Hillary Clinton Employs Some Common Sense Feminism

The Common Sense Feminist

Its ironic that the icons of women’s liberation are often those who personify the very opposite of what was originally intended, in that they represent chained-to-the-home domesticity: our own mothers. As I wrote on this blog a couple of years ago,  if you ask young women in particular who their pin up is, Mum always gets a menion.  Unsurprisingly, really. It is  someone who has invested unstintingly  on a daily basis, for free, has been loyal, steadfast and used her common sense to get by. Someone she has seen celebrating small achievements while at the same time countering ageism, sexism, and ever other “ism” of today’s world.  It’s also a “real” person who she has seen in private scrimping and primping with very little, while publicly “keeping mum” so as to reflect the best she can. This is usually carried out for quite unselfish reasons,  to dignify  family values and to help her children…

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Why They’ve Always Kept Mum About Heathrow Expansion!

Pilots have never thought of Heathrow as a safe site for a major city airport

Pilots have never thought of Heathrow as a safe site for a major city airport

‘To pilots it’s a no-brainer,’ said my husband to me God knows how many years ago , but this picture will give a clue as to how long. The kids are now in their twenties and the one posing precociously in the white frilly dress has been happily married for over a year.   What Donald was referring to at the time was shifting Heathrow to the Thames Estuary lock stock and barrel.

Aircrew have never understood why London’s major aircraft hub was ever cited right bang in the middle of the city in the first place.

It therefore seems incredible that the concept of actually extending this folly is still under consideration in 2016.

Originally used for flight testing in the 1920s,  then by model aircraft clubs in the 1930s, ‘Heathrow’ as we know it now started out very small indeed.  The site, once fertile farmland, was originally used as an airport by the RAF in the Second World War, but only for diversions. It was mostly for assembly and testing and also served as the perfect place to hide Hurricanes when there was the threat of an attack on them at nearby RAF Northolt by the Luftwaffe.

So right from the start, the construction of Heathrow as an international airport serving London was carried out giving false information to the public, with the project conveniently headed up by an MP for the faraway Isle of Thanet, Harold Balfour, who was also Under-Secretary of State for Air.   It took a whole year before the real plans and decision were revealed in 1944, and only doubt that for the full London Airport to complete in 1946.

Heathrow Airport under construction in 1955

Heathrow Airport under construction in 1955

In his 1973 autobiography, Wings over Westminster, Lord Balfour gave his reasons. He admitted that he had always intended the site to be earmarked for civil aviation, but had used a wartime emergency requisition order to avoid a lengthy and costly public inquiry. So rather than a plot to be developed for long-haul passenger jets, Parliament was led to believe that the new construction would be used simply as a base for long-range transport aircraft in support of the war with Japan.

It was a poor site choice then, and is an even worse one today, seventy years on,  as the numbers of travellers using it have risen sharply from a handful to 75 million . The irony must be with the reason for the cover up because Japan then went on to make the smarter decision of the two when it came to designing runways. As Donald writes in his blog, ‘The Japanese built an island airport off Osaka more years ago than I care to remember and didn’t have any problems they couldn’t handle ‘

Check out the blog Runaway Heathrow Runway to get the full story of the Heathrow expansion saga from an aviator’s prospective

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Conservative Feminism Explained

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Why Feminists Should Talk Romance

Why Feminists Should Talk Romance.

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Louise Burfitt-Dons Launches Her Campaign for Nottingham North


Sir Richard Ottaway is the current MP for Croydon South.

On the 20th September this year  I was selected by the members of the Nottingham Conservative Federation to contest the General Election for the seat of Nottingham North.

I am holding a fundraising reception to launch my campaign between 7pm and 9 pm on 26th November at 68 Duke Road, Chiswick, London. My special guest on this occasion will be the current MP for Croydon South, The Rt Hon Sir Richard Ottaway, who was also the last MP to win the seat of Nottingham North for the Party in 1983. A long standing Labour Party seat, he won it unexpectedly with the largest swing in the UK following the Falklands War. I  am delighted to have his support in this way.

