Tag Archives: Conservatives


11 May

I had to rise from my sick-bed to accommodate the massive sigh of relief I let out at the news that we finally have a new Prime Minister. I must say, the whole thing has been terribly British: discreet talks and lots of waiting around for something to happen.  http://www.shesnotfromyorkshire.com/ was quite amusing about it, remarking that the fact that queues were involved in the ‘scandal’ of people being unable to vote was typically British.

Over the last few days I have been amused by the wonderment of foreign bloggers that we have no written constitution, but it is obvious that our system works fine just as it is – we are, after all, the people who tried having a revolution and then decided we didn’t like it and went back to the old system.  We have had a peaceful, if delayed, transition of power, and can now look forward to a period of co-operation between the Conservatives and Lib Dems.

I hope. This is the first coalition government in the UK since 1945, and no-one knows what to expect.  I am feeling quite optimistic that this is the start of a new era in politics.  I say that from the position of being on the almost-winning side, of course, but the Lib Dems must be enjoying the chance of  being in government after so long being the kid brother your Mum makes you drag along with you when you go out with your mates.

I like some Lib Dem policies, such as no tax on wages under £10,000, so I don’t think the coalition is necessarily a bad thing, as long as all parties concerned are working for our good and not theirs.

I thought David Cameron was gracious towards his predecessor in his speech, and Samantha looked like she was going to burst with pride. I felt proud myself to have voted Conservative when I heard him. He is really growing on me.  I like that he is not afraid to compromise for the good of the country and I am beginning to believe that he genuinely wants to improve ‘our country’, as he is so fond of saying.

I have to say, I have never liked Gordon Brown more!  He looked completely relaxed as he went to the Palace and his smile was unscary for the first time ever; perhaps it was tension that made it so frightening.


I say ‘sick bed’ but it’s more like ‘tired couch’. The Migraleve worked its magic yesterday as far as relieving the pain, but the nausea is still hovering and I am still feeling quite drowsy.

My friend Viv sent me an interesting email about a possible cause of the migraines, the gist of which I will share with you, in case you stumbled upon my blog looking for  answers: do you grind your teeth?  Your bite might need adjusting.  You might have a  high filling putting pressure on your jaw joint, linked directly to the nerves in the brain.  A grind of the filling might cure the problem.

I’m almost certain that my own migraines are caused by my being a woman of a certain age and change is a-comin’, but I’d like to thank Viv for sharing such useful information.


I Raised A Political Genius

7 May

He gets his abilities from his father and his looks from me

At last!  The 647th result is in and it’s the one we were waiting to hear: Tory Boy got his man elected by a margin of 333 in what was a strong Labour area.  It was the 100th Conservative gain.  I know he did it all by himself because the child is a genius.  All those weeks of pounding the pavement and not visiting his mother have paid off, and his father and I are bursting with pride.

Hanging Around – No Change There, Then

7 May

Paddy Ashdown this morning:  The British people have spoken; all we have to do now is work out what they said.

Cartoon: A HUNG PARLIAMENT (medium) by Tim Leatherbarrow tagged politics,hungparliament,general,election


Anyone who thinks that politics is boring should take a look at what’s happening here in the UK today.  No party has an overall majority; the Lib Dem bounce left them flat on their faces; some people – in Britain, of all places! – didn’t get to cast their vote; and no-one knows who is or should or will be in charge.   

If you think your vote doesn’t count speak to Glenda Jackson, who retained her majority by only 42.  What if she had been in a constituency that turned away voters after ten o’clock?

My fellow in the Stockport ward came second, but he did reduce the Labour incumbent’s majority. 

Despite my Tory convictions, I am disappointed in the Lib Dem showing.  When I saw the Exit poll last night predicting only 59 seats, I was convinced it must be wrong – as did almost every political operator in the land; but it has been proven right.   So much for a three-horse race, the power of the debates and a strong showing in the polls.  On the other hand, I am relieved: I don’t want a government that wants to introduce pass law-lite or leave me without a bomb to hide behind.  I guess when it came down to it, most Brits agree with me on that, at least.

Spud was gutted not to be able to stay off school and watch the results come in this morning.  Tory Boy has been helping to fight a new seat but that result won’t be in until this afternoon.  I think I can safely take a bath without missing anything newsworthy.  I certainly need one: the thought of the horsetrading to come over the next few days leaves me feeling rather grubby.  But that’s democracy for you.



