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A pledge to honour the military covenant as set out on today's platform article by the British Legion.

The teaching of British history to every pupil in the land.

1. I'd like school vouchers so parents can decide which school their child goes to not some LEA pen pusher.
2. I'd also like all people who are on the min wage to be taken out of paying tax. Let them keep all their wages.

To effectively target youth unemployment and deskilling - scrap the New Deal and introduce vocational training in schools rather than a relentless, and damaging drive for academic uniformity.

I'd like us to adopt that Guardian-busting policy of transferring all public sector recruitment ads on to much cheaper websites.

I'd also like a commitment to stop selling arms to human rights-abusing/ extremist-supporting nations like Saudi Arabia.

It's time for action on climate change.

A pledge NOT to misappropriate taxpayers money to subsidise political parties.

An education voucher for every child redeemable at any school, irrespective of who runs that school, or how much they charge.

A switch to German style social insurance for the funding of healthcare, with independent provision of healthcare, except Ambulances and A&E. (I'm sure Angela Merkel can help).

A fully elected house of Senators, five for each county in the country elected by De Hondt PR. A fixed single term of ten years for those Senators and a minimum age limit of 40. The house to be the second Chamber for all Scottish, Welsh & NI legislation as well.

Remove the cap on the ability of the Scottish Parliament to vary income tax rates.

Replace Council tax with, A local sales tax, bin charges, a property value tax, hotel room charges, local income tax and a range of other taxes and charges, all of which could be set at any level by the local authority, getting the amount raised locally up to 50% of expenditure over ten years.

Scrap the quangoes and return power to Councils over housing, regeneration, transport and welfare.

Build 200 jails of 100 cells each, (travelodges with fences), in smaller towns and cities across England, keeping prisoners close to their families and getting them learning/training/working in their communities to achieve effective rehabilitation.

Give a 20% equity share to all social housing tenants with three years record of paying rent and behaving, allowing all tenants to buy out the remianing equity at any time. Use the funds generated to build new houses with gardens for families.

Build two nuclear power plants on each of the 15 existing sites to half our carbon emmissions in ten years.

1) It is time to introduce a truly independent office for statistics that is out of political control and can provide definitive statistics for effective decision making and accountability.

2) It is time to control the sleepwalk into a surveillance society. It is time to scrap ID cards, It is time to stop putting people on the DNA database who haven't committed a crime, It is time to destroy the childrens database. And it is time to reverse most of the other encroachments onto our civil liberties that this Authoritarian government has undertaken.

An English parliament and an end to mass immigration

The Graeme Party pledgecard (ie I know I'm in dreamland):

1. Switch off the BBC until everyone who works for it has found alternative employment and we've abolished the licence fee, and rushed through the appointment of Tim Montgomerie as the new Director General.

2. Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson to be put in charge of anything they fancy, basically, but hopefully the former in charge of education (since sorting out diet is more important than faffing around about spelling) and the latter in charge of the NHS (ditto health)

3. All pubs to be open only to smokers, with one miserable state-run smoke-free pub in every town with its own alcohol-free state-supplied "beer" so that all those *millions* of non-smoking pub workers, who lay awake terrified for the state of their lungs, and who were used as the emotional battering ram that led to the ban, have somewhere to work, while all those Brits who loved smoky scuzzy boozers, you know, the sort of place where you used to sneak off for a naughty skivey afternoon, and would end up in conversation with people you'd never otherwise meet, and could daydream the day away about the novel you'd write about it all, can return to psychological health [this pledge may need some editing for the card].

4. Something funky about liberty.

5. No more airport expansion in the south east, none, ever.

Forget the fretting about linking tax cuts to 'pollution' - instead, what about a simple "It's time to cut taxes" ??

A commitment for government to do less - to get their noses out of the lives of ordinary people - would be good too.

We must tackle the bloated welfare state. I would like to see a commitment to introduce workfare and to crack down on abuse.

We must also pledge to reduce immigration by a considerable amount and remove illegals much more effectively.

Any chance?

The top items that should be our agenda, backed up by speaking with 'real world' people of all ages over the past month, including a group of recent graduates in London last night, include:

1. Control of immigration
2. Law and Order issues such as yob behaviour, drugs related crimes, extremism and terrorism
3. Improved health services
4. Simplification and reduction of taxes to relieve the financial burden of low to middle earners and to support growth of the economy

Phrases like “tougher sentences, more police on our streets and an end to Labour's Early Release Scheme” are just sound bytes and piecemeal efforts relating to more fundamental problems that need an integrated plan of action, while merely fighting closure of A&E and maternity units betrays a lack of a coherent health policy, something that is seriously overdue. Fairer trade and more effective aid are concepts too distant from the doorstep to impress the voters to vote for us.

We should be more capable than to utter such bitty approaches to the problems confronting our country today.

