“Tory MP Philip Davies lavishes praise on Esther McVey – but misses crucial detail” (they live together – mostly)

“Philip Davies lavished praise on the Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey for her work on Universal Credit. He told MPs: “I know better than most how hard the Secretary of State worked to get the support from the Chancellor in the Budget. “Can I commend her for doing that.”

But the Tory MP failed to mention that they are not just parliamentary colleagues. The pair have long been close, arriving at a Tory fundraiser in February arm-in-arm and leaving hand-in-hand.

In March Ms McVey was quoted in the Daily Mail saying: “We’re partners but we haven’t done any official commitment stuff… yet.” It’s understood that they have had an on-off relationship for around five years and live together in London. …”


“Axe Valley healthcare campaingers launch website”

“The campaign to safeguard healthcare provision across the Axe Valley has taken a step forward with the launch of a new website.

Progress on Seaton Area Health Matters’ action plan to maintain and improve medical services in the area can now be followed at


where residents can also express their views.

The group has identified a list of priorities to safeguard healthcare provision across the local area. A ten point plan was

agreed following a series of meetings between representatives from statutory and voluntary health groups along with local councillors.

These are:

* Taking an area approach for the Axe Valley, not just Seaton.

* Improving communication and co-ordination between voluntary organisations.

* Maintaining and extending NHS services in GP practices and at Seaton Hospital.

* Meeting the challenges in older age groups – addressing chronic diseases, loneliness and isolation.

* Meeting the challenges in younger age groups – drug and alcohol addiction, housing, poverty.

* Providing mental health support.

* Tackling transport difficulties to access services.

* Promoting health and wellbeing.

* Communicating what is available.

* Dealing with co-ordination and ownership to tackle the challenges.

Steering group chairman, former Seaton Town Mayor Cllr Jack Rowland said the new website would help them to keep people informed and also receive their input.

He told The Midweek Herald: “Broadly the challenges involve trying to establish a health hub to extend the number of clinics and services at the Seaton Community Hospital site and co-ordinating the information to show the range of voluntary groups involved in providing health and wellbeing support in the area.

“We welcome input on these important issues and the website enables this to happen.”

* The new website will also post news about its discussions with the Royal Devon and Exeter Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group as well as news from council meetings at town, district and county level.”


What has happened to our politics and politicians (of all three main parties)?

Letter in Independent”:

“Can any UK government get it right? Politicians appear unable to achieve good outcomes on the things that really matter. Only the most self-compromising and self-serving appear to get to the more senior positions and stay there – Gove, Hunt, Johnson, Grayling, Williamson et al. Most are able to add plain vicious or nasty to their approach.

Labour appears unable to pull a robust, costed, action plan together and are more tainted than most with the brush of incompetent fiscal policy and business/financial management. The Lib Dems are just irrelevant most of the time as their “good” policies are undeliverable.

Most government ministers engage in cynical fiscal and financial sleight of hand while smiling wolfishly and proclaiming, yet again, that we have, or will never have had it so good. (The latter may be true, but we need to feel good for it to ring true.)

We keep being promised good politics and yet it never seems even close. Even MPs are abandoning PMQs. The disgraceful budget fix on betting machines, promises of looking after hard-working people, of proper funding for everything from the NHS to schools and social care; building houses, roads, and railways; and dealing with drugs, street crime, hate crime, and illegal immigrants, all suffer from saying one thing and doing another to avoid or reduce the perceived benefit – or, simply, the truth.

Conning the public appears to be seen as acceptable practice. Under-promising and over-delivering appears to have been deemed a mugs game. Decades of this attitude and action has seen the public and public institutions respond in kind – becoming cynical, self-serving, immoral and quasi-criminal, if not actually so. Politics, while supposedly championing fair treatment, has become covertly immoral and promotes hatred instead of tolerance, extremism instead of compromise.

The politics of a UK-style Brexit, when compared to the calm, clear and firm EU approach, is symptomatic – we are combative and threatening when intelligent, cool, calm and pragmatic heads are needed.

I am a Remainer, but could be persuaded by sensible and reasoned argument to Leave (much as I would prefer the EU to change a bit) except for the bile spouted by the “just (expletive deleted) do it” Brexiteers. It’s the ignorance and seemingly blind self-serving stupidity of UK politics that exasperates me.

Our car industry and other industrial productivity is in decline (not wholly due to external strategic decisions in the case of Jaguar Land Rover) and the financial and services sector is going to be damaged by any deal, no matter how “good”.

We refuse to act with moral strength over any matter, citing financial necessity. Instead of acting to remove the stranglehold, we shrug and let it continue while that further degrades our standing. Nowhere can be far enough away to let these things slide in this modern world – you are either decent, or not.

We are told, authoritatively, that we have 12 years to act before millions suffer dreadfully from climate change, with hardly a comment from our leadership and the departments concerned. Same old kick-it-down-the-road, let-someone-else-deal-with-it “leadership”.

We are told that domestic energy prices will be capped, when poorer users just need some help to swap and the companies concerned are making reasonable margins, while the fossil fuel industry is allowed to fleece us and make record profits as the government freezes fuel tax again – enabling further profit to made, just as lifting stamp duty thresholds made no difference to house costs for buyers.

Fiscal policy should be promoting less profit in bad things and making good things worth doing. Throwing money at public institutions is not the answer I seek. Every part of society should be fairly treated against sensible outcomes, and efficiency and improvement rewarded. Taxes must rise, but as little as possible. Gold-plated public service packages and pensions have to go, along with private sector executive super-deals. Free market economics are good, but with sensible limits to provide a balanced reward system for everyone in profitable companies, and a decent safety net for those that need it.

Companies where principals take most of the cake without sharing can simply be taxed to avoid eight figure payouts. No one needs more than £10m over the life of a contract or period of employment without sharing.

On a positive note, politicians such as Tracey Crouch who treat their brief seriously and honourably are to be applauded. If more politicians and civil servants acted honourably we wouldn’t run out of good politicians and managers, we would develop better practices. You reap what you sow.

As the centenary of the First World War is played out it seems not much has changed in practice – the British people are being led by some of the most donkey-like and immoral leaders imaginable, while our “lions” are sacrificed for principles that are being overtaken by wiser countries, and we fail to deliver on our talk of global leadership.

Time for a change.

Michael Mann Shrewsbury”

And Swire has yet another job!

His current register of interests adds:

“From 11 October 2018 to 11 October 2020, Senior Adviser giving strategic advice to Brennan and Partners Ltd, of Wilmington House, High St, East Grinstead, RH19 3AU; a provider of strategic investment advice for the Latin American market. Fees will be based on a percentage of profit and on my contribution to the business. Expected time commitment: between 2 and 4 hours per quarter. (Registered 26 October 2018).”

What a busy boy our MP is! He now has FOUR jobs listed as well as his (non trading) investment with Lord Barker (see post below)


Emerging markets, Latin America, the Middle East, the Maldives, Commonwealth Investments, airports, British Honey (remember that £15,000 pot he auctioned at the controversial Tory Fundraiser!):


which was also where David Cameron “playfully slapped his (Swire’s) bottom:

Aren’t we lucky to have him!