Category Archives: conservatives

Conservative Party Conference 2009

TimAs seen from the Blue Room (#cpc09 for twitter)

Expectations and Aspirations for Conservative Party Conference 2009 

I am no longer a ‘noob’, having lost my conference virginity at last year’s conference, although I am far from being an old timer just yet either! So I thought I’d share a few thoughts before, during and after conference for newbies and veterans alike since Party Conference is THE major event for any political aficionado anorak like myself, and the wonderful thing about conference is the variety of interesting people to meet.

Firstly, I should say what a pleasure it is to write for Boris’s blog, particularly since Boris has been so pivotal to my political journey, albeit short and as yet unglamorous! I watched with glee as Boris was appointed mayoral candidate, glad that we finally had a candidate with oudles of character and unlimited opinions. I started off handing out flyers, taxi receipts and oyster card holders and met similarly enthused Boris loving activists. Like me, this was the first time many had been activists, inspired by Boris. Towards the end of the campaign we were whizzing around London suburbs as the advance team, preparing the ground for the imminent arrival of the blonde one and I was lucky enough to be invited to the election night party. After which I was addicted to politics and determined to help fight for change. So off I schlepped to my first conference in 2008.

Going to party conference is akin to a chocoholic being invited to a planet of chocolate. From the moment you arrive you are surrounded by fascinating people, enthralling subjects and you feel the force, the sense of being connected. The conference consists of literally hundreds of fringe debates on every conceivable subject, to suit every interest and MPs walk amongst us, like A-list celebrities on the red carpet, not to mention the recognisable faces of the political media. 

Even though I knew no-one at first, I soon found myself chatting to people who came from all over the country, from all sorts of backgrounds and of all ages. Before I left, one of my friends had snarkily snorted “you be the only person there under 50”, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of people I saw and meet were under 50 and those who I met over 50 were just as warm, entertaining and energetic. My first dilemma was trying to decide between countless clashes on the fringe, finding rooms and scurrying back to the main hall for the really interesting speeches. Of course last year, Boris was one of the first big speakers on the main stage, still relatively fresh from his recent win. Conference listened in awe. I found it reasonably easy to get a great seat for most of the speeches, although I must admit that I found a couple of sneaky ways to get a good view last year that I couldn’t possibly share. One by one I ticked off my Panini stickeralbum of shadow cabinet ministers; Grant Shapps, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, George Osborne and then the hastily rescheduled speech on the economy from Cameron gave me almost a full house.

Timforchange will be blogging and live-tweeting daily from party conference. Timforchange is a conservative activist based in Surrey. Join Tim and other conservative activists, blog, comment and find out about the latest events on www.theblueroomforum.com or if you’re a progressive conservative www.brightblueonline.com and follow him on twitter @timforchange.

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Congestion Charge Extension to be removed

The axe will fall on the Western Extension Zone

You may have heard the scurrilous rumour that I have reneged on my promise to remove the Western Extension of the congestion charge.

I am blogging about this now to tell you that is emphatically not true.

When I was elected, I promised to give Londoners the consultation they never got. Londoners expressed the overwhelming view that it should be removed, and I promised to honour that judgement. I maintain that promise today, and to make it absolutely crystal clear; we will be removing the Western Extension next year.

We have to jump through a number of tedious bureaucratic hoops before the axe can fall, but fall it will. The extended zone will be no more. It will be an ex-zone, the area formerly known as. It will be a dead zone!

Find Boris and more Conservative news here

Boris Promotes London Tourism in America

statue of liberty
Statue of Liberty (freefoto)

Mayor promotes London as business capital of the world in New York

Latest announcement:

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a two-year tourism agreement between New York City and London to boost travel between the two cities.

The cities will provide each other with outdoor media advertising space and NYC & Company and Visit London – their respective tourism arms – will share best practices as a way to maximise travel between the two destinations and will assist each other with at least one publicity event in each city.

London is the best city in the world to do business, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson told influential New York companies today. The Mayor had the privilege of ringing both the opening bell at NASDAQ and the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, as he called on high tech and cutting-edge American industries to locate in London, the top global destination for digital innovation.

The Mayor is in New York to champion ‘London’.  In a series of financial services and business meetings today, he encouraged New Yorkers to remember the greatness of the past, and to now prove to the world that both New York and London are as confident as ever of their dominant position in the world.

The Mayor outlined his vision of making London the business capital of the world, by creating a global centre for excellence across a range of sectors including high-tech, medical services and creative industries. He told audiences that embracing digital innovation is important for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic as they prepare for economic recovery, emphasising that London’s digital landscape makes it the top place to be. With events such as the London Olympic and Paralympic Games around the corner there has never been a better time or a greater opportunity for businesses to build and showcase their digital capabilities in London.

The Mayor said: “The New York markets house some of the most impressively dynamic companies in the world and is where they go to take innovation and growth to the next level – the same is true for London. Our capital is at a turning point, with opportunities to use its energy, dynamism and diversity to excel as a world beating global city. Never before has the timing been more right for American companies to locate here.

“We have an extraordinary talent in London to develop high tech and hugely creative industries. I want to build on that reputation to ensure we lead the pack, creating new technologies. In the coming years, London will set the benchmark for successful, sustainable and prosperous large world cities and American companies should have one of the lead roles in this.”

