The All New Twickenham General Election Spectacular…

polling station sign in lbrut
Our Election Result item will appear HERE.

PREVIOUSLY…
Deja vu all over again? You betcha! The previous thread got rather overloaded so we’ve re-launched our election item to allow for three more weeks of heated debate…

May 7th is looming and you’re asking yourself the very straightforward question, “What is the twickerati position on who to vote for in the election?”. It’s a great question. Let us make our position absolutely clear. We regard elections as the very bedrock of our democracy. In fact, over the last ten years we have seen year on year increases in the number of references to democracy across the internet. Furthermore, we’ve shown our support for the use of the internet and social media by opening accounts on Twitter and Facebook and regard good communication as vital for hard working British families. So let’s celebrate the creativity and diversity we have in our midst, right here in Twickenham. To the people at home we say, ‘We hope that clearly answers your question’. Next!

Oh dear. Here at twickerati HQ we’re not very good at politics because we find it so difficult to give a straight answer to a straight question. And that is why we asked five local candidates to write 500 words each setting out their stall for the 2015 election. We said we’d include a link to their website and their profile picture too. They agreed. This is what they have to say to you…

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LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Candidate: Vince Cable
Website: www.vincecable.org.uk
Twitter: @vincecable

Vince Cable

Vince Cable

My name is Vince Cable and I’ve been the MP for Twickenham since I was first elected in 1997.

I have lived here in Twickenham for the last forty years; I raised a family here and my children attended local schools. Before entering Parliament I had a varied career, both in the UK and abroad as a diplomat, university lecturer and Treasury official specialising in economic development. In 1990 I took a job with Shell before being appointed their chief economist in 1995.

Throughout my time as your MP I have seen my first responsibility as representing local people and community groups. I have dealt with over 10,000 individual cases. I have been able to use this quite effectively when seeking to raise matters of local importance to local residents. I have been able to promote science and the Teddington laboratories and recently to lobby for colleges school funding which will enable the rebuild of Collis School’s Infants block.

I know many of you will have had a concern regarding my party’s decision to enter into coalition in 2010 with the Conservatives. This wasn’t a decision which was taken lightly. However it was the only way to ensure that the county had a stable government at a time of economic crisis. It certainly looks, now, as if the economy is moving in the right direction. Unemployment is at an historic low, the economy is now one of the strongest in Europe and we are seeing sustained growth. As Business Secretary I have been at the heart of the reforms which have enabled this to happen.

I have launched the UK’s long term industrial strategy; established the British Business Bank and the Green Investment Bank; built up apprenticeships to record levels, promoted gender equality; strengthened the minimum wage; and brought in legislation to strengthen consumer rights and the promotion of small business.

As a party of government Lib Dems have been able to deliver on those policies you voted for in 2010. We have delivered the raising of the income tax threshold to put an extra £900 a year back into the pockets of those in work; we’ve delivered the biggest ever rise in state pensions of £800 a year and have secured that through our triple lock; we’ve delivered the pupil premium which gives an equal start to our most disadvantaged children.

Looking forward I recognise the need locally for more affordable housing, to speed up the introduction of new capacity on the railways to increase care for the elderly outside hospitals through bodies like Homelink.

I am a strong opponent of expansion at Heathrow and have, for this reason, led that opposition locally. My party remains united against the airport bosses’ plans for expansion, a position which puts us at odds with Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne who have made no secret of their interest in seeing Heathrow expanded after the election. It is vital that Lib Dem MPs are elected to parliament to stop this happening.

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CONSERVATIVE
Candidate: Tania Mathias
Website: www.tania4twickenham.co.uk
Twitter: @tania_mathias

Tania Mathias

Tania Mathias

As a local resident, councillor and NHS doctor, I am committed to achieving a brighter future for our area.
A future with better transport services,
good schools and opportunities for the next generation,
incentives for local and small businesses,
the Freedom Pass kept for the senior population,
a guarantee of a rise of at least 2.5% to the Basic State Pension,
an increase in the personal tax free allowance, a rise in the higher rate threshold, no new taxes on family homes,
and no third runway at Heathrow or night flights over our homes.

Living locally I care about our area and if I haven’t had the chance to meet you yet, I hope to soon.

As a local resident I have accompanied family members and neighbours when they have needed services at Teddington Memorial Hospital and that is why I recently invited the Health Minister Jeremy Hunt to visit the hospital. I pledge to protect Teddington Memorial Hospital as a great resource in our community.

I have also campaigned for specialist respite day care for residents with dementia, and I support our care services at Homelink and Shooting Star Chase Hospice. As a local councillor I have voted for the protection of services for the vulnerable such as hot meals on wheels services and our rehabilitation services. Our neighbourhood care groups are a vital part of our community which I support. As a local councillor I backed the referendum for all residents to give their views on Heathrow expansion in 2013, when nearly 80% voted against. Since I have highlighted the medical effects of night flights and supported local resident groups and Hacan campaigning against the third runway.

