Tuesday, 19 May 2009

That's Life comes to Luton

This morning the Westminster parliamentary candidate for Luton North had a long standing meeting with the principal of the "outstanding" sixth form college.

As we were tucked away in the head's office learning about his funding issues, exam successes and building plans we heard that Esther Rantzen was down the corridor with the A level politics group. The BBC asked us to join in the team discussion.

It was all rather bizarre. Esther seemed to have got her geography a bit muddled. She is thinking about standing in the next general election in Luton South - not North. She told us that the young people had been discussing crime and not feeling safe at night - and the poor image that they complain others associate with their town - why didn't politicians focus on young people's issues? With a dramatic gesture she announced that if she is elected to represent the town weight she will bring her celebrity friends to bring ballroom dancing to Luton. This didn't exactly set the group on fire... though they were pleased to be listened to.

Jeremy Brier,
our excellent young parliamentary candidate took an intake of breath, he explained that in recent weeks he has knocked on over 2,000 doors in the town. They are not all celebrities - he explained some of the things he think could be done with encouraging local community volunters.

Whilst I applaud Esther for highlighting the need to clean up the expenses scandal there is more to do. Tossing her hat into the ring here could end up splitting the vote for the Conservative candidate in Luton South Nigel Huddleston and allowing Labour back in - that is if Margaret Moran doesn't get the message before the election and step down.

I am not going to claim that I know all the solutions to Luton's issues but it will take more than a cha-cha-cha or a tango. There are the business and jobs issues I wrote about a few days ago as well as the concerns at Vauxhall. Christian and Muslim leaders have written to all candidates asking asking for peace and Unity following recent events of extremism that do not reflect the views of the majority. I do know from recent visits that we have dedicated conservative candidates and volunteers working with local people to help make a difference and feeding back the concerns and issues from the ground to David Cameron's team in Westminster helping to form not just local but national policy.

Jeremy and I then went on to meet volunteers at the hospital radio and record a non political piece about what working life might be like if elected to the European Parliament.

I then left Luton to join candidates in Hemel Hempstead for a VERY positive canvassing session. The local conservative MP, Mike Pelling is clearly very deeply respected. His experience as a trained firefighter shone through during the Buncefield Oil depot explosion. I heard from local councillors that the constituency had not even begun to recover from the loss of jobs from Buncefield when the recession started to bite. But what I heard on the doorstep tonight was a clear endorsement that they know their MP is on their side.


Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, the Lib Dem in Tatton stepped back to not split the vote and allow Neil Hamilton to get defeated... surely your candidate should step back and allow Esther Rantzen to command cross-party support to unseat Margaret Moron.

Anonymous said...

The difference is the LD was never going to win in Tatton-the Conservatives have a very good chance of winning in Luton, and our pririty should be getting rid of the Labour government (which at the moment seems unable to govern) not electing a retired celebrity

alex said...

It's academic anyway-Margaret Moron is never going to be allowed to contest the seat. If she does she will be humiliated

Anonymous said...

Yep but now we have the Tory MP who claimed for his " duck island "
You really couldnt make it up could you .
No good trying to be Tory precious over Margaret Morans claims when you lot have these sorts in your midst .
A plague on all the three main political parties .
You cant put a fag paper between their bad behaviour , they are all vile.

Anonymous said...

Actually they're not all vile. Just like any other group of 650 odd people some are puritanical, some are normal some are venal and sopme are corrupt. I think we live in very dangerous times when because of the way the media whips up a (in many cases justified) righteous frenzy, all MPs whether stupid, honest or a bit slack are tarred with the brush of dishonesty or criminality. I don't want to live in a country ruled by celebrities thank you very much. I want to live in a democracy. That means having the ability to vote people out if I choose.

Anonymous said...

First up, Labour didnt put up a candidate in Tatton either. They were in second place and as such well-position to take advantage of the anti-tory vote in 1997.

To the anonymous at 10:15 on the 22 May. Do you support any moves to introduce recall of parliamentarians such as they have in america which was used to force the governor of california to stand down with Schwartzenegger winning the election? That would go some way to being able to vote out people you don't like...

Anonymous said...

Interesting point. I don't support the idea of recall, but I do think it should be easier for MPs to be made to step down. Perhaps a vote of Parliament to call a bye-election-a sort of compulsory Chiltern Hundreds?