Guardian acknowledges its close in Bromsgrove, but the Liberal Democrats are picking up votes from everywhere!

Article by Gary Younge in the Guardian on Saturday

“Apart from a hiatus under Labour in 1973, Bromsgrove has been Tory since 1950…It was about as safe as a Tory seat could get.

This time the Tories are having to work hard for it. An independent Conservative is standing against the official candidate, Sajid Javid. Add Ukip, the British National party, an increasingly confident Liberal Democrat party and other independents into the mix and, while the Tories remain the favourites, the result is anything but assured. Labour is losing votes to the BNP; the Tories are losing votes to Ukip; and the Liberal Democrats are picking up votes everywhere.”

With your support we can turn Bromsgrove yellow!

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The work of an MP

Article by Simon Hughes  in the Guardian on being a constituency MP for Southwark and Bermondsey. I’ve met Simon a few times and he’s always struck me as very diligent, and like all good MPs has a photographic memory of faces and names. He writes

“It is a seven-day, 80-hour a week job being a constituency MP. Every day by phone, letter, email or simply being stopped in the street, people ask for help. Everything from finance to helping bury a relative to business support for the latest love potion.”

The funniest section for me was below.

“There is always a load to laugh about. Canvassing reveals a large number of people at home with no clothes on – and still clearly happy to answer the door (now you understand the genesis of my campaign for better insulation and lower fuel bills).”

That’s certainly never happened in Bromsgrove, and hopefully long may it continue!

The best teachers aren’t always the best graduates, just as top football managers weren’t always great players

David Cameron is right that standards need to be raised in teaching, however, his answer of only allowing graduates with a 2:1 from elite universities to have financial support for teach training is utterly wrong. If teachers were paid more then you would have more “high flying” graduates thinking about it.

I went to the University of Bath, a top 10 university, and I know of only one person who went into teaching. Many science and engineering graduates I know are doing accountancy and management consultancy as they’ve chosen the money (rightly or wrongly) over a life of low paid research or teaching.

There is also no guarantees that the best teachers are the ones with the best degrees, teaching involves inspiring and delivering great lessons, many exams are a test of regurgitating lecture notes.

In the world of sport the best players do not make the best coaches. In the football Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez or Roy Hodgson played top flight football and they’re at the top of the footballing tree. Likewise many great players have struggled in coaching Tony Adams, Paul Ince and John Barnes to name a few recent coaches.

Lastly it was pointed out in the Guardian that the Tory’s “Maths Tsar” Carol Vorderman only got a third in engineering at Cambridge…

Experience of a rookie election candidate in the Guardian

Article in the Guardian by Susanna Rustin on her experience of running in the Queen’s Park Westminster Council By-election for the Greens (and she beat the Lib Dem candidate to boot…). Gives you an insight of what’s required at a low level, multiply that by 100 times for a General Election as every breathing moment (awake or asleep) is consumed by strategy, what you’re going to say, are you meeting enough of the right people, press releases etc.

Still wouldn’t change anything apart from the first 3 months of 2010 being warmer otherwise canvassing will be a miserable affair (few voters will want to speak on the doorstep and not much fun for my team either).