I also supported residents during the flood risk period last year and was responsible for the Council delivering sandbags to residents’ homes. On BBC News I called for maintenance of the Thames Barrier.

I have voted for the allocation of resources to increase primary school places in our borough – 500 new places since 2010 under our Conservative Council, and new sixth forms in our secondary schools.

I am also campaigning for Crossrail 2 expansion to Twickenham which would bring faster train journeys into central London and help commuters, visitors and businesses. Some stations are being upgraded for the Rugby World Cup but more local involvement in improving the stations is needed and more frequent services are needed on the Hampton line.

Twickenham could become the best place to live in Greater London.
Our health services are some of the best. I will protect them
Our parks and outdoor river areas are special . I will fight to prevent pollution.
Our businesses are world class. They need low corporation taxes which I will lobby for.
Our children deserve the best education. I will continue to promote excellence in the classroom.
Our older residents need good neighbourhood care and specialised services. I will campaign for them.
I hope to count on your support on May 7th.

********************

LABOUR
Candidate: Nick Grant
Website: www.twickenhamlabourparty.org.uk
Twitter: @nick4twick

Nick Grant

Nick Grant

Hello, I’m standing in Twickenham because the place I’ve lived in for 15 years needs a new, strong voice in Parliament.

I, like many people, feel angry about the decisions Vince Cable has made as part of the Coalition government. I struggle to see the difference he’s made to a typically divisive, private-knows-best Conservative government. Recent press releases that try to portray Vince Cable in conflict with his Cabinet colleagues should be seen for what they are: desperate attempts to avoid collective responsibility for right wing policies like the Bedroom Tax. It’s too little too late.

The Labour Party is based on a set of values that I know are close to the heart of the majority of Twickenham residents. The people I meet want to know that their MP and their government pursue policies that are fair to all members of society, that enable the talented to flourish regardless of background but look after the vulnerable. In challenging economic times they understand tough choices need to be made but want them to be principled, tolerant and inclusive.

Twickenham is blessed with some wonderful natural amenities. As a place it bursts with potential. But that was the same story when I moved to St. Margaret’s 15 years ago: unfulfilled potential. At the local level, I’ve seen Twickenham lurch between unsatisfactory Conservative and Lib Dem administrations with each much trumpeted plan for change (nearly always based on luxury housing and frozen council tax) failing to bring about a new vision for the area.

Significant opportunities for community development have been wasted. Just look at the stale thinking and dither that has dogged the Twickenham riverside development.

I think many people recognise that 2015 is a suitable time for real change. Vince Cable has had his chance. The Conservative Party will not bring change or new energy. It is hugely symbolic that the Conservative candidate is a serving councillor.

In many ways I believe I reflect a fairly typical Twickenham resident. I work in central London, my children go to local state schools, we enjoy the Thames and the nearby green spaces. By any national standard we’re fortunate. But as my children grow up I see the problems that lie ahead, and I share the concerns that I know so many of you have.

If I am elected as MP for Twickenham I will work hard to tackle those concerns, focusing my energy on the practical foundations that everybody depends on.

Health – protecting the NHS, investing in the doctors and nurses we need, calling the end of privatisation
Homes – building affordable homes, securing a fair deal for tenants so that renting families have stability in their lives
Work – proper apprenticeships for our young people that will give skills for life, backing small businesses, cutting then freezing business rates
School – a place at a good state school with qualified teachers, ending the chaos and expense of poorly planned free schools, lowering tuition fees.

********************

UKIP
Candidate: Barry Edwards
Website: www.barryedwards.info
Twitter: @barrytwickukip

Barry Edwards

Barry Edwards

I am a family man and run a business within the Borough. I am an environmental scientist, an analyst and believe in the rigorous scrutiny of information.

You can be sure that all the other parties, whether they like it or not, will agree that I like the truth. I have tirelessly campaigned for the last 15 years to ensure the interests of local people are put first. I believe that the other parties are untrustworthy and have lost touch with people.

After the Council elections last year, UKIP went on to win the European Election and win the next 2 Parliamentary by-elections and as of the 3rd December 2014 reached 3rd place in the National Polls at 25%. If this is reflected in the General Election in May 2015 UKIP will expect to get 128 MPs.

The Truth about this General election has been eloquently detailed by Sir David Attenborough. Visit my website to see what he says.

The Truth about UKIP is well documented, that we would wish to maintain strong economic trading with Europe, but we no longer want the UK to be run by the EU. But less well appreciated is that many of our other policies are there to cope with and solve the problems of the ever increasing over-population that Sir David describes; it’s affects on all aspects of society, our cost of living and quality of life for everyone in the UK.

UKIP is the only party which supports Sir David’s view and is brave & wise enough to implement policy to deal with this rocketing population increase. Any self respecting environmentalist has to vote UKIP to stop this over-population.