Three At Last

6 May

As it’s General Election Day I’m going with the whole voting theme.  I am really excited about it; more so than usual.  Not as excited as I was in South Africa in 1994, of course, but that was a one-off.

I have been delivering leaflets all week for my Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.  This is a safe Labour seat so I doubt he’ll win, but at least I’ve done my bit for democracy. 

Leafleting the neighbourhood was an interesting experience.  My knuckles are raw from stiff and broken letter box flaps.  I almost lost my diamond ring and had to put it on my other hand.  People standing in their doorways glare at you, daring you to give them a leaflet; I know it’s not anti-Tory sentiment as they don’t know what I’m carrying; it’s anti-junk mail sentiment.  Huge dogs try to eat your fingers and little dogs stick their noses through low flaps.  I was surprised by the number of mail items I could have stolen if I had been so inclined: the postmen don’t push them right in. 

One door opened as I posted the leaflet.  I knocked several times and called out to let the owner know it was open.  No-one answered, but I heard footsteps and then the door was shut in my face.  I hope it wasn’t a burglar.  And if it was, I hope he at least read the leaflet and voted. 

I have been to vote this afternoon.  It was great to see a busy polling station for the first time in thirteen years.  I could write a long diatribe about voter apathy but I can’t be bothered.  I really think the debates have energised the election and I hope it stays that way.  I’m glad to see the Lib Dems doing well in the polls because we need real and vigorous debate and a strong opposition, whichever party it is.  I hope it doesn’t carry over to the actual result, of course, but a good turnout is healthy for democracy and I’ll continue believing that – whoever wins. 

Ooze Update

1 May

I’m still feeling rough but at least I’m only having to blow my nose once every fifteen minutes instead of fifteen times a minute.  Who knew there was that much mucus in one woman’s body?  My right eye has opened up again but aches; my left eye won’t stop crying.  I can hear in one ear now.  I hate colds! 

There are benefits, however: today, I am going to be leafleting in my area for my local Conservative candidate.  We are in a strong Labour ward.  I am confident that I will escape physical abuse from outraged socialists because they won’t want to catch my germs.  Would you risk punching a snotty nose?  Me neither.

I had a nightmare last night: I was taking a writing and wallpapering class on a winter beach and everyone was mean to me.  I slunk away with hunched shoulders and they all got swept out to sea by a freak wave.  Do you think it’s a message?   I should lose interest in politics and everyone will vote Conservative?  You never know.

Sorry if I am a little incoherent: I didn’t sleep well.  Not just the nightmare and nose gunk; the last thing I did before turning off the light was listen to a dramatisation of Daphne Du Maurier’s The Birds on Radio 4.  No sign of Tippi Hedren, but there was an over-protective husband who was too unwell to work and determined to protect his family no matter what…then the Hub came to bed.  No wonder I had a nightmare.

Sweet dreams, dear reader.



The Big Let Down

16 Apr


I typed that first word and then sat here for ten minutes trying to follow it with my reaction to last night’s debate.  It was all very British, wasn’t it?  Civilised and polite.

I left home at four-thirty; hit Manchester at five-thirty; hopped on the free shuttle bus – hopped being the operative word because I tripped over a kerb and had to be helped up by a man in a wheelchair – and found myself outside Granada Studios by six p.m.  The queue was way down the street.  Most people were like me, giddy with excitement, and there was a lot of laughing and teasing about opposing political views, but no unpleasantness.  A lady called Yasmin had us in fits of laughter and impressed us with her political knowledge; she later confided that she is the prospective Labour candidate for Bolton South East.  Shame; I liked her.

It took forty-five minutes to get through security but part of that was a disagreement between me and a security guard who swore he had given me my tag for my bagged phone (all phones were confiscated at the gate) and I had to practically strip down to my underwear to prove that I did not have it.  The security guard, having been backed up by the man in the queue behind me, who insisted he had seen him tear it off, then found it still attached to the bag.

TV staff were everywhere, armed with clipboards and head sets and all dressed in black.  Whenever one spoke to me I said, ‘Isn’t this exciting?’ I apologise for being so uncool; I just couldn’t help myself.  But you know what?  Every single one of them beamed in reply and said, ‘Yes it is!’  One girl told me they would all have worked for nothing to be there.

