All Mod Cons

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's actually worth a look...

I like it, it's pretty funny.

Surfing the Media

The Polly Toynbee and Tosser inside issues this week are both examples of how the Conservative Party has learnt to effectively ride the currents of the media to get the coverage they need.

Firstly by invoking Polly Toynbee a discussion on the need to address and recognise that relative poverty as as well as absolute poverty is a a serious problem was initiated.

This has been the considered view of the leadership for some time. Oliver Letwin made the point some months back, so has Iain Duncan Smith. Both are senior Conservatives but did it hit the headlines, no. Why? Because poverty isn't sexy and it's certainly not an issue that fits into the mindset of journalists when writing about the Conservatives. When Greg Clark,(pic on left) who has no national profile invoked Ms Toynbee though it did the trick. Why? Because doing so was provocative and more importantly fed the journalists an angle.
The Tosser inside story is another example. The London Metro newspaper had it as its main page 3 story. Why? Because of the angle, because of the language and because it gave them something that there readers could be amused by. George Osbourne could have made a worthy and interesting speech. It would not have been reported though, and in politics that counts. That both these stories have come in the same week suggests they may have been more successful than anticipated, that however is a good thing.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sandi Totsvig

If the Lib Dem's can get Sandi Toksvig to stand in Meon Valley they will have a very strong candidate. Regardless of her lefty views people will love to vote for someone they know and love from Call My Bluff etc.

Such is her persona she could well end up being a sort of Lib Dem Boris Johnson

Saying that I'm not sure she would be a very good as an MP for the Lib Dems, I suspect she would overshadow other MP's and by doing so drag them to the left.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Priti in ... Blue

Priti Patel (picture on left) was selected by Witham last night to be their PPC.
She will doubtless have a big impact because her sheer glamour will get her to the top of every TV producers wish list for guests.
The East Anglian Daily Times has a nice piece on her selection.
It's something of a puff piece but no less welcome for that.
Subeditors across the land should welcome her entry into public life. The headlines write themselves, "Sitting Priti", "Priti in ...", "A Priti Picture", or in the event of her being late for a function "It's a Priti you couldn't have got here sooner..." :-)


DC in Darfur

"At it's heart people have been driven out of there homes because of there ethnicity, because of there livelihood, ... the internationl community [must] act ... so all these people can go home - you ask them what what do they want to do - they want to go home, but only when there's peace."

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Well, well, well, Iain Dale reports Priti Patel has been selected for Witham.

"And when we talk about foreign affairs, we don't just stand up for Gibraltar and Zimbabwe, but for the people of Darfur and sub-Saharan Africa who are living on less than a dollar a day and getting poorer while we are getting richer." David Cameorn speech to the Conservative Party Conference 2005

Today DC arrived in Darfur for his most important overseas visit since he visited the Artic. Cameron has been good to his word from his speech back in 2005 when promised to broaden the outlook of the Conservative Party if elected leader.

It will be interesting to see how much this is reported.

A Top Welsh Blog

Lot's of politicians are getting into blogging these days. They won't all be read as widely as Iain Dale or David Cameron are but there is a place for every one that is prepared to put a little of themselves into the blog.

An example of a really interesting blog is Cardiff Bay Reflections written Glyn Davies the Conservative Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales.

Gentle and full of gentle humour it is regularly updated and gives a genuine insight into the inner workings of the Welsh Assembly.

Today's entry begins;

"I got it wrong in my post on the standard of biscuits that Rhodri Morgan serves at meetings (which Nick Bourne tells us varies depending on the importance of the meeting). When it gets really serious he upgrades to sticky cakes. Apparently this is something to do with Sue Essex, who has always been the power behind Rhodri's throne. Last year when parry leaders were sorting out the budget row, Sue was in control telling Rhodri exactly what he could and could not say. And I daresay that the same applies this year. ..."

It continues...

One of the themes of the Glyn Davies blog is to promote the idea of a rainbow coalition for the Assembly without Labour. It freaks out some Conservatives but we have to realise that being prepared to form a coalition is a important part of showing people in Wales that we have accepted the devolution settlement. What's more the Conservative Party is a party for government not a pressure group.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Educational Failure and Social Justice

On Wednesday (Nov 15th 2006) the interim report of the Social Justice policy group on educational failure was discussed on the Simon Mayo radio programme. You can still listen to it as it was chosen for the Daily Mayo podcast.

It featured amongst others A - lister and Director of the Centre for Social Justice group Philippa Stroud and centred on their conclusion that white working class boys are the new underclass.

The SJPG conclude in their report;

"that it is social and cultural factors, such as parental indifference to education, peer pressure, high levels of family breakdown and parental drug and alcohol abuse, which really drive educational failure."

and IDS is quoted as saying

“The policy-making implications are clear. To prevent the growth of an uneducated and unemployable underclass of forgotten children, we have to get their parents to engage in their learning and schooling from an early age.”

How you do that is a much harder question to answer.