Sunday, May 22, 2005

Auntie Auntie Shame on You

The David Davis for Leader Blog www.daviddavisleader.blotspot.com has an interesting post on today's antics by the BBC...

The BBC's report of its survey among Tory Party chairmen is a classic of BBC Bias.Its news bulletins and website lead on the proclamation: 'Most Tory Party constituency chairmen want Conservative MPs to choose the party's new leader, a BBC survey says.' Really? But surely-and correct me if I'm wrong- that would make it much harder for members' choice DD to become leader, wouldn't it? The BBC report goes on:'Ex-deputy PM Michael Heseltine said he was encouraged by the support to give more power back to MPs. He said...the survey showed a "deeper movement than perhaps one might have suspected". Which was good news because '....the voluntary party activists are relatively elderly and seemed obsessed with Britain's relations with Europe, which is why the pro-integration Mr Clarke had been defeated in a previous leadership challenge in 2001.' I see. Except...wait a second, what's this small print about the survey?' Sixty-six chairmen in the 197 Tory-held seats responded, with 36 saying party members should not be able to choose.' So in fact, the response rate was only 33 per cent, and of those, only just over 50 per cent said party members should not be able to choose. So when we say 'most Tory Party chairmen', what we actually mean is 36 out of 197. Now I know the BBC is staffed by a load of hopeless innumerates, but come on guys...But it gets worse: 'In the survey for BBC Radio 4's Today programme, David Davis was the most popular choice for leader. 'OK. Well, at least they got that right. Except...'However the small number of responses - only 26 chairmen chose to answer this question - made Mr Davis' popularity very unreliable, the survey suggested. 'What does that mean? 26 chairmen backed DD, and the rest didn't say?And why is it OK to base the screaming headline about 'most chairmen' on 50 per cent of a non-random 33 per cent sample, whereas the same rules aren't applied to the support for DD. Roll on privatisation.

But it is even worse than that. There are 650 odd constituency chairman, so a pathetic 6% took part in the survey. And to think that this has led their radio news bulletins all day.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you not going to treat us to your views on the Eurovision Song Contest this year then Iain?

Lady Finchley said...

I really resent being forced to pay a license fee in order to be insulted by their blatant bias. When will Government get the 'cojones' to strip them of this privileged status?

Even their otherwise excellent documentary on soul music was marred by the rather repellent theory that Berry Gordy, the brains behind glorious Motown was an 'Uncle Tom'who kotowed to white people and ignored the burning racial issues of the time. What Berry Gordy did, was bring young white and black people together through the exhilarating Motown sound. Soul music was no longer 'race music' and it brought people together in a way that no amount of directives or positive discrimination laws ever will. I should know, I was one of those young people.

Leave it to Auntie to s**t on the cupcake of one of the greatest music movements of the 20th century through their ignorant bias and mar what is really an excellent documentary. I still get the same thrill when I hear those songs that I did when I was a young girl growing up in New York in the 60's.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, I am ashamed to tell you that I went for dinner with my friend Mark Fox in Great Yarmouth last night so I didn't see it. However, all is not lost as I videoed it so I hope to report on it later today. I did hear a bit of it on the radio and have to say I rather liked the Norwegian heavy metal song! Ours was truly appalling.

Lady F, I bow to your superior knowledge!

Robb said...

Iain
You may not like the statistics but the BBC reported what they found. And what they found was that a massive majority of Conservative Consituency Chairpersons couldn't care two brass monkeys how the next leader is chosen and of those that did care [the more enlightened ones] did not trust their own membership to make the decision. Personally I would just love to see David Davis as leader. He is so exposd and has nothing new to offer and in my view would hasten the decline of the Conservative Party into a fringe rich men' toy party. I offer that pearl of wisdom safe in the knowledge that deep in the psyche of modern Conservatism is an inability to recognise the fundimental truths of modern politics and they wont listen to what they don't want to hear. I once went to a conference in which a very very high achieving salesman explained how he had become so rich. Someone asked him why he was giving away his secrets so easily since they could all emulate him and challenge is position. He replied that when we left the conference, despite loudly applauding and agreeing with his pearls of wisdom, we would all ignore his advice and carry on as we had always done -within our comfort zone. And he was, and is, 100% right. So there you have it, electing Davis as leader, will be another almighty cock up for the Conservatives, but like lemmings they will do it!

