Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

18 Doughty St

I made my Doughty St debut on Monday night. I was on with two Labour bloggers Kerron Cross and Paul Burgin (aka Mars Hill) and Andrew Ian Dodge. The first hour on Vox Politix we discussed Iain Dale's draft Social Justice Report which had been released earlier that day. I was glad to be on the show discussing a topic which I feel strongly about. Poor education and lack of family values has spiraled some groups in our society into single parenthood, debt and drug abuse. I believe if we are to appeal to voters in the North East we need to provide more support in these areas, instead of leaving the worst off in society to stew as an under class. The people of the North East are fundamentally Conservatives in so many values, it's the pre-programming "I vote Labour" that we need to break down by proving we can provide a far superior alternative. I was accepted on to the Candidates' List a couple of weeks ago and am keen to be selected in a North Eastern seat for the next General Election.

In the second hour Iain, Zoe, Andrew and I did a review of tomorrow's newspapers. I was struggling with a pretty mighty cold/cough and hope those of you who caught the show could make out my utterings! John Moorcraft was kind in his "review."


I look forward to doing the show again in the near future.


Blogger Paul Burgin said...

I quite enjoyed it, although I did wonder why you were a bit quiet, so you hid the cough well! :)

11:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Poor education and lack of family values has spiraled some groups in our society into single parenthood, debt and drug abuse."

Not quite sure what you mean by "lack of family values" - personally I feel it could be lack of opportunities or active communities that have helped cause debt and drug abuse (I have to admit I don't really classify single-parenthood as equal to the other two).
I think you might want to think carefully about telling the people of the North east that they lack family values. I'm sure you'd do it for the best of reasons, but none but your core Tory vote is going to be impressed by that . . .

9:36 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

Anon, I think you have misunderstood what I was saying. I think the increasing lack of family values across the country is causing problems in our society; I would not pin point the North East as being the only area suffering. Certainly I agree with you that lack of opportunities and less active communities have meant that people feel pretty much abandoned and stuck in a hole they cannot get out of and that these factors are symptoms contributing to an increasing lack of family values in our society. People feel they are better off being on benefits than trying to look for work.
I think it’s so important children are brought up in a good and solid parental unit. Also I would point out I am neither vilifying single parent families; I know there are some excellent single parents who give their children every support possible. However it is true that children naturally search for parental figures to look up to; be this in a single parent family or a parental unit where the parenting is just weak or sadly neglective. Unfortunately in some areas of the country, the North East being one and the East End of London (where I love now) being another, kids are walking the streets in gangs. They have created a pseudo family unit to substitute their lack of support and guidance at home.
As for core Tory vote, I am actually especially concerned to try to reach out to the less well off and non traditional Tory voters. In constituencies such as South Shields where they have a high profile MP, they are left asking why hasn’t Labour helped me in the last 8 years? They are worse off and living in no go areas. Any alternative has simply never been considered by many voters. Not only do they not see the Conservatives are representing anything that can do them any good or think we do not represent anything to do with them. This is wrong and we need to do more in the North East to prove this.

2:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what causes that lack of "family values" in your eyes?
I personally believe that the "lack of opportunities and less active communities have meant that people feel pretty much abandoned and stuck in a hole they cannot get out of" is the cause of drug abuse and debt, rather than a contributing factor to society's overall loss of a body of "family values".

I may seem to be arguing semantics here, but for me, any individual who wants to campaign on improving people's life opportunities is worthy of a vote, if they're tackling the real causes of the problems, as opposed to tilting at the windmills of (effectively) how "in my day it wasn't like this". Being roughly the same age as me (we graduated in the same year according to your profile) I doubt that you are saying that, but you know what I mean!

8:50 am  
Blogger Kerron said...

Talking of lack of understanding Karen, when you say "Iain Dale's draft Social Justice Report", I presume from this you haven't even read it.

4:01 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

Kerron, thank you for pointing out my slip, it's good of you to notice. Actually I had read IDS's Social Action Report "Breakdown Britain," however dosed up on Day Nurse I think perhaps it didn't quite come out as I meant it to. Anyway very Merry Christmas to you and I wish you a Happy and Successful 2007.

5:21 pm  
Blogger Kerron said...

Yep, have a good Christmas/New Year.

Having been down with the flu this week I know exactly how you feel.

All the best for 2007. :-)

12:19 pm  

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