Regular readers will know that I do not propose to comment on each and every opinion poll that is released. We have now had three polls which put Labour slightly ahead and the expected bounce for Labour in the opinion polls after the departure of Tony Blair (not just as Prime Minister but as we now know from the domestic political stage completely) has happened. Personally, I have never doubted that Gordon Brown will be tough opponent not to be taken lightly. Nevertheless, is instinct is to tax us all more and control us all more. During his time as Chancellor pension funds have been crippled with his new tax on pensions. He takes £10 billion a year in Stamp Duty four times as much as when he became Chancellor – no wonder first time buyers struggle to get on the housing ladder.
The number of households paying inheritance tax has doubled under Gordon Brown.
Gordon Brown is part of the past not the future and he can never be part of the change the Country wants. I would not be surprised to see the polls swing back to the Conservatives in the coming weeks and months.
I have been back at work this week and after having taken last week off I have been busier than usual catching up. I did however manage to attend the full Council meeting in Bury Town Hall on Wednesday evening. This was the first normal business meeting with the Conservatives in their new positions running the Council since the changeover of power after the local elections. Considering all the Conservatives were new to their posts I thought they all did very well. Even the Labour leader commented on their professional approach and Labour took their new role in opposition with good grace.
The main debates were on the proposed congestion charge which if it is ever introduced could cost a couple who live in Bury and work in Manchester £2,500 a year in tax to travel to work. The plans so far released raise as many questions as answers and this view was echoed in the debate.
As happened a couple of months ago when I was in London and very strong winds caused travel chaos today when I had meetings in Bolton and then over in Brighouse unprecedented heavy rains have resulted in tragedy in the North. On nights like this my thoughts are with the families of those who tonight will be mourning the loss of their loved ones in Sheffield and Hull drowned by the floods. My travel plans were this time unaffected. This morning I was invited to attend a lunch with the members of the main Party Board who were meeting in Bolton. This evening I have been attending a meeting with fellow Candidates from the North of England at a briefing meeting in Brighouse.
Well now we know, after weeks of speculation the replacement for John Prescott will be Harriet Harman. Thanks to the unnecessarily complex electoral system Labour use to elect their leaders Harriet Harman was not the first choice of most Labour MP’s and MEP’s and some of the views she has expressed during the campaign will sit uneasily alongside official Labour Party policy. Nevertheless, I wish them well in their new roles they certainly have a great deal of problems to deal with. In view of the fact that Gordon Brown has been behind some of the biggest failures of the last ten years I doubt we will see much improvement.
Over the weekend I have been out at a concert of songs performed by the Affetside Choir and today I have called in at the summer fairs at Chantlers Primary School and Bury Boys Grammar School, unfortunately the weather was anything but summery with torrential downpours interrupting proceedings on several occasions.
Sue and I have attended the Silver Anniversary Dinner of Bury Gateway Club this evening held in the Elizabethan Suite at Bury Town Hall. The Gateway Club provide a much valued service for those with learning difficulties and their families and I hope they can go from strength to strength over the next twenty five years. Their inaugural meeting was held just two hours before the birth of Prince William and although invited to join in the celebrations his office sent his apologies explaining that he was unable to attend because of his duties in the Army.
Hi folks, Not had too much to report for last few days as I have been up at Morecambe. It was Sue’s birthday yesterday so we had a visit to her Mum and Dad who live in Blackburn and last night went out for a meal to Ramsons in Ramsbottom.
We have taken this week off as holiday so I have been able to work on the campaign this morning. Emails/ tel calls/ diary planning all the usual stuff.
I attended a meeting of the Bury Branch of Conservative Future last night. For those who may not know Conservative Future is the the organisation for younger members of the Conservative Party, officially for those up to 30. It was for many years called the Young Conservatives as I have to admit it was when I was a member some years ago. I am particularly pleased that the organisation in Bury is thriving and the local Chairman Stuart Penketh was elected as a Councillor for Radcliffe North at this years local elections.