I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford.
It’s of particular significance for me because the constituency covers where I grew up, and to all intents and purposes is home. I was born in Pontefract hospital, played football as a teenager across the towns of Knottingley, Castleford and Normanton (in the process achieving my greatest sporting accolade, Altofts U15’s Opposition player of the Season’ award*) and until moving to Harrogate in January 2008, I lived there.
In a week or so I’ll be moving back to Altofts but the campaign will be kicking off before then - I’ll be in Knottingley with our candidate for the local elections, Jon Wadey, all day and then spending the evening in Pontefract Conservative Club, enjoying a beer with the members.
If you’d like to get involved in the campaign, do feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and there will soon be a campaign website up and running, as well as a Facebook group. You can also keep upto date with what I’m getting upto via twitter - www.twitter.com/nickpickles
*At the time, I was playing in nets and it’s fair to say we didnt have a very good season. Despite losing pretty much every game by quite a few goals, I apparently saved enough chances for opposition managers to pick me as the best player on our team more often than any of my team mates. I decided to move to defence after that season, playing centre half or full back, believing it was best to hang up my gloves on a high point.
After what feels like a fairly hectic January, I thought I’d catch up with my blogging on two of Westminster’s current hot topics - topics which in the real world, nobody really cares about.
Much has been made of Gordon Brown’s desire to bring in the ‘Alternative Vote’ system of proportional* representation (*may actually be less proportionate than the current system) and how it is important after the expenses scandal.
Equally, Al Campbell has been getting very excited about the questions being asked about Lord Ashcroft’s tax status. He tweeted this morning it was a ‘scandal brewing nicely’
Yet I’ll be honest - after nearly four years canvassing people in Wakefield and assorted places around Yorkshire, neither of these issues has ever been mentioned more than once or twice. But you’d be forgiven for listening to the politicians on the news, particularly Labour ones, they were the most important things ever.
The problem is simple - too many in Westminster, and seemingly those in Labour’s high command, seem to think the public are stupid.
It’s been a little while since I last blogged, in part due to the work I’ve been doing on a paper for the Conservative Technology Forum. Here’s a draft of the introduction, and it’d be interesting to hear feedback on the direction I’ve taken.
Basically, the paper - ‘Control Alt Delete’ - is looking at the role of technology, Government IT and the internet at a time of substantial economic pressure and after a decade of some pretty piss-poor IT projects undertaken by Labour.
So, here’s the introduction - let me know what you think. It’s just a draft at this stage, and definitely is *not* Conservative Party Policy, but any feedback would be appreciated