Sunday, October 11, 2009

Supporting the Half Marathon

Today saw Birmingham host the World Half Marathon and the Birmingham Half Marathon, aka the 'Race against climate change'. The former is for elite runners and the latter for anyone - both follow the same route, which passes through the Constituency.

It was great to be able to support the event and cheer on the runners - I even saw a couple of friends run past - an added bonus! It's superb that, once again, Birmingham has been able to stage a world-class event.

Line Dancing at Quinborne

Fancy learning how to line dance? The Quinborne Centre will be holding lessons from Tuesday 3rd November. Only £3.50 per session - bargain! (Click the picture for a bigger version.)

Quinton Neighbourhood Office Open Event, Wednesday 14th October, 2pm-3.30pm

Quinton Neighbourhood Office is holding an open event to provide information on all sorts of important topics - see above! (Click the picture for a bigger version.)

Halloween Community Family Event, Saturday 31st October, Adult Day Centre, West Boulevard, 6pm-9.30pm

The local Police have asked me to promote this event - I went last year and it was great fun. Do come along! (Click the picture for a bigger version.)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

At Conservative Party Conference

Phew! I've just returned from Conservative Party Conference and what a conference it was. There was such a positive atmosphere everywhere: in the conference hall, at the fringe meetings and at all the informal gatherings in and around the conference venue in Manchester. There's a real sense that we have the the right Leader, the right team, the right policies, and the support of the British people to form the next government, whenever Porky Pie Man has the nerve to call a election.

Highlights for me were a panel discussion on the first 100 days of a Conservative government and a meeting of Salford Conservatives, where we swapped ideas on campaign methods and strategies.

I couldn't stay for David Cameron's closing speech but I've just watched it on the telly. The big themes were the economy and the Conservatives' natural mistrust of big government.

Next year, Gordon Brown will need to spend more servicing the public debt than on schools. Rather than being in denial about this huge mess, we've announced policies to do what's necessary to start getting that debt down.

David Cameron also pointed out that a single mother with two children earning £150 a week has an effective tax rate of 96% for every additional pound she earns, due to loss of benefits and additional taxation. Don't be under any illusions - despite the minimum wage (which we're committed to keeping), Labour fails the poorest in our society. We will ensure that you keep more of the money you earn.

David's speech had a similar theme to the late Ronald Reagan's famous quote, 'Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.' This is a longstanding Conservative philosophy - big government undermines responsibility and delivers less than just trusting people to get on with it. We will work to give power and responsibility back to where it belongs - you. I look forward to working with our excellent Parliamentary candidate, Deirdre Alden, to deliver the change that people want and expect.