Very very exciting times

Yesterday was a very proud day for me.  Theresa May came to Feltham in the morning and we went round parts of Feltham North.

In the evening, the Party held a rally here in Feltham at the Assembly Hall.  I stood ten feet tall when David Cameron congratulated the team on a energising campaign.  It was a moment I will not forget.

Another high profile Guest comes today.  Exciting times and all to play for.  Back to the campaign!

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13 Responses to “Very very exciting times”

  1. Mark Savage Says:

    Well they kept that very quiet Mark, didn’t they- at least to anybody outside party circles.
    I’m sure it was a proud occasion for you and all party supporters, but what about ordinary voters? There’s something rather concerning about the photo above- even given that it was taken at a Conservative rally and not a ‘public’ election event.
    As our present parliamentary system stands, we vote for a member- which in the case of Feltham and Heston you obviously hope will be you. Despite the way the media try to spin it otherwise, we do not and never have had a system to vote for a Prime Minister. Maybe the debates mark a sea change but constitutionally for the present, the ordinary elector does not vote Brown, Cameron or Clegg. He/She votes (in the case of our area) Bowen, Keen or Wilson, or A N Other.

    Why then was your party rally, according to the photo above, full of presidential-style paraphernalia proclimaing the merits of “Cameron 2010”. For goodness sake, this is not a U S Style presidential election, is it, and you’re a bit late with the primaries as your party elected him several years ago! Wouldn’t your rally have looked better, to outsiders at least, with a more balanced and less personality-focussed tone? Conservative 2010, or “Tory ’10” maybe. But “Cameron 2010”? Pass the sick bag, Alice, as the late Sir John Junor would have said!

    For many years, the principle of prima inter pares for our PM has been the case, and I presume you still support cabinet government, Mark? I hope lionising leaders is not set to be the face of the future under a future Conservative administration- or any other for that matter. After all, Her Majesty the Queen is still the head of state as far as I know.

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      I see some irony in your posting in that I have formed the impression that the person representing the constituency is far less of a concern to you than the issues, in your case electoral reform.

      I will continue to stress that what people are deciding is who should be the MP for this constituency. Which one will be the hardest working and the most local? It was me who stressed these points at the hustings.

      There was no way that I was going to announce the visit in advance for security reasons. Personally, I stand ten feet tall that the Party selected the Feltham Assembly Hall to hold a rally. I am also proud that Theresa May and David Cameron paid tribute to the campaign the Conservatives are running here in Feltham and Heston.

      Best of all, if elected, when this is over I will continue to make sure that Feltham and Heston is no longer London’s forgotten constituency. All year round and not just at election time.

  2. Mark Savage Says:

    Where’s the irony, Mark? The person representing the constituency is very important to me- but you suggest an over-inflated opinion of yourself, I’m sorry to say, if you neglect the intelligent right of choice of the voter to consider that alongside myriad other issues.

    Under the present system, voting in a General Election is a very complex process really for the conscientious voter. Do you choose on grounds of conscience- your own and that of your previous and prospective MPs? On this basis, I’m afraid I’ve definitively ruled Mr Keen out now- I’m not so keen on him, in other words, as I might have been on first meeting.

    On the other hand, you have said many things both at the hustings and elsewhere that I respect- but then so did Manira Wilson.

    You seem to be fighting your campaign very much relying on strong local support for what you’ve done so far. While that is important and honourable, it’s not the whole story.

    Everybody has to start somewhere, as did you. Manira Wilson started in Twickenham, lives locally enough to have some knowledge of our constituency’s affairs- which surely you would acknowledge are in many respects similar to our neighbouring borough- and has also been a local councillor. I’m not for one moment expecting you to agree with me on this, but she deserves as much as a chance- even if not elected- to be fairly considered by constituents here as yourself, I think.

    So then there’s the third choice and issue: party policies nationally, and hence though I’d prefer it to be otherwise, the party leaders. Would you not acknowledge, Mark, that what central government decides on issues affecting the whole nation, is what people ultimately vote on, unless- and I suppose you could have the Martin Bell effect here- there has been some terrible scandal or dis-satisfaction with a previous incumbent, as over the expenses issue, which causes people to want to get rid of them and elect somebody else. Most independent websites I’ve looked at so far, votematch.com and so forth, all seem to suggest that Feltham is not a marginal, and that Labour will still take it, regrettable as that may be.

