Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The 'A' List Letter Arrives

I heard this morning that I am not on the Conservative Party's 'A' List of candidates for the next election. I can't deny that I'm not disappointed but perhaps not wholly surprised. I'm afraid I shall be disappointing those who will be expecting me to get bitter and twisted about it. I am not going to say anything more, for the moment, because whatever I do say will be interpreted as 'sour grapes' and I really don't want that to happen. Obviously it has given me a lot to think about with regard to my own future in politics. I wish all those who have got onto the 'A' List the very best of luck.

UPDATE: 6.13pm Not all bad news today. I think I may have a ticket for the Cup Final after all. Which would I rather have had - ticket for the Cup Final or being on the A List? Hmmm. Difficult one, that.

UPDATE: 6.20pm I much enjoyed this post from ConservativeHome from someone called Realist: "Sure Iain Dale is a nice guy, but reading all the dedications on his blog about him not getting on, you would think Lady Thatcher had just died." I said to a frined earlier today that having read the comments it feels like I am reading my own obituary! Very touched though.

UPDATE: 7.30pm Well I never. Channel 4 News carried screenshots of this blog and read out a couple of your comments about the fact I haven't made the A List. What is the world coming to!

85 comments:

barbara worth said...

Sorry to hear that, Iain, and best wishes for whatever you dede to do next.

St Ella of Artois said...

Iain - commiserations. It looks like you have to be a chisel-cheekboned thirty-something to get on the list (Goldsmith, Ricketts), but then that's what happens when you appoint a 30-something PR man as party leader. Other parties are less exacting in their pulchritude standards!

Sheridans mum said...

Ian here is a hint
"This blog"
Thats why you arent on this joke list, you are honest, and that just wont do,hopefully local constituencies will tell windmill boy where to stick his list and just choose the best candidates.
Goldsmiths bootblack seems to imagine that he will win the next election by default, he is wrong, wrong, wrong, he has alienated his core vote and we will all either abstain or vote UKIP/BNP leaving abour to win yet again.

Floreat Aula said...

Stick with it Iain - you are too good not to run, "a" list or not! Quality will out - and you have the ability, the interest and the character to do well.

Sheridans mum said...

st ella
chiseled cheek boned ?
that counts cameron out then , he has a face that looks like it was made by a chid jabbing two eye holes into a piece of plasticene with a pencil and a mouth made with a quick jab of a plastic knife.
Cant tell you how much I loathe this creepy, waxen haired prick.

kingbongo said...

Iain, never mind. You'll make so much money from the Little Book of Labour Sleaze that you'll be too busy counting it to worry about being selected.

malcolm said...

I am sorry and really quite suprised to hear this.Does it mean you can't apply for seats?
I would be very interested to know what questions were asked at the interview and if any reasons were given for your non-inclusion.

Kipling said...

Sorry to hear that Iain, but its a useful example to us all in showing what a stupid idea this A-List is in the first place, and how it won't guarantee quality of candidates. Ricketts is an obvious, if over-used example of how 'image' comes before talent.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Iain - makes me very sad.

I just hope your support for Davis was not a factor. As the names come out I shall be watching closely for hints of a factional coup. If this is what appears to have happened I for one, as a Dpty. Chairman, will do my utmost to stop our association from using the A list.

Chris Palmer said...

You've always got your friends on this blog, Iain.

blue2win said...

Sorry to hear that Iain. A bit of a blow for all of us (and I say this as an Ultra Cameron loyalist).


I hope you won't give up the fight. There are lots of other seats and indeed lots of very powerful roles you can play without being a candidate at all.

Man in a shed said...

Iain, keep with it - our party needs you (whether they realise it or not).

ContraTory said...

This "A" List idea might yet go a bit "fuzzy" around the edges, so don't get too down, mate.

Graeme Archer said...

I am saddened by this news. Iain you're one of those Tory stars that provide inspiration to people you never even meet. I forget my latin but you know the tag i'm thinking of, something about not letting the b***** get you down.

