Thursday, September 24, 2009

Election fever!

The one certainty looking into 2010 is that a General Election will be held and just like christmas cards and Easter Eggs appearing in shop windows, the early manifestos are landing on board/committee desks for sign-off, for approval and for launch. With around 8 months to go - good money on Thursday 6 May 2010 - it does seem excessively early but then the Government is frozen into inactivity so I suppose everyone may as well look forward and plan accordingly! There does seem to be an absurd desire to be "first out" in this respect - presumably in the belief that this will help shape policy.

In the last week alone I have seen documents from the National Farmers Union, the Country Landowners Association and the Historic Houses Association - all promoting their corner across their sector area. I fail to understand why industry sectors do not try to work more in harmony to structure one powerful manifesto rather than allowing a plethera of weaker manifestos to sit on the table with little chance that their demands will be taken fully on board. The Tourism Alliance exists (yes it does what it says on the tin - it tries to be an alliance across the tourism sector) and a strong and focused manifesto from them should be all that the tourism sector promotes - a clear set of demands carefully articulated and structured for the benefit of the industry. Will that happen - I doubt it, as every component part of the Tourism Alliance will no doubt also feel that it is their duty to churn out their own manifesto document (if only to justify their existence) which will then dilute the impact of the alliance document and the overall messaging. Let's wait and see but I am sure there are many many more manifesto documents in the pipeline!

On the election front, my 9 year old daughter has decided to run for office. Well actually the Middle School Council at school where she feels she can "represent" her class mates in a fair and balanced way. She has to make her campaign speech on Saturday morning to get chosen as her classes candidate and then elections will be held - probably this won't make the national news but I will let you know how she gets on.

It has been a strong week here at Blenheim Palace with good daily numbers - over 1,000 visitors each week day - in fine early autumn weather. The Horse Trials and Lilliput Lane event areas are virtually clear from their events and we have a very short breather before the Bike Blenheim Palace - "A Festival of Cycling" - event on Sunday 4 October. Numbers for this look very good so we pray that the weather stays settled and fine - for at least another week! Get the bike out of the garage; get the tyres pumped up; and get here to Blenheim Palace to enjoy a wonderful opportunity to cycle around the Park on that one day.

The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival last weekend has been hailed as a great success with around 100 talks/events from a wide range of literary stars across 4 days - ticket sales were healthy and the event has now established a good loyal following - certainly an event that is rising up the league table of "literary festivals" in the UK.

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit the Palace, Gardens and Park as the seasonal colours can take your breath away. The golden Palace, the rolling landscape, and the great lake spanned by the Grand Bridge contrast beautifully with the autumnal border of majestic oaks and chestnuts (not forgetting the "Harry Potter" cedar tree - but that stays very green!) turning from amber to golden brown over the coming weeks.

A perfect time to visit - we hope to see you here soon.

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