April 2008

Tue, 29 Apr
After a meeting on Portland in the morning, the rain began to fall. The wind was strong, too, and I suppose the combination of both, plus the fact I wanted to revisit the watch-keepers at the coastguard station, drew me to Portland Bill. After a welcome cup of coffee in the watch-tower, I drove down to the cottages on the Bill. And as I walked past what looked like a garage, I peered inside. There were three men, quite clearly fishermen, repairing their equipment. The oldest had a shock of white hair and piercing blue eyes. The next, aged about 50-odd, was enormous in every sense, powerfully built and very strong. He, too, had blue eyes, but they weren't quite so dominant in his broad, weatherbeaten face. The third man was younger, tall - about 6'6" - with a long angular face and again blue eyes.

After introducing ourselves, we began to chat. And I soon found myself totally enthralled by these three men. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I realised I was in the presence of three extraordinary people, united by a love of the sea. And, yes, you've guessed it. They were family: grandfather, father and son, working together, as their forebears once did hundreds of years before them. They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. And peering into theirs, I saw a contentment and happiness which any amount of wealth could never buy. After 15 minutes or so, I said my goodbyes and walked back out into the rain, feeling inspired. These men, this family, embody all that is good in our great country. And one of the many reasons I have stuck my head above the political parapet is to fight for and safeguard the values and traditions this family exemplifies.

Fri, 25 Apr
There's nothing like canvassing to find out what people's views are. I think if there were a general election now, Labour would sink beneath the waves, no doubt with a resounding cheer. All I can say to the thousands out there who want to see the end of this awful Government, is hang on. Your time is coming and this great country of ours can breathe a collective sigh of relief. In the meantime, it is vital that everyone votes in these local elections on Thursday. All our candidates are working hard to meet you all and to get their message across. You can trust the Conservatives and it is only our Party which can make the tough decisions and fight Labour for a fairer share of national funding.

Thu, 24 Apr
Our supper club was lucky enough to be addressed by the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP. He told the audience, during a 20 minute speech, that he was pleased by the way the Party was heading. He accused Labour of being incompetent, which everyone agreed with. Mr Dorrell's a busy man, and we were all grateful for his time and encouraging words.

Wed, 23 Apr
What a pleasure it was to host Theresa May MP, as she kindly came down to visit us here in South Dorset. We started the day outside Debenhams in Weymouth, where she met a number of councillors and candidates. All of us then chatted to residents as they filtered past on their various shopping errands. Then, as time was short, on we drove to Swanage, where again Theresa met some more aspiring local politicians and visited the day care centre, which has been the focus of so much attention recently. There was an impromptu opening ceremony, as the lovely garden at the back has never been formally opened.

Then, after a short drive to Purbeck District Council, we handed Theresa over to Nick King, my colleague in Poole. However, we met again later that afternoon with more than fifty local people, all campaigning to stop a new town being built at Lytchett. Theresa voiced everyone's concerns when she said the proper democratic process had been totally ignored by this Government, which is trying to impose thousands of houses on us in the Purbecks.
Theresa was wearing her customary and very stylish shoes, but somehow they complimented this highly talented lady and reminded us all that colour is so important in politics, where drudge and dreariness so often lurk openly in the park.