A few weeks ago a good friend in the Conservatives asked me to run under their banner in the local elections and I didn't laugh right in his face.
My original excursion into politics was in 2001, when I joined the Conservatives because I was so angry about the Victoria Climbie thing but then I left them in 2005 because:
a) I got fed up of politics and
b) I got fed up of the Conservatives (mind you I was just as fed up of the other lot).
When, a few weeks ago, I was invited back to the treadmill, I wasn't any better disposed to the political life but there is so much sh*t going on in this borough that I decided I couldn't ignore it any more. I don't fit that well into a Party mold but seeing as the Conservatives are the only group really serious about opposition in this borough and seeing as I am an Angry Old Woman, I decided that *someone* has to do something. Don't talk to me about the LibDems. The place for nodding dogs is in the back of the car, not in the Council chamber.
*If you want to follow me on Twitter, the address is <@LoveHarringay>
*If you want to get in touch with me by phone, leave a message with Tottenham Conservatives on 020 8374 6305. I'll get back to you. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If you want to discuss political theory, ring the LSE.
And from now on, you can be as suspicious as you want about anything I say.
I and my two running-mates, Sean Rivers and Massimo Rossini (NB--Rivers, Rivlin & Rossini make The Three Rs, which all good Conservatives support) will be putting out a leaflet soon.
The local party have agreed to let us write up our own stuff, so we are actually going to be working hard on it, ourselves. At least take a look when it lands on your doormat.
Don't be ridiculous, of course I'll reply.
But you'll have to give me a bit of time on the matter of schools because this whole education thing has become so Byzantine I will have to do some research. I do know though that the education sell-off began with Labour--who started the ball rolling by charging students to go to university. I went to university against my parents' wishes and for sure I wouldn't have been able to write like this, if I had been thrown on to their mercy when it came to fees. They wouldn't have shelled out a penny to educate me (quote from my mother: "why bother? however much you know, you'll end up washing dirty nappies"). I'll bet there are a lot of girls from similarly patrician families who have missed out on higher education since the Labour government removed their possibility of escape from parents who spend their resources educating their sons. My brother, btw, went to medical school--oh yes, I know all about that stuff and I am disgusted with the Conservatives for not revoking it. However, I can make one point off the cuff about education and Tories--Barnet schools have for years been way better than Haringey ones, and that is for the least as well as the most privileged. If I had been really strapped for cash when my kids were small, I'd have moved to Barnet (so that's another reason for 'poor families' to get out of the borough). Whatever they are doing over in horrible old Barnet, it must be something right. I'm not sure about the statistics but I think it possible that Haringey education has improved over the past few years, too, with the new system. But as I said, I shall seek out some fax'nfiggurs and we'll have a look.
As for the bedroom tax, I did see the point of the principle because if you are being accommodated by relying on other people to pay for you, you should be polite about how much money you take from them. On the other hand I have read some pretty nasty stories about the application of the rules so they definitely need adjusting and I am all in favour of people having at least one spare bedroom.
In most circumstances I would ask if you are happy now, but somehow I don't think you sound like the sort of person who will ever be happy.
You really don't have the first idea about Conservative Party policy on anything do you? Do you know that the Tories are opposed to free tertiary education? Your ignorance is unbelievable......
No, Mr. Foxe, *your* ignorance is unbelievable. *My* ignorance is unpredictable.
lydia, you dont seem to know what you are talking about. Haringeys schools are improving massively year on year. Gladesmore Community School, for example, has been consistantly outstanding for the past 3 ofstead reports at least and is in poorest part of the borough. You got fed up with politics and ended up a conservative? flippant to say the least.
Let's see, "Haringey schools have been improving"--I think I said that, too. The past three OFSTED (not "ofstead", do concentrate) reports have been good for the past three years. That's great! I love it!
Now let's think of when these improvements started. About four years ago?
Umm...wasn't that when the Consevatives got elected?
Do concentrate lydia, its simple maths. OFSTEDs take place every 4 years, at least the past 3 results have been outstanding and the previous ones good so the improvements have been on an upward trajectory for at least 12 years. needing to spell check on forums to try and make someone look silly isn't clever. It's smug and patronising, like the Tory party.
No, I used to be an English teacher -- I can't stop myself correcting really bad mistakes like writing "ofstead" instead of OFSTED. However you obviously did not notice I controlled myself with the other mistakes you made, which I put down to the heat of your passion.
Let's look at it this way-you are knee-jerk reflexive in your antagonism to me simply because I have thrown in my lot with the Tories. Anything I say or do will be interpreted by you as in some way evil.
Unproductive as I find this attitude, you are entitled to it. But let's not waste the precious time that both of us have on this planet in pointless circular arguments.
Not at all, I was refering to your comment about how Barnet schools were 'way better' than Haringey schools and letting you know how great our schools actually are.
Your role here is not to correct the mistakes of adults - instead, focus on the content of what is said. Correcting them is patronising.
And I write this as a CURRENT English teacher with a desire to enable others to communicate as accurately as possible. However, I do so without trying to score points from my students, as you just did with Sharon.
You used to be an English teacher?
From your initial post:
"a) I got fed up of politics and
b) I got fed up of the Conservatives (mind you I was just as fed up of the other lot)."
You got fed up WITH politics and WITH the Conservatives* and WITH the other lot.
* I'm not surprised
James, we have a tacit moratorium on singling out grammatical mistakes to permit a level playing field. Otherwise, I would have pointed out to Dawnage that the accepted locution is " to score points off my students " rather than " from " which makes it sound as if she's in a popularity contest. So, I'll refrain