I spent this morning at the Association of Conservative Clubs’ Annual General Meeting held at the Renaisance Hotel in Manchester. I was seconding a motion supporting the Leader which was ( not surprisingly ) passed unanimously. It was a very enjoyable occasion with an excellent buffet lunch afterwards. There are six Conservative Clubs in Bury North and throughout the Country the network of Conservative Clubs provide an excellent resource for the Party. After we came out and Sue had insisted on a spot of retail therapy we had to pass through the assembled throng hoping to catch a glimpse of one of Bury’s most famous sons Gary Neville as he was marrying today in Manchester Cathedral. I hope he and his new wife have enjoyed the day and have a long and happy life together.
The main focus of my activities yesterday was a meeting last night with the Bury campaign organising committee. This morning I attended a coffee morning in aid of Bury Hospice. I was disappointed but not too surprised to see that a Conservative motion asking for the Government to agree at least in principle to the holding an Inquiry into the war in Iraq was defeated. I am sure that despite this vote there will be such an Inquiry and in my view that is entirely appropriate so that we can see what lessons can be learned for the future.
As J Weston has got it almost correctly worked out I can say that the link is indeed George Orwell in that Big Brother of course featured in ‘1984’ and one of the tracks that Meatloaf sang in the Three Bats concert was a song penned by Jim Steinman titled ‘ In the land of the pig, the butcher is king ‘ and the video that accompanied that track at the concert was from the animated version of Animal Farm also written by George Orwell
I have had a fairly routine few days. Yesterday I had a trip to the gym and spent some time dealing with my correspondence and emails. In the evening I went to a Ceilidh at Tottington Village Hall. This morning after attending the Church Parade service at St. Anne’s I went to the Garden Party at St. Mary’s. Sue bought some plants for the garden so that dictated that this afternoon we spent some time gardening. The weather has been fine so Sue and I took the opportunity to go out for a walk. We went up to Hawkshaw through the Two Brooks Valley.
I have been keeping my eye on the cricket today and the West Indies have batted really well. It will I think create a new record if they manage to win tomorrow. I think it is unlikely and hopefully England will win the series at some stage tomorrow.
Education is the key to social mobility and I am delighted that under David Cameron the Conservatives will be focusing on raising standards for all children. Much has been made of David Cameron’s statement that there would be no going back to the 11-plus. He actually made this clear in a speech made back in January 2006.
What has received less publicity are the other elements of Conservative education plans
* Existing grammar schools will be supported and protected where they remain.
* What is best from the grammar school experience must be made available for all pupils. This means bright pupils should be taught in in classes with other bright pupils.
* It will be made easier for new schools to be opened. The fundamental problem is that there are not enough svhools which are seen as good schools by parents.
*The type of school which offer the best prospect for improving education are those introduced by the Conservatives City Technology Colleges which have been carried forward by Tony Blair as Acadamies. The requirement for a sponsor of an Academy to contribute £2 million must be removed to allow new Academies to be opened.
* Academy providers must be invited to run schools with whole class teaching; setting and streaming and a robust and strict discipline policy because these are effective ways of improving standards.
Yesterday Sue and I were invited to a dinner back in Rotherham organised to thank us for the work we had done there when we were active over in South Yorkshire. Conservative Party members in Rotherham are relatively few in number and they certainly ‘ punch above their weight’ in terms of achievement. It was great to see old friends again and we were presented with a set of crystal glasses which will always serve to remind us of our years helping in Rotherham. We both really enjoyed the evening and a big ” thank-you ” to those who organised it.
Come on lets be honest. The reality outside of the political tent is not who wins the Labour Party Deputy Leadership contest ( most peoples reaction is “Quite frankly who cares??!!” ) if my office is anything to go by many more people are interested in what will happen in Big Brother. It is a bit too early to speculate on who will win but, who will be the first to be evicted? Shabnam I think.
By the way, talking of Big Brother I will pose a question ” What is the link between Big Brother and the Meatloaf Concert I went to ? ”