Political Figures: What next for Chatham and Aylesford?

In which Alan Collins from Medway Elects looks at Chatham and Aylesford, and ponders how easily the Conservative hold on the constituency could be broken..

Ah, 2015, the year (the Republic of) Ireland voted to introduce same-sex marriage, a NASA spacecraft visited Pluto for the first time and Queen Elizabeth II became the UK’s longest-reigning monarch.
It was also the last time any of Medway’s parliamentary constituencies changed hands.

In recognition of this unbroken run of Conservative representation in parliament, Messrs Jennings and Keevil have asked me to look at what has changed between the three most recent general elections. So, for my latest three-part mini-series I’ll be looking at the results for each of Medway’s three constituencies in turn.

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Voice of the Leader: February

Once a month we offer a platform to the leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition. Today, we have the latest column from Cllr Alan Jarrett, Conservative Leader of Medway Council.

Alan Jarrett

A belated Happy New Year to all readers of The Political Medway. In particular well done to Ed and Steve for keeping this blog going, thereby providing a platform for all things political in Medway.

It has been three months since my last contribution to this blog, and what a three months it has been! This presents me with a good opportunity to reflect on a decision I made in 2019 when Conservative Party members had the chance to choose a new Party leader.

I voted for Boris Johnson for two reasons: firstly that he was the most likely candidate to Get Brexit Done; secondly he was the man most likely to beat Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in any upcoming General Election. Boris won the election for Leader of the Conservative Party comfortably, and I was subsequently proven correct on both counts.

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Boring History: Return to Boris Island

In which Chris Sams looks to the slightly more recent past, to a time when our current Prime Minister threatened our towns with an aeroplane station..

As we start a new year and a new government, it is time to look at what we can expect and what a Johnson-led government will mean for the people of Medway.

Obviously this is out of my area as a historian and I’ll leave a lot of the suggestions and speculation to political commentators – something I gave up a long time ago!

History often repeats itself and as a student of the subject you can see things repeating themselves time and time again through the centuries and even decades. World War follows World War (Austrian war of succession to War of Independence to Napoleonic, to World War One to World War Two..), pandemic diseases, economic recession and growth.. I’m often looking at what’s going on and drawing parallels with what has happened before.

Now, with Boris Johnson firmly in power with a good majority, he’ll looking to increase business for Britain in a post-Brexit society. How long will it be before we see the reappearance of his big projects such as the bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland, or more pointedly for the Medway towns – Boris Island?

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iFAQ: So, farewell then, MEPs

With the UK now officially Brexited, and a golden new age of milk and honey upon, we decided to ponder the poor souls suffering most in this process: that’s right, our beloved MEPs. As such, we wrote to each of our region’s MEPs to ask them if they had any parting words for the voters of Medway as they exit their roles.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

Do you have any final words for the voters of Medway as the UK departs the EU?

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Point of no return

In which former Medway councillor Anne-Claire Howard tells us what leaving the European Union today means to her..

On the 31st of January, I won’t be “celebrating”. There will be no “freedom regained”, no “joy at overthrowing the shackles of Brussels”. Instead there will be sadness and mourning that something unique and promising has been lost. Not just to me (because it hasn’t entirely for me) but for the young generation, for those who didn’t want to leave, for those who will – in time – come to regret leaving.

Since the early morning of the 24th June 2016, I’ve been slowly working my way through the stages of grief. Well no, let’s be honest, I started with denial, then anger, then depression, and anger again. And I honestly think that I will never reach acceptance.

So what does “Brexit” mean for me? Where do I – a French woman who chose for love to live and work in the UK – go from here? How am I impacted? How is my family impacted by a decision in which we had no say since I was not allowed to vote (and neither were hundreds of thousands of Brits who live abroad)?

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iFAQ: The first positive of Brexit

With the UK set to depart the EU this Friday, and in the spirit of not coming across as remoaner snowflakes, we decided to ask each Medway political party about the sunlit uplands on the Brexit horizon.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

With the UK now scheduled to leave the EU on January 31, what will be first major positive to come out of our departure?

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Challenging community campaigns

In which Stuart Bourne ponders exactly what it takes for a community campaign to be successful..

You see them all the time. Posters in your neighbour’s window, headlines in the local paper, and group requests all over social media. You may also have been involved in one. Local community campaigns have been around since politics began, but just how effective are they?

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Ode to a diverse media

In which Laura Garcia, co-founder of PressPad, talks about how our journalism suffers if it doesn’t represent the community it covers.

Let me take you back to November 2014 – to a time 3 Prime Ministers ago, before we’d ever heard of the word “Backstop” and when Luis Suarez decided his best football strategy during the World Cup was to bite the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini. David Cameron was Prime Minister, and the new kids on the political block were Nigel Farage and his merry band of UKIPers who were feeling pretty great after a couple of successful local elections.  

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