May’s rush to polls shows she cares more about confrontation than consensus over Brexit

You could have knocked me over with a feather. When a resident in Fishmore strolled down his drive this morning to say that Theresa May had called a general election, I couldn’t take it in. After all, she had only recently said there would be no elections until 2020.

I guess she had a bad Easter. I distrust her motives. She wants to crush the opposition and thereby crush democratic debate.

Whatever the reasons for Theresa May’s volte-face, we are facing a general election on 8 June.

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Shropshire Tories scrap election leaflet and apologise to Oz mental health charity

With less than a month to go to the local elections, Shropshire Conservatives have withdrawn the printed edition of their election manifesto (it’s still here online). This follows my discovery that an image that purported to be of Conservative supporters was lifted without permission from an Australian charity website. The image shows the staff of a mental health charity from Tasmania and Queensland. It is a typical workplace photograph and was taken on 28 June 2013.

The BBC is reporting that the Conservatives have now formally apologised to the charity and have promised to no longer distribute the leaflet.

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Shropshire Tory manifesto cheats with photo of mental health workers from Oz

You couldn’t make this story up. If it hasn’t already arrived, you might soon be getting a copy of the Shropshire Conservative manifesto through your letterbox. Most of us would think that the banner photograph on the front page of the manifesto is of thirteen Tory activists or supporters. But look carefully. It took me a while to spot what is wrong with the photograph. Then it clicked.

After that light bulb moment, it took me just minutes to discover that the image is not of Shropshire supporters at all. Not even of Tory supporters. The photograph has been lifted from an Australian mental health charity website.

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Democracy has shown us the unexpected will of the people

This article first appeared in the Ludlow Advertiser on 8 December 2016.

In politics, it has been a long and curious year. When people who don’t usually get engaged with politics turn out to vote, democracy can throw up unexpected results.

A majority of people in the UK voted for Brexit, including here in Shropshire. David Cameron walked away from his job and Theresa May took the keys to Number 10. Donald Trump is preparing to move into the White House. None of these events were predicted. All will change our futures.

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