Afleitch, yes, I agree. The wasteful New Deal must be scrapped as a first act of a Conservative government. 3.4 Billion pounds of taxpayers money has been poured down the New Deal drain.

The New Deal has become an expensive gravy-train with the providors making a lot of money and showing nothing by way of results. I read that at its best the New Deal had a 40% success rate, in other words a 60% failiure rate. Any business with a 60% failiure rate would have gone under years ago. So taxpayers money must not prop up this Labour party gimmick any longer.


1. Withdraw from the EU
2. Introduce a Flat Tax
3. End net immigration

Start by being honest over the EU and stop trying to deceive the electorate.

A bonfire of regulations and government interference. Actually do something to shrink the scale of the state rather than slow down its seemingly unstoppable growth.


It's time for national independence a la Switzerland.

I've become very un-keen on number 10. We're not citizens, we're subjects. I want the word "citizens" excised from our political vocabulary.

Moreover, 6 weeks is too short, just after GCSE's is the wrong time for it, and I'm only interested in military service. We should make people respectful and patriotic towards their country by building a country worth being proud of again, and civility and charity are virtues for church and family to instill in people, not the state.

I must also disagree with the editor in hoping strongly that English votes for English laws will not appear. It makes the Tories appear an exclusively English party, and in any case, we weren't called the Conservative and Unionist party for nothing. I'd love to see Salmond and his Scottish "Government" brought down like the GLC more than almost anything other than the return of legal sovereignty to London from Brussels.

I hope to see positive, constructive things as much as possible, as I expect they're easier to sell. But I haven't canvassed before. The EU is my biggest issue but it won't win us the election, whatever we say on it.

Tony Makara, if you read Sir Derek Wanless's latest report in the King's Fund, the waste in the NHS surpasses manifold that of the New Deal.

The point that should be made is that there has not been a robust attack by the Conservatives on Labour's extensive record of waste and mis-spending. That may be a reflection - I hazard a guess here - that the enormity of the problem meant that even the Conservatives do not or have not worked out the solution(s).

These are the sorts of serious issues that I believe will make or break the electoral success of the Conservative Party at the next General Election, and not (just) the personality of the leadership nor the left-right arguments.

Such holding the Government to account must be constant, consistent and persistent.

Isn't it ridiculous that the Tory online advertising campaign does not make a strong commitment on immigration control, when it is well known that this is at the top of people's concerns?

I think that it is better for the Tory fortunes for people like me to keep on about this matter through you blog site rather than to do nothing now and withold my vote at the election or, worse, vote elsewhere.

Pete (16/9/07 at 23:09), please continue as you do as I continue similarly, consoled by fellow faithfuls over the desperate situation. Voting elsewhere only hastens the decline of our country, and I remain ever optimistic though realistic and willing to play my part!

Best wishes (Teck - 16/9/07 at 18:38)

Teck, I agree. Labour need to explain why they have 'Lost' so much money in the NHS. How has this happened. A full audit and breakdown of accountability needs to be used as a text on how not to run a public service. The problem is Labour create so many tiers of bureaucracy that accountability itself becomes 'Lost. A great pledge for Blackpool would be a Conservative commitment to restore NHS dentistry forall who need it. Indeed it is a national disgrace and a stain on this Labour government that over one and a a half million people cannot find an NHS dentist and will suffer ill heath as a result.

Local NHS centres will not do even simple tasks like re-cementing a loose crown because it does not fall within the prescribed government targets. Even though there is a danger of the person swallowing thecrown and any metalic attachment. So persons with a loose crown eventually lose that crown, the supporting original tooth then crumbles away and the persin is left with a decayed stump in their mouth, all because they couldn't find an NHS dentist under a Labour government.

I would like a commitment to withdraw from Iraq asap and to oppose any US to expand the war to attacks on Iran.

Instead, I want British troops to invade Zimbabwe, take out Mugabe, ensure that there are free and fair elections and protect the new government.

How about a law which reforms the meaning of "reasonable force" in dealing with criminals, such that it no longer means - as it currently seems to - "any force which does not actually incommode the criminal in any way".

Oh, and let's also take all firearms away from the police. The way they've been using them over the past few years, I'd rather take my chances with the terrorists and the gangsters.

Agree with you Scotty - our troops deserve support!

Referendum on overall membership of EU;
Either scrap devolution or establish an English Parliament;
Pay, equip and support our armed forces generously;
Proper border controls;
Abolish political correctness;
Those with criminal intent to have only basic human rights, e.g. occupiers no longer liable for safety of intruders onto premises.

1. Upfront tax cuts (Osborne says that he wont have uncosted unfunded tax cuts. The costings have been done already and the funding found. Why is he still being reluctant to back them?) for the poor, by kicking the threshold up.
2. An ambitious programme for cutting waste from the central government (of course fully explained with detail of what will go). The savings can be used to cut taxes substantially.