The information letter that came with the ticket said that we would have to park our bags but we could take small items in our pockets into the studio.  When we got there, they said we had to park our coats as well, which is how I came to be clutching two tissues, a lip balm and a raffle ticket for more than three hours.  By the time I got out I had a palm full of warm balm and a soggy mass of tissue without having at any point blown my nose.

We were offered refreshments in the replica Rovers Return Inn but I had to delicately spit out my egg sandwich because the mayonnaise tasted funny.  I didn’t fancy throwing up on national television in front of a squillion viewers and if I had been overcome and tried to make a run for it, MI5 might have shot me.  With my dying breath I would have gasped, ‘It was the egg wot done it’ and thus started a twelve month inquiry into a sandwich conspiracy that never happened, leaving the government with egg on its face and a bad taste in its mouth.  

The room was warm because of the hot air rising from 250 animated guests, when we were suddenly shut up by a two-fingered whistle from someone on the ITV staff.  Some names were read out and those people were taken away.  It was a bit like that Dr Who episode where everyone wants to go to Floor 500 but when they do they are never seen again and bad things happen to them.  No explanation was made and we didn’t know if we should be relieved or envious that those people had disappeared.  Maybe they were the ones who were going to ask the questions during the debate; maybe they were culled: ITV over-invited to allow for no-shows, etc.  Those people not part of the audience were given the option of watching in the food room and taking £20 for their trouble. I was safe, thank goodness: I needed to put as much space as possible between me and the eggs.

At around eight o’clock we were herded into the studio via Wetherfield Police Station, which was a clever use of a dull building, I thought: they just plonked a sign on the front of it and presumably film the actors going in and out.  We walked down stairs and through a storage area and saw – wait for it! – the Countdown Conundrum prop.  What a piece of tat that was close up.  We arrived in the studio and were allocated seats.  I had the misfortune to be placed behind a cameraman sited in the middle of the audience, but was lucky enough to be slightly to his right, so that I could see David Cameron and Gordon Brown and could watch Nick Clegg on the camera.  Pity poor Hannah sitting to my left, who could see nothing but the cameraman’s bum.  I invited her into my personal space and she spent ninety minutes with her head on my shoulder or knee, but at least she could see and I, on my best behaviour and having foregone the egg, did not break wind until I got home.

Maybe I should have done a massive pump around nine o’clock because it would have livened up the debate a little.  The media is using terms like ‘heated’ and ‘cut and thrust’ but inside the studio it was…lacklustre.  We had been warned not to clap, cheer or harangue the (I keep wanting to call them ‘contestants’) participants but it made for a complete lack of atmosphere.  I also think it stifled the debate.  I wish it had been more like Prime Minister’s Question Time or the BBC’s Question Time, because they are always lively.  None of them seemed passionate about their cause; it was disappointing. 

David Cameron surprised me on two counts: he looks as airbrushed in real life as in his posters – he must have good genes; and he came across as sincere.  I have never felt that about him until now.  I was impressed by his NHS stance and that was the stand-out policy of the night for me.    He appeared to be the most nervous of the three but I liked that about him because he is always so polished, a sort of Tory Blair.  I thought he had the most gravitas of the three; but I would say that, wouldn’t I?  When they shook hands with people at the front he looked in my direction and I gave him a big, totally uncool thumbs-up.  He smiled so he might have seen it; or he might have been wondering how MI5 let the mad woman slip through security.  You can never tell with politicians.

Nick Clegg had nothing to lose, of course, as just being there gave him a credibility he has not had before; but some of his policies were surprisingly attractive though I think he is naive on Trident and I would not vote Lib Dem for that alone.  Pundits have praised him for speaking into the camera and slated the other two for not doing so, but in the studio it was annoying, because it seemed as if he was ignoring us for the bigger audience.  It makes political sense, of course, but feels rather like being the actor’s spouse at a Hollywood party who no-one cares about and who is left holding the egg sandwiches.  He lost me towards the end because he was so inclusive I was expecting him to ask his mates Dave and Gord to pow wow round the camp fire singing a chorus of Kum Ba Yah.  I think three viable parties would be good for British politics and I also think the Lib Dems will do well in May, but I don’t think Nick Clegg is the man for the job.

When the leaders came in I gave them all big smiles, particularly Gordon Brown because I wanted to lull him into a false sense of security.  He is not high in my esteem but he sank lower and lower as the debate went on, particularly when he kept insisting that Government waste is helping the economy.  His smile is even creepier in the flesh and I really think there should be a law against it.

