43 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - James Frayne: We are h... · 2 replies · +2 points

When have we ever had a 'shared moral confidence' ? Drill down into the social history books and we find a nation very much divided, even during the First and Second World Wars, between appeasers and fighters and, by far the majority, the quiet compliant 'mustn't grumble' majority.

Ultimately it all boils down to leadership of that majority. Had Halifax, the 'tried and tested safe pair of hands', become Prime Minister we would never had been forced to even consider fighting them on the beaches let alone destroying them on their own turf. With solid and ambitious national leadership even the most complex challenges feel easier than they inevitably are and once we know where we are going and who is taking us there no amount of negativity on twitter, or 'careless talk', will divert us from our goal.

It's not really about shared moral confidence at all. Its about a clear national narrative from our Prime Minister about what the mission actually is.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - In defence of the Trou... · 1 reply · +1 points

The TFI was founded in the afterglow of 'super nanny'. Send in nanny into the most troubled, dysfunctional and complex households in the country and all would be well.

The reality is obviously more complicated yet the TFI remains a great idea - providing it does not become the political football of Council leaders wishing to bash the government with stories of hyped up success or cuts.

All that comes out of the research is that bureaucrats have been playing games. What is needed next is better research into what has worked through TFI and what could work better.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Heidi Allen: It's time... · 0 replies · +1 points

The trouble with the benefits system is not the relatively measly benefit payouts but the general sense in society, propagated by politicians and the media, that it is all one giant scam.

One had hoped the IDS reforms would have simplified the system to the point where the system was transparently fair and trusted. Sadly, like the tax code, it has become ever more unnecessarily over complex and ripe for both abuse and the perception of abuse.

There will only be one way the public regains trust in the system - if the system is simplified so that everyone can easily see it is and is meant to be a safety net rather than some kind of perverted lifestyle choice.

Conservatives go into politics for the betterment of society. We are doing society, and ourselves, no favours by appearing to be 'heartless'.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Mark Morrin and Philli... · 0 replies · +1 points

It is all too easy to forget why Margaret Thatcher, when Education Secretary, scrapped the vast majority of Grammar Schools : too many Middle Class families found they were not getting their kids into their local Grammars and were having to do with the local Secondary Modern instead - or having to go private.

The issue was not, and never was, Grammar Schools. The issue was, and always will be, the place where 'other children' go - if not one's own if, at 11, one's child flunks their SATs or 11 plus.

The answer, surely, is to turn every state secondary school into a 'Grammar School' - but then allow those schools to transfer those pupils who can't consistently keep up with their high academic standards to good local 'Technical School' alternatives.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Thatcher confesses to ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Larry sensibly stays away when his Lordship visits No.10

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Charlotte Hodivala: Po... · 0 replies · +1 points

The Sutton Coldfield initiative shows what we really should be doing.

Scrapping 'District Councils' and 'London Boroughs' with artificial names nobody really identifies with

Restoring the proper dignity of the Counties and Cities.

Above all, giving decision making powers to the most logical lowest decision making 'tier' possible - the villages and towns where all actually 'live'.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Vicky Ford: We shouldn... · 0 replies · +1 points

Every country on Earth has 'access to' the Single Market. Those with FTAs with the EU have tariff free or reduced tariff access. Where a country is 'part of' the Single Market, however, they are subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court and European Commission i.e. : European Law and this has been the essential reason we have left the EU. European 'Single Market' Law, after all, has been used by the EU's Commissioners and Judges to impose on us laws that go well beyond 'market rules' into almost every aspect of public policy and 'Ever closer harmonisation' inherent in the Single Market's decision making process has contributed to Europe's increasing uncompetitiveness in the world economy.

Clinging to 'membership' of the Single Market is just as silly an idea as clinging to one's teddybear. It is time, surely, for British politicians to have the self-confidence their countrymen have.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Alex Story: I'm a dedi... · 0 replies · +1 points

A terrible story but one that does make one wonder who's side any party machine is actually on.

Sadly it seems to be the way with all our parties. They genuinely do want one's entire life dedicated to the cause before one is allowed to become a candidate. There is only one outcome. Only people who can afford to do that - putting aside social life, family life and other interests, let alone the day job, get the chance to represent their community in the Town Hall and their country in Parliament. The result are political robots - party drones - leaving only the very rich, the Zacs, or the very connected, the Shamis to take up the challenge of being 'characters'.

Hate to say it, but we could all perhaps learn a little more from politics on the continent. Continental MPs and MEPs do, contrary to what Nigel Farage asserts, generally have a more diverse background in 'real careers' than we do in our own political bubble.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Goldsmith resigns to f... · 7 replies · +1 points

To what end ?

If Zac stands as a Conservative it will be gesture politics at best and he should do the honourable thing and pay for the public costs of the stunt.

If Zac loses to a Lib Dem it will be a betrayal of his own party.

A very silly decision. He may be sticking to his promise but it would have been far better all round for him to stand and fight the decision in Parliament than lose his seat.

7 years ago @ Conservative Home - Toughness and tenderne... · 1 reply · +1 points

This has been an absolute disaster for our refugee program. What would have been seen as an act of humanity welcomed by the vast majority has been transformed into an act of monumental ineptitude.

Far more serious that the damage to Amber Rudd, however, is the impact on genuine refugees in the UK who will now all be clouded with suspicion by their neighbours and communities that they, too, have been allowed in not through merit or humanity but through institutionalised incompetence.

For decades the Government has been able to blame 'Brussels' for every cock-up. That is going to have to change and will only change when Ministers start getting a grip on their machines.