Sunday, November 21, 2004

Am using this blog as an excuse not to carry on marking my GCSE coursework. The last two Sunday’s have been spent almost exclusively doing this – and I never feel as if I am getting anywhere! I have been following the debate about the ethical stance of banks and of the service gap in the High Street names with care – a subject many of the Sunday papers are returning to. It was interesting therefore to see where the cheques that we received this week came from. We sent out an appeal to party members and supporters last week and have had a phenomenal response. However (apart from people’s magnificent generosity) it was clear that people are moving towards ethical banks, on-line banks and (most notably) NatWest – who put the “most” effort into customer service. Is it getting across to people – and with the lumbering giants of the banking world take notice? Hint, hint…

Financial matters very much in the forefront of my mind at the moment, particularly the hideous task of trying to move houses. We were two days away from exchange recently when the man we were buying from dropped out, landing us with a £3,000 bill and nowhere to move to. We’ve since found another house, but have been played around there too. Naturally we are much more reluctant to part with £500 to get a survey done without any guarantee the move might or might not go ahead. The law really must be changed here; I believe to land the seller with the responsibility of providing sale information. Only when we start to switch systems can people buy with confidence.

Talking of which I am glad to see Oliver Letwin, the shadow chancellor, on the BBC today saying that the Conservatives will raise the threshold of stamp duty and give first time buyers stamp duty exemotion. Great stuff!

Oh, and I went to the hairdressers to find former LibDem Transport Chief Gordon Dean in the chair next to me. Wise man, Mr Dean. Always had time for him – makes some sense. Had long conversation about why nobody believes LibDem plans for pensions!

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