Tickets cost £20 each to include wine and canapes or £30 for a couple. Tickets on the door will £22 each. Payment and booking details are below.

I do hope you are able to join me on what promises to be a memorable evening.

About Sir Richard Ottaway

Sir Richard Ottaway is a former Officer in the Royal Navy and the Royal Naval Reserve. He read Law at Bristol University. On qualifying as a solicitor in 1977, he specialised in maritime and commercial law with leading city firms.

“A long standing Labour Party seat, Ottaway won Nottingham North in 1983 unexpectedly with the largest swing in the UK following the Falklands War”

He was first elected to Parliament as the Member for Nottingham North from 1983-87. After a period in industry he returned to Parliament in 1992 as the Member for Croydon South, and was re-elected in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
Between 1992 and 1995, he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Heseltine MP and from October 1995 was a Government Whip.

In opposition until 2005 he served as a Front Bench spokesman for the Conservative Party as Shadow Minister for London and Local Government, Shadow Defence Minister, Shadow Paymaster General and Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment.

In the 2005–2010 parliament he was a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee and Vice Chairman of the 1922 Committee He was also a member of the Conservative Party Board.

After the 2010 election he became the first Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to be elected by MPs from all sides of the House.

In 2011 he was declared The Week’s, Back Bencher of the year. In 2012, he won a 2012 Global Media Award for his research into population growth.

He is also former chairman of the All Party Parliamentary London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Group and is currently a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Population, Development and Reproductive Health.

He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2013 and knighted in the 2014 New Years Honours.

To Book and Pay

1. Bank Transfers should be made to: Louise Campaign, HSBC Nottingham, Sort Code: 40-35-18 Account Number: 04712544

2. Cheques should be made payable to: ‘Louise’s Campaigning Fund’. Please send to 68 Duke Road, London W4 2DE.

3. To pay by card

For further enquiries email me at louise@nottinghamconservatives.co.uk

Website louiseburfittdons.com
Facebook louiseburfittdons
Twitter @LouiseBurfDons

Or write to:
Nottingham North Conservatives
1, King Edward Court
King Edward Street
t: 0115 948 4533
w. nottinghamconservatives.org.uk



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Mais Non! Ed Milliband wants to import French property laws into the UK

Approaching an election, it is not unusual for left-leaning parties to take a swipe at landlords. The reason is property and ownership of houses, land or flats is always synonymous with wealth. Basic human needs include a roof over one’s head, and the thought of losing that fuels more anxiety than living on bread and water, so it’s an emotional issue. Follow that with the socialist sketch of a huddle of landlords depicting a bunch of `rich, greedy and heartless’ people plotting to exploit the chronic housing shortage and you can easily create a political powder keg.

The facts about UK landlords are overlooked. Far from being scheming capitalists, they are quite the opposite.

• 89 per cent of landlords are private individuals, likely only to be renting one or two properties out rather than hoarding multiple properties in the pursuit of profits at any cost.
• 79 per cent of all landlords earned less than a quarter of their income from letting properties.
• 21 per cent earned no income at all from their rental property.

But surely, goes Labour thinking, tenants must be an unhappy bunch. What about all that victimisation by the unscrupulous? Surely it is the job of Government to protect them from these ogres? Why not impose three year tenancies just like they do in France?

I suppose the answer to that is that we don’t need to:

• The most recent English Housing Survey shows that the average length of tenancies under the current tenancy model is now 3.8 years with those staying on longer in their properties enjoying considerable savings on their rents.
• Government figures show 83 per cent of tenants in the private rented sector are satisfied with their properties compared to 81 per cent in the social sector.
• Just 9 per cent of tenancies in the private rented sector are ended by the landlord.
• Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that rents in the private rented sector have been increasing by much less than inflation measured both by CPI and RPI. Over the last year they increased by just 1% alone in England.
• In July 2013, the cross party Communities (DCLG) and Local Government Select Committee observed in its report on the private rented sector that rent controls “would serve only to reduce investment in the sector at a time when it is most needed.”