Can't wait to see the Labour Book of Sleaze! Christmas stocking fillers sorted!!

Edward said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Iain. Your gracious message shows your true mettle though. Keep in there.

David Cameron Mp said...

Cameron really is a total wanker, anybody who has seen Ricket try and assemble a sentence let alone an argument will know that he is totally unsuitable, I give up.

JohnJo said...

Iain, sorry to hear it. My advice....choose a different party to stand by. One that will reciprocate the loyalty.

Croydonian said...

Commiserations Iain, and I trust that should you seek such, an independent minded constituency will have you as its candidate.

bebopper said...

Hard luck Iain. You must be feeling like Hayden Mullins at the moment. Who he? Well you know anyway.
Just a couple of points:
This blog makes you far more influential in the political world than any tuppeny-ha'penny back bencher. And I hope your fans don't feel inclined to start moaning like the regulars on ConservativeHome.
Keep up the good work!

Bel said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Iain. For what it's worth, I always considered you would make a very effective MP. All the best.

Chris Palmer said...

"I forget my latin but you know the tag i'm thinking of, something about not letting the b***** get you down." - Graeme Archer

Nill illigitimi carborundum

David Laws said...

Very unfortunate.

Could I tempt you to defect?

Anonymous said...

Iain I am very sorry to hear that. The List will be topped up, so keep at it.

You will have a great influence in politics as a commentator. And no canvassing!

Michael Oakshott said...

Sorry I have been out of the country for the last year. Could someone just explain to me why the Tories are fawning over Goldsmith when he describes himself as an "anti-capitalist". Funny sort of anti-capitalist, the type who inherit 300m. Just like Blair and company who moan about Grammar Schools and then send their children to fee paying schools. Hypocrites.

Have I missed something?! Does Dave really expect people to vote for a tree hugger like this? Let`s get it clear. Most Tories are interested in all this environmental pseudo-science. Get back to the real issues and select candidates according...tax, Europe, waste in the public services, alarming power of Trade Union, the threat of Iran and North Korea, indiscipline in our schools, underfunding of the armed services, the bias of the BBC and the funding scandal and the unfair position of Scotland in the constitution. If Dave doesn`t get candidates who start talking about these issues then I and many others will UKIP or for other like minded parties. He really is becoming a parody of himself. I wish I had voted for David Davis now, and I would gladly have any of the other candidates than this silly character. Rant over thanks.

bt said...

Fear not!
Justice will prevail - especially once the Shire ladies see this as the thin end of the wedge and sharpen their handbags and gird their girdles at the prospect of central office slipping 'em the P45. Local politicking usually consists of keeping the memsahibs placated, otherwise the local party goes to hell in a handbasket. Quite right too.

All this balls about "we want the candidates to reflect the country" - absolute bloody tripe. Constituents want their candidate to reflect their constituency, not be foisted off with some PR merchant's wet dream of interchangeable programmable clones.

chatterbox said...

I am sorry to hear that Iain, but I echo floreat aula's demand for you to "stick with it". Just think that not being on the "a" list might actually be a blessing! And when you are selected as a PPC I look forward to reading about your new challenges. Good Luck.

mbe said...

If you're not on it then it'll obviously filled with pointless, spineless, insipid aresholes.

Your blog is a better indication of the way ahead for us Tories than any shite CCHQ can indoctrinate the A list with.

Keep the faith, the Party leadership should be regretting this woeful decision, not you.

Anoneumouse said...

Time to pupate, Gad fly's R Us

Jamesw said...

Very sorry to hear it Iain, stick in there, we would be a much lesser party without your contributions!

David Cameron Mp said...

And Goldsmith is on the list??????
what a f******* joke
I wonder who it was that found that quick £5 million cameron needed last month
A central office toecap buffer, funded by a mong who couldnt get a job selling shirts at hackett aided by a failed soap actor are the saviours of the Conservative party?
God help us

AJD said...

