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Chris Galley

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Archive for 'Politics'

Saturday 17 April – Velkomin til Íslands

Given my taxi services to the Tory frontbench, I’ve been – let’s say – a bit more careful about keeping my car spick and span of late. One friend of mine saw it in the back of a regional TV news bulletin and rang me up: “Have you bought another new car?! It’s very shiny.” So last night [...]

Friday 9 April – Nick Herbert and Northumberland

One enormous privilege I have already had out of this election campaign has been to take shadow cabinet ministers around the area. For a number of reasons I was particularly pleased that Nick Herbert was able to visit Belsay and then Berwick, speaking at farmers’ meetings in both locations. Nick is the shadow secretary of state for [...]

Wednesday 7 April – the one and only

Today we finish off Otterburn and Tarset. The weather is very pleasant and I meet a few residents pottering around in their gardens, or farmers busy with lambing. I’ve been asking whether our leaflet is the first one to get out, and everytime we’ve beaten the competition, so far at least. One local character, when I [...]

Sunday 25 October – Open Primary

Well it was not my night at the Primary for Penrith and the Border in Penrith Mart. Congratulations to Rory Stewart for his victory, he’s got a fantastic seat to represent and I wish him well. It was an interesting experience for me, there are things that I can learn from it. I am (curiously) relieved rather than [...]

Friday 24 October – Final day on the road

The day ends at 8 pm, rather later than I had planned, with canvassing around Wigton and Caldbeck. In the last 10 days I’ve met 218 potential voters on the doorstep, though not all of them are able to devote 5 hours of their Sunday to the Primary – and I don’t blame them. I’ve [...]

Thursday 23 October – On the roof

Today’s picture is of Castle Sowerby church just by Hutton Roof. It’s quite an isolated and magic spot, with the view onto Carrock Fell behind. The church is dedicated to St. Kentigern, which is itself was unusual at least to my eyes.
The rest of the day was spent around Great Sakeld, I got very lost at one point even [...]

Wednesday 21 October – inevitable Highland cow photo

 This was indeed inevitable as a photo shoot, these have their home by Corby Hill. I’ve seen them before but they always been at the wrong end of the field, but not today. Other places on the SatNav today were Irthington, Warwick Bridge, Brampton, How, Castle Carrock, Lazonby, Patterdale, Penrith, Dacre and one of the Newbiggins [...]

Tuesday 20 October – Politics of the gutter

The phrase “politics of the gutter” is a popular one, it was most recently deployed over the Damian McBride affair (though I personally thought it was closer to the sewer). Here’s my spin on it. This photo is of my next door neighbour (4 miles away!), Dougie, at my farm:
His father used to be one [...]

Saturday 17 October – Bring back Sunday mail collections!

I had to get some material into the post today. Up here in the sticks the final Saturday collection - alright the only collection – is at 11:15 am, and it’s not unusual for it to be collected early. Right, I thought, I’m campaigning in Corby Hill later, so why not dash into Carlisle and post [...]

Wednesday 14 October – In the footsteps of William Whitelaw

The George is an august (in fact the august) hotel and watering hole in the centre of Penrith. The staff there, drawn from many nationalities, are particularly competent and friendly, the venue still harks back to an elegant past. The phone book on the reception desk is not the most up to date – in [...]

Thursday 8 October – midnight in Penrith Town Hall

Not a good time for the Conservatives, not a good time for our man, David Whipp, though he managed to hide his disappointment. The by-election votes were swiftly and efficiently counted by the staff of Eden Council, who got the result declared around 11:15 pm.
Liberal Democrats 387 – elected
Conservatives 157
BNP 102
Independent 58
Labour 26
Green 18.
The turn out was 31.8%, which [...]

Thursday 8 October – Penrith Rec.

An early start for me. This is what it is all about, the bottom line in politics:

This is the polling station on the Rec. in Castletown where I spent a somewhat chilly morning “telling”. This is the process of finding out who has voted and allows the parties to focus their efforts on getting non voters out, [...]

Wednesday 7 October – Penrith West – last day

Today was the final day of campaigning in the Eden District Council by-election for Penrith West. Before going on the stump I sat in on the Licensing Committee meeting in the Town Hall. The Committee Chairman, Cllr Roy Fisher went out of his way to make me welcome. It was actually particularly interesting on a [...]

Monday 5 October – campaigning in Penrith

Today’s campaign hero is Cooper, who we met this afternoon when campaigning for David Whipp in Penrith West.

Cooper is a Bearded Dragon, and according to his owner, mainly interested in food and sleep, in roughly that order. It was certainly a beautiful day for it, and we ended up outside a café drinking tea and [...]

Tuesday 29 September – campaigning in Penrith

Today I was on the road with David Whipp, who is standing for the Eden District Council by-election in Penrith West. It’s not an easy seat, it was held by an Independent beforehand, but judging from the postive noises on the door-step, David has an excellent chance of winning.
Earlier I had an excellent home-made quiche [...]

Monday 7 September – London

oday and tomorrow I’m down in London for some meetings. Tonight I met up with Rob Hayward, who I have known for something like 15 years and a friend of his, Simon Jones. Rob used to be Conservative MP for Bristol Kingswood, though I know him more from a shared love of rugby; Simon is [...]

Friday 4 September – rain tries to stop play

The rain never seems to stop for long. It seems to have been going on for weeks now, and it’s none too warm outside. I hope it’s not too late for an Indian summer but it’s not looking good.
By way of an illustration. This is a footbridge over a burn that cuts through one of [...]