Wednesday, November 22, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Sandi Toksvig to Stand in Meon Valley?

The LibDems have been courting comedian Sandi Toksvig to stand for Parliament for ages. I now understand that they might have been successful. If what I hear is right she is considering taking a tilt at the Meon Vally constituency, where the Conservatives have just selected George Hollingbery. Meon Valley has a very small notional Tory majority and much of the constituency is made up of Mark Oaten's current seat. The LibDems seem to have made a calculation that the only way they can win it is with a star name like Sandi Toksvig. There's no doubt she would be quite a catch for them. Her LibDem roots go back some way and she can certainly be considered to be on the left of the Party - not an Orange Booker by any means! She also lives close to the constituency in Guildford.

I got to know Sandi quite well when I used to be a regular on her LBC lunchtime radio talk show. I can't remember a single thing that we agreed on apart from a mutual love of radio. If she did enter full time politics she would certainly make it more entertaining and interesting. However, I still think she'd hate it. And in the end that may be what holds her back.

49 comments:

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot said...

Is the lady a British citizen?

Anonymous said...

Like it - reckon she could be quite good..

Like your attempts to put her off Iain!

Fib Dem said...

Any Lib Dem candidate is doomed in Meon and Winchester because of the "Oaten effect".

Rigger Mortice said...

and she's really nauseating!

Croydonian said...

"There is nothing like a Dane"....

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Iain, she is funny enough to be a comedian, but can she possibly be funny enough to be a LibDem MP? Can anybody?

Inamicus said...

If she's selected, it will be interesting to see if the local Conservatives attack her for her sexual orientation or not....

Ross Parker said...

From Wikipedia:

"On the 18 September 2006, Sandi said on The Bigger Picture with Graham Norton, that she is in the middle of applying for British citizenship."

She'll have it by the next GE

wrinkled weasel said...

Isn't Parliament currently over represented by lesbians and gays?

Raggasonic said...

I'd like it if she was an MP. So what if some unknown Tory doesn't win, he's probably a white male stockbroker/lawyer identikit. Politics needs more colourful people and she's an independent voice. For sure, I'd be worried if she was in Cabinet as she probably likes the sound of her voice but she's a Lib Dem, so the prospect of government is quiet remote.

Jh said...

Yuk. This woman is usually quite clueless when she appears on question time. As we've seen, celebrity candidates (Rusty Lee, that guy who won the tv show) Dont tend to influence results too much.

Anonymous said...

Look at the positives though. If she stood for the Lib Dems there could be some interesting debates between her and Polly Toynbee, as the new adviser on Cameron's social policy.

Ultimately she just ain't gonna find Parliament as interesting as the people she meets on excess baggage, now that the Beast of Bolsover and Clare Short are on their way out.

dynamite said...

I'm sure she'd be an excellent and unusual candidate, in the model of Ludovic Kennedy and Clement Freud.

Anonymous said...

I doubt she would win in Meon Valley. Mark Oaten's vote was helped by a succession of poor Tory Winchaster MP's, the urbanisation of Winchester, and the total collapse of the Labour vote. Meon Valley is a very different prospect and whilst the Labour voters of Winchester might have been willing to vote for the down-to-earth Mark Oaten whose PR was very good, it is harder to see them doing the same for the oh-so clever Ms Toskvig.

As for her sexual orientation, we are all broad minded, but is it really a good idea for ST to be going after a bit of Mark Oaten's seat, if you'll pardon the expression?

ConservativeHomo said...

"isn't Parliament currently over represented by lesbians and gays?"

Don't think so - Peter Tatchell (not a source I'd usually rely on) says 6 Labour, there are two tories and Simon Hughes (who probably counts as a half). So 8.5/646 is nowhere near the 6% estimated by the government. Or even close.

Torygirl said...

Excellent! The voters of Meon Valley will have a riot - either the oh-so-patronising George Hollingbury or Sandy Toskvig! I think I know who I'd vote for! it would make for an interesting election in this naturally Tory seat.

