Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Widdecombe, Prescott, Maidstone and Me

Ann Widdecombe had a mildly embarrassing encounter tonight, although at the time she didn't realise it. She tells me that she was speaking at a dinner in one of the House of Commons dining rooms when she was asked by one of the guests if there had ever been a question she couldn't answer. She replied in a charcteristically trenchant voice that indeed there was. The question was: what could any woman see in John Prescott that would make them want to have an affair with him? As she was saying this, guess who walked past the door? Yup, got it in one.

Now, as so many people seem so interested in (or in the case of Labour MP and attack-yapper Tom Watson, obsessed by) my intentions regarding the Maidstone & the Weald seat, yes I have thrown my hat into what will be a very large ring. Applications closed today, so I think it's only right that I am up front about it. However, I'm not going to give a running commentary. Thank you, and goodnight!

PS Posting will be back to its normal frequency tomorrow now that my family duties have been completed. Thanks to all who left kind comments about the funeral. They were much appreciated. It was a beautiful service and Eleanor got a tremendous turnout. My eulogy went as well as I could have expected and I managed to hold it together - just.

45 comments:

ezra said...

Glass houses...

verity said...

How could they even consider anyone else?

rob's uncle said...

I wish you well in yr Maidstone application.

Andy C said...

Superb headline. Have the News of the World asked you for any photos yet ?

Conjures up a horrible image though.

Paul Holmes said...

Im very pleased you are going for it, you are a man we need in the Commons and I wish you well.

Ordovicius said...

Good luck with that, Iain.

Diablo said...

Can you afford it? I seem to remember you telling us that you nearly went into bankruptcy when you stood in Norfolk.

Surely Lord Ashcroft isn't supporting rock solid Conservative seats?

Good luck if you're sure it's the right move.

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Iain!

Good luck to you in your quest to secure nomination as Conservative candidate for Maidstone and the Weald!

WHILE I personally wouldn't vote for ANY Tory for ANY seat (unless it was a united front versus the BNP or something similar) the fact is, I don't have a vote anyway (can hear the cheers across the blogosphere).

But IF a Tory is going to win MATW (and the numbers suggest this is highly likely) then I certainly hope it's YOU. Because you, sir, as we say in the States, are a gentleman AND a scholar.

And methinks that this may truly be the seat for you.

Not only is it convenient to London, but by selecting Miss Widdecombe back in the 1980s, the local Tories have already demonstrated that they are quite willing to pick a quality candidate who is quirky, colorful, opinionated, entertaining, intelligent, principled, articulate, aggressive, sensitive and MOST definitely "outside the box". Someone who is solidly conservative, fiercely independent AND a team player . . . most of the time anyway!

Bon chance (if that's not too Europhile).

Most sincerely,
SSI

PS - Win it for your Godmother!

Dusanne said...

"I managed to hold it together - just". To be in that hinterland between doing what we feel we must do and taking the option of letting it overcome you entirly is one of the hardest places you can be. I'm sure everyone here is glad to hear that you got through it and, from what you have written, Eleanor got the send off it sounds she deserves.

Now, on a completely different subject...come on you Maidstoners! I did spend a few moments considering the political landscape of an area I once knew reasonably well, in Election Battleground style, but then I remembered it was Maidenhead I was thinking of so...erm....

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Diablo, don't think money is a problem with THIS constituency . . . leastways after securing the Conservative nomination.

According to Almanac of British Politics 8th ed, notational Conservative majority is 12,922 (29.0%). Which will be hard to dent EVEN if Labour & Lib Dems stop splitting the center-left vote.

And which is why there is a crowd of eager young (or youngish like Iain!) Tories seeking to fill Ann Widdecombe's sensible shoes (just guessing re: footwear).

poohbear said...

Well done Iain and good luck! I hope you are successful, you have some very big shoes to fill! but I am sure you are up to the task.

Treacle Dogget said...

"However, I'm not going to give a running commentary."

Yes and an Airbus A380 sized pig just flew past my window....

jonathan hemlock said...

And to cheer everyone up on this frosty morning, it looks like another old story is about to come back to life:

"Police kept secrets after honours enquiry"

Richard said...

