16 March 2010
Yesterday I attended a splendid lunch with the Rotary Club at the Falcon hotel. The club also has started a series of debates with KES (King Edward School) boys. The motion yesterday, which was probably aimed at the fact that I was there, was "Should constituencies select from an only local list of candidates". The boys of KES spoke for the motion. They were brilliant on their feet. The Rotarian team was also very good, as they had, in the Mayors words been very analytical in their presentation against the motion. I was received very warmly and was asked to be the guest speaker in June. KES also invited me to visit the school, which I accepted and am looking forward to meeting the rest of the boys there. Judging by the calibre I met yesterday, I think I will be questioned forensically on the issues that will help decide which way to vote. I went from Stratford town to Alcester to meet with Alan Hogan, who runs a brilliant business called Hogan Cider. He explained to me the difficulty of being tarred with the same brush as the very cheap strong cider products that receive so much negative media coverage. I promised that after the Election we would sit down with the Minister in charge and put those points to him or her. In the evening I met with a group of businessmen who have a varied but successful track record of building businesses. They had all built substantial businesses locally and understood the real need for a change of Government in this country and the need to not just balance a businesses books but the country's also. The message from them was also strongly received that we have to go back to creating real jobs and an enterprise economy. We need to cut red tape. We need to address the massive immigration problem and make sure that we have a grown up debate about it, without being labelled racists.