Don't give up - just because you aren't on the A-list of candidates doesn't mean you won't get selected. There are many more constituencies than A-list candidates - it just might be a little harder to get a safe one.

That just means you will have to work harder!

Anonymous said...

Very great commiserations.

As some one else who did not get on, despite a massive swing to me at the last election, I can understand your dissapointment.

I have to say if you did not get on who the hell did?

kentconservative said...

Bad luck. No surprise as you say.

Kate said...

Does anyone know roughly how many are on the full candidates' list? Just wondering what proportion are/are not on the A-List.

I have my doubts about the A-List idea, particularly as there are going to be vastly different views on who should & shouldn't be on it, which will be relished by the media.

markinchiswick said...

commiserations Iain - you'd be excellent. There's always an elected House of Lords!

Andrew said...

The older I get the more inclined I am to the Groucho Marx school of thought - "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member". Most MPs are talentless w*****s anyway - some may start of as angry young idealists, but they almost all end up as time-serving placemen for whom Parliament is more important than principle. Political parties are outdated - they just haven't realised it yet. It's not your loss!

JohnJo said...

On the BBC......"Mr Cameron accepted that some white middle class men would be disappointed not to be on the list."

Is that your problem Iain? Wrong class, wrong colour? I hope not because that's just fighting prejudice with prejudice. Nobody wins except the black lesbian dyslexic dwarf.

Splashitallover said...

Iain - These sort of wheezes don't last that long. If you want it badly enough, and work as hard at it as you have at other things you've done (I've seen you up close!), you'll get in. And you'll be in on your own merits rather than as a rubber-stamped, centrally approved droid. It'll be far more satisfying.

Anonymous said...

Oh go on, Iain. Get stomping on those sour grapes. It'll make a damn fine whine and I fancy a glass.

Made my day, old boy!

Bob Piper said...

Disgraceful! If a man can't beg and scrape to the leadership as you do and not be rewarded, politics is turning into a very dirty business.

I suspect having a sense of humour doesn't go down too well with 'Dave' and his ilk.

Rigger Mortice said...

Iain,may i join the many on here expressing dismay and their best wishes.

I think everything michael oakshott said is spot on and it will be interesting to see the whole list and whtehr it's a real change,ie some people who've spent some time in the real world or the normal parade of lawyers and london luvvies-but ethnic/female etc.

Soemone else made the point that DC is alientaing a number of activists,you know,the ones who do the work and raise the money.I know for sure they'll be opposition in a lot of constituencies

prolix said...

Sorry to hear this Iain. Stick with it though, as has been said, you're too good not to stand, even if you have to do it the hard way.

JohnJo said...

Bob, you should get one of those "Enemy of the State" T shirts made like the ones old Galloway did.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

I'm very sorry to hear that you are not on the "A" list of candidates. I hate that news. You are a loyal Conservative with a great deal of experience to offer a future Conservative Government.

You have all of my respect for the way you handle yourself. This blog keeps my spirits up, makes me laugh and importantly keeps me up to date with everything that goes on back home.

Yours truly,

An Iain Dale blog site addict, USA.

Scottishtory said...

As much as I disagree with some of the things Iain says, he has tremendous business and political experience and to exclude him is is a strange decision indeed.

Comrade Bernstein said...

No commisserations from me.More yound and dumb Tories, less people with talent and brains. That's the way I like it :)

Iain Murray said...

Their loss, Iain. I imagine rejected candidates are likely to work twice as hard to show the powers-that-be what they missed. I fully expect to see you in Parliament within 5 years.

Antony Calvert said...

Magnanimous and gracious. You should be on the A list for this alone.

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of people on here with useless stupid commiserations that never-the-less seem to accept the methodology of picking the A-list.

www.freebritannia.com said...

Time to join the Raving Loonies.

yourbiggestfan said...

You woz robbed!!

Metropolitian Minx said...

I can only assume the party are afraid of the power that a one Mr Dale could wield and how he would stand to shame all other MPs...

