Monday, May 23, 2005

There has been a flurry of comments on the previous thread which has prompted me to make one last post before I go on holiday.

The big question I keep being asked is 'are you going to stay on?'

Now the question might relate to where I live, the subject of some unpleasant debate during the election campaign (constant references to me be being 'the Candidate from Windsor' were designed to give the impression that we lived here in some temporary capacity, or that we didn't live here at all...). Of course we have no intention of going anywhere else. We chose to move to Torbay like thousands of others because of the quality of life here, and the many wonderful people we have met and become friends with have only confirmed what a wise choice it was.

But the question may also relate to whether I intend to fight the seat again.

The suspicion amongst the political community has been that I would get a 'result' -but not win- in Torbay and toddle off to find a safe seat somewhere else - speculation that completely failed to take account of a very important fact, I am not a career politician.

I didn't even think about being a candidate until just after the 2001 election when the idea was put to me by the Windsor agent Jackie Porter. I have a perfectly successful (business) occupation which I enjoy very much. Politics has been my non-work interest - to a degree, my hobby- and remains so.

So the answer is ... it's not up to me. The Party is likely to introduce new rules regarding candidate selections and in any case the local party need to decide who they want to go with next time after some cool analysis and reflection on the May 5th outcome.

It has been a real honour and a fantastic experience to fight this seat. Local Lib Dems (and maybe one or two Conservatives, too) won't welcome the news - but I will remain (very) active in the Torbay Conservative party, one way or another.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Never a dull moment in politics, things come up even when you are supposed to have finished work and be enjoying some holiday.

The Conservative group on the council took a long brewing decision to change leader on Monday - Jean Turbnbull has worked hard as leader but she must be in her seventies and was fairly frequently on the wrong side of the majority opinion in the group - something all political leaders learn can eventually cost them their position.

Unexpectedly she has decamped with three others into a splinter 'conservative' group and the Association has some tough decisions to make, since the rules dictate that behaviour that 'brings the Conservative party into disrepute' can mean removal of membership - and most of the members I have spoken to believe that her actions should result in firm disciplinary action.

Our reaction to this challenge will be an interesting test of the local Party's resolve.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The chief executive of the council and the head of childrens (and education) services have both apparently resigned - announced the day after the election.

I have been a constant critic of both of them. Indeed the dismal Torbay Council has been at the centre of my election campaign - is there any connection between their decision to go and the election result?

Undeniably the decision not to make this public before the election was a political one -so whether our campaign had any bearing on the resignations or not they obviously considered that a public announcement before polling day would have been good for our campaign.

What are the chances now of a repreive for Upton school?