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My first Conservative Party Conference

My first Conservative Party Conference

This week I attended my first ever Conservative Party Conference (for that matter, my first ever political conference). As a civil servant, these had been strictly off limits, a banned political activity as mysterious and transgressive as they come, so it was with particular excitement that I headed up to Birmingham on Saturday. Some people, like me, may have absorbed a number of myths about the Conference, based on media reporting; namely, that it is expensive, that it is overly…

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Today’s Events – Reflections from a Leave Voter

Today’s Events – Reflections from a Leave Voter

I spent most of Sunday trying to see the Chequers Brexit agreement in the best positive light. The deal seemed a long way from what I would have liked to see in a Brexit – which, as I’ve written before, would be some form of FTA arrangement. It ceded far too much control to Brussels – and that was even before the negotiations begin, in which no doubt the position would be compromised further. But I was conscious that I…

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Happy Birthday, NHS

Happy Birthday, NHS

Happy Birthday, NHS! I’m proud to celebrate the 70th anniversary of one of Britain’s best and most brilliant institutions. The NHS is absolutely fantastic. I’ve personally been fortunate enough in my health that I’ve not needed much from the NHS beyond childhood vaccinations and the mending of a broken finger, but every other member of my immediate family, and many of my friends, owe their lives to it. I don’t normally talk about my family on this blog, but I’ll…

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Democracy in Action

Democracy in Action

I attended my first election counting on Thursday evening. If you’ve never been to one, it’s a sight to see. Utterly simple yet incredibly effective; a community coming together to provide one of the most important public goods that we know of: democratic government. There must have been close to 200 people in the hall that night: counters, the returning officer, candidates and observers, all working through the night. The counters are (usually) employees of the local council, whilst the…

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