Just this week (1st March 2015) that population increase is over 300,000 per year. But how many people is this? It is a city the size of Birmingham every 4 years, this simply cannot continue without huge problems for everyone. The majority of this increase is from the EU and the Lib Dems, Conservatives, Labour and the Greens have not told the truth; in fact over-population is where the real pressures on the NHS, schools, services for the elderly and the threat to our open spaces is being generated.

Contrary to what the other parties say, in recent by-elections UKIP has just proved itself to be at the centre of British politics, by taking as many votes from Labour (Reds) as Conservative (Blues) – and as we all know, Red and Blue make Purple. So by voting UKIP you get UKIP and we are just as likely to form a Government as these parties, if we get the same support as we did last year, when we won the European election.

UKIP is the only party that will stop the Lib Dems, Conservatives, Labour and the Greens putting Government, Political parties and Company shareholders ahead of your interests. We will put you first.
Please visit my website – Find the facts before you vote.
Local policies for local people.

********************

GREEN PARTY
Candidate: Tanya Williams
Website: www.tanya4twickenham.co.uk
Twitter: @greentanyaw

Tanya Williams

Tanya Williams

The Green Party’s Tanya Williams will improve people’s living standards while protecting precious natural resources. Greens strive to link up areas of policy, for example creating transport policies which improve our health. Our economic policies fulfill human needs not corporate greed. We believe education, transport and health are better organised by the government than by corporations.

Education – state funded for all ages:-
Twickenham’s population has grown faster than primary school places available. Parents in some areas struggle to get a school place at all. I will fight to ensure that every child is educated as close as possible to home, mainly within walking or cycling distance.
We will:
· oppose academies because schools should be run in the 
interests of children and communities, not for private gain,
· remove state subsidies for socially divisive private and faith schools, and
· scrap tuition fees because an educated population is the bedrock of civilized society and benefits everybody.

Make work pay:-
Under this government inequality has reached the point where one thousand of the country’s richest people own more wealth than the poorest 40%. We support better pay and work conditions, especially for the low paid. Some Twickenham residents on low wages or facing unfair benefit sanctions have been forced to use food banks.
I will fight for social justice by:
· ending punitive benefit sanctions,
· raising the minimum wage to a genuinely living wage,
· abolishing zero hours contracts, and
· tackling corporate and individual tax dodging which robs communities of £5 bn a year.

Affordable homes for everyone:-
A secure and affordable place to live is a basic human need. In Twickenham there is not enough housing, and existing stock is often too expensive to buy or to rent. We will make housing affordable and sustainable, ensure there is enough to go round, and improve quality and security for tenants in private rented accommodation. We need to return housing to its original purpose: providing each of us with an affordable and sustainable home.
We would:
· abolish the bedroom tax,
· devolve housing benefit budgets to councils,
· end council house sales and the ‘Right to Buy’, and
· build 500,000 council owned homes.

Improve public transport and curb pollution:-
I support the introduction of a 20mph speed limit by consent on roads where people live and work. This would make Twickenham less polluted and safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
We would also:
· take railways back into public ownership,
· reduce bus, train and tube fares,
· introduce taxation on aviation fuel to reflect its true environmental costs, and
· oppose Heathrow expansion.

Support small businesses:-
Several independent businesses have closed in Twickenham and Teddington due to high rents, short leases or steep rates. I support local pro-business initiatives because they keep money in the local area, create employment and provide social interaction for people.

The Greens will:-
· cut VAT on tourism, the lifeblood of many businesses, and
· defend local shops and communities from chain store invasion.

**********


OTHER CANDIDATES RECENTLY ANNOUNCED:

We think these are correct…

Dominic Stockford – Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship”
Website: www.ukchristianparty.org

David Dean Wedgwood – The Magna Carta Party
Website: www.magnacartaparty.org.uk

 

*********

Hustings… there are a couple more hustings events to come (let us know if we’ve missed any)
Time: Tuesday 21 April, 7.30pm
Hosted by: Churches Together in Teddington
Venue: Teddington Baptist Church, Church Road, Teddington TW11 8PF

Time: Wednesday 22 April, 7.30pm
Hosted by: Friends of Twickenham Green
Venue: United Reformed Church, First Cross Road, Twickenham TW2 5QA

**********

That’s it. Thanks to the candidates for their pieces. So, who’s going to be announced as Twickenham’s MP in the early hours of May 8th? Don’t just wait until polling day to have your say, do it right here, right now too.

And keep it vaguely polite, keep it relevant and don’t rant on for ages. You have the power of the keyboard but, as Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. OK, it was actually his uncle that said that just before he got killed but you get the general idea.

272 Comments

Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

272 responses to “The All New Twickenham General Election Spectacular…

  1. … and that’s all we have time for folks!

    We’re going to pretend we have influence and close this item to new comments for polling day. But you can be sure as hell we’ll be right back at ya with a new election item when the results come in.

