Having noted that none of my upcoming political projects need me to spend time blogging, I have decided to take a six week Summer holiday - I've just left something for any Labour members passing. Enjoy my sidebar links. They're excellent.
15 July 2008
13 July 2008
Years away from the next local or General Elections there is a danger of relaxing. No chance of that. Every one of the last 6 days that I have been in Birmingham I have been at well-attended Conservative Party events. Amongst these was a local candidate's thank you party. Of the 60 or so attendees, just a handful were under the age of 50. Personally, I enjoy listening to the old 'uns, as they always have something interesting to say. One chap described his anger when attending a private party that was mainly full of Socialists where Clare Short called Margaret Thatcher 'treacherous'. Another bloke who was an RAF veteran described how written complaints had been made about the new Labour Lord Mayor for failing to observe protocol at a recent Veteran's Day parade.
But the focus of my party work going forward is a mixture of recruitment and ensuring new young members get actively involved. The graphic below taken from a very recent edition of the Economist shows that as well as these activities are a case of making hay whilst the sun shines.
Birmingham University Conservative Future have invited me to take a local officer role so I plan on spending some of this Summer building their links with the local party and helping plan next academic year especially the opening recruitment drive. Another key objective supported by our regional team in Coleshill is to involve younger members. For those who have embarked on a career this might mean an introduction to the City Branch Committee. In my area, there's also a lot of new members in the 17 to 25 range who are full of enthusiasm. I'm currently organising an ice-breaker event for these guys so that they can get their membership of the party off to a flying start.
If you or will be living, working or studying in Birmingham and want to get involved with the most successful Conservative Party organisation in any of the core cities you can drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help.
10 July 2008
In comments to a blogpost, Stephen Newton asked me to republish some old posts. I thought he already had them all, based on the entry below.
First Published 16 July 2007
Look at an extract from my site visits today. The unintentionally anonymous PR man and labour supporter Stephen Newton MCIPR has been trying to find out a bit more about me as evidenced by this screenshot.
- 16 - He begins with a little search with a query about my work life
- 17 - Looks like he might have found what he was looking for
- 18 - Something for the archive, sir?
05 July 2008
Got soaked in Haltemprice & Howden today. As well as the man himself, I met fellow bloggers Andrew Allison, Sam Tarran and Donal Blaney for the first time which was a pleasure.
Not much sign of any other party making a breakthrough, but turnout will be a problem if the weather stays like this. I'd say that if DD gets 20,000 this Thursday he will have done magnificently.
04 July 2008
You need front to be a Labour politician and throw stones at Tory politicians for sleaze. Recess Monkey has little else. He's been trawling through the recently introduced register of Family Members Employed and Remunerated through the Staffing Allowance and taken a pop at Laurence Robertson for his full disclosure. Source.
Misleadingly titled 'mistress on the state' it got me thinking about a certain Labour MP. Khalid Mahmood (MP for Birmingham Perry Barr) is indeed a most surprising omission from the register. As the latest (as at 20 May 2008) official register shows he employs Elaina Cohen in Parliament. Below are extracts from a 2005 interview with them both...
...In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mercury the couple spoke for the first time about their 'tempestuous' three-year affair. Jewish Elaina Cohen revealed how she still adored England's first Muslim MP despite being constantly briefed against him by his back-stabbing New Labour colleagues...
"They tried to use my emotions to make me hit out at Khalid. They thought I knew things about Khalid that could embarrass him so they wanted to manipulate me into hurting him publicly."
The tangled love life of the Birmingham Perry Barr MP has infuriated some Labour figures. And he has incensed staunch Muslims after abandoning two Muslim wives, both of whom had a child by him.
But Mrs Cohen was keen to show her support for the politician she first met in Islamabad, Pakistan, in 2001. "We have a lot of issues to work through but we still adore each other," she insisted. "This is a journey, not the end." The mother-of-two is still renting the plush Birmingham city centre flat they shared for two years. Mr Mahmood is currently 'staying with friends'.
The unlikely couple are vague about the exact reasons for their split. But Mrs Cohen, who was in public relations and journalism before she became her lover's £20,000-a-year parliamentary assistant, insists no-one else was involved. "I've been on dates with a few people since we split, but nothing more," she said.
Sitting across the table from her in a city centre bar, Mr Mahmood was slightly more coy. "I've met women friends for dinner but you couldn't say they were dates," he said...
"It's been a very hard time for me. I went through a difficult divorce, which only came through last week. The hardest thing was leaving my children and making sure they've been OK throughout all of this. "When Khalid and I split, certain people within the Labour Party would constantly put the knife in.
"It's a wonder we've stayed close but we're only here together today because we talk all the time and we know who's been saying what." Mrs Cohen switched from Tory to Labour after getting together with Mr Mahmood."I would have converted to Islam if we'd got married," she added.
"When you love someone you want to commit to them completely." Mrs Cohen says she is now 'entrenched' in New Labour, thanks to her ex-partner."I ran his last election campaign and I'm a member of the local Labour Party," she said proudly.
She left her husband and kids to be with Khalid (God know why - the man's a schmuck) so why isn't this relationship on the register? And could the cynics who say that this relationship is only on ice/hidden to appease the Muslim electorate in his Perry Barr be right?