Rather than being of advantage to either landlord or tenant, Ed Milliband’s proposals are just another example of the the Labour party’s obsession with running a controlled economy and ruining a growing one.

C’est tout.

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If the Queen can bestow honorary titles on pop stars and sportspeople, why not on a few more engineers?

Text first published February 10, 2014 on Conservative Home

It’s excellent news that Sir James Dyson is doubling the size of his base in Malmesbury and along with it the number of engineers he employs. But he reckons we need at least 87,000 engineers a year to meet demand. According to Engineering UK, by the time today’s primary school pupils are of working age, we will require over two million or our economy will suffer devastating repercussions. If those positions aren’t filled here, the work (like manufacturing) will be sourced elsewhere.

Critics of this visionary research park fear that it will just benefit more bright Asian students, particularly if Damian Green would just relax the current immigration rules. But, as Dyson points out, despite our proud heritage, currently only 10 percent of top talent taking PhDs in engineering are British. So with less than ten years to find solutions to the lacklustre appeal of this subject to young Brits, based on recent research, I believe there are three relevant factors to consider from what these kids had to report : It’s dull, it’s hard and it’s not sufficiently rewarded.

It’s boring: (not to be confused with the technical term which means to make a large hole): Research has shown that 49% of 7-11 year-olds believe this. They would prefer more immediately visible careers as teachers, footballers and doctors. They’re right. Engineers are not as visible in our community as those they selected. We British are a sociable bunch. We enjoy engaging in activities with other people. Therefore any enticement to children must surely depict this. At least the website of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine are on the right track using quotes from members. “There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a cancer patient being treated with an item of equipment you have helped to develop” And “My best day at work was when a four year old girl with restricted growth collected a new bike I had designed for her. Smiles like hers are why I do my job”.

It’s Difficult: A study carried out at the IET a couple of years ago supports this finding as a major ‘switch-off’ factor. Apparently young people are reluctant to take subjects they may not achieve highly in. No surprises. It’s not smart to tackle something so out of your depth you are destined to fail from the start. However by secondary level this `taking the easy route’ pattern of thinking is set. And the path to this career is indeed hard. STEM and engineering courses require higher grades than arts and humanities based subjects and also in difficult subjects. Plus, the University timetable is tough—five days a week, as opposed to some degrees which are less intensive. All of which brings us on to why you would want to do it in the first place.

It’s not sufficiently rewarded. This is the crunch point. Engineers are not massively overpaid. We don’t seem to remunerate people who design and make things anything like as well as those who promote and sell them. Possibly this is just a by-product of the fast profit culture of recent years. Whatever the reason, it is no wonder that on leaving university with heavy debts, ambitious young people with strong analytical skills find it illogical to turn down the financial packages of a City or business career.

Pay aside, nor are the talents of engineers adequately recognised. Here maybe we should look to Germany for inspiration. A country renowned for their manufacturing, they face the same skills shortage, but with one massive advantage. Their culture has always valued and rewarded professional engineers with respect and prestige.

In the UK we seem to do the opposite. So little is known about engineering, there is little distinction in community status between someone who comes to fix the fridge and an aspiring Brunel or Whittle.

Enterprises like Dyson’s Park paying decent salaries to PhD students will help encourage older students, and Government should consider subsidies on STEM degrees to shore this up. But not until we tackle the underlining significance of status, can we get a change in perception across the board. And that will feed through to primary school age children. Surely, if the Queen can bestow honorary titles on pop stars and sportspeople, why not on a few more engineers?

To begin with, maybe on qualifying following lengthy and difficult training, they could be given a completely new designation like Master in recognition of their merits. Any other ideas?

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