Saturday, 7 May 2011

Post election re-action; further thoughts

As a first-time Campaigner, who failed to get elected under the Lib-Dem banner in Thursday's local elections, I must now go on record as saying that the Coalition for me is not working.
The Lib Dems have been used as a shield to allow the Tories to make unpopular choices and cuts that have under-mined the public sector in particular and allowed unscrupulous private sector employers to revert to the 'big-stick' method of control seen so often under the dreadful Thatcher years. The party, and Nick Clegg in particular, has also taken all the flak for a tuition fee policy that was always part of the Tories agenda but never the Lib Dems.
Why teflon Cameron never gets any comeback is beyond me- after all the Coalition is Conservative LED and the Lib Dems are, at best, junior-partners only.In order to stop the haemorrhaging of Lib Dem Councils, Councillors and grass-root activists and supporters, I urge Clegg to pull out of the coalition now, stand up to the Tories and say enough is enough by recapturing our unique identity. Lib Dems would NEVER have raised tuition fees in Government alone; Lib Dems would NEVER have made such savage and severe cuts in Government alone. 
The party has been hood-winked by the Tories due to its own naivety and suffered dramatically as a consequence.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Post election reaction

Thank you to the 630 of you that voted for me in Herontye district election (I have left the count before the Town results have been declared) and congratulations to the two Messrs Belsey and Sweatman for their success.  A special thanks to my running mate, Chris Jerrey, who has helped me cope with the occasional rude person  who assumed that people wanting to do their best for the town deserve less respect than the stuff one tries to avoid standing in when walking in the country!

Besides this Chris,(who has so superbly served Herontye for 4 years at Mid Sussex District Council and who will be sorely missed), has been a great mentor and despite the very disappointing result, has become a person whose friendship I value tremendously.

As for the result then it is clear to me that I will no longer be able to sustain any support for the coalition agreement.  The Lib Dems have been used, at national level, as whipping boys by the tories and I now firmly believe that we should have entered a coalition with the Labour party - who can be trusted - rather than got into bed with a party that has never been known to listen to anyone other than their own grass root support......

Nice to see Mr Soames at today's count; the landed gentry keeping in touch with 'his' public wearing a 1980's double breasted suit.....the retro look is after all back in fashion!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Final Day of Campaigning!

Campaigning in 2011 is very different to that in 2001; blogs, Twitter and Facebook have all changed the way that candidates interact with the electorate and, coupled with traditional means of engagement, this surely promotes the democratic ideal.

It is with this in mind that we can further enhance democracy within the United kingdom by taking the next step towards Proportional Representation and voting YES to the Alternative Vote tomorrow at the ballot box.  For Labour voters in seats where the contest is normally between ourselves and the Tories, then YES tomorrow is very likely to improve their return and number of MPs.  This is due to the fact that it is my belief that the majority of Lib Dems have values which are more left of centre than right…..thankfully!

Whilst driving into the office today I was staggered by the choice of headline news that BBC Radio Surrey decided to run with.  Declaring that a prominent statistician had pronounced that YES would make little difference in the South-East, they actually failed to mention that the referendum is a national one and not being voted on constituency lines.  A YES vote tomorrow in Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle, Manchester and London will carry the same weight in a two-horse contest.  It is future elections where the sensible proposal to return MPS with at least 50.1% of constituency support, will mean that the reliance on tactical voting is reduced and people can start to base their vote on their political leanings.

If you are still in doubt about tomorrow’s vote, I urge you to try the various calculators on the web including the one on Sky News’s site which can be found at

For the Country’s electorate I say vote YES for AV on the 5th May; for the residents of Herontye I say vote YES for Jerrey, Barnett and Joannou-Coetzee!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Best quote of recent days.....

Thanks to Guardian reader Blair Mcpherson who stated "who says men can't multitask?  Cameron manages to be both smug and condescending at the same time"

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Have the media got it wrong?