    We’ll post the new link here -> http://wp.me/pVBg2-3dh

    So come on everybody, let’s get out there and vote the shit out of this election! You know it makes sense.

  2. Sal Magundi

    Sorry, but why would Labour supporters vote for Vince if Clegg is to give Cameron a first shot at forming a government anyway??

    • Amir Tahir

      Because every seat the Tories win will be used by the Tory press to proclaim the ‘legitimacy’ of Cameron’s claim to govern. A LibDem seat can’t be used by him in that way. The consequence of voting LibDem, then, will be to help the LibDems demise as Cameron won’t be in a position to approach ANYBODY to help form a government.
      Win-win innit!

    • Amir Tahir

      Please beware of the predictions you are citing. They are applications of NATIONAL polling trends to Individual seats. So they take the national trend and apply it blanket-wise to all constituencies. They are NOT the result of actual polls in that particular constituency. Lord Ashcroft’s polls are only taken in marginal seats and they give the polling results taken in that specific seat. Yes I am signed up to Change and I’m disappointed if they’re not making clear what their predictions are based on. Very incompetent of them. These things are important.

    • Amir Tahir

      Meant 38 degrees, not change.

  3. Sal Magundi

    Queby, I think this is the perfect time for change..! Five more years of that lot at the helm and this country will be unrecognisable.

    • queby

      We’ll agree to disagree! Given the mess the last Labour government left….I find them quite scary. The LibDems will be sitting on the fence waiting to see which side will give them the best jobs…Whatever happens it will be a mess. The coming weekend will definitely be interesting if nothing else.

    • Amir Tahir

      I agree Sal M. Anyone thinking it’s ‘not time for a change’ (as if there’s a sort of natural cycle to these things anyway) must presumably be quite happy with what’s been done to the civic life of the UK over the last 5 years and presumably be equally relaxed about what Osborne and Duncan Smith promise for the next 5 (plus, of course, the effects of the cuts already made but which have not yet fed through).

      With control of 80% of the press (which, as Peston has recently commented, sets the agenda for all broadcast media) it’s hardly surprising that a lot of people have bought the big lie about Labour having caused the 2008 banking crisis and world recession and therefore being unsafe on the economy. On Friday morning we’ll find out exactly how many.

      By that time the 80% Tory media will be well into their illegitimate ‘legitimacy’ mantras based on seats won. Labour voters in Twickenham can do their part in fighting that. Lord Ashcroft’s polling has the Tories 2% ahead of Cable with Labour trailing way behind.

    • Sadly those who vote Labour (and Nick Grant is a good man) will open the way to the Tories: 38 Degrees is putting the vote in Twickenham on 43% Lib Deb; 34% Cons.; 14% Labour; 4% Greens; 4% UKIP; 1% Others.
      Please, please keep Mathias and her cronies out. It’s right to say another five years of the Tories will wreck this country.

    • Amir Tahir

      Those figures you’re citing seem way out, smb. Where did you get them? I hope Twick Labour voters don’t see them as a reason to be complacent.

    • As I said it’s from the 38 degrees Group. Don’t you belong?
      Complacent! Anyone who really cares cannot be complacent.

  4. queby

    Just received a letter from Tania Mathias. I plan to vote Tory but they don’t help themselves by sending out stuff like this that clearly has not been checked. There is a part sentence completely missing. Sloppy, sloppy.

    • Amir Tahir

      See smburningham’s links below. If she colludes in this then poor proof-reading will be the least of her crimes.

    • Sal Magundi

      When even many of your fellow supporters regret the direction in which Cameron and Osborne have taken the party, is that really your only reservation about the Conservatives? A typo?!

    • queby

      Of course it’s not my only concern. I just get annoyed when they shoot themselves in the foot with things like this. It was a bit more than a typo!
      I’m voting for them as a ‘least worse’ option, there are many things about the Tories I disagree with but I dislike the alternatives even more. I don’t think this is the right time for a change.

    • jbuzza

      Is that the sentence where it says where the cuts are actually going to be made ?

    • queby

      We’ll never know as there seems to be a chunk missing.

    • Amir Tahir

      I sympathise with the heckler, I loathe Cameron and his chums and I’ve probably used this establishment myself. Nevertheless ‘heckler ejected from Twickenham garden centre’ just doesn’t seem likely to go down in the annals of right wing repression alongside Sharpeville, Orgreave or even the Battle of the Beanfield, does it?

  5. Ex-Twickenham Resident

    Looking at Mr. Edwards twitter feed, he is currently engaging with a BBC reporter (or the Brussels Broadcasting Company as he likes to call them) accusing them of bias as they did not have a UKIP representative on their debate. Mr. Edwards says if they cannot find a UKIP representative they should call him.

    • Amir Tahir

      Yes please. Call him straight away. Worth every penny of the licence fee.
      ( And it’s surely Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation, isn’t it, Mr E ?)