Their lost Ian.
Chin up

Paul Linford said...

Even as a non-Tory, can I add my commiserations. A clearly bonkers decision which I suspect will be seen as such by selection committees.

Anonymous said...

Curious why you are not surprised. You obviously had a feeling you might not fit, and know why as well. Why is this?

Is it:

being white, male, middle class
or
doing badly at the last election in a marginal seat
or
something else?

leon said...

Anyone outside the party seen this list?

Davide Simonetti said...

I don't know if this is relevant not being a Tory, but I heard David Cameron speak at the Power Inquiry conference last Saturday and he was talking about having US-style primaries for candidates. To me that implies that you might still have a chance.

David Cameron Mp said...

Worst of this is Ians a poof so surely he should have got extra points? (+:
I suppose that a man who runs a reasonably successful business in the real world,is a patriot,and puts his own people first just isnt what Dave and Zac see as the future , well fuck Dave and Zac.

wonkotsane said...

You need to get some publicity and you're bound to get on the list Iain.

I suggest you get yourself on a big jumbo jet, burn a hole in the ozone layer to Greenland and then transfer onto a gas guzzling boat to some glacier somewhere and pose for the cameras whilst talking about the environment.

Ah, actually that's been done before.

How about popping down to Clapham Comm ... on second thoughts, maybe not.

Got any peerages you can sell?

You could always try shagging your secretary ...

I know, get a crap haircut and charge around a football pitch maiming Germans. Bound to increase your popularity no end and, since you speak German, you can even apologise convincingly and look like a nice guy to the foreign press.

stalin's gran said...

If anyone should be A-list it is you, my friend.

Pulsar said...

A bad decision by Flip,Flop & Tombstone-the fun will come when A) we find out who is on the list & B)when they try to force an unwanted candidate on a seat-twenty five or so Cheltenhams at the same time would be of real interest to the media!
Whose fag was Dave at Eton anyway?
I hope that the young people don't get too carried away with the election result-it did after all have a lot to do with Clarke & Prescott!
Long way to go without any policies-hang in there you'll get a seat-quality will out!!!
Game on!

Umbongo said...

Commiserations. I'm appalled but not surprised. Mind you if the party can survive Heath and Major it'll survive this shower.

Anonymous said...

Their loss, our gain.

Anonymous said...

You all talk as though it's the end of the world - it's not!

The list is meant to be a rolling list which people will join on merit and leave on selection or rejection (if their commitment is found wanting), but always around 120 strong. Iain can still make it. I imagine that the reaction of some borderline candidates to this initial rejection will be taken into consideration at a later date. Those who shoot off to the press and spout angry bile will be securing their fates, those who carry on as before may secure non-priority list status and even get onto the list itself at some future date.

Don't give up - we need you!

Anonymous said...

Hard luck Iain.

and they didn't even have to ask you the question " Who did you vote for in the leadership election ? "

You were scuppered even before your interview.

jafo said...

Sorry to hear this, Iain, but as others have said - you could still get your chance, from the looks of the 3 I have seen there will be many constituencies who think they lack "gravitas"............

As for the candidate representing the constituency, which one would that be for Zac Goldsmith - is there one consisting entirely of multimillionaires worried about the rain forest?

Jaz said...

I'm sorry to hear about this.

However, times move on, new people, new times.

I love the blog though.

Hayek's Grandad said...

Bad luck, but anyway you couldn't aford the pay cut.

ian said...

With Adam Rickett on the list, I think a touch of the Groucho Marxs might be in order.

Pete Bridges said...

Just reading and then watching this blog on Channel 4 News!

Fame indeed!

Anonymous said...

It's as if Alan Pardew had suddenly decided to leave Teddy Sheringham on the bench.

Daniel Vince-Archer said...

First the Sun, then Channel 4 News!

Bit disappointed that the comment by 'Sheridan's Mum' (did Shezza make the list I wonder?) about voting for the BNP got picked up.

