Tories “paying for Google ads to lead people away from negative ‘dementia tax’ stories”

“The Conservatives are buying up Google ads to stop people reading about the controversy around its “dementia tax”.

The party has come under huge pressure over its new care plan, which will see older people have to pay for the services they use. The controversial policy has been called a dementia tax, since it means people who need care as they get older will have to pay far more than they did before.

Now the party appears to be attempting to limit that controversy by stopping people reading about it. It is spending probably thousands of pounds to keep people from reading about the widespread opposition to the party – and encourage them to click on its own website instead.”

Ads are being placed at the top of Google searches for “dementia tax” to direct people onto a special page on the Tory website.

Underneath the ad shows an array of stories about the dementia tax, all of them negative. The three top stories at the time of publication was a piece in The Guardian reporting that Theresa May is “under pressure” over the plan, a Financial Times report on the fact that senior Tories were “kept in the dark” over the dementia tax and an article in The Independent on Liberal Democrat claims that nine out of 10 homes would be sold to fund care costs under the policy.

The Google ads are unusual in taking on the terms defined by Labour, which first referred to the policy as a dementia tax. The Tories have mostly referred to the policy as its “social care plans” – which is the way it is defined when people click through on the ads.

The ads presumably reflect growing concern that the dementia tax is losing the Tories votes. The page attempts to stem those concerns, arguing that the policy is required because the country is getting older and claims that the policy emerged because the Tories “have chosen to act, in the national interest”.

It has been blamed in part for the shrinking lead that the Tories have over Labour. That has been cut into single figures since the Conservative manifesto and the dementia tax were announced.

And the policy has even been criticised by Conservative candidates, who say that it is playing badly during campaigns. Senior Tories were not even told about the policy before it was announced, according to the Financial Times.”

REAL Hustings in East Devon – minus Swire who refuses to attend

Hustings are booked in so far at:
Friday 26 May – Cranbrook (details to be confirmed)
Tuesday 30 May, 7.30pm – Exmouth – Holy Trinity Church

Swire says he will do his own hustings alone, though how you can “hust” on your own is a bit of a puzzle! We like to see ALL our candidates answering the same questions at the same time at hustings. Alas, this will not happen in East Devon. Claire Wright and other candidates would rather it did.

Neil Parish (Con) IS attending hustings in his Tiverton and Honiton constituency.

No vote from Maldives for Swire – in spite of all his visits and questions in Parliament!

Heck, Swire can’t even vote for himself in East Devon as he doesn’t live in the constituency, preferring to syay well away on the other side of the M5!

The ability of Commonwealth citizens to vote in our elections means that changes to the membership of the Commonwealth have a knock-on impact on who can vote. (It also means that Mozambique and Rwandan citizens can vote here – surely the obscurest group with the franchise given that neither country was part of the British empire but they were admitted to the Commonwealth for political reasons.)

The latest change, following the news about The Gambia, is that Maldivians have now lost the vote. Their country left the Commonwealth last year under pressure over human rights, and the relevant legislative change has just come in.”


Swire refuses to attend any hustings: what COULD he be afraid of!

He says he prefers door-knocking. Please do inform Owl if he knocks at YOUR door.

People might think he is afraid to meet the most popular councillor in Devon (Claire Wright, Independent Parliamentary candidate) on her home turf. Especially as she has a strong track record of standing AGAINST health and education cuts and FOR environmental protection.

Swire? Says he wants ” good health care” but has endorsed CCG changes, did not fight bed cuts in East Devon, only his own corner, is part of the government that is cutting Devon education funding and says we don’t need to worry about environmental protection as it is safe in Tory hands. AND he says being an MP isn’t a job, so he and George Osborne should have as many jobs as they like (he declares two, bringing in £5,000 per month).

He spends much of his time in the Middle East, frequently asks questions in Parliament about places like the Maldives, Egypt and Venezuela and lives in mid-Devon when he ventures south of London.

No wonder he won’t debate!