    • Anonymous

      Edwards’ campaign leaflets are turning up now.
      Unfortunately for him his photograph is poor resolution and he looks completely pixalated.
      He starts off saying “l am a Scientist…” with a capital ‘S’ no less. He also references Sir David Attenborough yet again.
      The rest is standard UKIP rhetoric.

    • Sally

      Mr Edwards has just popped up on the Heathrow expansion thread. I have put to him t4 or so Twickerati questions he has been reluctant to answer: Vague legal threats against Twickerati posters for the gardening embarrassment, UKIP HIV claims being totally defeated and how he dare claim Sir Davis Attenborough and he share views. No response yet but I am sure it is coming…

    • George

      I hope the reporter is not at risk of committing an offence otherwise there might be another broadside and another article in Private Eye
      http://www.private-eye.co.uk/issue-1390/hp-sauce

  6. Sal Magundi

    Latest Lib Dem literature on my doormat looking increasingly desperate. Begging Labour supporters for their votes. After propping up the grasping Tories for the last five years? They’ve got to be kidding! I want my vote to count in the national ‘left of centre’ column on Friday.

    • Amir Tahir

      This is a good principled position but every extra Tory seat will buoy up Cameron’s illegitimate ‘legitimacy’ argument (when it comes to which party has the most seats rather than who can form a majority). On Friday morning either the Tory or the LibDem will have won in Twickenham. Are you sure you’re completely neutral on which one it is? Be careful that it doesn’t turn out to be like watching a sporting competition final where you start off thinking you aren’t bothered who wins but when the game begins you begin to realise that, in fact, your indifference or dislike is a little more nuanced than that and you do actually care. At that stage there’s no point in rooting for the side which crashed out in the semis.

    • Sal Magundi

      There will be competing definitions of legitimacy come Friday. A vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for more of what we’ve seen in the last five years: the bedroom tax vs tax cuts for the wealthiest. If Clegg wants Labour votes he could start by ruling out a coalition with the Tories.

  7. Boss

    Time for another in-depth analysis of how the local campaign is shaping up on social media. High profile Vince still in a league of his own on Twitter, but the others (previous Twitter followers in brackets):

    Tania Mathias 931 (841)
    Nick Grant 372 (342)
    Tanya Williams 329 (282)
    Barry Williams ?? (19)
    So a modest increase in coverage for Tory Tania, maybe after Big Boris’ help here last week (wonder if she showed him round Orleans Park?) , but not enough probably to have any chance to get close to the incumbent. And Green Tanya picking up followers, so maybe a chance to push for 3rd place in the poll in front of Nick Grant, whose followers have not expanded quite as fast as some people would like to see Heathrow expanded.

    And the UKIP guy seems to have disappeared from Twitter.

    • Boss

      I take it back. The UKIP guy is still there and storming up to 25 followers, no doubt on the back of his Private Eye splash recently.

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Most of the UKIP twitter followers seem to be institutions or journalists. Hardly any ‘normal’ people.
      Am I right in thinking that Mr. Edwards will not even be able to rely on his own vote living outside the constituency?

    • Sally

      Alas, no. It would have been nice had having the pants beaten offi him had caused Mr Edwards to reevaluate himself, but all records suggest this man has not that sort or personality. If he feels his actual achievements are not grand enough he , ah, inflates them. If faced with evidence from well qualified people which disproves his claims he ignores it or attributes it to a sinister compnsipracy led by, um, migrants, and traitors to UKIP and hence, of course to Britain.
      Mr Edwards is still claiming that he and Sir David Attenborough agree with each other. Sir David’s office would, I think, be interested in seeing any leaflets etc. which make this appalling claim.
      No, I can only think that having been beaten Mr Edwards has withdrawn, seething, to chalk it all up to his conspiracy theories and plan which local cause to assail next.. That or he has been told by UKIP central to not push it. They can only make so many threats at a time.

    • Sally

      Ex Tr indications are indeed that Mr Edwards lives outside the constituency.. You remember when asked about this he went into a long rant listing all the ways he felt attached to the area- and expressing outrage to even be asked- but no reply to the question,. The omission was first noticed in the material put out by candidates. It’s all rather like being asked to look at an iffy CV and spot the omissions.

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Hi Sally, if you go to Mr. Edwards twitter account, Tweets and Replies, May 3rd…bottom one, view converstion and click the link you will see Mr. Edwards election leaflet.

    • Boss

      I’ve already voted and the ballot paper gives addresses of candidates if they live in the constituency. The UKIP and Green candidates both live in neighbouring constituencies.