Sorry to hear you didn't make the list Iain. No malice intended, but I hope Rafa's Red Army make it an even worse week for you this weekend ;-)

Anonymous said...

Never mind, Iain - remember how long it took Michae Howard to get into Parliament? He didn't do too badly...

David said...

Meanwhile the Beeb use it as an excuse to trot out three people all of whom said things to the effect that the Tories were all racist white bastards etc etc...how strange that they only ones they could find were all anti Tory....how unusual for our own Dear Beeb...not. The problem is that the Tories have been demonised that much *(especially by the Beeb) that I fully expect people to still believe we eat babies and drink blood whilst toasting Dame Maggie's birthday with Nazi salutes..

Bad luck - want to start a proper Tory Party - one that has low taxes, small government and whilst providing support for those who need then gets the hell out of our lives and lets us get on with things! No more Nanny Politics!

Nell said...

sorry to hear, but as a member of local A.M.E I know some constituencies are resisting being told that they HAVE to select from a reduced list........ feeling that a 'diverse' candidate would not be acceptable to the electorate (they tried a scot last time.... that was diverse enough)

Mark Hanson said...

I'm amazed as well - you'd think Cameron would want people who have a bit of personality

I'm also amazed because you're such a well known blogger, bloggers are the future and Cameron wants to attach himself to anything thats future-ish

MoscowMan said...

Commiserations - but now that I see who did make it, I think you can be grateful. Emigrate - there will be an interesting election here soon - German speaking ex-intelligence types seem to do well.

ian said...

Why don't you claim you were ill on the day of the interview, and ask for another one?

Anonymous said...

Early days yet Iain. A great blog and a fine fellow in my Tory-boy days I used hang around Politicos and blow all my pocket money!

I haven't yet made up my mind on the wisdom of the 'A-list' strategy if it helps convince people to vote Tory then maybe that's no bad thing. But it does stick in the craw. For your party's sake, I hope the gamble pays off...

Ellee Seymour said...

It seems like the whole country is in mourning, I send my my deepest sympathies too.

Anonymous said...

Very sensible performance on Newsnight Iain!
The A list is a disaster waiting to happen. The whole process needs to be more open and transparent, not less so - goodness knows how it was decided who gets on the list. The Party's current candidates system attracts from a narrow pool of political anoraks - if you want more women at the top of the list, this can't be fixed immediately as we've tried after every recent election. We need a process to encourage a much wider range of people to get involved at all levels and to apply to the list, and fix the problem over time. Why doesn't the party go out and headhunt women like the new apprentice winner to the list, instead of promoting some existing weaker candidates on the basis of their sex or colour, as has inevitably happened. Anyone who hasn't proved themselves competent in a losing election fight is a huge risk if put straight into a winnable seat (like so many of the Blair babes), which can't be in the party's long term interests. Then again, perhaps the dreadful constituency selection committees will continue to select the white middle class, married male, even if the A list woman happens to be a much stronger candidate...

irritated said...

where's the damn list?

Ellee Seymour said...

I am asking my readers to tell me Adam has that Iain doesn't, please check it out.

Poverty Is Thrift said...

wtf is so wrong with being a white middle class male?
It may come as something of a shock to certain people but we white middle class males make up a large proportion of the productive population of this country.

Dave said...

Iain
Serves you right for dobbing me in to my employer in the National Dock Labour Scheme strike, you bastard.
Never mind, I'm sure there's a constituency association out there that is rightwing enough to select you. Most of them, probably ...
Good luck
Dave O

Neil Craig said...

Knowing nothing about the Tory constitution how mandatory/advisory is this list. I believe that at one time Tory constituencies were sovereignto themselves.

I can understand that (PR spoiler warning) in a system of 2 broad church parties debating over a very narrow "middle ground" the prime requirement of a backbencher in ANY party is that they never say anything off message & the possibility of them saying something important isn't worth the risk (eg Howard Flight). You are clearly articulate, competent & thoughtful hence the problem.