Tim said...

Iain, your facts are slighly wrong- they asked local associations in held (I believe safe) seats. They got something like a 50% turnout.

Cllr Francis Lankester said...

Robb is wrong about DD, since with his family background and being a self-made man he rather looks the part as a modern leader.But Robb puts his finger on the "salesman problem." It is hard enough to recognise there is a problem, harder to come up with the solution, and harder still to put it into practice. Self-knowledge is not enough.
MP's got rid of MT and elected the catastrophic Major-and stuck with him. Then they elected Hague who led us to another humiliating landslide defeat. Then they junked IDS (when we had higher poll ratings than under Howard) and elected MH who led us to a third successive defeat, fewer than 200 seats (a marker that was said to mean disastrous failure before the election but is now called a success), fewer than Labour under Michael Foot. This is hardly a success story and reason for giving MP's the choice. The party establishment is arguing against the facts-but those who want to hold on to power always do.

Unfortunately, many activists are swayed by the argument that only the MP's really know their colleagues, and that they must be able to work with the leader. Deference may be dead out there in the real world but it is not within our party! This is a recipe for Cons MP's to continue to pick and choose when they will be loyal and not act as a modern, professional political grouping.They-and these activists, are learning entirely the wrong lesson. The underlying problems will remasin unsolved.Nor do they realise that in 2005 a party that only allows 197 people to elect the leader appears absurd. Modernisation? What Modernisation?

The 1922 Committee has been elected-all white male, of course. You couldn't make it up!

Lady Finchley said...

All I can say about the Eurovision Song Contest is that Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield are rolling in their graves. Talk about stupid white men!

You know, Eurovision is not even funny anymore, really past a joke. Now, that would have been a platform that would have won UKIP tons of votes - vote UKIP and never have to participate in it or have it on BBC. A vote winner to be sure!

Lady Finchley said...

Francis,

You do realise the average age of the 1922 Executive is 102.

Robb said...

Lady F
Wow - that's almost as old as most Conservative Party policies! Seriously, you are such a font of knowledge and wisdom - wasted where you are - mixing with all these elderly anglo saxon euo scheptics - come over to the Lib Dems and experience real life! Did you know that I was once in a pop group? We could have done with you to direct our careers - we might have lasted more than 6 weeks! Still I once shared a stage with the beatles and lent George Harrison my comb. I never did get it back!

Lady Finchkey said...

Oh, Robb, really you are like a dog with a bone. I really am execised by the BBC bias you know and was trying to be serious for once. When it comes to their noxious news stories I can just switch off but when it comes to Motown (which I hold quite sacred)and such dumb s**t is getting spewed I just think, as does Iain, the sooner they privitise the better.

And, I was dead serious about the age of the 1922 Executive too!

Robb said...

Lady F
Woof Woof
If you are right about the BBC cocking up Motown and you may well be. The way forward is not to privitise it the answer is for you to sell an idea to a company like Top Hat and produce your own programme. Go on - you can do it gal - I just know you can. Begin by writing an article on the "influences of Motown on contemporary politics" and use the article as a vehicle for a programme. The old F**rts on the 1922 comittee don't really have an average age of 120 do they? I thought that it was nearer 12?

Lady Finchley said...

I would Robb, except that I am on their s**tlist of Tory sympathisers and totally blackballed - I mean it. And I owe it all to Louis Theroux who filmed me when I worked for La Widdecombe - I was exposed there and then!

However, your idea was brilliant and who knows, I might do it one day. Nevertheless last night's sin was one of many - like how they assidiously refrain from 'offending' all religions but have a field day mocking Christianity. Now, while I am a church attending R.C., my philosphy about living is very laissez-faire (don't you love it when I speak French) but it still gets up my nose that the BBC think they are soooo naughty when they c..p on Christians. Jerry Springer is a case in point - honestly I don't give a monkey's about it one way or the other but it pissed me off that they felt free to run that (and again I didn't have a problem in that in itself - in fact David Soul is a habituee of my main hang out, The Boogaloo so if I had a problem I would have knocked his block off in person)but that when it comes to other cultures they tread carefully - it makes me want to puke if you must know.

Lady Finchley said...

