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John's Jottings for January 2008

John Ward

Please note: these Jottings are purely personal comment, and do not necessarily or directly represent the policy of either the Conservative Party or the Conservative Group on Medway Council.

That Was The Year, That Was!

And what a year it has been!

Here in Medway it has been generally a very good year, with several triumphs including the local elections results in May, and the Tour de France a few months later. Several regeneration projects started to take off in earnest during the year, many council services and schools improved and were acknowledged to have done so through independent inspections and audits, and we have also steered a path through a number of difficult decisions, most of which were inflicted upon us as a result of Government edicts of one kind or another.

Meanwhile, up the road in London, Mayor Ken Livingstone and his cronies have been exposed to media revelations about where Londoners' money is really going; so it hasn't been a good year for them. The main challenger to Red Ken, Boris Johnson, has turned out to be a (perhaps surprisingly) really good alternative. His heart is clearly in the job of serving London and Londoners, rather than a personal political agenda, and one of the strangest outcomes of the year 2007 must be that Boris would actually be a very good Mayor!

I have to openly admit here that I didn't originally think he could be a serious option: now I know he is far and away the best choice. Even staunch members of other political parties have acknowledged this, even Londoners within my own family (which I really hadn't expected!) so they clearly know something...

Similarly, in Westminster itself, much of what has been going on within the Labour Government and the political party itself has also been laid bare before the public's gaze. Despite huge efforts to cover-up and play down the issues over party funding, cash-for-honours and the rest of it, there are still enough honest reporters to ensure that the truth is brought into the open.

By contrast, David Cameron has taken his leadership of the Conservative Party to new heights. Not all of us agree with everything he is doing (I have my own concerns over a few issues, for one) but the general direction is correct, as it is the people we are supposed to be serving and not a party ideaology. Public reponse in polls and elsewhere show that the Cameron Way is definitely finding strong favour in the country at large. Within weeks a Labour majority in the polls was completely overturned, and that doesn't tend to happen every day!

Thus it appears that the broad sweep of 2007's political fallout has been that Labour and other left-wing outfits have fallen very much into disfavour, and the Conservatives are heading upward at a rate of knots.

This trend looks set to continue for at least the next few years, so the inside track news is that, no matter when a General Election is called, Labour will lose. If Gordon Brown had called it in November 2007 he would probably have ended up with a hung Parliament, with a likely Conservtaive largest presence. Now, because of the delay, it is almost certain that there would be an overall Conservative majority in the House of Commons.

In the meantime, the May 2008 local elections look set to further worsen Labour's position within Local Authorities, and it is now known that the Labour Party would seek to replace Gordon Brown as their leader in the wake of such an outcome. As they say: it never rains, but it pours.

That certainly was the year to remember!


Next time: Tour de Trance