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A week on the road

As you can imagine, I have had a busy week working on the Euro election, in fact I was in a different county in the Eastern region almost every day. Conservatives are feeling very positive and looking forward to the grassroots work in the constituency which MEPs and candidates will visit over the next six weeks. Here is a link of a video I made this week with our “cusp” candidate...
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Working on the Euro election

I have a very busy few weeks ahead of me as I am working on the Euro election as Conservative Press Officer for the Eastern Region. Getting media coverage will be particularly challenging because the regional press has been slashed with considerable redundancies and regard this subject as a bit of a turn-off anyway. During the last Euro election in 2004, Conservatives won three seats, but this...
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The charming Sir Clement Freud

I know I shall not be alone in missing the dry and warm wit of the lugubrious Sir Clement Freud, who has just died aged 84. He was always superb on Just a Minute, and I remember hearing him bantering away not so long ago. He was also very charming company and I first met him as a very shy cub reporter in Wisbech when he was our local MP. He was the distinguished speaker at a dinner which I was...
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Defamation and the law of blogging

There could well be a perception that blogging is lawless following the latest “Smeargate” sensation. In fact, that is not the case. Responsible bloggers know that they also have to adhere to the laws of libel and slander, they wouldn’t put their neck on the line. A blogger can be sued for defamation of character if he has written a post that lowers a person’s reputation...
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Why “Smeargate” will run and run…

Here is one good reason why “Smeargate will run, and run… Just wait till Iain gets his response for FOI information about whether a smear campaign was also being planned against him. This is what he wrote on his blog a few days ago: “Two weeks ago, on 27 March, I wrote THIS post in which I outlined my suspicions that Damian McBride, Gordon Brown’s chief political, advisor...
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Top 20 Tory Twitterers

This is Iain Dale’s list of top 20 Tory Twitterers ranked by their number of followers: 1. Boris Johnson 24,3412. Conservative Party 5,453 3. Iain Dale 3,0254. James Cleverly 1,7015. Jonathan Sheppard 1,4826. Grant Shapps 8147. Steve Green 7938. Tim Montgomerie 7619. Craig Elder 73610. Conservative Future 70911. Michael Fabricant MP 49612. Tory Bear 46513. Louise Bagshawe 45414. Ed Vaizey...
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Labour’s black Easter

What is there left to be said about the tawdry, squalid smear campaign hatched by Damien McBride and Derek Draper and their slanderous emails against leading Conservative politicians? It’s been splashed across the front of every paper today. Is this the kind of “best practice” which led to McBride being ranked at No 2 in PR Week’s list of influential political PR leaders...
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Preparing my next Toastmasters speech

You may have noticed that a side panel with my Toastmasters speeches has vanished. That is because I am no longer preparing them in the same way. And they had been there a while anyway and were pretty old. I used to write my speeches in full and learn them almost word for word. But that is not what public speaking is about.  My personal challenge is to present a confident speech by learning it...
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A video tour of the European Parliament

I thought you might be interested in having a look at some scenes I recorded of the European Parliament in Brussels. When I last visited four years ago, there was much building work taking place to provide accommodation for MEPs and staff from the new eastern European countries. That has now been completed and two new office blocks are linked to the main Altiero Spinelli building on Rue Wiertz...
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The missing – April Fabb

Some names of missing people remain etched in the memory. One of those is April Fabb, a  13-year-old Norfolk schoolgirl who vanished 40 years ago today. On April 8, 1969, April had been cycling to her sister’s home in Roughton, near Cromer to give her brother-in-law a birthday present. It was only two miles from her home in Metton, but she never made it along the country lane. In the...
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Another demise for Britishness

It’s poignant that at a time when there are renewed calls to celebrate Britishness and St George’s Day, we are set to lose Britain’s most prestigious agricultural event, the Royal Show, as we know it. Was it just a run of bad luck due to poor weather, foot and mouth and bluetongue? Or was it bad planning and failing to keep up with the times? Maybe after 160 years, it’s...
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What is it with meditation?

Can you switch your mind off just like that? I always envy people who can, who can sink into a deep meditative, relaxed state whenever they wish. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still swear by it after 40 years  of practice. Sir Paul goes as far as to say, “It’s one of the few things anyone has ever given to me that means so much to me. For us, it came at a time when we were looking for...
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A fabulous day in North Norfolk

It’s John Prescott’s loss. And hooray for all Norfolk lovers. I am referring to his well publicised disdain of Norfolk. I spent a fabulous day there today with my mother Loula. I find those flint stoned coastal villages totally irristible. In fact, rarely has it been so stunning and the air more intoxicating. We started our trip by stopping off for lunch at The Hare Arms in Stow...
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I’m a worried mum

I’ve just waved my eldest son David off at the railway station. He is on his to Hull where he will meet his university friends who he is joining on a coach trip to Spain. From what I can gather, it’s a group of sports clubs, including his football team. As well as the sun lotion, he has packed a convict’s outfit, pair of handcuffs, wig and a jockey’s racing silks. There...
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Now my freebie newspaper comes to an end

The Ely Standard, is one of my local rags and like many other regional weeklies, used to be a great read. Then it became a freebie with a vastly reduced news content. Today I have been informed that I have received my last free copy of the paper. A note pushed through my letterbox explained: “Due to the current economic climate and a decline in newspaper advertising revenue, we have been...
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