Saturday, 27 March 2010

Lobbyists and Lobby Gobblers

What a week it's been with dodgy lobbies, Strikes by land and air and the most boring ever budget where the only thing vaguely economical was the truth. So there was plenty to fill a Tory Story blog.

The one thing that caught my attention is the lobbygate scandal with Byers, Hoon and Hewitt. If they weren't so well know they would sound like a firm of lobbyists. When you live in Leigh in Lancashire, as I do, lobby has a very different meaning. Originally called lobscouse (in Liverpool it's shortened to 'scouse'), lobby is a traditional stew of corned beef and veg. Being very popular, the townsfolk of Leigh are nicknamed Lobbygobblers. The dish was popular with the hard working but poverty stricken grafters of the coal mines and cotton mills of Leigh as it was very cheap but very nutritious. This is where the politcal irony kicks in.

Byers, Hoon and Hewitt are now in the frame for selling themselves. They know they've screwed up their politcal careers and lobbying is probably the only way they are going to earn a living outside politics. This will become an increasing problem because in recent years we have seen the march of the career politician. They serve their apprenticeship working in the party research departments and then under the wing of serving MP's. They are rewarded with a safe seat and try the MP thing themselves. Once they leave (or are forced to leave) Parliament they find they have no real career to go back to and the vacancies for ex career MP's are pretty thin on the ground. The research departments are full of new young hopefuls so no vacancies in that direction either.

The finished and washed up career politician has no vocation to fall back on, no professional training or trade to do anything other than be political. The only thing they can do is lobby. Unfortunately Byers, Hoon and Hewitt all lobbied to early. They've finished their political careers and any future career they may have had ... better get used to the taste of lobby!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Sport Relief 2010 has a Tory Story

It's Sunday 21st March 2010 and 165,000 people across the UK donning their Sport Relief Socks and running the Sport Relief 1, 3 or 6 miles. In my case this in Manchester City Centre and was the full 6 miles. Connor, my wonderful and precious son kindly "volunteered" me to run with him which hastely agreed before he told me he was doing the full 6 miles!

I was so glad he did. Not only was it very rewarding and a really good work out but I'm perfectly capable of covering 6 miles and if vulnerable people in the UK and abroad can manage to get through each day as if it were a marathon then I could manage 6 miles with nice cup of tea and cake at the end of it - simple!

Yes - we did it and raised over £200 in the process. To put it in perspective this enough to provide 40 mosquito nets preventing Malaria again and again, night after night.

But where's the Tory Story. Manchester must be the best place to run Sport Relief. the route took us down the famous cobbles of Coronation Street. and right past the house of Ken Barlow. He maybe a lily lefty Guardian reader but the actor, Bill Roache, is a firm Conservative Party supporter. For the record Ken lives at 1 Coronation Street (in the picture below) next door to the Rovers.