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Brown is not Barack Obama

LabourList contributor Bryony King reckons that The Sun’s support for Conservatives isn’t a worrying matter for Gordon Brown. She believes that Labour can rely on the internet to bring them in votes: “If we want to forget about The Sun, which I’m sure we all do, then we need to switch our focus to the internet and to the front line. Elections are won by people, not papers, and we need to make...
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Supermarket values and cheap booze

I was very disappointed to see a full page advertisement in the national press today by Tesco promoting 1 litre of spirits for £10 – a whopping 75% reduction; this is even cheaper than duty free prices from what I remember over the summer. If highly profitable stores can slash its prices like this, why don’t they act responsibly and offer this kind of generous saving on quality foods for hard up...
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I am guilty too!

I’m waiting for my arrest because I also had a regular free child care swap with a friend during our toddlers’ nursery school days. Apparently, this kind of adult consensual arrangement is in breach of the Childcare Act because it lasted more than two hours and constitutes “a reward”. Two stunned detective constables have been told they need to register as childminders and that they have been...
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Nancy gives Brown some nifty football tips

With the Chancellor Alastair Darling warning Gordon Brown that his Ministers are losing “the will to live” in the run-up to the election and acting like a football team with their heads down well before the final whistle, who better to turn to for tactical advice than the luscious Nancy Dell ’Olio. Mind you, the former flame of England’s football manager, Sven Ericksson, didn’t win her personal...
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My letter in The Times

I have been following readers’ letters in The Times about palliative care for the dying and penned one describing my personal experiences following the recent death of my mother-in-law Vera. I found it distressing to watch Vera unable to swallow fluids in the her last days, particularly as a small sponge on a stick which I had used to dip in water and moisten the mouth of my father in his last...
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Having the courage to die

I wouldn’t want to end my life as a vegetable and am now able to make legal arrangements to spare myself – and loved ones – this kind of suffering. I hope I will never find myself in the situation of becoming involved in an assisted suicide. But I’m relieved that new laws mean this can now be done at home without fear of prosecution, instead of travelling to a clinic in Switzerland. The latest...
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Life goes on in murder house

Once again my Cambridgeshire village finds itself in the media spotlight following the 33-year sentencing of Rekha Kumari-Baker for murdering her two daughters to “wreak havoc” upon her former husband, David Baker. I have just walked by the murder house round the corner from my house and where Davina, 16, and Jasmine, 13, were stabbed with two kitchen knives as they slept at their home. The area...
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Successful networking at the Conservative conference

I agree with Heather White that networking at next month’s Conservative Party conference will be the most important as we edge closer to the next general election. I thought her advice for budding political candidates which was recently highlighted on ConservativeHome expressed good common sense, so I have repeated them here in the links below. Developing a networking strategy Making a good...
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Cowardly mugger robs my frail but feisty friend

My author friend Jean Adamson was mugged yesterday. The shameless robber escaped with her purse and left her lying in the road with a broken arm. Jean is 81-years-old and has a frail build, but is full of feisty spirit that I hope will see her through this terrible ordeal. She is immensely popular in the village where we live because of her kindness and non-judgemental views towards all young...
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Europe and the Conservative Party conference

I guess most people know as much about the Lisbon Treaty as they do the offside rule in football. And care just as little. However, the implications of the vote in Ireland on 2 October are crucial as they would establish a president and foreign minister for the EU, as well as transferring a swathe of powers to Brussels. The Irish rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum last year and, in true...
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Did the Derren Brown chair trick work for you?

James (my 16-year-old) and I have just tried the Derren Brown chair trick, but it didn’t work for us. We recorded it on Friday night when half his audience found they were unable to get up again after following his mind games. “I’m worried that I won’t get up in time to get the brownies out of the oven if I become stuck,” I told James, as I fixed my attention on the screen as instructed. But no...
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Francis Maude and Conservative plans for the third “social” sector

Last year I met public affairs chief Peter Bingle who urged charities to “deal with Brown and prepare for Cameron.” That’s what happened yesterday when Francis Maude, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for the third sector, or “social” sector as he prefers to call it, outlined Conservative policy for financing this vital area. He told...
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Vera and Liverpool Care Pathway

This afternoon is Vera’s funeral, my mother-in-law who passed away 10 days ago. I thought I would share my experiences of her medical care in her last few weeks following controversial headlines about the Liverpool Care Pathway and reports that one in four families are not informed when doctors decide that terminally ill patients should be left to die. While families can accept that a loved one...
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Apple magic, a reunion and 5 star reviews

Last night we took my recently bereaved father-in-law, Roy, to a concert performed by his former fellow musicians in the Huntingdonshire Concert Band which he belonged to for many years until stepping down to care for Vera as her health deteriorated. It was a Battle of Britain Wings Appeal Concert and I knew Roy would have been in his element if he had been on stage with them playing percussion....
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New Euro Conservative logo

This is the new logo for the recently formed European Conservatives and Reformists Group which our Conservative MEPs belong to. Lions feature prominently on logos – just click on this link to see many others. No doubt its image is intended to represent a feeling of courage, authority, strength and pride. Let’s hope the group’s members will now deliver on all counts following the dramatic start...
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