Paul Weller lays into Cameron

In The Sun no less:

PAUL WELLER has hit out at Conservative leader DAVID CAMERON for saying he liked his old band THE JAM.
The Modfather turned 50 last week but is clearly not mellowing at all.
He raged: “What was that about? Was he not listening to the lyrics? Is he thick?
“He probably thinks Eton Rifles is a song about him and his mates at school.”

More stunning beauty in Henley constituency

… A couple of photos of the beautiful Thames taken while delivering today in Henley constituency. I think it was my ‘highest property priced’ delivery ever – about £1/4 billion worth of property delivered to, I would reckon. The houses I delivered to included Pete Townshend’s former Thameside residence where Quadrophenia was recorded.
Please come and enjoy these wonderful surroundings and help Stephen Kearney’s campaign. Contact details etc are here. We’re now on our fourth delivery with another newspaper this weekend, while the Tories are only just starting with their first, rather rushed, leaflet.

Expelling someone from the party – a very big step

I received this anonymous comment below my recent post on Councillor Gavin Webb and his suspension from the party:

As you say, only one side is presented on the site. There are some parts that gives a clue as to what the other side of the case could be – like “It has also been said by some inside and outside of the Party that someone in elected office should be more ‘careful’ about what they say. Should that elected person be forced to hold back on his true opinions?”

Reading between the lines that does not sound like a team player but like someone who thinks all disagreements with fellow party councillors should be played out in full in public.

As I previously said, I am not endorsing the “Save the Stoke One” campaign because I know that there are always two sides to every story and I have great faith in the processes of the party on these matters. However, I do sympathise with Cllr Webb in respect to his espousal of radical “libertarian” policies.

I have no idea whether the intimation of the commenter above is true. However, I would just point out that expelling someone from the party is a very big step.

There are other steps, short of that, which can be considered. For example, bringing someone to book locally by inviting them to explain their actions to the Executive. I presume that avenue has already been exhausted or discounted here.

In a hypothetical situation it is potentially possible to review someone’s approval to be a Liberal Democrat candidate or councillor. It is possible to be a member of the party but not be an approved candidate/councillor. There are thousands of people in that situation – me included at the moment. But membership is a separate issue and revocation has to be backed with pretty convincing evidence. It is intriguing that, so far, apart from the odd whisper, nothing too substantial has become apparent in the case of Cllr Webb.

It is also possible for a member to be moved from their geographically local party and be a member of a non-geographic party. I seem to remember, from my days as a membership secretary, that there is a small but distinguish band of people, for example, who come directly under the wing of Cowley Street. Or a member can be moved to the list of another local party in another part of the country.

If expulsion is proceeded with in this case, some people will have some explaining to do.

The beauty of Henley constituency

Goring-on-Thames has to be one of the most beautiful villages in the country. I was lucky enough to be dispatched there yesterday with a large bundle of tabloids under my arm. I took these photos (above) as I walked, without going off my delivery route – I hasten to add. They show how lovely the surroundings there are.
I was seized by an obsession with the striking architecture of the village hall, and, in particular, its clock tower. The results of my obsession are the photos below. The hall design certainly beats those corrugated pre-fab halls that villages stuck up in the mid-20th century – mind you Goring was no doubt lucky enough to have a bit more dosh than your average village.

Henley: Ready when you are Dave

I’m off for the third time to Henley Constituency today – it’s a very sunny day so it should be great. Please help if you can – BBC South Today had a very positive piece for us last night featuring particularly the “READY WHEN YOU ARE DAVE” sign in our Thame HQ. There is an excellent campaign web site here. To save on travelling, leaflets can now be picked up from three locations in the south (e.g Goring) and north-west of the constituency, as well as from Thame – just phone the HQ to arrange this.

Labour’s finances – the mire rises

Oh dear me. Five weeks to find £7.45 million. I would have thought that tapping up someone rich for that sort of scale of spoondoolicks would be difficult given the current state of unpopularity of Gordon Brown and Labour. How’s Sainsbury’s doing these days?

Senior officials in the Labour party, including Gordon Brown, could become personally liable for millions of pounds in debt unless new donors can be found within weeks, the Guardian has learned.

The party has five weeks to find £7.45m to pay off loans to banks and wealthy donors recruited by Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s former chief fundraiser, or become insolvent. A further £6.2m will have to be repaid by Christmas – making £13.65m in all. The sum amounts to two-thirds of the party’s annual income from donations.

The figures are a conservative estimate as they do not include interest that will also have to be paid. A Labour source said that although the total debt was listed as £17.8m on the Electoral Commission website, the true level, with interest, was nearer to £24m.