    I’m left then with two choices. On some issues of conscience that matter to me most, your party would probably score, as would I think you as an individual. But on issues of ability to serve locally, coupled with a wider, global perspective, from this voter’s perspective at least, you have failed to convince that Manira doesn’t have the potential to be just as good an MP as you.

    For instance, You said some things on international issues last week, but you could have said a lot more. And Manira in her election literature has mentioned a lot more about her other interests, in having worked for charities and so forth. Of course, you can’t help your choice of career made for sensible family reasons, but it would be nice to hear something more from you on issues that I suppose one could say are less parochial.

    You can’t say anybody will be the hardest working until you can show evidence they won’t- do you know much about what Councillor Mrs Wilson has or hasn’t done in her borough? Who’s to say she wouldn’t do the same for us. Personally, I think you’ve pushed this aspect just a little too hard, at the expense of knowing where you really stand on wider issues, and particularly where you differ with your party’s views.

    You’ve fought a very hard campaign, surely Mark. Your promises are great. I suppose you might argue you’re never going to have a chance to prove them until you’re elected. The problem is, under present arrangements, I’m not convinced that your party colleagues will not do as much damage in some areas of policy, as you do good in others. That’s the worrying caveat for me.

    So, you have, what just under 22 hours to convince this voter- and maybe any others reading who have the same sort of doubts, especially those who like me are not natural Tory voters,- or are you still allowed to canvas through your blog even on polling day?

    All the best anyway, thanks for some interesting debates here and I’m sorry for hogging your blog with my own comments, but it’s only because you raise such interesting, if controversial at times, topics. Keep up that good work, whatever happens.

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      “Where’s the irony, Mark? The person representing the constituency is very important to me- but you suggest an over-inflated opinion of yourself, I’m sorry to say, if you neglect the intelligent right of choice of the voter to consider that alongside myriad other issues.”

      I was merely being honest about the impression that you had given me previously. You did not give me the impression that the local candidate factor was a high priority for you. I regret deeply that you believe that I have an over-inflated opinion of myself. I have never had a problem with people really considering policies, indeed I visited someone earlier who wanted to ask more questions.

      “You seem to be fighting your campaign very much relying on strong local support for what you’ve done so far. While that is important and honourable, it’s not the whole story.”

      I have made a big thing about being the local candidate. But I have also said that my top two priorities are in supporting a Government that controls immigration and gets to grip with the debt and deficit problems caused by Labour.

      “you have failed to convince that Manira doesn’t have the potential to be just as good an MP as you.”

      But to what extent have I really tried to do this? I think that she is a very intelligent person.

      “You can’t say anybody will be the hardest working until you can show evidence they won’t- do you know much about what Councillor Mrs Wilson has or hasn’t done in her borough? Who’s to say she wouldn’t do the same for us.”

      You asked so here is a comparison:
      Here is my attendance record since I was returned as your Councillor in 2006.
      Here is Councillor Munira Wilson’s record in Richmond since she was elected at the same election.
      Here is my profile on the Hounslow website.
      Here is her profile on Richmond’s. I think that mine has a more accessible look about e.g. phone numbers and contact address.

  3. Gaham de wey peters Says:

    Well Mark , i think you’ve hit the nail on the head ( sorry Savage ) they kept that quiet !!! was Mr Cameron embarrassed about coming to Feltham ??? , your not going to get people looking at his party if all he does is ” pop ” in and just disappear , case of going through the motion’s me thinks !!!!…

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      Graham,

      I think I have covered why it could not be announced in advance. He is covering the whole country so I am very proud that he wanted to come to Feltham.

      And, I will be in Feltham now and in the future.

      Mark.

  4. Mark Savage Says:

    Thank you Graham. I think I’m going to have to change my user name to my middle name on Councillor Bowen’s Blog (it’s Anton) to avoid confusion! It’s nice to know I have some support for my own views here.

    While security concerns are obviously understandable in the sad climate of the 21st Century world, I think it’s a mean excuse to deprive the wider Feltham populace of a chance to question the party leader. Indeed, as I’ve made more than clear in my own postings, the key conflict for me is between Mark Bowen’s merits as a committed local councillor, and the policies of his party as a whole which will have a far greater impact on our lives.