Claire Wright says:

“I am really disappointed that Hugo Swire is refusing to attend hustings during the general election period. MPs are supposed to be accountable to constituents and this is a golden opportunity for him to talk about how he plans to represent people if he is re-elected. It reflects very badly on him that he is refusing to attend.

“I was looking forward to having a robust debate with him and I can only assume that he is refusing to attend because he is worried about being challenged by me – I have been regularly holding him to account for the past three years via my blog and through the media!”

Main tactical voting site endorses Claire Wright (Ind) as only credible choice to challenge incumbent Swire

“Claire Wright, Independent Parliamentary candidate for Devon East has been endorsed by the chief tactical voting site Tactical2017 as the only candidate who can defeat the Conservatives. Ms Wright is the only Independent candidate in the country to be endorsed so far by the site.

This follows odds of 9/2 from William Hill who confirmed that they see Ms Wright as the official opposition in East Devon and the only credible alternative to the Conservatives.

Commenting on her listing Claire Wright says:

“I’m absolutely over the moon to be endorsed by Tactical2017. The momentum behind my campaign now is incredible. My boards and posters are appearing all over the constituency and my team continue to be deluged with offers of help, as my manifesto is hand delivered across East Devon by my army of helpers.”

“People’s generosity and faith in me is astonishing. Crowdfunding has reached around £7500 in just 10 days with 100 separate donations. This is half the amount we fundraised in a whole year during the 2015 General Election campaign.

“Thank you so much to everyone who is working so hard to elect me as East Devon’s MP. You are doing a sterling job!”

The tactical voting endorsement comes as Claire Wright launches her manifesto in Sidmouth tomorrow (Thursday) evening with clear statements on her policy ideas from health, education, small businesses, young people and the environment as well as Brexit.

Introducing the manifesto Ms Wright says: “On health I will fight to protect community hospitals and other local health services from cuts and work cross-party to achieve more NHS funding to keep pace with demand. I will press for more funding for social care, which is still significantly lower than it was in 2010. I will also strongly oppose plans that disadvantage our NHS, such as the creation of NHS Property Services which seeks to sell off hospitals and health centres.

“In education I will support local schools and parents and work cross-party at a local and national level to gain a realistic and fair level of funding for East Devon’s education system. I will listen to headteachers views on local education provision and represent these views in parliament.
“For small business I will work to reverse the recent increase in business rates, listen to small businesses and their requirements and work to achieve a better deal and be a champion for independent traders, especially those working in tourism.

“For younger people I will work towards giving 16 year olds the right to vote; help young people to have a voice in improving their communities and work for improvements to underfunded mental health services, counselling and pastoral support in schools.

“On the environment, I accept that we need some development, especially for younger people and those of us on low incomes and I will work to amend the permissive National Planning Policy Framework so it is less about growth at any price and more about balanced communities.
“In East Devon nature, as elsewhere in the country
, is in serious trouble due to habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change.
“I will listen and act upon local people’s views on protection of the countryside and nature and urge government ministers to do all they can to comply with vital climate change targets.

“I am asking the people of East Devon to listen carefully to what I am saying and use their vote to elect a hardworking and effective MP to represent them in parliament.”

Event Diary
Thursday 18th May, Claire’s Manifesto launch at Sidmouth Community College, Primley Road, Sidmouth, EX10 9LG, from 7.30-8.30 in the main hall.

Sunday 21st May, Q&A with Claire at the Grapevine Brewhouse, 2 Victoria Road, Exmouth, EX8 1 DL, 7pm.”

General election: how do we protect our NHS? Choose your candidate carefully


Claire Wright, the only credible alternative to Hugo Swire has not only made this pledge she has actively campaigned as Devon County Councillor to scrap it and start again with a clean sheet and full public and health service input.

Hugo Swire, who voted for the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that inevitably leads to cuts and privatisation has not. He still channels Jeremy Hunt and witters on about the “elastic” £10 billion for the NHS.