Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bennite politics

Fetching and carrying this evening, transporting Hilary Benn MP, the new Environment Secretary from the station to join Phil Wilson and Hilary Armstrong MP canvassing in Newton Aycliffe.

I'd not met Hilary before - I'd read profiles which described him as 'the nicest guy in politics' which I was instinctively suspicious about, but sure enough, I found him charming and astute, and he went down a storm on the doorstep.

On the way back, he told a couple of nice anedotes about his dad (I was brought up in Tony Benn's former Bristol East constituency) and, back to the present, recounted how the opposition has been floored by Gordon Brown's new approach to Government. Hilary had a great seat from the Government benches to see how the Prime Minister's constitutional reform announcements left Cameron and the Tory leadership floundering as proposal after proposal was unveiled which had never crossed their minds.

After some more leafleting, I'll be back canvassing on Friday.


Mr Hillary Hillary said...

Is being called Hillary a prerequisit of being a Labour candidate?

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab wrıtes.....

Theres an electıon over here ın Turkey as well.

Much more fun and colourful than GB. Vans wıth megaphones and screamıng women,flags, posters, partısan songs.

Weather abolutely fantastıc. Hot, hot, hot.

Darlington Councillor said...

Sounds pretty much like Chilton, yesterday tea-time...

Mark Burton said...

Alan... How hot is hot hot hot? I'll be there in August!

Peter Troy said...


How very magnaminous of you to include a link from your nobel Blog to my Glorious Blog. Accross the political divide we are united in the cause of Blogging.

Peter - ontime Chairman Darlington Branch of the FSB.

Editor Very British Subjects.

Anonymous said...


It's about 37-40oC every sıngle day.

Thank God for aır condıtıonıng.


Peter Troy said...

Well, thank you very much for the compliment Nick.

Indeed I well recall your visits to the well attended Federation of Small Businesses Darlington Branch meetings (now the Durham Darlington Branch) a few years ago; your contribution to the meetings added to the calibre of the debate on matters that were of great relevance to small business. The then committee of the Darlington Branch of which I was Chairman (for 6 years) always appreciated your time. Your contributions were regarded very much as the acceptable face of New Labour (or are you old Labour?) Anyway it was a delight to hear you speak.

The FSB is very much not UKIP, though FSB Branch delegates at their a the 2001 National Conference did overwhelmingly support a motion I proposed to leave the EU; though to my regret this was not adopted as FSB policy. I have since written that in respect of the EU being a significant barrier to business growth the FSB has since become a part of the problem not the solution.

I did have a little local difficulty with some of the UKIP people who tried to associate me with the nasty, horrible racist BNP party. The gang of four that caused me so much trouble in UKIP in the North East during early 2003 and attempt to rubbish me in The Northern Echo were following an internal disciplinary investigation dismissed from office and banned from holding any future position in UKIP for 18 months. They subsequently left the Party.

I went on to fight the European Parliamentary Elections as the Lead Candidate in all of Scotland in 2004 (a position that I was elected to by Party Members).

One of my finest achievements at the Euro elections of '04 was to prove pollsters You Gov and MORI wrong. In the week before the count it was predicted that I would take a seat off the Tories and be elected an MEP. The error factor of between 4-5 per cent was however accurate and I was some 4.5 points below the number of votes required. Though increasing the vote in all of Scotland from some twelve thousand in 1999 to seventy nine thousand in 2004 was I feel an achievement.

I now work as a self employed Publicist (I have been self employed since 1985) and am a member of the International Business Organisation BNI - which was recently confused by a group of A-Political (and ignorant) business people as BNP.

I write on EU, political and consumer issues and have two regular columns in the North East press

Carry on Bogging Nick you are doing excellent work. From across the political barrier the kindest personal regards.

Peter Troy

Editor of Blogsite Very British Subjects