P.S. - mental age of 1922 Executive may be 12 but average chronological age is 102!

Henry said...

None of the "top-flight" contenders has any ideas or track record. Phenomenal article on this by Charles Moore in this week's Speccie. He is a real national treasure. I can't believe how the Tories are focussing on their pygmies rather than their policies. Who cares about any of the dwarves? Talk about navel-gazing. Up the UKIP!

Iain Dale said...

Up the UKIP indeed. Right where the sun don't shine.

Robb said...

Lady F
I too am a Christian but rather in the mould of Don Cubbit [? - can't quite remember his name but strong on extreme demythogilizing, know who I mean?] In your Catholic neck of the wood I quite like the ideas of Talliard de Chardin [again not too sure on the spelling it's been a long time......]. I thought that you were Jewish? The point is there are many parallels between the decline of British Christianity and the Conservative party. The same self righteous reliance on dogma and style and tradition. And the world moves on and leaves them high and dry. I feel that all religions should be capable of being mocked but not, definately not, those individuals who practice their beliefs. Why should any ideas, religiose or otherwise be sacrosanct from criticism or challenge? The only exception that I would make are those religeons that do not seek to prozelytise others to their beliefs - those I would leave to their own ways. There is a brilliant poem by Larkin set in an empty church in which he muses about who will care about the church in the future when the congregations have moved on. Without being provocative, much the same can be said of the Conservative party - who will care what happens to it when the elderly members finally pass on to the great blue sky up yonder. Look at the people in Iain's thank you party picture - quite a fair sprinkling of older folk??

Anonymous said...

Actually the best article about the Tories suprisingly came from IDS in the Sunday Times today. The link which you need to copy and paste is

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,2766-1622007,00.html

He basically says the problem is people feel guilty about being/voting conservative. Believe conservatives have nothing to say on issues like poverty. He says Tories should have something to say and proposes welfare reform and expanding voluntary sector. Says modernism is not about cosmetics but dealing with real issues.
Andrew

Iain Dale said...

And exactly how old are you then Robb/Graham?! Not exactly a spring chicken I seem to remember.

Incidentally, can we cut the Robb crap? Why not sign in as Cllr Graham Jones (LibDem, Antingham)?

Lady Finchley said...

Andrew,

I saw tht article and have often echoed just that sentiment - people are embarrassed about voting Tory. A lot of people I know (and young people too, Robb) belong to Conservatives for Social Justice and I have a lot of time for them.

Now Robb, you are showing your Lib Dem credentials big time. All this generalisation not to mention wanting to abolish faith schools. I rejoined the RC Church (No, I am not Jewish but an honorary Jew having grown up in a very Jewish neighbourhood called Forest Hills in NYC. MY parents moved there when they first married as my mother always admired Jewish people and their passion for education and for bettering themselves) because I found an RC priest who did not believe in all the hypocritical stuff and thought love of God enough. There are more fresh souls like that in the Church and so it is with the Conservatives. And, not all old people are narrow minded. Another generalisation - fie!

Robb said...

Iain
I am not posting to your blog as a District Councilor, any more than I am posting as a poet, singer, writer etc I am posting as an individual with a point of view to put up for debate or to enjoin with others in debate. No I am no youngster - not with four children and five grandchildren. Yes I have been a Liberal Democrat for some 35 years but that does not mean that I am not capable of thinking outside the box. Instead of rejecting comments simply because of where they come from you would gain from listening. I was not being critical or dismissive of the elderly merely pointing out that any organisation needs the young to foster change and growth. I really enjoy the company of people in their 80's - they have so much experience and wisdom to offer [usually!]. There is plenty of evidence to show the support for parties across various age groups and if you look you will see the point that I am making.

