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Great to see such strong results in Redditch. There can be few candidates who have grafted so hard for long as Karen Lumley. She is a real class act. Smith may not be important enough for her demise to be a 'Portillo' moment, but there won't be a dry eye amongst Karen's friends in North Wales when she gets her reward. Bring it on.
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"this whole grammar school debate is pointless drivel." No it isn't. It is a classic case of good forward thinking policy, being presented apallingly.Not for the first time in the last few weeks either. It could have been a positive 'Grammar schools are safe in our hands, but the future is....' story. Instead, every activist that i have met are up in arms and most of Kent, Berkshire, Gloucester etc have been given a reason not to vote for us. Fantastic election results are not an excuse for crass media management.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2007 on Saturday 19th May 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Re Wiltshire. Well said Margaret. Unitaries might work well in urban/small geographic areas, but in a rural area like Wiltshire it is madness. Districts carry out the services that are closest to the community, because they are close to the community. It is also against stated party policy, and we don't have many.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2007 on Friday 23rd February 2007 at ConservativeHome
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This has broadly to be welcomed, but with one caveat. As well as monitoring our MEP's performance in Brussels/Strasbourg and the passage of interfering, federalist and downright stupid legislation; I hope that equal coverage will apply to the good work done, especially in constituencies/regions. A classic example is Jonathan Evans, with whom I am sure I could find plenty to disagree about on EU. However, he is one of the hardest working people in politics, covers a massive area as Wales' sole sane MEP, gives real support to candidates at all elections and is top of the list of people I would want on my side in a fix. Welsh tory activists are predominantly very eurosceptic, and Jonathan markedly not so, but he will always top their list on merit.
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As someone who was on the SE England list last time, it was a bit frustrating to see a two tier selection system which guaranteed some very longstanding MEPs 'electable' positions on the list, when their views were clearly out of kilter with many [if not most] members. My pitch was simple as, it would be today. The job of a Conservative MEP is, as it should be at all levels from Parish Council up, to ensure the election of a Conservative Prime Minister. That is the only way we have any hope of a real difference in Europe. The selection mechanism should be open; respectful and challenging of the existing team and keen to promote new talent. Open primaries should do it. It would also be a good idea if candidates are not forced, against their will and upon threat of being dropped, to endorse the nonsense of the EPP-ED arrangements.
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Excellent news to see David Jones going to the front bench. Someone who has slogged his guts out for the party as a candidate in 97, 01 and 05 and finally got his just reward in sneeking Clwyd West. A Welsh Tory from a Welsh constituency on the Welsh front bench team is something we have not seen for a decade. Well done David.
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