I would say that I enjoyed the experience but got little from the debate.  I’d like to have seen shirt sleeves rolled up and a big – though dignified – ding-dong going on.  I’d like to have seen passion and enthusiasm.  I found myself checking my watch a couple of times, but I made sure to do it when GB was talking, just in case the cameras were on me. 

My verdict: on the whole, a wonderful experience, it was nice to be a part of political and television history; a good night out, but not a great one.



I’ve been so busy with politics,

I almost missed the deadline

for today’s napowrimo poem;

can’t think of much: this is mine.





Boys Will Be Tory Boys

3 Mar


The question has been asked of me: ‘Why are you such a cruel and terrible mother that you can refer to your first born as “Tory Boy”?’

My answer: ‘Huh?’

It was all ignorance, you see.  Not being a fan of Harry Enfield, I didn’t know he had a monster of a character called Tory Boy.   I was pretty horrified when I found out; so horrified, I couldn’t stop laughing for days.

Tory Boy has been a real Tory Boy this past weekend.  He attended the Conservatives’ Spring Conference in Brighton.  Yes, that Brighton, where they blew up Margaret Thatcher and where the name ‘Tory Boy’ can have a whole other meaning.  He went with three other idealists and they stayed in Worthing and bused in to the conference.  He had a fabulous time.

He met some of his heroes, including William Hague.  He had a long chat with Michael Gove, who came up to him next day and told TB that he had used some of his ideas in his speech!  He stayed in the empty conference hall after George Osborne‘s speech and noticed he had left his notes behind on the lectern.  I’m not saying anything that might reflect badly on the future Prime Minister of the World (teachers – look out; Tory Boy is coming to get you), but let’s just say that if Mr Osborne went back to find the notes, if he wasn’t looking in Tory Boy’s trousers, he was looking in the wrong place.

Ah yes: larceny and deception.  What a wonderful MP my son will one day make.  I always knew he’d bring shame on the family. 

Still, it could have been so much worse: at least he’s not a vegetarian.

Mothers & Sons

14 Nov
Top of St Paul's Cathedral

Are we lost?

Good news for this mother – Tory Boy is coming home next weekend.  Just for the day, and just to eat my roast dinner (the only meal I don’t have to burn to ensure it’s cooked), but I’ll grab the scraps and be happy about it.  He hasn’t been home since he went back to uni, and he’s been gone long enough that we have forgotten how irritating he is and can look forward to his visit.

He is thoroughly enjoying his second year.  He has been elected to the Conservative Future Executive (Young Tories to all you die-hard Labourites); he has two political radio slots on the campus radio station; he was able to get work this year (in his first year the recession was at its height and no-one was hiring); his flat mates are much better than last year’s shower; and he has been all over the place to concerts with fifteen of his closest friends.  Not sure if he gets any studying done, but hey, that’s not what university is about, apparently.

He is a good and dutiful son and phones faithfully every Friday and sometimes in-between when he wants something sent to him.  He has a contract phone so he doesn’t have to worry about how often he uses it.  It was not always thus: when he was at school he had a Pay As You Go phone, which he topped up £5 a time.  He has always been quite careless at looking after his phones, and one day it was in his pocket and he must have knocked it and it dialled home.  The Hub could hear him talking to his mates, but TB couldn’t hear the Hub shouting his name down the phone.  I tried phoning the parents of TB’s friends from my mobile in the hope that they could contact one of them, who would tell TB to switch his phone off; but I couldn’t reach anyone.  The Hub was screaming TB’s name by this stage, and he decided to sit in our tiny shoe/coat cupboard so as not to frighten the neighbours.  I hit upon the idea of the Hub using his old referee whistle, and opened the cupboard to find him sitting in the dark yelling ‘TORY!  TORY!  TORY!’ down the phone.  It hadn’t occurred to him to switch on the light (and he’s supposed to be the sensible one).  TB had just put £5 on his phone so it was a shame when the phone suddenly went dead, because it meant his money had run out. 

The Hub was hoarse and exhausted for several hours after, but the bonus for TB when he came home was that his Dad was too shattered to yell at him for being a divvy.

I don’t know why I feel so proud of my son: he once told me that I wasn’t a normal woman because I don’t like shopping or cooking.  I don’t know where he got his misogynist genes from but he’s clearly wearing them too tight.  I will have to beat it out of him and really give him an excuse to hate women.  There are moments when the hand that rocks the cradle rues the birth.


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