Lady F
Interestingly I share your mothers views on the Jewish Community. I am facinated by how much talent in so many different fields can come from one ethnic group. I have a good deal of knowledge of Gypsy people and have beeen friends with an extended Gypsy family for many years. Unlike Jewish people they have tended to isolate themselves from the wider community and their skills and talents, which are many, have never been vehicles to enable them them to progress in the arts, music, politics etc. [with a few exceptions]. I once had a friend called Tim. He was a Parish Priest who had been sent to a retreat at an ecumenical centre run largly by the Sisters of the Assumption at Hengrave Hall near Bury St Edmunds. Tim had been sent there to reconsider his opposition to the conservatism of the late John Paul. We got to know each other through our interest in CND and he would come around on a Friday night. We would open a few bottles of red wine and my then wife would pile up a plate with cheese and bread. Tim and I would then debate issues, often in an existentialist way and seek our own understanding of the truth. Maybe I would say something like, "If there was no Bible, no Church tradition or history what would you believe?" Tim might say say something like "That God is." and there would then follow a long debate from which we would both gain even if we did not always agree. The wine was usually cheap and Saturday mornings were not always happy times!

Lady F
I sense that my involvement in the Blog is irritating Iain so I guess that I should withdraw my participation and leave it to the "great and the good" of the Conservative Party. I really have enjoyed our chats - have a drink on me and I'll have a drink on you!
Bye

Henry said...

Tempers! Everyone have a tiring weekend?

My wife, kids (8,5,1) and I enjoyed a magnificent day in London yesterday. No traffic. Taxi to the Royal Academy for the Matisse fabrics show - not recommended, then walk through St James' to the park then on through Green and Hyde Parks back to Notting Hill. Magnificent cream tea in the Orangery in Kensington Gardens. You don't need to get away to get away.

Lady Finchley said...

Henry, sounds heavenly. V. disappointed about Matisse - was given a year's membership to the RA for Christmas and there has not been one exhibition I wanted to see.

Robb,

No hissy fits please. Do be fair, you love to tease but you you don't much like being teased. Now as I supposed to have a drink on you or ON you??!! What would our respective spouses say?!!

Iain Dale said...

Robb, au contraire. Your postings do not irritate me in the slightest - indeed they provide me with much amusement. I just think it is funny that despite yourself you are still in general election mode. As ever, Lady F provides words of wisdom.

James said...

What I found ludicrous about the BBC survey (getting back to the original point) is that they only asked constituency chairmen in held seats. It would not be that surprising if such chairmen said leave it to MPs. Such a system gives chairmen in held seats substantial and disproportionate weight as they can have words with "their" MP with a view to getting him/her to vote the "right" way.

The constituency chairman in North Norfolk or any of the other 450 or so seats held by other parties may be less keen on leaving it to MPs, as may rank and file members - for obvious reasons.

Howard and others seem to go for the argument that the members can't be trusted as they chose IDS. It is true that he was as it turned out, but the MPs put him to party members in preference to Portillo. MPs also don't have a fantastic record of chosing leaders. Take Hague - whatever you think of him personally he was demonstrably the wrong person for 2001.

At least we all agree on who we would like to see win it - although Robb and I are backing Davis for different reasons. Are DD badges, bumper stickers and mugs available? I think Robb and myself should get freebies!

Iain Dale said...

James, I tend to agree with much of what you say. No bumper stickers I'm afraid. But it's a thought!

Serf said...

.....Howard and others seem to go for the argument that the members can't be trusted as they chose IDS...

They chose IDS for one reason. The alternative was Clarke. There was no way the party could choose such a Europhile. So the real guilt was with the MPs.

Serf said...

Robb has been a member of the Lib Dems for 35 years. Rather longer than they have existed :)

malcolm said...

Exactly EU-serf!Members of the Conservative party like me had a very difficult decision in 2001.We could either choose someone decent but uninspiring like IDS who I think most people knew would be beaten by Blair or someone like Clarke who would probably have destroyed the party caused by intercenine fighting over the EU.
I voted for IDS with a heavy heart but still think I made the right decision as we still have a party.
After three election defeats all I want is someone who will win, anything else is pure self indulgence.
Also agree with correspondents who have a asked for a long period of silence from Heseltine and Tebbit what those two are hoping to achieve for our party i

carlislecookiemonster said...

I too noticed the fact that only chairmen of areas with existing MP's were asked. A bit of a loaded survey in my view.

As a Conservative party member, who gladly pounds the streets for them, pays his dues (and more), uses his holiday time from work to help them out ect, ect, I think I have a bloody right to pass a view on election of a leader, even if it is to reduce a long list to a short list for the MP's to choose.

'Ginger' Neil put it rather well today by asking if Welsh, Scottish and Northern English party members would have the choice of leader made by a handful of people.