Don't let the media fool you!  The positive reactions that we have had in Herontye ward continue to suggest that once again the right-winged press have got it wrong!   On the doorsteps the feeling is very much more considered and even if people don't particularly support the Lib Dems, the good news for East Grinstead is that most of it's citizens are savy enough to make their own minds up in an articulate manner!

There is none of this anti-Clegg hysteria that Murdoch et al have whipped up nor is there a sense of impending doom which according to most of the press is about to bestow our party nationally.

Issues that are relevant are discussed of course; lack of choice and concern over the number of shops closing down in the Town, car parking chaos and worries about the future, given the country's continuing perilous financial state, are familiar topics with residents from Herontye Drive to Dunnings Road and all in between.

What is clear though is that the media are wide of the mark!  People want decisions made that affect their everyday lives and those of their children and/or elderly parents.  Tittle-tattle may sell a few tabloid newspapers but the quality and incisive opinion making is made on the doorsteps of Britain and not behind the laptops of Fleet Street.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hope for cerebral palsy sufferers

Met a very nice lady on Saturday morning whilst out canvassing.  Ellie Thompsopn told me all about her campaign to deliver affordable Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy  (SDR) treatment to the UK.  SDR is a technique designed to improve walking and/or increase the range of motion and improve body positioning for cerebral palsy sufferers.

Ellie’s charity, HUGS, concentrates some of its efforts on raising funds to cover the substantial cost of putting a child through treatment.  Even so, sadly, the success rate in the UK is significantly lower than over in America where pioneer Dr T S Parks, using less invasive surgery, is able to enhance mobility in virtually all the patients he treats.
HUGS, along with other interested bodies, now want the UK to follow Dr Parks lead whilst at the same time securing financial support for patients and/or their families to cover the costs of treatment since NICE (National institute for Health & Clinical excellence) have said that there will be no NHS funding for this procedure.  The good news is that from May Dr Kristian Aquilina will be performing SDR surgery using Dr Parks’ techniques at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol – but at an anticipated cost of £24,000 per patient.  Additionally only children over 6 years of age will be treated in the UK yet statistically Dr Parks has proven that the surgery is more successful the younger the child.
If anybody would like to know more about HUGS then please visit their website
and for further information on selective dorsal rhizotomy then
Without making any political point, it is the responsibility of anybody representing the community to highlight issues such as these that affect the disadvantaged in society irrespective of the party umbrella that they work under.  Personally I do think that funding should be made available to help subsidise the cost of treatment at the very least and that the rules governing the minimum age of treatment be re-visited given Dr Parks’ research.

Monday, 18 April 2011

AV or not AV - that is the question!





It’s dirty tricks time…..”none of your taxes have been used to print this leaflet” claim the Conservative funding and supporting big businessmen in their expensively produced glossy!  News to me that the YES campaign have had public funding….which of course they haven’t!  Talk about corporate manipulation of the ordinary man or woman in the street!
The arguments have been made – it’s clear!  First past the post only results in an MP who, in the overwhelming majority of cases, most of the electorate do not want!
If you take 5 candidates and assume under FPTP the person coming first got 21% of the popular vote with the remaining 4 candidates getting the split of the 79% balance….tell me how can the ‘winner’ be truly representative?
Not only does this latest Tory propaganda rubbish the idea of AV but it is quick to blame Nick Clegg for “broken promises”.  No acceptance of shared responsibility but another attempt by Cameron’s toffs to put all the blame for the cuts on the Coalition’s junior partners.  Shame on the Tories!
In every aspect can YOU really trust the Tories…..?  Same old, same old….always passing the buck!  This is why AV is important – there will be nowhere for MPs to hide and every opportunity to make their actions more accountable and representative for ALL their constituents.
Make sure on 5th May you vote yes for AV and in East Grinstead Herontye ward vote yes for Barnett, Jerry and Joannou-Coetzee!