Anonymous said...

"oh so patronising" clearly comes from someone who doesn't know George very well

Kevin Davis said...

What a joke! Joke candidates for the joke party.

I am not sure the good people of Winchester would agree with your analysis that Guildford is close!

Anonymous said...

Iain, she would find it quite difficult as applications for Meon closed sometime ago.

Therese Coffey said...

Lib Dems must be on a charm offensive to the media circle. I have heard that they are trying to get Sally Taylor (BBC South Today presenter), though she is starting a new Saturday morning radio slot as well so may be a little busy.

Anonymous said...

Excellent news. Why should politics be the last bastion against Z-list celebrities?

After Adam Rickett and Sandi Toksvig I propose celbrity-only shortlists in some constituencies, regardless of ability to do the job. Peter Andre for Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jodie Marsh for Leader of the House, Carol Thatcher for London Mayor.

Actually, that last one is plain ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

it will be very interesting to see how the liberal democrat leadership are going to get her in to this seat. I guess there'll be pressure brought to bear on the local selectorate to select her at all costs. I wonder too how quickly they'll fast track her through the approval process. And at whose expense?

machiavelli said...

She'd probably have a reasonable contribution to make, but let's be honest - a regular panellist of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue could only stand as a Lib Dem!

Anonymous said...

anoymous at 1.13pm

When has democratic process ever been a barrier to certain people in the liberal democrats getting in their preferred candidate?

Wake up anonymous - there may be a deadline but we can all think of plenty of cases where playground bullying or fillibustering have been used to get the 'chosen' one into a seat.

Man in a shed said...

So its back to the chat show Charlie strategy for the “anything to get elected” dems.

And they wonder why they're not taken seriously!

Unixman said...

Oh joy ....
Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here
Cirque de Celebrite
Celebrity The Race
Celebrity Parliament ....

Mark WIlliams said...

Some people have short memories. Look what happened the last time the Lib Dems got heavily involved with TV and Radio panellists.

Torygirl said...

To 'anonymous' who said:"oh so patronising" clearly comes from someone who doesn't know George very well -

Sending patronising letters to 50 year old voters telling them they should be at bingo and tea dances?
What a way to annoy your electorate!

Winchester whisperer said...

Which joker will be the LibDem Winchester candidate?

Ian Thorpe said...

Much as I love Sandi I have to ask does the Meon Valley constituency include Hobbiton and Bagg End?

Anonymous said...

She apparently is applying for British Citizenship so I hope Reid loses the file

wrinkled weasel said...

Conservative homo. This time I am Shirley Temple.

As for Tatchell, he has several articles that claim otherwise and, for the record, I tend to think he is a force for good.

He is quoting openly gay. We know there are several who are, but refuse to admit it, for career reasons, and because they don't want to upset their wives or their constituents.

Don't be a hypocrite. You know there are many who are keeping quiet about it and who won't admit it until they are caught.

You do your cause no good by re-telling the lies of hysterical pressure groups like Stonewall.

There is no rule that homosexuals, or frotteurs or coprophiliacs be represented in Parliament, but I have no doubt they are their in inordinate numbers already.

Anonymous said...

This rumour goes with Sally Taylor (mentioned above) and Belinda Oaten (believe it or not this is being talked about seriously by some).
Who knows if it's true but the Meon Valley numbers include the Winchester seat with Oaten still well liked and respected. I can't see even Toksvig replacing that very easily but she'd be better placed than most.

Michael Hoskin said...

Conservativehomo says that there are 2 gay Tory MPs. Well, Alan Duncan and Nick Herbert are well known, but I'm sure we can think of at least 3 others who have demonstrated such characteristics (assuming you include Greg Barker who may technically be considered as bisexual).

But does it really matter if they are good?

