No wonder there’s such apathy

There’s a by-election in Chiltern Rise. Now this may not mean a lot to many readers, but I’m fairly confident that this is only the second place on the internet that anyone’s mentioned it (the first being the Wycombe Lib Dems website). I knew there was a by-election because our Campaign Officer rings the District Council regularly and asks, because this is the only way to find out. I have been canvassing in Chiltern Rise and invariably no-one knows when the answer the door.In the spirit of open government, Wycombe Distric Council runs a website. The front page usually tells us what our local MP has been doing in the district. Tory Council, Tory MP. But still no announcement of the by-election. Conspiracy theorists wonder if this is a plot in the hope that we won’t notice and make it easier for them to elect another place-man.

James Oates, our PPC wrote recently about how our national press is fixated with the Tory leadership battle but ignores other more important happenings. Our local organ, the Bucks Free Press, has no news on the by-election. Last time I looked, their leader was about how their editor had dyed his hair a strange colour for charity.

I’d love to know whether by-elections are completely un-newsworthy in other areas?

Turkeys do vote for Christmas

Or else why would Tory MPs have thrown out Ken Clarke in the first round of their leadership election, even though opinion polls all consistently show the general public would be more likely to vote Tory if he were in charge?

Watching over the Tories gives one a sense of horrified fascination – like the alcoholic told by his GP, ‘stop drinking or you will die’, the Tory party just keeps on swiggin’ it back.

Cameron nicks Lib Dem slogan

They always say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. David Cameron oviously liked our ‘Freedom, Fairness, Trust‘ theme as he’s now using it in his leadership campaign!With the ‘electable but not very Tory’ Ken Clarke falling into fourth place, it’s now down to Cameron to be the best hope for the Tories as an electable choice of leader. Davis and Fox have as much chance of winning a general election in 21st century Britain as my cat. But Cameron’s campaign website betray his lack of experience, and his policy statements are little more than woolly eulogising with very little meat on the bone.

Is Cameron Tory Blair or just another Quiet Man? Time will tell.

I’m being spammed by Thatcher

I’ve had a couple of unsolicited emails lately from the Bruges Group (Honorary President: The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS). In one, no less than Frederick Forsyth needs my urgent help to fight the good fight against Europe. This may have been some genuine mistake – or perhaps some prankster signed me up? But then another leading Liberal Democrat in High Wycombe forwarded one of the same emails to me that she had received. So it seems the Bruges Group in it’s desperation to spread anti-EU propaganda has resorted to randomly spamming people! Oh how the mighty are fallen.

Talk about ungrateful!

News reaches us that British beef is still not good enough for the Americans. It is now some years since there has been any suggestion that eating British beef is in any way risky. The only possible reason that the US could have for continuing to ban British beef is because it’s a convenient cover for protectionism. But we all know what a bully the current US administration can be when it comes to world trade.But in this case, the US is rejecting food aid that we gave them for the victims of Hurrican Katrina. It is an insulting snub to the allies that have stood by them through thick and thin in recent years. This comes on top of (temporarily) advising their armed forces that London was a dangerous place for them to go. A few less insults and a little more solidarity wouldn’t go amiss.