  8. michelangelo

    Dr B has now resorted to insults; this suggests she reckons she has lost the argument (similarly in an earlier comment, her use of weasel words). I am saddened by the use of the word “austerity” during the campaign in general, especially by SNP and Welsh Nats. If you want to see or experience austerity, try being bombed out of your house during the blitz and then living through the dark days of rationing and shortages in 1945-1952. Our standard of living is so much higher now than then, and even if it has not improved much during the past few years (who left a note “there’s no money left”? A joke? Really?), life has not been austere

    • Amir Tahir

      ‘If you want to see or experience austerity, try being bombed out of your house during the blitz and then living through the dark days of rationing and shortages in 1945-1952.’
      Fortunately, this isn’t really an option for most of us currently. It would be a pity if that fact meant we couldn’t employ a useful, if rather vague, term which is shorthand for an ideological choice to evade the consequences of the 2008 banking crash by punishing the innocent while allowing the fortunate to escape the consequences and then, by convincing people (with the help of 80% of the media) that it’s all their own fault and they therefore should welcome the chance to suffer and expiate their sins, take the chance to reduce the state to 1930s levels, which is what this type of Conservative faction has been set on doing since the mid 70s, and which apes American social and political values and which is alien to our European social and political heritage. Useful word. Keep using it

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Regarding austerity…do remember we are living in a rather privileged area and can not be compared to other areas of the country where austerity cuts really do impact on the local community.

    • And do remember that on Thursday we vote for a government whose policies will effect every man, woman and child in the country. Nice for those complacent ‘me first’ souls who don’t give a fig for those who live outside the leafy suburbs.
      Vince Cable has the political clout to make a difference. The ‘girl’ is mere canon fodder for the Tories. She will prettily occupy the back benches while Ian Duncan Smith et al dismantles the welfare state.

  9. Steve Topol, Chair, Friends of Twickenham Green

    Friends of Twickenham Green Hustings Meeting.

    On behalf of the Friends of Twickenham Green, I’d like to thank the many Twickenham residents who attended our Hustings Meeting on April 22nd at The United Reform Church next to Twickenham Green.

    The meeting was chaired, with complete impartiality, by Professor Dan Hough from the University of Sussex. The meeting was very well attended, lively and good humoured. All the parliamentary candidates answered questions from local Twickenham residents, on a wide range of subjects including the role of an MP Heathrow expansion, location of new schools, the need for new housing, immigration, taxation & the NHS.

    The meeting was widely regarded as a success by residents who attended.

    The Friends of Twickenham Green is a non political amenity group, which exists to preserve and promote Twickenham Green and the surrounding conservation area. We have a large membership and regular meetings. If anyone who like to join us, please e-mail me at friends@twickenhamgreen.onmicrosoft.com

    • Amir Tahir

      This reads like a fairly straightforward account of a fairly successful event. Nevertheless, 2 people seem to have voted to disapprove of it. Bit worrying really. As the election approaches, are we sure that universal suffrage was a good idea?

    • Alexis

      Mr Tahir,
      It’s possibly something to do with the political affiliation of the author of this piece and his vice chair, both of whom are or were LibDem activists. Topol keeps trying to become a Councillor, as yet unsuccessfully. David Trigg was a Twickenham Riverside Councillor until he lost his seat and cabinet membership in 2010.
      There is a perception that LibDems muscle in on local societies and “friends” groups to gain political advantage.

      Since you seem to have a link with the Wembley Greens, warn your chums unless they have already learnt this little trick from the LibDems
      Alexis.

    • My problem with this post, apart from the suggestions of LibDem infiltration into seemingly neutral community groups, is the use of this forum to promote organisations and causes. Friends of Twickenham Green seem benign, it must be agreed, but it’s the principle of the thing. Next it will be “Friends of Traditional England” or some such – we can all guess, I think, what the agenda of such a group might be. Such a group would then use threats of “The Law” to insist that the earlier Friends of Twickenham Green were OK and accordingly so should they be. Legal threats have featured already on this site, after all…..

    • Steve Topol

      Well said Amir Tahir !

      Just to repeat, the Friends of Twickenham Green is a completely apolitical amenity group. It does contain supporters of the Lib Dems like myself, as well as supporters of the Labour, Conservative parties, as well as people who don’t support any particular political party. None of us have ‘infiltrated’ the amenity group ! The suggestion is truly ludicrous. We all work very well together, without party politics, to achieve benefits for the community, & have an excellent record in improving Twickenham Green & the surrounding Conservation area.

      I also cannot see the problem, posted by ‘Dr NHS’ with a community web-site like Twickerati being a medium where community groups can inform residents of community activities !

      There will always be people who will submit negative comments & give a thumbs down to anything that’s outside their own agendas, but they’re not worth worrying about Amir.

      Once again, if any Twickerati’s readers would like to know more about the Friends of Twickenham Green & perhaps become involved as supporters & members of our completely apolitical amenity group, please have a look at our web-site http://www.twickenhamgreen.org If anyone would like to join our group please e-mail me friends@twickenhamgreen.onmicrosoft.com You will be given a warm welcome !

  10. George

    There’s lots of last minute canvassing going on. I saw Nick4Twick and the Greens out in King Street yesterday, Tania Matthias in Strawberry Hill today and a letter from Vince Cable was on my doormat. No sign of UKIP though. I don’t think I’ve seen a single flyer from them. Perhaps they’re just being eco-friendly?

