Europe and UKIP

Following on from my speech to the Bury Industrial Society last Friday I was out last night speaking to a group of ladies from Church Ward, after I had spoken I answered the usual wide variety of questions and just as happened on Friday the issue of Europe came up despite the fact that last night I had not mentioned it at all in my speech.
There is no doubt that for many people the issue of our relationshp with the other countries of Europe is of overriding importance.
I think the main reason for the current unhappiness is that in their last General Election manifesto Labour promised a referendum on the European Constitution and now just because a few small parts of it have changed Gordon Brown and the Labour Government are breaking their promise and denying us a vote in a referendum. Labour argue that there was no referendum on the Maastricht Treaty but the fundamental difference is that we were promised a referendum. There is no wonder people are losing trust in politicians and especially Labour politicians.
I have been pleased to note that despite the fact that for some people the issue of Europe has risen up the political agenda again there has been no corresponding increase in support for UKIP in fact I was reading today that in the latest opinion poll UKIP was scoring zero per cent suggesting that hardly anyone was telling the pollsters that they intended to vote UKIP. I hope the reason for this is that those voters who do feel strongly about Europe realise that the easiest way to remove the Labour Government is to replace it with a Conservative one and voting UKIP will not achieve that aim.
On Monday night I attended a meeting of the Conservative Councillors Group on Bury Council ahead of the full Council meeting tonight. I have also been out helping our leaflet delivery team.

Bury Industrial Society

I was the guest speaker last night at a dinner organised by the Bury Industrial Society. I took as my main theme the issue of trust in politics and politicians. I think that one of the principal reasons why turnout in elections is falling is because of falling trust in politicians. So often the public feel that politicians never tell the truth and whilst I appreciate that all politicians want to present their case in the best possible light sometimes if things have not gone to plan we may as well say so rather than try and cover things up with ” spin “.
This morning Sue and I called in at the Autumn Fair at St. Paul’s in Ramsbottom and Sue took the opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping in the excellent small shops in Ramsbottom

End of an era

Sue and I have had a busy week as we have been concluding our Consultancy agreement. As anyone who has ever left a place of work after many years will know it is a strange experience and can be quite emotional. Both Sue and I have been very touched by the kind words and the many lovely gifts we have received . To all those involved “Thank-you we will never forget you ”

This evening I have been attending a meeting with my Constituency Chairman to discuss the arrangements for a dinner we are having with William Hague next month.

Casino Royale

Last night Sue and I attended a Casino Royale dinner organised by the Bolton North East Conservatives held at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. It was an excellent evening with a five course dinner, a cabaret act and all with a James Bond theme. The special guest was former Conservative Party Chairman Francis Maude MP. My congratulations go to Deborah Dunleavy the Candidate in Bolton North East and her team for organising such an outstanding and extremely well attended event.
This morning we were out and about in Ramsbottom calling in at the Civic Hall where the Friends of Ramsbottom Civic Hall were holding a coffee and cakes morning.

Ming Surprise

Well, Well,who would have thought when David Cameron was elected as Conservative Party Leader alongside Tony Blair and Charles Kennedy that within two years Blair would have broken his word and resigned having served nowhere near a full third term and the Lib Dems would have got rid of not just one but two Leaders! I am not sure that the Lib Dems will see much of an improvement in their poll standings simply by switching Leaders but no doubt the extra publicity that a Leadership contest should bring will give them a short term boost.

Well done England!

Wow, I think if we are all honest with ourselves very few people thought that the England rugby union team would make it through for the second time running to the World Cup Final. I thought they would get through the Group stage and then be knocked out in the quarter-finals. I was out at a dinner last night so I was not able to watch the game live but it was a very pleasant surprise when I was told they had beaten the hosts on their home soil. An England win double after the England football team had won in the afternoon a game which I had managed to watch on tv. Unfortunately, the England cricket team lost in Sri Lanka but of the three games it was the least important as England had already won the series but as Meatloaf sang “Two out of three ain’t bad”.
Bury Football Club however made it three wins out of three in the past week with their victory away at Notts County and it is a relief to see them well away from the relegation zone.

Yesterday morning I joined Councillor Bibby the Leader of Bury Council to meet with members of Bury’s Muslim community to look at how the new parking arrangements around the Mosque were working.

Today has been the harvest festival lunch at Church so despite a late return from dinner last night Sue and I were up at 6.30am ready for the 8am service at Church so I could spend the rest of the morning helping to prepare for the harvest lunch.

William Hague MP and Bury Market

I was fortunate this morning to be able to welcome the Right Hon. William Hague MP to Bury. Together with my colleague Councillor Michelle Wiseman the Parliamentary Candidate for Bury North we accompanied him on a tour of Bury Markets. As ever the Markets were thronged with shoppers and we met people not just from Bury but from all over the North West. William and I sampled some of the famous Bury Black Pudding which the mass of media photographers who were following us seemed to find particularly interesting! I, of course, have had it many times and I am pleased to report William enjoyed his too.

We were generally given a very good response which reinforced my view that in the Country there is a much greater willingness now to listen to what the Conservatives have to say and certainly the Gordon Brown honeymoon would seem to be over.