The General Election 2017

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BBC logo 2017

I know the title of this blog post may not appeal to all, but I feel passionate that politics is something we should all value, its our decision making process and reflects the values and hopes of our communities.  This is not a party political post, I never share my vote with anyone, but simply my reflections on this year’s campaign.  I did a similar post in 2015 and have found it interesting to read back.

This has been a fragmented campaign and not followed the themes I had expected, it has not been an endorsement or rejection of Brexit whilst the domestic themes of health and education have not featured as highly as social care and policing.  There have been two terror attacks in the campaign which have disrupted and altered how campaigns have developed.  However I feel all campaigns have felt quite lacklustre and dull.  Labour under Corbyn have offered new, promising policies but there is nervousness about costings.  May has played a poor campaign, the longer it goes on the less she appears the strong and stable leader she  portrays herself as and the campaign lacks substance.  The Liberal Democrats were embroiled in a debate from the start about Farron’s religious views and have never recovered whilst UKIP are only a very small player now.

 As I try to do every election, I attended my constituency’s hustings, this is such a brilliant opportunity to witness politics and the questions were really thoughtful and relevant.  The hustings takes place in our town’s largest community building and is always full.  We are not a marginal seat, one of the safest conservative seats in the country but there is respectful and considered debate.  Interestingly, our mp who works hard for his constituency, disagreed with many conservative actions and policies because of their direct, negative impact on his constituency as a very large rural area.  On issues such as education funding, NHS cuts, public transport links, affordable housing there was a consensus among the panel representing conservatives, labour, liberal democrats and greens.   In fact there were few opposing views in the hustings except on Brexit, where our mp was a prominent leave campaigner and the Lib Dem candidate rejected the party line.  The standout star of the evening was the Green candidate, he wowed us all and gave us a glimpse of what politics could look like if we moved away from the two party alternation of power.  His ideas on health, housing,  education were superb and his performance has really had me reflecting on our political system and how we could develop a more collaborative approach to politics.  This collaboration was something highlighted by all the candidates to address the real issues facing our country, most notably social care.  I was impressed by the Labour candidate too, I think she may be a rising star in the party just not in our constituency.

So now a little prediction for fun!  I don’t think the political map will change significantly in this election.  The opinion polls have been varied and I think the conservatives will be the largest party but not with the landslide they were predicting at the start of the campaign.  I don’t see significant gains for the liberal democrats and think the labour party will actually be even more confused about its future, Corbyn has had a positive campaign and he does have a vision and philosophy which he has shared far more than May. He is a marmite leader but the Labour party needs a leader who unifies.  In my little opinion, we’ll have another conservative government but I also think there will be another election before the next scheduled in 2022.   I’ll update this post with the results after my all nighter on Thursday, I love election night (well not Brexit night!)

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Hustings 2017
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Concorde, beach days and election hustings #littleloves

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I love half term and this has been a great week, brimming with sunshine, family and days out.  There’s been, by coincidence rather than deliberate, a military theme to our days out, we visited the Fleet Air Museum in Yeovil where the highlight was an original Concorde which you could go in and imagine yourself as a jet setter of the 70s and 80s and today we’ve been at the Historic Dock Yard in Portsmouth visiting the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, a submarine and so much more.  I hope to write up a post but both are really worth a trip.  In between our days out we also managed a couple of visits to the beach and my first sea swim of the year

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I have read a number of Andy Cope books for professional reasons (he writes a series on how to be A Brilliant Teacher/NQT/Middle Leader)  He is an amusing and engaging writer so I was keen to read his latest book on emotional intelligence written with Amy Bradley.  Its a very easy, witty and thoughtful read.  Andy is a brilliant follow on Twitter @beingbrilliant giving a little positivity with a touch of realism.

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On Wednesday evening I did not watch the political leaders debate on television but our constituency hustings in a local church hall.   I studied politics at university and still am a bit of a political geek.  Whilst I am disillusioned by our political system at present and the effect of the media in trying to caricature our politicians and polarise opinion, our local election hustings is the highlight of the campaign.  It is always so well attended by a true cross section of our town and allows a respectful, informed discussion of the important issues locally and nationally.  This year we have the conservative, labour, liberal democrats and green parties contesting the seat and all candidates attended the meeting.  For me the candidate who stood out the most was the green party candidate, he was superb, passionate about the NHS, education, housing all such key issues.  The candidates all agreed that there were certain issues that should not be partisan but need a collaborative approach if only that attitude could be repeated at Westminster.

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With trips out I’ve been making lots of picnics this week, rolls, salads, dips etc.. I’ve also been making fruity puddings, lots of soft fruits are in season ( and on offer) and our first home grown strawberries are ready.  Our family favourite is Eton Mess and I’ve made it this week with two willing helpers.

Whilst its not my make, we’ve stayed at my mum’s this week and she has made Little Miss a beautiful skirt and me and Little Miss matching shorts!  She’s taking dress making classes and we are reaping the rewards.

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Shorts and t-shirts – yeah!

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With visits to two military museums, I’ve been hearing and learning a lot about military history this week.  I think the submarine presentation was the most memorable with some really interesting facts and some quite gross toilet stories.  To access the submarine museum you have to make a short boat trip,where the skipper and his mate were so funny with their observations of Portsmouth.

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So now we are approaching the maddest half term of them all, school trips, club trips, sports day, special events and family celebrations, organisation is key but this is always my favourite time of the year and I’m looking forward to the madness.

Thank you to Morgana and all her contributors for their #littleloves

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