    • Alexis

      Well hasn’t this election been fun? My particular thanks to Barry Edwards of UKIP for being such a good sport. It was often difficult to know whether he was being serious in his posts or giving us as good as he got. That seemed a rather foolish vote winning/losing tactic, but then Barry has always been a maverick and seems to have a bit of a persecution complex. Who hasn’t he fallen out with and who’s next for police action – the BBC? At least his one-time UKIP Councillor wannabe, Sarah Meagher has leapt to his defence in this week’s R&TT. (pity she didn’t mention her party affiliation in her letter)

      Apart from a couple of scammers who wanted all my bank details before accepting my £10 bet, I failed to find anyone to take on my wager that Edwards and Wedgwood of the Magna Carta Party would lose their deposits. Rats!

      Nick Grant of Labour? – yet again, Ed Balls has singlehandedly messed up his campaign which could have gathered momentum. Also, sadly for him, LibDem Vince is a closet leftie ex/SDP/Labourite, so makes him a bit superfluous. Neverrtheless a good candidate who deserved better.

      Tanya Williams of the Greens? Also a good candidate let down by poor party leadership, a swingeing plan for high taxation and a swing to the hard left – time to rename the party perhaps?

      The front runners? I hope to be surprised.
      Alexis.

    • Vince is not a closet leftie. He believes in social justice. A social democrat who cares about the people in his constituency. The good thing about Vince is that he is senior enough to make a difference.
      Tania Matthias is so low down the pecking order she cannot begin to answer any detail about Tory policy. I don’t want a chit of a girl, mere back- bench Cameroonian fodder, to be my representative in the Commons.
      Nick Grant is a good man – but he cannot win in this constituency – maybe when we have real proportional representation. Perhaps this election will be close enough to make people realise just how important proportional representation is.

    • Alexis

      How very typically condescending of Doc Burningham:
      “I don’t want a chit of a girl, mere back- bench Cameroonian fodder, to be my representative in the Commons”. Fair enough.

      Didn’t you start somewhere in political life Doc B, albeit unsuccessfully in 2014? Didn’t your hero Vince also do so at least 20 years ago? I suppose that gives him some degree of gravitas but let’s not forget that it took him 5 goes to get elected via 3 or 4 different parties and parts of the UK – hardly a meteoric rise to the top table was it? I’m sure Doc B will correct me if I’m wrong.
      As to Doc B’s desire for proportional representation – here’s something a bit scary:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-snp-would-vote-to-introduce-proportional-representation-at-westminster-nicola-sturgeon-confirms-10223302.html#
      Alexis
      PS: The lady’s name is Mathias with one “t” – it’s Welsh in origin.

    • You think the first past the post system is democratic? You believe the voters in the Constituency should be represented by someone who has no information about the planned cuts to the benefits for children, the disabled, poor hard working families? You are probably more concerned with yourself than your fellow man. And yes I too am a social democrat.

      Sent from Samsung Mobile

    • Amir Tahir

      Re the comments on Vince Cable: I’m not sure whether it’s the ‘closet’ or the ‘leftie’ which is supposed to be the problem. If it’s the latter then it’s simply a matter of perception. From the viewpoint of the estimable Barry Edwards, for example, the EU ‘is an extreme socialist organisation’.

    • Alexis

      Oh dear Doc B,
      I’m beginning to get scary echoes of Barry Edwards of UKIP here – if your’e not with us etc!
      Having heard the news this evening, I wonder if I haven’t tripped over something interesting or Doc B has inadvertently let the cat out of the bag – could there be a LibDem/SNP plot to jointly push for Proportional Representation?
      Perhaps Doc B or Vince could set our minds at rest or do we have yet another unknown unknown to make our voting decision even harder?
      Alexis

    • Alexis

      Doc B seems to be getting a bit carried away with her somewhat overzealous promotion of Vince Cable and the LibDems – she makes Gareth Roberts and Lynton Crosby look like rank amateurs!
      She also “slammed” me for daring to challenge her thus:
      “You are probably more concerned with yourself than your fellow man”. She might well be right but, had she paused to draw breath before pounding the keys of her Samsung mobile, she might have realised that I was drawing the attention of other readers to the scary prospect of a LibDem/SNP alliance rather than an antipathy to PR, which I don’t suffer from.

      We’re obviously moving into the endgame and feelers are already out from the secondary parties who think they have a chance of a slice of the action – it must be a tense time for the back room boys and girls who have to advise their leaders who are busily burning up precious fossil fuel on their cross country trips.

      LibDem/SNP/Labour? LibDem/DUP/Tory? Tory/UKIP? Tory/LibDem? Whither the Greens? Caroline Lucas, their sole MP was on Today this AM and did a good job of encouraging us to vote from the heart rather than tactically – I bet they rue the day she stepped down as party leader.