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Axe the Ministerial Cars

 Ministers don’t fear being recognised, they fear not being recognised or being confused with someone

Sometime in the next 18 months, people are going to be groping for ways to sum up what was so wonderful about the new Tory government. They will be trying to convey just what it was about the new Cameron administration that gave everyone that feeling of minty freshness. Why, they will say, was that long-delayed election like jumping into a lovely mountain stream on a hot summer day?

In these days of financial hardship, there will be a huge media appetite for those small symbolic acts that somehow defined the ethic of the nation’s new masters. Everyone will want to see which sacred cows are slaughtered, which vested interests are taken on, which received wisdom is scrapped. So today I take as my text some gloomy reflections by the late Alan Clark MP, who wondered quite what he and his fellow government ministers were doing with their lives, sitting in the back of their ministerial Rovers and contracting brain cancer while talking on their mobiles to their mistresses.

As ever, Clark had a point. If George Osborne wants to create a new aroma for the incoming Tory administration – that hates, hates, hates wasteful public spending – then he should pick up his axe and chop the ministerial car.

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Roman Quiz and Prize

Roman Quiz – Devised by Jaq and Angela  rome-coloseum-2

Prize – a PC Game

Boris-Johnson.com has been offered a chart-topping pc game Rome: Total War as a giveaway courtesy of www.pcgames.co.uk

Rome: Total War
With the glory days of the real-time strategy game now nothing but a distant memory, Activision’s Total War series has come to totally dominate the strategy market and Rome is such a huge leap above the already impressive Medieval and Shogun titles that the series has almost become a mini-industry in itself.

Set, fairly obviously, during the hey day of the first Roman Empire, the game gives you total control over your own faction with the game once again split between a turn-based strategic world map and real-time tactical battles. The former allows you to build and maintain armies and buildings, but also gives increased control over diplomacy and trade–elements that were largely overlooked in previous titles.

The real draw of the game though is the tactical battles which are now displayed using some quite staggering 3D graphics that can see up to 10,000 separate warrior in battle at one time. With units ranging from elephants and inflammable pigs to centurions and escaped slaves just watching the battles unfold is as epic as any Hollywood blockbuster. What’s perhaps most impressive about the game is that controlling such huge numbers of soldiers is actually surprisingly easy with a simple point-and-click interface making everything as smooth as possible.

Rome: Total War is one of those rare breed of games that is largely impossible to fault. In technical and gameplay terms it gets everything right and unless you have a pathological hatred of strategy games this is easily one of the best PC games ever made. –David Jenkins

Answers by end of 28 February 2009 please to: [email protected]

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“The Plan: 12 months to renew Britain” by Daniel Hannan MEP and Douglas Carswell MP

The Plan has been written by two young politicians who have discovered first hand how inert is the machinery of the British state, and how intense is the consequent anger on the doorstep.  They offer an analysis of why people are sick and tired of politicians, and what can be done about it.  Douglas Carswell, is the forward-looking MP for Harwich and Clacton, and  Daniel Hannan the firebrand MEP for the South of England.  You can read more about Douglas here and about Dan, here.

Britain is heading in the wrong direction. The British people are giving up on politics and politicians.  The Plan is a book that sets out how to put Britain on the right track again.

The Plan proposes to restore meaning to the ballot box, freedom to the citizen and dignity to Parliament.  It puts forward a radical legislative programme to:

  • – Clean up Westminster
  • – Devolve power to the lowest practicable level
  • – Make Public services work for the people who use them
  • – Bring foreign and domestic policy back in line with public opinion
  • – Replace the quango state with genuine democracy
  • – Refresh our political system through localism and the use of referendums

Douglas and Dan show how a future government could actually shift powers back, from Brussels to Westminster, from Whitehall to town halls, from the state to the citizens.

Things do not have to be as they are. The Plan shows how we can change our country for the better.

The Plan is available ‘from all good bookshops’ from October 6th and the ISBN is: 13-9780955979903 or order your copy direct at: www.Renew-Britain.com

John Howell

In readiness for Boris standing down, it has been announced that Cllr. Dr John Howell, a former partner at City accountant Ernst and Young, was chosen from a shortlist of three. Mr Howell said it was a “huge privilege” to have been selected and he is to spend time talking with and meeting as many constituents as possible before the anticipated by-election.

Boris is Mayor of London

Boris Johnson is the new Mayor of London. In a contest that has fascinated media all over the world, Boris beat his rival, the eight-year incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone, by 139,772 votes. The election drew a record turnout by London voters, reflecting the high profile of the two main candidates.

Political commentators describe Boris as the most powerful elected Conservative politician in Britain today. As such, he has promised to work “flat out” to repay the confidence of Londoners and to make Greater London “greater still”.

boris-johnson.com is back online!

This is an open thread for anyone wishing to leave messages of support, but we ask you to consider the circumstances under which the site was removed before commenting; Boris was an innocent bystander in this affair, and we’d like to keep it that way until he sees fit to intervene beyond this statement:

“This is London, not Uzbekistan. It is unbelievable that a website can be wiped out on the say-so of some tycoon. We live in a world where internet communication is increasingly vital, and this is a serious erosion of free speech.”

The strongest level of comment moderation has been enabled (all comments must be read and approved prior to publication), but we hope to soften this line, at least to the point of immediate publication for trusted commenters, within a few days.

Thank you.

Tim Ireland