A goid question for hustings?
“Claire Wright, Independent Parliamentary Candidate for East Devon, launches manifesto
Independent Parliamentary Candidate for East Devon Claire Wright is to formally launch her election manifesto at The Institute, Yonder St, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1HH on Wednesday 13th November from 7.30 – 9pm.
This is a public event open to all, including media.
The venue is in the middle of town, next door to the Rusty Pig. Disabled access is at the side of the building. It is best to park in Sainsbury’s car park.
The General Election 2019 manifesto is now live on the website – to view it click here.
After a campaign announcement in Exmouth with BBC reporter and former independent MP Martin Bell, 80,0000 of the manifestos are currently winging their way across the constituency, thanks to hundreds of generous spirited volunteers.
The county councillor has pledged to campaign for the issues her constituents tell her are important to them.
My manifesto is based on the issues the people of East Devon have told me matter most,” said Wright.
“The past few years have demonstrated that the party system is broken. It is time for change. As an Independent, I would have exactly the same rights as other MPs and would work cross-party to achieve my manifesto pledges.
“I am different. I have no party whip to tell me how to vote. I am free to speak and free to act. And free to fight for the issues that the people of East Devon care about the most.
“This election is very unpredictable and presents a rare opportunity for residents to elect an MP who truly cares and puts them first.”
“Meeting to determine fire station closures and cuts moved until after Christmas’
Why is Owl suspicious?
First, it postpones it until after the General Election
Owl will return to this tomorrow!
“In recent weeks outgoing Conservative MP Sir Hugo Swire for East Devon has been unrelenting in his attacks on Claire Wright.
At a time in which women in politics are leaving Parliament in droves, the bombardment has felt a little insensitive. Yet, it’s water off a duck’s back for Claire, as she remains focussed on the issues that matter in East Devon rather than the kind of Punch-and-Judy politics Sir Hugo is indulging in.
In Sir Hugo’s last interview, he concedes that Claire Wright is a “good campaigner” but suggests she wouldn’t be a competent “legislator”.I must admit the statement puzzled me, because in all his years in Parliament, Sir Hugo failed to have any meaningful impact on any legislation which has benefitted the people of East Devon. In my time he never campaigned for any legislative change.
Campaigner and legislator are not two mutually [exclusive things]. I would go as far as to say that I had more impact on legislation my three years as a mediocre researcher than he has in over 22 years as an MP. I rarely saw him in the Palace of Westminster, except when he was dining foreign dignitaries and party donors in Strangers Dining Room, one of the many plush restaurants in the House of Commons subsidised by the taxpayer.
At times one felt a cardboard cut-out might’ve had more influence than Sir Hugo – he never once did any serious cross-party work, and the fact he keeps his constituency work “confidential” rather suggests he was never too interested in helping constituents with appeals for disability benefits and such like. When I approached his office for a request for help with a benefits case for a constituent, I was told it was not their policy to assist.
Most backbenchers do important work and have influence on Select Committees – Sir Hugo refused to serve on any Committee in his last nine years of parliamentary service.
All the while Sir Hugo has been wining and dining, Claire Wright has been working hard and proving herself as a brilliant Councillor. She has excellent values and has done excellent investigation and campaigning work on saving hospital beds and local health facilities. She revealed last week that she had turned down a £5,000 donation from a business.
If elected, forget the torment of Brexit, Claire would make an excellent Member of Parliament, she has the hunger to campaign, she is passionate about improving people’s lives, she has the humility to listen and consult, she has the eye for detail to legislate and make good policies from the backbenches. These are all qualities Sir Hugo lacks.
Being an Independent is no handicap as I have found in local politics. Next month, some will vote for who they want to be Prime Minister; I will be voting for whom I want to be my MP, and the candidate whom I am convinced is best for East Devon. Claire Wright is a breath of fresh air, so I hope all Owl readers will vote for a candidate who so clearly cares about our communities.
Paul Millar worked as an aide to the late, independent-minded Labour MP Paul Flynn (2016-17), going onto work as a senior aide to Geoffrey Robinson MP and leading the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill through Parliament.
He is now an Exmouth Town and East Devon District Councillor
Well, what a whinger! He could give Victor Meldrew a run for his money! Or maybe Albert Steptoe!
Hates Claire Wright (but too frit to stand against her).
Disses the Sidmouth Beach Plan (put together by his party at EDDC).
Thinks 65 is too late to retire (does he realise we plebs have no option but to go on to 66?).
Hates Cranbrook and puts the blame for it on previous head planner Kate Little (again under EDDC Tory council control and controlled by Leader Diviani).
Says it’s a pity he couldn’t spend more time in East Devon because he had to travel so much when a bag-carrier and arms salesman for the Foreign Office (after which he immediately carried on travelling as Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council).
THEN when asked what he is most proud of he says Budleigh Health Hub (a privately-ownec business which replaced a community hospital) and getting the Health Secretary to say Ottery Hospital (again having lost beds) is “safe” when, if you read the letter, it patently isn’t) and continues:
“I think my proudest achievement must therefore be to have looked after them as well as I can. We’ve helped on other things too, the difference between being a placard waving campaigner and an a member of Parliament, a legislator, is very simple you can’t crow about everything you have achieved as an MP because a lot of what you do is confidential. It involves other people’s extraordinary, complicated, messy and difficult lives.”
In other words – he can’t think of anything else!
A pathetic end to a pathetic career.
Letter to press (photo by Owl – posted by Swire himself)
With his customary good grace, Hugo Swire has walked away from his constituency pledging not to meddle further, then immediately insinuated that a vote for Claire Wright is a waste of time. It is this consistent lack of judgement and common touch that has helped propel Claire repeatedly upwards in the polls in recent years.
Indeed, if Swire’s final thought – after an undistinguished innings – is of her, perhaps the haunting prospect that she will win is belated evidence that the man cares about anything at all.
Leader: East Devon Alliance of Independents”
80 flaws, including these: