Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

28 Days Later (aka The Walking Dead)

It's been nearly a month since this blog highlighted this serious conflict of interest. I've been a little busy lately, but the time has finally come for me to check in and let you know what has happened since... and what has not.

(Note - It may seem a bit piecemeal in places, but a big pile of documents beckons, so I've no time for neatness.)

- Most recently, and probably most importantly for a lot of people in the Godalming area, Anne Milton has turned out to be predictably ineffective in the debate over the proposed excavation of Eashing Farm for millions of tonnes of sand and valuable Bargate Stone. She's trying to make the right noises, bless her, but the fact remains that she isn't the bold boat-rocker her supporters make her out to be, and she really can't afford to go head to head with her Conservative councillor colleagues on Guildford Borough Council or Surrey County Council. Especially not after pissing away her first year in such grand style.

- Still, Anne has recently tried to undo some of the damage by Keeping very Busy Indeed before bunking off on holiday. A recent flurry of parliamentary activity is evident, and Anne even took the time to invite herself to the 2006 Bramley Village Fete.

(At the fete, she actually stayed for longer than 15 minutes, and judged the costume parade and the cake competition. She also managed to make her way around every single stall... bar the one I was working on, of course. Oh, and she doesn't know it yet, but she owes me one. Water pistols were a popular item at this particular fete, and she came *this* close to a coordinated soaking. It was me that talked the young folk out of it. Not that I'm Down With The Kids or anything... it's just that I know exactly when to employ the ever-persistent myth that Anne Milton eats children.)

- Onto other photo opportunities... you may recall that a reported resemblance to comedian Julian Clary has been milked by Milton in the past. It even led to a meeting between the two late last year. But this report of their most recent meeting appears to suggest a wary/weary tolerance on Julian's part...

New Statesman - Julian's week: Later I arrived at a bookshop in Guildford to do what is called a "literary event". Because my autobiography has come out in paperback I am obliged to turn up and talk about myself for an hour. Waiting outside were the local press and the Tory MP Anne Milton, puckering up for a photo opportunity. (Identified as lookie-likies in Punch magazine, we go way back.) Coming over all showbizzy, I rather forgot my position as Kate Moss's lover and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Of course, the flashbulbs went off and our innocent clench was captured.

- Back onto conflict-of-interest reactions... I always know when I score a palpable hit, because ardent supporters of Anne Milton (like Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers) always follow up by going more than a little apeshit. Now an anonymous attack site has emerged that (once again) tries to convince people that I'm in the employ of Sue Doughty. It also seeks to interfere with my ongoing income.

So, just to summarise...

1. They're out to prove that I've launched a personal attack with an unspoken political agenda by launching a personal attack with an unspoken political agenda.

2. They state that I work for Sue Doughty while - at the same time - they seek to harass me at what they clearly regard to be my actual place of work.

Sheer genius.

- Tripping back to this link for no reason in particular, I seek to remind Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers that voters probably won't trust them with council budgets if they have a proven history of misusing time and equipment paid for by the taxpayer.

- Housekeeping: On 27 May 2006, Sue Doughty was re-selected as prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford. The navigation bar has been updated to include a link to her campaign website. I've also added a link to the Wikipedia entry for the constituency of Guildford, but will not be adding the Wikipedia entry for Anne Milton just yet, because it contains much silliness at the moment. (Not guilty. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.)

- Opinion: On 27 May 2006, Sue Doughty was re-selected as prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford. That means that she and her imperfect, inadequate and totally inept carbon copy will be going head to head. Again. Unless Milton gets de-selected, of course. The local Lib-Dems may not appreciate my pointing out the obvious, but here goes... A lot of time, money and effort went into passing Milton off as a Tory clone of Doughty, and - even with the magic of potential on her side - she only scraped by with a 347-vote margin. Now that the cold, hard reality has sunk in, do you really think she can pull it off again? Before you answer that, consider that even if Milton makes a concerted effort to lift her game in the coming months/years, she's hamstrung by a dearth of goodwill. This, combined with the impact of recent boundary changes... well, it doesn't take a genius to work out that the Conservatives will need to field a much stronger candidate next time around. Given the farce of the past election, track record is going to be a key issue... so a quiet word in Nick St Aubyn's ear is probably called for.

- Finally, we come to the bit that hasn't happened; almost a month has passed since Anne's major conflict of interest was made public, and she still hasn't updated her Register of Members' Interests. Is she really hoping to sweep this under the carpet?

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Friday, May 19, 2006 

Will Anne play ball during Volunteers' Week?

Pandora: First he hopped on his bike and bought a "green" car, then a team of huskies dragged him across the Arctic circle. Now David Cameron is getting ready to perform the third great PR stunt of his reign. In a bid to publicise his new brand of caring Conservatism, the Tory leader has instructed all of his 197 MPs to spend their spring break working for local "good causes". A confidential letter sent by the leader's office on Tuesday commands his MPs to spend the second half of their forthcoming parliamentary recess helping out with national Volunteers' Week. "What I would like you to do is either visit, or volunteer to work with, an appropriate local organisation as close to that week as you can," it reads. "If you could let your whip know what you are planning to do, we will compile the information to make clear how we are supporting the week." The letter, seen by Pandora yesterday, has met with a mixed response from the Tory rank and file. Although Cameron's stock is high following the local elections, MPs on the right of his party are upset at being told how to spend their free time. "We've got a two-week recess, which starts next Friday," says one. "Most of us have booked family holidays and aren't about to cancel them to work in the local Oxfam or whatever left-wing charities Dave wants us to support so he can get a few cheap headlines."

(Oh dear. Are *all* of the dissenters right-wing? Are *all* charities left-wing?)

Anne has lost a lot of ground in Guildford this past year by being extremely selfish with her time. She's not exactly a shining star in Cameron's little world, either. This Volunteers' Week initiative looks like a quick and easy win for her on both fronts... but will she take advantage of it?

And, if she does take part, will she choose to volunteer somewhere local... or perhaps somewhere in our little constituency?

(Here's an idea, Anne: you can donate some free time to one of our local hospitals and remind everyone that you're a nurse. Again. Oh, but do be careful not to push anyone around, Princess.)

UPDATE (28 Jun) - MPs visit CHASE hospice as part of Volunteers Week: Conservative MPs Anne Milton (Guildford) and Jeremy Hunt (South West Surrey) experienced first hand knowledge of what it is like to work in the CHASE children’s hospice, Christopher’s on Friday – during Volunteers Week. The MPs joined members of the CHASE care team during their morning’s work, getting young people out of bed and ready for the day, feeding them and attending to their medical needs.

(Oi! Who said "Wow, a whole morning's work, not counting time-out for the photo-op. Big deal!"...? Tch. You *know* Amme is far too busy censoring her Wikipedia entry to handle much more than this. She does some occasional work as our MP, too. So back off!)

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Friday, April 28, 2006 

What model car does Anne Milton drive?

How very interesting...The latest issue of the Surrey Advertiser reports that David Cameron rolled into town this week "to test-drive an array of eco-friendly cars" at Dunsfold Park.

It also informs us that MPs Jeremy Hunt and Anne Milton were rather shy about what they drive... they both chose to hide their cars behind an aircraft hangar!

Jeremy - to his credit - reacted to that hot feeling on the back of his neck and made a pledge to upgrade to a hybrid alternative.

Anne had no such feeling (insert 'cold-blooded reptile' joke here) and made no such pledge... and instead chose to dodge the issue. (Surprise, surprise, surprise!)

So... given that Amme has to drive all the way from Reigate (on those days when she can be bothered to turn up in Guildford at all) I think that the electorate has a right to know what model car she drives... don't you?

PS - I really must include this picture from the event. It speaks for itself...

David Cameron keeps a wary eye on Anne Milton

UPDATE - Independent - Cameron's image as green leader goes up in smoke: David Cameron's campaign for the green vote suffered a setback when it emerged that he is followed by his official car when he cycles to work. Mr Cameron has been regularly photographed cycling the five miles from his west London home to Westminster. In fact, he is often followed by his Lexus car, whose driver picks up shoes, clothes and documents the Tory leader cannot carry on his bike.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006 

Will Super-Nurse attend?

There now follows a short cross-party announcement:
At 14.30 the PCT will meet at the Millmead Baptist Centre (map) to recommend that community beds are reduced, and that Cranleigh and Milford close. It is thought probable that at a later stage we will lose Haselmere hospital too. Cranleigh and Milford hospitals perform differing functions with Cranleigh serving mainly the area around it providing good bed care which is better provided away from the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH). Milford hospital has provided rehabilitation care across the Guildford and Waverley area and is used by Guildford people. The decision is devastating for the groups who have been supporting these hospitals and calls into question the groundbreaking plans for a new Cranleigh Hospital and Health Centre which would have been a joint NHS/Private facility using non PFI funding, and underpinned by a major donation of land for the hospital and lots of local fundraising. It is possible that the hospitals could be closed within a week of the decision.

This is a good photo opportunity and we are expecting substantial media attention on the meeting. We will also be listening to the deliberations of the PCT board. We will not be allowed to ask questions at this meeting. If at all possible please come as if for a funeral. Many of us will be wearing black and sitting at the back of the Baptist Church.

UPDATE - She turned up. Late.


Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Search for the hero inside... erm, myself

Anne Milton MP launches search for local heroes: Anne Milton MP is urging Guildford residents to nominate their community's local heroes for recognition through the Nationwide Awards for Voluntary Endeavour... Anne Milton MP said: "These awards recognise and reward the 'local heroes' in our community whose voluntary of community activity has made a real difference to peoples' lives. Those who give up their free time to help others rarely ask for recognition but I believe they deserve it. This is your chance to nominate someone who you believe deserves and award and make sure their work is recognised. The closing date for nominations is the 28th April 2006."

Well, there you have it... you have 8 days left to nominate little old me.


Click here to do so.



We begin with a familiar feeling...

Independent - How the BNP is gaining ground in Barking with a campaign of lies and distortions:
Rose Thomson has lived happily next to the Longbridge Road campus buildings for 30 years. But now she wants to move. She said: "The asylum-seekers are coming. They're taking over. It's not British here any more."

Mrs Thomson, 67, echoed many who live near the complex outside Barking town centre who believe the site, now occupied by the University of East London, will soon be turned into housing for refugees.

It is not true. The campus is earmarked for a regeneration project that includes low-rent housing. But that has not stopped it being circulated on doorsteps on behalf of the British National Party as it tries to polarise opinion and win backing among the 165,000 voters in this docile and traditionally Labour-dominated corner of east London in next month's local elections.

The result is a game of political smoke and mirrors with the far-right party using shady tactics, including the apparent use of unoccupied addresses as candidates' homes, and questionable statistics to boost its support...

Well, how about that, then? It would appear that the BNP uses exactly the same tactics that our dear friend Anne Milton used to earn her 347-strong majority.

I'm tempted to stick to this point, but first I must turn my attention to the news.... erm, because there hasn't been any.

Last week the Queen dropped by to visit Guildford. She distributed the Maundy Money at a service in Guildford Cathedral. Then she went on a walkabout in the High Street. Before stopping for lunch at the Guildhall. Basically, she was in town for a while and she rubbed more than one elbow.

Did Amme get her picture in the local paper as a result of this visit? No.
Did Amme get *mentioned* in the local paper as a result of this visit? No.
Did Amme manage to get snapped with the Queen at all? No.
(Note - Even Dennis Paul failed to get a shot off!)

Ooooh, that's gotta hurt. Especially for a born attention-seeker like Anne Milton.

I must admit that when I first read about the visit I had to do some checking to make sure that she turned up in the first place... and perhaps - just perhaps - her failure to turn up to a string of local events (and/or staying for more than two minutes while feigning graciousness) played a role in this under-reporting. I'm not suggesting that it was malicious, only that reporters may have failed to recognise her, having not seen her around for a while.

No matter... with such a slim majority, a distinctly lacklustre first year and recent boundary changes to the constituency, Milton must know by now that her future does not lie with Guildford (if she ever thought of us as something other than a stepping-stone in the first place).

No, Anne's future lies with a career in the Conservatives and...

Sorry, what's that? She's in the what now...?

Guardian - The little blue book: Shortly after "Dave the Chameleon" makes his first appearance on TV tonight, Dave's shadow chancellor will be launching a thinktank pamphlet. These days, George Osborne doesn't turn up to any old Westminster launch. But then Conservative Revival: Blueprint for a Better Britain isn't any old thinktank rant. David Cameron pouts earnestly from the cover of the 170-page handbook, which, in style and content, is the closest the Cameroons have come to a brand manifesto.... The contributing authors were to have included the MPs Justine Greening and Anne Milton. In the end, Philp looked to a younger generation of Tories: Dominic Schofield, Nicky Morgan, Sarah Richardson, Martin McElwee, Robert Halfon and Damian Collins, all of whom failed to gain seats in 2005.

Aw, no... now the Tories won't let poor Anne join in any reindeer games.

I've got two words for you, folks: Old and Busted.

Yes, Anne Milton has been cast aside for the New Hotness... even though all of these alternative candidates failed to lie their way into a seat as Milton has done.

Taking all of these factors into account, and combining it with Anne Milton's flat-out refusal to live anywhere but Tierra del Fuego, I feel compelled to offer Anne the following career advice:

Join the BNP and run in Reigate. You'll feel right at home.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 

Eyes on the prize

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005 

Princess Pushy in Parliament

Here are two highlights from Anne Milton's recent participation in a debate on local taxation...

Highlight No. 1

Anne Milton:

I have a list of all the taxes favoured by Liberal Democrats, who love taxes because they think that they keep people in their place. They are: VAT on new homes, stealth inheritance tax, speed camera tax, rubbish tax, plastic bag tax, parking taxes to shop, parking taxes on business, land tax, income tax at a new regional rate and a new local rate, hotel taxes, 4x4 taxes. I could go on...

Phil Woolas (Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister):

Keep going.

Anne Milton:

I could, but the fact remains...

Ahahahahahahaha! I'm sorry, but I've read this a number of times now, and it still amuses me.

Highlight No. 2

Anne Milton:

I have campaigned yearly on the council tax increases in Guildford. I even took to the streets and marched from one end of my constituency to the other. It is a shame that people do not take to the streets more often.

Or in greater numbers, for that matter.

I present, for the enjoyment of participants and observers, a photo of Anne Milton's Great March Across Guildford:

Teh Long Walk To Justice

UPDATE - And here is another, where Amme can be clearly seen. Walking next to campaign director concerned citizen Grant Griffiths, by the looks of things:

Teh Long Walk To Justice

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Thursday, June 23, 2005 

It was the blog what done it

If you take a look at Anne Milton's recent appearances in Parliament, it may well occur to you that she is desperate to visibly fulfil her promise to operate as a carbon-copy of Sue Doughty (minus the Lib-Dem policies that would spend your tax dollars on drug-dealing MRSA-infected murdering terrorists asylum seekers) as soon as is humanly possible.

One might even consider it all to be a bit rushed... but that would be ungracious.

Instead, let's looks beyond parliamentary posturing and gaze in wonder at The First Actual Result:

almost there...

Yes folks, 6 months after she falsely took credit for it and claimed it was her idea in the first place, Vehicle Activated Signs have finally been installed on the A281 at Shalford.

Of course, they're not working today, but I'll get onto that in a moment.

First, I need to talk to you about timing.

6 months followed Milton's claim that it was all her own work and all her own idea, and nothing happened. Apart from someone putting a pole up.

So... following the mysterious appearance of these long-overdue signs yesterday, I decided to talk to the experts.

The signs are provided by a company called Westcotec. I talked to them this afternoon.

The signs were ordered as far back as February 2005, but installation normally doesn't proceed until the local authority:

1. erects the pole(s)
2. gets power to the pole(s)

And power is what we've been waiting on all this time. As the previous post points out, the work seen before 9th June involved illumination of an entirely different set of signs (and, judging by the path of the trench, this power comes via a cable under the nearest street-light). Up to this point, there was no indication that power had been installed in preparation for Vehicle Activated Signs.

But - miracle of miracles - about 2 weeks ago (i.e. sometime on or about the 9th of June - the date of the previous post) - Westcotec received confirmation that power had been installed in these poles and work could commence.

The signs were installed yesterday (the company operates on a 2-week turnaround at this time of year) and tested.

Sadly, they were not working today. I checked the back of the signs, and the LED power indicator is dead, dead, dead. This means that the sign is functional (as it was yesterday) but the power has failed.

One might even consider it all to be a bit rushed... but that would be ungracious.

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Friday, June 10, 2005 

Milton makes local paper

At last!

After 4 weeks of trying (including the rather desperate measure of playing up the Julian Clary angle), Anne has finally made the local paper:

Surrey Advertiser - MP wades in over hospital beds row

Her contribution is short on inches, but high in spunk.


Friday, May 27, 2005 

All publicity is good publicity II

Anne's first local press result! And yes folks, it's an overwhelming reaction to Anne's maiden speech.

Erm, actually it's not. Perhaps if she included the phrase "Webster's Dictionary describes Guildford as..." or a bit more information on the Norwegian Leather Industry, she would have got more coverage...

(Note - I've highlighted gems that are sure to have been lifted directly from a press release.)

icSurreyOnline - Councillor's lobbying skills in demand:

A well-known former borough councillor has been elected as an MP - but it is not her lobbying skills that are attracting attention. Anne Milton, voted in as Conservative MP for Guildford, has been singled out by Private Eye magazine as being a dead-ringer for TV comic Julian Clary.... The mother-of-four has taken the jokes in good spirit and admitted to being "moderately flattered" by the comparison... "I was amazed by it," she told the Surrey Mirror. "I think it's very amusing. People like George Bush get in Private Eye so I was moderately flattered."

Reigate borough councillor and friend John Lyndon Morgan said he was not surprised to hear that Mrs Milton was amused by the comparison. He added: "I didn't see the article myself but her reaction is just as I would have expected. Perhaps it's Julian Clary that looks like her and not the other way around. Anne is a super person and I hold her in high regard."


Friday, May 20, 2005 

All publicity is good publicity

Spotted in Today's Times (20 May 2005): Anne Milton, the new Tory MP for Guildford, has been subjected in Private Eye to unflattering comparisons with the camp comic Julian Clary. Imagine Milton's surprise when she opened her post yesterday to find a signed copy of Clary's book, A Young Man's Passage, complete with a charming message from the author. Whether she reads it is another matter.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005 


1. I can offer a very special and exclusive prize (to anyone who's a fan of my photoshopping) for the first photo of Anne Milton - our loving Matron - with her lips wrapped around a smoking fag.

2. Word reaches me that Anne has a nickname other than 'Dipstick'. It has been reported than the name 'Princess Pushy' has been attributed to her since She With The VSM (very small margin) was seen edging her way to the front of subsequent photo-ops. Ah, yes... eye on the prize. Patsy likes that in an MP, yes she does.

3. I wonder when Anne's 'residence' will come back on the market? Perhaps it's on the market or even taken already. No sense in continuing to live in a one-bedroom flat with a husband and three kids at home, now is there?

4. This groundless, needlessly personal and clearly biased post is dedicated to the many supporters of Anne Milton who finally had to guts to speak up (after the election) but still have not answered any pending questions beyond "Ha-ha, you lost!" and/or "Anne is a really nice person, why can't you accept that?"

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 

Spot the attention-seeker

click for story

Yes, it's the man in the orange tie.


The best 'in defence of' comment so far has come from Patsy, who seems to be claiming here that an MP who seeks attention is more visible, which in turn makes them more accessible.

Well, perhaps from a sniper's point of view.

(Attention Mandy Worrall: that is what is known in human circles as a *joke*. And speaking of jokes...)

Independent - Electoral reform: Why it's time for change: The Government is facing calls for a wholesale review of the voting system after the general election was condemned as a "travesty of democracy". Politicians from all parties demanded that the first-past-the-post system be scrapped after Labour formed a Government with the smallest share of the vote for more than 100 years. In Surrey, more than 148,000 votes were cast for the Liberal Democrats and 87,000 voted Labour, yet every seat was won by the Tories.


About me

    Hi. I'm Tim. I live in Guildford. I've built a few political weblogs here and there. If you're wondering why I decided to start this particular blog, click here.


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