Nigel Fletcher - Dale & Co.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I've just been catching up with local news after returning from Birmingham, and saw this story on the front of the Greenwich Mercury. We all had a sneaking suspicion that the 'Best Value' review was code for 'closure plans', and it seems this was correct. This is an atrociously bad idea- of all the Council services people value locally, schools, rubbish collection and libraries must top the list. Greenwich is atrocious at the first, has just messed up the second, and now looks determined to ruin the last. People value their local libraries, and the mobile library service, and moving the whole service to new centres remote from many residents is no good.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Oh the fun of Cabinet reshuffles. I well remember waking up bleary-eyed after the night of the local elections of 2006 to find my then flatmate staring in disbelief at the TV as it relayed news of Margaret Beckett's elevation to Foreign Secretary. "I think I'm still drunk!" was his take on it. Well, she's back again, so we're told.
I said to someone yesterday that if Brown were sensible he'd confound expectations of a minor reconstruction and make some dramatic changes (should have blogged that, really!) Well, they don't come much more dramatic, at least to the Westminster village, than re-appointing his old enemy Peter Mandelson. Mandy's old gopher Derek Draper has been whoring himself on the airwaves telling the world this is a masterstroke and that Labour and Britain should 'rejoice' (yes, he really used the word). Absolute tosh. The media are already licking their lips at the prospect of renewed infighting to come, and once the novelty wears off, I predict trouble ahead...
Good to see the Downing Street website actually admitting there is a reshuffle underway, though.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Well, well, well. After vaguely saying what a good seat I had for David's speech yesterday, my cover has been well and truly blown. I actually ended up sat directly behind Samantha Cameron, and was thus blinded by camera flashes throughout the speech. I'm told I could be seen on the ITV evening news (I was still on the train so missed it), and this morning, the back of my head graces the front page of London's 'Metro' newspaper. As I had an aisle seat I shook David's hand as he left the hall and he was just saying 'hi Nigel' when the above shot was taken. Flukey doesn't begin to describe it, but my mum'll be pleased!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
As I thought, David nailed it. The right tone, and more importantly, the right message. Thoughtful and humble, but with the assuredness and style we've come to expect. This is a man in full command of his party, who knows the scale of the task ahead. Despite not taking it for granted, this was the speech of a Leader looking beyond the election to the challenge of government. Now he needs to deliver it.
So shouted a steward at the ICC and the hordes of Tory faithful, media and guests descended on the hall for David Cameron's speech. I was lucky enough to be picked out for a reserved seat on the aisle right near the front- a far better seat than I ever managed when I was a Tory staffer. Perhaps life on the outside ain't so bad after all. As for the speech itself, David Cameron has a tough act to follow - himself. After his barnstorming rallying cry last year and his legendary leadership speech in 2005, expectations are high, and the economic crisis makes it a difficult tone to get right. Knowing what a class act the man is, I have no doubt he can pull it off. Sorry if that sounds slavishly sychophantic, but it's true.