Okay I know I’m meant to be in the UK on holiday, but I can never resist political meetings when I get a chance to attend. For me that is relaxation
Two hours after I flew in to Heathrow on Tuesday (GMT) I ended up at a meeting with some UK thinktanks and lobby groups discussing how to build up a constituency for lower taxes. The main guest was one of the top Republican pollsters, but they added me on also so we talked about taxation and polling from both the NZ and US experiences. Was a fun session, and going to meet the Washington pollsters at length next time I am over in DC.
Fell asleep at 6 pm so up nice and early on Wednesday. In the morning had a private tour around the House of Lords and House of Commons by one of the Conservative Researchers. Will post photos later. Some absolutely amazing portraits and statues. An incredible sense of history. God we are so young in NZ.
Then had lunch at the Parliamentary Restaurant which like the NZ one is heavily subsidised. God bless the taxpayer. A full meal for just over a pound
After lunch went to Conserative Party Campaign Headquarters. Somewhat larger than in NZ – they have over 120 staff. But not a lot more space – battery hens have more room than many of their staff. I was there the day after the Party had voted to reject changes to how they elect their leader. The outgoing Leader Michael Howard wanted to go back to the system of the MPs electing the Leader, but it failed to get 67% support. So the MPs will short-list to two candidates and then every party member of mroe than three months standing will get to choose between the two.
This morning I am off to attend the official launch of David Davis for the leadership. He is widely regarded as the front runner and almost beyond doubt will be one of the final two. Opinion is divided as to whether the other will be Kenneth Clarke, David Cameron or Liam Fox. I met Fox in Washington in July and he is seen somewhat as a dark horse possibility to emerge as a compromise candidate. All but Clarke are euro-skeptic.
Have managed to do some shopping and sightseeing also. But much busier than I expected, so not quite as relaxing as I had hoped. Still five weeks is plenty of time to unwind.Tags: International Politics