      What fun! (sorry for the levity Doc B – I’ll put my hair shirt on later)
      Alexis
      PS: Barry Edwards is still struggling to answer a few simple questions despite his manifesto commitment to do so, also repeated in his R&TT profile on page 5 this week. Regular readers might have a chuckle, although Doc B should have her smelling salts to hand if she sees his reference to the Gloriana campaign.

  11. Riversidevoter

    I don’t want to boast but we got a letter from the Prime Minister himself today, on official (though surprisingly flimsy) notepaper, personally signed, asking for our vote. We feel very honoured and I am going to feel guilty if I don’t vote Conservative after he has personally gone to all that effort……..

    Strangely no mention of Tania though

  12. nemesis

    Chosen your ‘Fantasy Frontbench’ yet?
    http://www.fantasyfrontbench.com/

    • Purple Haze

      …But I love the song “Knights in White Satin”, if only for the line “some try to tell me thoughts, they cannot defend”.
      Knights with a K?
      What uni’ did he go to then? 😉

    • Sally

      its rather pathetic,the added “commended” next to the basic degree, from ..? .
      H’mmm. A party composed of failures, chancers. Claiming all their Country’s problems, were due to outsiders or countrymen who disagreed. (Traitors to the Nation) Anybody?
      Mr Edwards has written that making fun of or disagreeing with Ukip means you “hate Britain” He has it seems gone to the police when his denial of a mediocre landscape gardening past (as opposed to polymath, scientist etc) was shown to be um, not the case. His Dear Leader has actually attempted to do this to the BBC because a journalist made a joke about how often he was in Thanet. It seems the Leader was told to push off.
      Cutting off other countries. Problems down to external foes or traitors. Legal action at every turn. “with us or against the country.”
      Wow, we can’t say we haven’t been warned. It would be pathetic if is wasn’t so toxic. This stuff really is worth opposing.. Like bindweed.

    • Sally

      Oh la la, high moral outrage in the
      RTT from one Sarah Meagher of Twickenham concerning Dr Watson’s “outrageous slur” of Mr Edwards in their letters page.
      A slur so terrible as not to be described possibly because repeating it would make Mr Edwards look silly all over again. There was something about the vehement calls for punishment if a candidate seems slighted which felt strangely familiar. One Google later, I wonder if this is the same Sarah Meagher , same address -lrecorded in a LBRUT list of candidates for election in May 2014?
      There she is, and, do you know, she was a UKIP candidate. I thought I recognised the approach.

    • I really object to the claimed association with the Gloriana campaign – he just wanted to attach himself, a real pain in the …!

    • Riversidevoter

      Was he actually at the Gloriana meetings? I assume I would remember him as I can’t believe he would not have spoken at considerable length, and conjured images of boxes of frogs….. Did he actually do anything not comparable with the several thousand residents who signed petitions, responded to the consultation, delivered leaflets, wrote to everyone they could think of? Or even just issued a well researched statement of common sense to assist the cause as Vince did.

      And clearly he has never met the average Twickers tiger parent or he would never have admitted to those grades….

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Ploughed my way through the link provided by Chris.
      Mr. Edwards favourite holiday destination:
      “Lake Balaton in Hungary – I have been going there since 1995, when it was under the control of the USSR”.
      Just out of pedantry didn’t the USSR breakup in 1991?

    • jbuzza

      You know it is May1st not April1st !!

    • Amir Tahir

      The threat of vaguely expressed ‘legal action’ against its critics has become such a common UKIP tactic in a variety of constituencies that it must result from either a combination of hypersensitivity and legal ignorance common to all their candidates or, alternatively, pre-election ‘guidance’ issued from UKIP Central bunker. I think I’d opt for the latter.
      This is what happened to the Green party activist who runs the Wembley Matters blog in Brent:
      http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/cease-and-desist-ukip-threat-against.html
      Given the alternative UKIP stars on offer, Twickerati readers may feel that Mr Edwards is not that bad after all.

    • A very dangerous UKIP candidate in the Welsh debates last night. Sounded so reasonable compared to the Green candidate (who gave a good impression of a crazy box of frogs). We need to take the viciousness of UKIP very seriously. Their fanaticism reminds me of newsreel film of the brown shirts marching in the early 1930’s.

    • George

      Good to hear UKIP threats to go to the police being aired on Have I Got News For You this evening. It’s clearly not restricted to Twickenham.

  13. nemesis

    Here is an interesting documentary about the 1966 election campaign;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p006df7k It captures the passion and engagement in politics at the time.
    What a stark contrast with politics today, with its carefully scripted, media controlled and sterile output. There maybe very minor, indiscernible differences between the main parties but the direction of travel is the same. Candidates being on message, towing the party line, avoiding anything too controversial – and for what? – a couple of percentage points in the endless polls.
    Whoever wins, it certainly wont be the people.