesn’t have the power to brute force a Leave through, even if she wanted to.   I know that Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP etc etc are all trying to prevent Brexit and all for their own nuanced reasons.  Labour really just want a General Election to install Corbyn as the horror PM for a new generation.

But what I don’t get is this:

Theresa May must now be up there with the most unpopular Prime Ministers in modern times.  I mean, I remember how much the country grew to dislike Gordon Brown, and I’m not sure he was as disliked as Theresa May is now.  She has systematically proven to be all the things some of us predicted but most of all she is quite clearly something that should never ever have happened – a Remainer in Charge of Leaving the European Union.  It was always bonkers to have somebody at the head of such a huge change who didn’t want or believe in that change.  So given that we missed the legal date to leave, missed the extension, brought loss to hundreds and hundreds of excellent Councillors who had no fault in their own election result, and are now about to have a set of European Elections we were NEVER MEANT TO HAVE, consider this…

Theresa May’s leadership is systematically tearing the heart out of the Conservative party.  It’s destroying one of the oldest political parties in the world.  It is smashing the faith that our voters had in us.  It is consistently shedding us of our lifeblood, the Councillors and activists and supporters and grass roots that are everything to us.

It’s a joke, right?  We are polling 22% in national polls.  Not Euro polls.  22 percent would be a good score for us right now in Euro polls.  In NATIONAL polls.

SO WHY ISN’T ANYBODY DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

Whatever the levers and wheels of power are in Westminster Conservative circles, start them turning.  Get off your benches and our of your aisles and DO SOMETHING.  This fundamental breakdown of the Conservative Party is being delivered to us by our abject failure to deliver Brexit AS A PARTY and as a Parliament, and by desperately poor leadership from Theresa May.  The opposition parties are laughing at it all.  I don’t have anything against the Prime Minister, I’m sure she is a lovely lady and I’m sure she means well.  But if ever there was a time for her to be leading our party, this is not it.  For the love of God, Powers That Be, stop this madness before our party is destroyed forever.

The country expects a Conservative Party to deliver on its election and manifesto promises and the largest vote this country has ever taken.  Give us a new leader who will be like a piece of iron, who will deliver us a clear, complete and full Brexit in short order and say to those who would stand against it: “This is the will of the people and it will happen.  Now.”

That Was Quite Something

That Was Quite Something

Wow, that was an eventful campaign.

I was very sad to lose David Oliver and Garry Tibbs to FDC.   It’s unfortunate for Walsoken and Peckover too, as they’ve replaced two hard-working, decent men for … well, you know.  But, as my old pal Rollinson used to say if electorate who vote in people like this: “you get what you vote for.”

The mixup of Independents, Lib Dems and otherness that now form the FDC opposition isn’t a massive change from before really.  Having opposition who were never really Conservatives move from being in your ranks to outside of them is really just the same people doing what they do a little more openly.  I would not rule out one or two more “surprises” even after the elections are over.  I think its actually quite healthy for individuals to be revealed for what they really are, rather than what they pretend to be.  At least, when the dust settles, the picture is clear.

All in all, given the national trend delivered by the Brexit Fiasco, we did well compared to many areas.  I was particularly pleased that Wisbech Town Council remains almost the same and actually had a slighter better result than four years ago.  Then, the voters delivered us four opposition (two Independents and two ‘Kippers) and this time they delivered us three.  It was nice to take a District Council seat from the opposition in Waterlees and to secure three Town Council seats there.  The new Conservative Councillors will be a great team.

Hill Ward was brilliant.  A great deal of effort was put in to take this from us, including the massively biased local press doing everything they could (as predicted) right up to the eve of election front page attack article (as predicted) and they must be absolutely fuming that the effort failed.  In the current political climate that’s really quite a feat to have overcome such a gargantuan #Fakenews effort.  Well done to all involved.  Peter Freeman was the only opposition candidate who I noted was a gentleman about the whole thing.  Fair play for that.

