Last Updated: 08 October 2010
Created: 08 October 2010
This week in Birmingham has been my first party conference as a Member of Parliament. It was also, of course, the first Conservative conference for 14 years that we’ve been in government. The 14,000 people who attended were left in no doubt as to the overall theme: ‘Let’s fix the nation together’. The banners, flags and backdrop left us in no doubt that we were governing in the national interest. Our plans to balance the budget and boost enterprise to create new jobs are essential.
Whichever political party you represent, we have to accept that difficult decisions need to be taken to get our country back on track. Whilst credit is due to the Liberal Democrats who have joined us in stepping up to the mark, I’m afraid we will just have to leave Labour defending the status quo, the vested interests, the unions, the quangocrats, the elites, and the Establishment.
In addition to attending many main conference and fringe events, I also went to many meetings to discuss policy issues and ideas which I know will be of concern to residents in North Swindon. I hosted a meeting for PFEG Financial Education, whose push to improve knowledge among schoolchildren I strongly support. I was pleased to see local company Nationwide there. For older students, I met with Million Plus in relation to student finance. The Retailers Reception also allowed myself and Swindon Council Leader Rod Bluh to corner Lord Wolfson, Chief Executive of Next PLC, to discuss ideas on Swindon town centre regeneration. I also attended meetings hosted by Sport England, the NSPCC, Diabetes UK, Ladbrokes, The Advertising Association, British Telecom and even the British Beer and Pub Association. There were also plenty of media interviews with TV, radio and newspapers.
The whole event ended with David Cameron’s speech. Myself and fellow MP Andy Percy watched the Prime Minister from the 5th floor balcony of the Symphony Hall. While securing us an excellent view, we soon realised how much we hated heights, so as well as clinging on to every word we were also clinging on to the railings! The Prime Minister set out a radical, positive agenda for empowering local communities and supporting new jobs. The Coalition came together in the national interest and through a massive transfer of power, from the state to citizens, politicians to people, and government to society, we can now all play a part. As David Cameron said, “So come on, let's pull together. Let's come together. Let's work together - in the national interest." This speech showed that David Cameron has a patriotic, passionate and clear vision for where he wants to take our country.