Saturday, 31 July 2010
Friday, 30 July 2010
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Monday, 26 July 2010
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Despite the temperature, the reception on the doorstep was very warm with many voters angry at the drunken antics of Mark Reckless MP and the cuts agenda of the Conservative Party locally and nationally. David Davis drunken antics in a restaurant on the news did Labour no harm, as people begin to see the fault-lines appearing in this lacklustre coalition.
The Medway Conservative group was also targeted by residents for the incompetent management of Chatham regeneration, constant road works and surprisingly, the cuts to Police numbers. One individual met had been one of those recruits waiting to join the Police, before the Conservative Government showed its priorities for policing in Kent.
We were following in the footsteps of the Green and English Democrat canvassers who had clearly been on the doorstep. Many voters were confused with the English Democrats who seemingly call themselves the 'New Party' on the doorstep. The Green Party, which is fighting on the issue of City Status are not swaying anybody. High-level anodyne policies like that do not energise a base of support beyond a tiny rump. Many people are concerned by pavement politics including crime, regeneration and for someone with a history of fighting for the community where John Jones is strong.
Our canvass returns showed very very little support for the Greens, Liberal Democrats or English Democrats. This canvasser did not speak to a single Green voter. Both campaigns however have reasonable candidates and are definately out on the stump.
It is however a real two-horse race in River Ward between David Craggs and John Jones.
The Conservative campaign has finally got itself into gear with a number of leafletters spotted trying to get entrance to a number of flats, and moving on.
The gear will no doubt shift upwards as the day approaches. A strong leaflet it must be said introducing a credible candidate..
River Ward is a two horse race. Conservative voters dissatisfied with the antics of the MP and cuts to police and schools may stay at home. Liberal Democrats are moving to Labour and it is clear we have an energised campaign with media support. The Greens have little support but will suck a few votes away from Labour and the Liberal Democrats, not one leaflet yet, though have been spotted in Melville Court and other Labour areas.
Perhaps someone should remind them that they are now propping up Tory policies of cuts to public services which will hurt the residents of Melville Court and other areas of the ward. Tuition fee increases and VAT rises will hurt the poorest most.
Medway will be the focus of Ed Miliband’s in winning back the hearts and minds of people in the County. Last week, he accompanied campaigners and former councillor Bill Esterson, now MP for Sefton Central in canvassing support for John Jones, the Labour candidate in the forthcoming River Ward by-election.
Ed has brought much needed publicity and help to a close fought campaign with the Conservatives.
Ed met swing voters throughout the ward and was warmly received by many residents. He articulated the key message that this is a two-horse race and that a vote for the Green or Liberal Democrat will let in a Conservative Councillor through the back door.
He was speaking on a visit to River Ward in a bid to reconnect with disillusioned voters who are getting increasingly fed up of incompetent management of the Council and threats to police, schools and local services.
Ed has also been speaking to local members and has been gaining momentum amongst the local membership, as the outside candidate. He has three out of the four mega-Unions and is believed to be the bridge candidate with the left of the Labour Party. Despite coming face-to-face with the voters who helped turn the political map completely blue, Mr Miliband said he believed there was still a chance to restore public confidence in Labour.
“It is a real focus for us. The Labour message seemed to get lost in the general election campaign and I’m determined to show people living here we can change their lives. Politics has got a bad name and we need to defend it. We must show we can take action and make people feel like society is fair. Voters and party members are up for a fight against this coalition.”
As one of the favourites to step into Brown’s shoes, Mr Miliband – who is standing against his brother David in the leadership election – said he would make real changes for residents.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
For Media: Tory Leadership Lies on VAT
• 'There are no secret plans for an increase in the VAT rate.' George Osborne, August, 2009
• 'Our plans involve cutting wasteful spending and stopping the National Insurance rise, our plans don't involve an increase in VAT.' David Cameron, April 2010
• 'The tax increases are already in place, the plans do not include an increase in VAT.' George Osborne, April, 2010
• 'There are no plans in the Conservative Party to raise VAT. I think the Lib Dems can pipe down about this now.' William Hague, April, 2010
• 'We will not have to raise VAT to deliver our promises. Their (Conservative) tax promises on marriage and jobs may sound appealing. But they come with a secret VAT bombshell close behind.' Nick Clegg, April, 2010
• 'I think I would predict within a few months they [a Conservative Government] would have increased VAT to 22.5 to 25 per cent. We're in a totally different place to where the Tories are.' Vince Cable, September, 2009.