Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What a shower

There was a special edition of Newsnight last night, with all six Labour deputy leadership contenders. Here's my verdict:

Harman: Lose the power dressing.
Johnson: Likeable, but it's as if the Eighties never happened.
Cruddas: See above.
Hain: Statesman-like, but boring.
Benn: Dull, but at least he didn't use any notes.
Blears: Disaster area. Go on Labour, elect her.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Yesterday's real headlines

  • The Bank of England raises interest rates to a six-year high.
  • The projected cost of the Government's ID card scheme rises by £400m to £5.31bn.
  • Tony Blair doesn't resign as Prime Minister or even as leader of the Labour Party, but talks about it a bit.

Coincidence? You decide...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

So there you have it - the last of the English council results have come in. And let's not pretend otherwise, they're a great set of results for the Conservatives, on top of a great set of results last year. Even some of the Labour bloggers are honest enough to say so.

Tomorrow, Tony Blair will almost certainly announce that he's standing down as Prime Minister. He'll try to take the rap for these results, or at least be blamed by the rest of his Party for them. His ten years in office have been a missed opportunity, and I've been racking my brains this afternoon trying to think of anything positive he's achieved since D:Ream's Things Can Only Get Better rang out that day in May 1997.

The only things I can come up with are ASBOs (which hopefully one day won't be needed anymore) and the continuation of the Northern Ireland peace process, which was started by his Conservative predecessor John Major with the Downing Street Declaration. Yesterday, people across Northern Ireland witnessed the product of the process so far when the DUP, Sinn Féin and the other parties sat down together in government.

But as one Labour Prime Minister gives way to another, let's not forget the tax rises, the billions wiped off pension funds, the rewriting of the government's own fiscal discipline rules, the economic problems stored up for the future. This isn't just the legacy of Tony Blair, it's the legacy of Gordon Brown.

Well done Nigel!

Bournville Councillor Nigel Dawkins has been selected as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham Selly Oak. Having grown up in Selly Oak Constituency, I remember the heady days of the late, great Sir Anthony Beaumont-Dark, the Constituency's last Conservative MP.

Nigel was selected by an open primary, which is a new innovation for the Conservatives and British politics in general. This allows anyone, regardless of political affiliation, to vote for their preferred candidate. As a party, we're trying very hard to broaden our appeal, and hopefully this will go some way to doing just that.

The incumbent (Labour) MP is standing down, and with a fair wind and a healthy swing, let's hope that Nigel can win it for us. Well done Nigel, and good luck!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Elections Reflections

I've been on holiday in Suffolk over the weekend, and I've had time to gather my thoughts about last weeks elections.


1. Having my car broken into and my sat nav nicked while I was leafleting. (For the record, it wasn't on display and there were no suction marks on the windscreen). On the plus side, the police officer who attended was very professional.

2. Getting two parking tickets while I was leafleting. I got one of them despite texting the new service you can use instead of pay-and-display, because the replacement car I was driving (see 1) had a different registration number than the one they had on record for me. Particularly annoying.

3. Waiting for hours for someone to deliver 67 postal votes to be included in the count. This meant that we didn't get a result until far later than usual.

4. Losing our outright majority in Solihull, but I'm sure we'll get it back next time.


1. All the people who helped me in so many different ways, be it leafleting, advice or just being there. You know who you are. Thanks.

2. Those 732 pieces of paper that showed that 732 people had taken the time and trouble to write an 'x' next to my name. If I knew who all of you were, I'd come round and thank you personally.

3. Our three gains in Birmingham. Very many congratulations to Barbara Wood in Kings Norton, Colin Hughes in Billesley and in particular to my friend Gareth Compton in Erdington, who trounced Susanna McCorry on a huge swing to the Conservatives.

4. Albert Bore going out of his way to compliment my campaign in his re-election speech. Always good to receive compliments from your political opponents.

5. Being attacked (in all but name) in at least one of Labour's leaflets. You know they're getting scared when they do that!

6. Seeing Labour run around Ladywood leafleting like crazy to try and counter my active campaign. The amount of effort they put in was evinced by the number of Labour activists at the count. This must have hampered their ability to operate in Birmingham's more marginal wards.

7. In the early hours of Friday morning, finding out that John Lamont had become a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Roxburgh and Berwickshire. I met John at the Conservative Party Conference last year, and I know how hard he's been working.

8. Looking at the BBC website (above) and seeing that we've gained 898 Conservative Councillors and 38 Conservative Councils in England.

I've thoroughly enjoyed being the candidate for Ladywood and I'll carry on trying to serve the people of Birmingham in whatever way I can. And as I said in my speech at last week's count, I'll always be proud to call myself a Conservative.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me yesterday. A clear second place is a very positive result for the Conservatives in Ladywood, and many congratulations to my colleagues across the city and country for the remarkable gains we've had. More later...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Vote for Peter Smallbone TODAY!

Thursday 3rd May is the day that you can vote for positive change in Ladywood Ward. Please vote for me.

Don't forget - polling stations open from 7am until 10pm
Don't forget - you don't need your Polling Card or ID to vote
Don't forget - voting only takes five minutes