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that if Toksvig is interested in standing at all she'd be much better off going for Winchester.
Nominal 7,000 LD majority, a relatively in tact LD activist base, lots of smug Radio 4 listeners and needing a personality to counter the Oaten effect to keep the seat yellow.
If I were her I wouldn't waste my time in Meon Valley, I'd go to Winchester.

wrinkled weasel said...

Conservative homo is the worst kind of hypocrite. He wants to populate parliament with gays but for some reason he wants to ban Christians.

When it comes to numbers and percentage of the population, he is outnumbered, somewhat.

And before he plays the homophobic card I suggest he reads this article on my now-defunct blog, an impassioned plea for his rights.

http://wrinkledweasel.blogspot.com/2006/06/hate-crimes.html

billy said...

I learn so much from this blog. I didn't know that Sandy Tostig was a comedienne.

GaryJ said...

Hasn't Toksvig been in trouble recently for encouraging tourism to Sudan without bothering to mention the bit of trouble in Darfur?

When challenged she replied that if she took into account the politics of countries she visited, she wouldn't travel to America.

Perhaps she'd be happier as the new Respect candidate in Bethnal Green & Bow

verity said...

GaryJ - Yes, that smirking remark sickened me. I hope she loses ignominiously.

I think we should only have candidates who are Weakest Link winners.

allan said...

Oh dead, some deeply sad misanthropes on this thread. Verity, you're too sour and spiteful human, so I exclude you.

Curmy said...

At least it'll get her off The News Quiz. Her laugh sounds like a chicken laying an egg.

Andrea said...

"So 8.5/646 is nowhere near the 6% estimated by the government"

There're 11 openly gay MPs (7 Labour, 2 tories, 1 Libdem and 1 Plaid) + bi Hughes, Oaten (who's a category on his own) and the Tory chap who left wife for the decorator.

Then there're all the closet gays and the "don't tell everyone, mum doesn't know" /make your business" types.
Amanda Platel thinks that 10% of Tory MPs are gay...but maybe (as someone on politicalbetting.com suggested) she's wrong and they were just not interested in her.

Anonymous said...

A Radio 4 gal would even it up... after all, the Lib Dems elected I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue's Humph as their leader...

Laban said...

She talked about the 'liberation' of the Sudan by the Mahdi's forces.

When people complained she said “I think that you can’t necessarily choose your country to visit because of its human rights issues. If we were to all do that we would be pretty limited in our choice of countries to go to. For my money it would almost certainly exclude the United States...”

http://drinkingfromhome.blogspot.com/2006/09/sandi-toksvig.html

Andrew K said...

Is she as dull in real life as she is on the radio? I would love to know who commissions her stuff, and why.

Rob can't be bothered to log in said...

Sorry folks, it aint gonna happen:

http://www.libdemvoice.org/toksvig-to-stand-for-lib-dems-268.html

The Remittance Man said...

Mr Parker,

You forget who controls the naturalisation and immigration service.

If the NIS can fast track the naturalisation of the nanny of a minister's paramour after a couple of quick phone calls, imagine what they could do with an oppostion candidate's application given the "right" instructions.

"I'm very sorry Miss Tostvik we have absolutely no record of your application on our system".

Not Saussure said...

What, I wonder, is the justification for not allowing the voters of Meon Valley (or anywhere else) not to elect a Danish citizen as their MP if that's what seems good to them? I can't offhand think of any arguments against them being allowed thus to exercise their democratic rights that wouldn't also apply to their being able (as they are) to elect an Irish citizen as their MP should they so wish.

I realise the historical reasons for the uniquely privileged situation among foreign citizens resident here that citizens of the Republic enjoy, but I can't think of any logical reason why, since would be perfectly possible for people to elect Graham Norton as their MP if they wanted, they shouldn't also be allowed to vote for Sandi Toksvig.

ConservativeHomo said...

should probably clarify - I'm not in favour of quotas at all - I was just responding to an earlier posster who suggested gays were over-represented. Talent is the only criterion that should matter.

I wasn't attacking Christians, I just object to bishops having voting rights in the Lords. Not the same thing.