I'd like to see a strong conservative speech, allowing the other Shadow Cabinet members to flourish and explain what our policy direction is. Its been almost two years and we are still pretty unsure of our full policy direction.

When election time comes we will need a couple of precise, firm and simple promises
- rather than a long list of vague aspirations.

When we are asked on the doorstep: "Why should I vote Conservative?" there isn't time for a verbose list or a long lecture.

We should be able to reply with one clear and unambiguous sentence. For example:
"You should vote Conservative because we will abolish Inheritance tax and we will take back from Brussels the power to control our own borders."

In other words K.I.S.S. (Keep it Stupid Simple)

"It's time to introduce National Citizen Service for the 21st Century: a six-week programme for every school leaver."

This isn't being proposed though, is it? How can a voluntary program be 'for every school leaver'?

Frank McGarry (September 17, 2007 at 09:27):

To get a feel of what people want, go and meet the people without the blue rosette, without a label and just ....talk! They will soon tell you what they want, and what you need to know.

If you then go back to CCHQ and the strategists ask you to tell the masses in the council houses to the contrary, then you will know we would have lost the fight!

English votes for English laws is no solution to the disgraceful discriminatory constitutional mess Labour have created. The reason English people find themselves discriminated against in the public services they receive, is because of the failure of our so call representatives to fight for the collective interests of English people, preferring instead to acquiesce to party interests. The only solution to the WLQ is an English parliament.

I would also support the other peoples calls for control of immigration, though it should be done under the requirement of population sustainability, which would make it an environmental issue, rather than be left open to the charges of xenophobia and racism.

But all this isn't rocket science, all our politicians need do is listen to Any Answers from last weekend, for in the few chances people have to make their voices heard in the closed world of the Westminster and metrosexual media village, two views came through loud and clear. English people are furious at the constitutional arrangement created by Labour and the LibDems. And they are light years ahead of the politicians and understand the core issue is population sustainability, rather than the just switching off stand by’s, putting in energy saving bulbs and windmills on their roof’s.

I would like to make a point against an English parliament. It would add yet another tier to government, costing more money and obscuring responsibility further.

Our constitutional affairs policies should be: Reverse devolution, abolish the unwanted regional assemblies, assert Westminster primacy over Brussels, revert the Lords back to pre-Blair, put the Home Office back together, reinstate the Lord Chancellor, limit the London Mayor's powers, and get rid of Blair's presidential-type government.

"It's time to scrap the ID card project"

"It's time to see police on the streets, not at their desks"

"It's time to set an example on climate change"

"It's time to shift tax from families"

"It's time for Labour to deliver the Referendum they promised"

"It's time to consider the Conservatives again"

And for the London campaign:

"It's time for a change in London"

"It's time for London to be relieved of Labour"

"It's time for a new Routemaster bus"

"It's time to invest in the tube"

"It's time to bring on Boris"

"I would like to make a point against an English parliament. It would add yet another tier to government, costing more money and obscuring responsibility further."

Nope, the politicians are already elected, the building is there, the departments of state are there, what is needed is the defined forum to debate an enact English legislation.

All this hype from the Mayoral candidates on a new routemaster bus is puzzling - all talk but no detail on design.

Do they really want wheelchairs and pushchairs rolling off the back of a low-floor, open-door bus?

It's time to stop talking bollocks about green issues and to speak out on defence, law and order, immigration, and above all to sound like confident Conservatives, not a bunch of whinging social workers

Independence for England and with it, the permanent closure of that Gravy Train the Scots, Welsh and NI take for granted.
It would also stop Scottish MPs deliberately preventing our sick and elderly from accessing life and sight saving drugs currently denied to the English, but which they are forced to provide for the ungrateful and nasty neighbours.
If that upsets Dave "there's a lot of Scottish blood in these veins" Cameron, then kick him out and send him back to Scotland where his first love lies - Shooting game on the Isle of Jura, with his Scottish father in law.

If the Tories ever support the breakup of the Union I for one shall never vote for them again. I believe that this would be true of a large number of people, not least the large number of Tory voting Scots in the south-east.


"Nope, the politicians are already elected, the building is there, the departments of state are there, what is needed is the defined forum to debate an enact English legislation."

Is this not the same as "English votes for English laws"? As you referred to an "English parliament" I presumed you meant another building, another set of "EMPs", etc. Apologies.

Britain could become a world leader in environmental markets. For example, by offering tax incentives to people who offset their CO2 from flights, we could see Britain emerging as a leader in the offsetting industry. This would provide a positive angle, rather than the unpopular approach of putting VAT on flights.

Junior schools should teach the basics, including ensuring that children learn their tables (which isn't happening now) and having regular homework.

Agree with Londoner on scrapping ID cards and bringing Boris on.

After the weekend, I was tempted to suggest that any country that invents a sport should have a 50 point advantage in international matches.

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