I rather enjoyed getting blamed by the opposition for everything (as usual).  I don’t mind.  I am the bogeyman of the opposition, who spend many hours in their tiny moist online hideyhole frothing about me and believing I am responsible for everything from the big bang to the end of time.  As with many other events over the last few years, if they believe I am somehow behind everything that happens that makes them angry it’s no concern to me.

It’s a different local political landscape, for sure.  Interestingly, an area where some people say they want “party politics out of local Government” have just elected probably the most political Council this area has ever seen.  The speed with which an “Independent” “Group” forms and gives itself a leader and Special Responsibility Allowances will be a sight to see, I suspect.  How long before the first “group meeting” is called for the party that isn’t a party?  But I could be wrong.  Maybe they’ll all stay true to their “Independent” claims and not form a group etc.  We shall see.

A sad day to see some truly wonderful Councillors lost to our area.  I suspect we will feel the consequences of those losses in the months and years to come.  But onwards and upwards.  Local Conservatives will now have to work even harder for our towns, for Fenland and for the people that live here.  I feel confident that’s what we will all do.

 

Wisbech Words

Wisbech Words

This Thursday night at Wisbech Castle:

Are you an aspiring poet, writer, rapper?

All levels welcome, this event is for everybody who loves to write and who wants others to share what they’ve written with others via the spoken word.

Wisbech Words presents Open Mic Night. (But you don’t have to use a Mic if you don’t want to.)

Come along … listen, speak, enjoy.

Eggcellent Easter Fun Day(s)

Eggcellent Easter Fun Day(s)

Well, I’ve spent a wonderful weekend with friends and colleagues delivering the Eggcellent Easter Fun Day on Saturday and Sunday for over a thousand happy people.

Families poured into Wisbech Castle for the hugely successful event, themed on Alice In Wonderland and featuring so many things for families and kids to enjoy together.

Almost everything was delivered free to local people, thanks to our spectacular Wisbech Castle Working Party team of volunteers.

The weather was incredible, loads of people turned out and everybody seemed to have a really nice time.  Many came back for both days!

Wisbech Castle and its team going from strength to strength.

In Character … Dave Topgood as The Mad Hatter, Samantha Hoy as the Easter Bunny, Brenda Barber as the Queen of Hearts, Cameron Fraser as Pikachu, Joe Tierney as the White Rabbit, Jamie Edwards as The Wisbech Giant, Abi Wallwork as Alice.  Also thanks to all the many other volunteers who helped out to deliver this brilliant event.

Uncontested

Uncontested

I had one of the best canvassing days EVER today.

The sun was shining and literally every single person I spoke to door-to-door was supportive and friendly.  I canvassed for six hours and covered over half of my ward and it was absolutely brilliant.  I’d like to thank so many people that I spoke to that were all so nice.

When I got home I began to get word of the list of candidates that were standing in Fenland.  I had wondered if we might get some “no contests” but I never thought there would be so many.  All across Fenland, many of my colleagues will be elected unopposed.

In a way I am a little disappointed, as the unofficial news is that I will also be elected unopposed. I’m sad because I had been really hoping one of these so-called “Independents” was going to stand against me.  I would have liked to see how that worked out for them.

I’m sorry to the people of Medworth that no other candidate has put their name in.  You deserve a choice and that has been denied to you.  I would have been happy to campaign for re-election on my record.  Indeed I have already put out a newsletter, a letter and a leaflet across the ward, and canvassed about 75% of the ward, so I was certainly up for it.  It appears that the various other parties and “independents” couldn’t find somebody willing to take me on.  It appears they were all frit, as there’s no sign of them.  Or perhaps they are just supportive of the work I do?  :)

But I’m pleased for my Town Council colleague Michael Hill, who is Deputy Mayor and can now be as assured as you can be with such things that he will be the Mayor in May.  I know he is going to be a great Mayor – again!

Once more, thanks to all the people who had said they were going to vote for me.  It was truly humbling.  There’s no need to do so now, but I will work hard every day for the next four years on your behalf.  Thank you.