    It’s a pity that the ‘security’ issue- which could have been dealt with, I don’t buy Mark’s cop-out on that at all- denied the rest of us the chance to meet and question the top man, three days before we place our cross. The local and national party’s failure to provide that opportunity speaks volumes. Interestingly enough, we had the last of our election communications from the Conservatives just a few hours before the Cameron rally. I bet they could have added a stop press to those- as they did about the special council meeting last week- about the rally with no problems. I would definitely have attended.

    As to DC being embarrassed about coming to Feltham, perhaps it’s the memory of his unfortunate slur on the town as a whole a while back, when he was trying to refer to a teenage offender ending up in the YOI, but of course referred to “Feltham”.

    Sadly, the negative connotations that so many people have about our town were all too evident there in the leader of the opposition, even if it was probably unintentional. His own “Bigotgate” moment, perhaps? To give Mark his due, I’m sure he would do everything he could to counter the poor impressions of Feltham, but indeed it did seem to be going through the motions. Or as the pictures might suggest, perhaps premature triumphalism?

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      I reject any accusation that I cop-out of anything. I have always demonstrated that I will face the music even when people disagree with me.

      I know about him coming 36 hours or so before the event. These types of events are arranged last minute and I am so proud that Feltham was selected. Why would my Leader come here if he had not time for the place?

      We were not triumphalist. I think we can win here and I am working flat out to try and make that happen as the local candidate.

      Boris came to the area this morning and loads of local people were happy to meet him and shake his hand.

  5. Mark Savage Says:

    There’s a world of difference though between people liking high profile politicians as personalities and actually voting for them, or their party, on the day of an election, as I’m sure you well know.

    I find Boris Johnson a highly entertaining man; maybe I should get out more, as I’m sure you would have offered me the chance to press the flesh with him this morning, Mark, had I been there. He’s been a nationally-recognised journalist, writing for both a venerable magazine (The Spectator) and his party’s ‘house journal’, as it were, the Torygraph. He’s got a very colourful past, including links to royalty, is not afraid to send himself up with something of the bumbling fool about him and he has the most wonderful way with words at times. He’s in danger of rapidly becoming a national treasure- but in the traditon of Jeeves and Wooster rather than Churchill and Attlee.

    None of these things, though, make his party the ideal one to be running the country, though Boris has done a better job than many feared over the last two years as Mayor of London.

    Why? Could it be something to do with the fact that he was elected under a fairer voting system more representative of people’s views? Could it be that as a leader, he seems to have a lot more accountability to the Greater London Assembly and thus to voters, than any Prime Minister or PM candidate seems to want to concede?

    This election has been absolutely fascinating, if only for the number of trees it has felled. I really couldn’t believe it when two further “please vote for me” pleas came through from GB today in the post. At least your party seem to have been a little bit more environmentally responsible, Mark, with less from you.

    You don’t cop out? But 36 hours would have been plenty of time, through the internet, to publicise David Cameron’s visit to Feltham. At least we’ve had a hustings this time, but were it not for this blog and the Hounslow Chronicle, I would not have seen any evidence of you in person this last month- just your leaflets Nor any real opportunity to debate issues and find out what you think about them.

    A proper campaign is about politicians learning where they’re getting it wrong as well as right- yes, even during the campaign and even being prepared to change, or at least concede that people might have a case.

    Sadly, as long as your party can laud a mayor elected by a fairer voting system- though not perfect- but not allow the same privilege to national voters, you can’t earn my full respect.

  6. Gaham de wey peters Says:

    Well said Mr Savage , ( sorry nearly said Lilly ) ” security ” , another cop out , if he can’t annouce it as a candidate , whats it going to be like as PM , a bit of a row is worth millions in publicity !!!!, and on a observation Mr Bowen , the term , ” my leader ” reminds me of the Spitting Image days of Mrs T , with the Norman Tebbitt character saying ” Mein Leader ” it does put me on edge , just an observation as i said ……

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      He is the Leader of the Party of which I am a member. I am really sorry that you have formed such a low opinion of me.

      No hard feelings on my part. I will do my very best for everyone if elected.

  7. alan Says:

    To be fair, Mr Savage – I did discover the hustings at the Pakistani Welfare Centre from a source other than the Chronicle or Mark Bowen’s blog.

  8. Mark Savage Says:

    Re your last comment, Mark. It’s been a engaging campaign which I hope you have found informative as to local opinion, in ways that will help you on the no doubt very steep learning curve, if you get elected today.

    Enjoy the day- you’ll need to keep that coffee pot on the go.

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