Good luck, Iain. Whilst it will be a shame to see Ann Widdecombe stepping down from national politics, I'm sure that your own brand of political savvy will be much appreciated by Maidstone's constituents and perhaps by the wider country as well.

Paul Linford said...

Well, full marks for being upfront about it, but as I have said on Watson's blog, I don't think many Labour people in your position would have been as honest. At least one of the people who commented on that post is himself seeking a parliamentary seat, a fact which he has not yet chosen to disclose on his blog.

Z-Lister walking way said...

Good luck Ian but at least you were allowed to apply unlike hundreds of others on the Candidates List.

Half The Story said...

Glad the funeral went well, and hope you win the selection.

Has the lady in question given a nod of approval to anyone on the nomination slist?

Chuck Unsworth said...

Well I hope the rumours of Prescott's incipient deafness are unfounded. About time he got it from the horse's mouth.

Er, I'm not too sure I meant that...

Anyway, good luck at Maidstone. Widdecombe was pretty good as a local MP, and a great fighter (not physically, of course, although I wouldn't want to take her on in the ring as it were), so she's a hard act for anyone to follow.

Commentary of any sort would not be wise - and might not be at all interesting either.

jane said...

good luck - but - there are better things to do than an MP's job, I know this. Also I have always rather fancied John Prescott. So there.

The Putney Villan said...

Good luck Iain!

Hope you get it!

Hats off said...

Good Luck Iain.

Hope you get it.

mutleythedog said...

If you are selected Mr D, I shall come and deliver leaflets for you... I don't live far away.

Bel said...

I agree with Paul Linford's comments, Iain. Wishing you the best in your political career.

About Tom Watson's comments, best to ignore them, I think. There is, to me, something childish and mildly distasteful about someone who has managed to achieve something (in this case, become an MP) making fun of someone else who is only trying to achieve the same. That is what I think when I read Tom's comments. He managed to find a seat somewhere and get elected. Rather than being humble and grateful for the opportunity to serve, he spends his time poking fun at others who are trying to achieve the same. Smug, or what?

All the best, Iain. Hope everything goes well.

Letters From A Tory said...

It's like I've always said, you have to be cruel to be kind.

Praguetory said...

Best of luck. I'd be happy to help should you win the selection.

Half The Story said...

Anyone else having read Tom Watson's blog feel as if it is a Guardian cherry picked site?

Just full of Guardian stories!

I read the Guardian so can digest their content myself. But his puff pieces are crawling elements of Brown nosing.

Cinnamon said...

Good luck Iain!

(Hals und Beinbruch, toi toi toi)

M. Hristov said...

It seems a busy time for you, Iain. Life has a way of throwing things at us all at once. Tragedy, with the death of your godmother. Hope, with the application to Maidstone. Expansion, with the new plans for 18DS. Good luck with the application to Maidstone and the expansion plans. I am sure your godmother would be proud of you.

tapestry said...

would you want a blogger as your MP?

the tone round these parts would change a bit probably....the phrase 'poacher turned game-keeper' springs to mind.

jailhouselawyer said...

So, you have finally caught up with Chris Paul's exclusive regarding your intentions "regarding the Maidstone seat".

Anonymous said...

"I am up front "

One hopes not in the Widdy way! it's one thing to walk in the shoes of the predecessor. The lingerie. . . .

Alan Douglas said...

Iain,

If Maidstone select you, that would achieve balance - from an MP who is not interested in men to one who is !

Hope you take this in the spirit meant - good luck, parliament needs you !

Alan Douglas

PS I would understand if you choose not to publish this one !

DIRTY EUROPEAN SOCIALIST said...

Prescott behaved wrongly. But how many troes have been caught with their pants down.

John said...

Good Lad, Iain! Hope you get it.

squire said...

I see Mr. (Ms. ?) DES demonstrates his/her 'linguistic' incompetence here also ... hopefully his interest will quickly wane.

Anonymous said...

Did you only have one comment between 12:49 and 3:56pm?

Daily Referendum said...

I'm a bit late Iain, but the best of luck. What a great seat.

johnny toeline said...

From now on will you only write things that are acceptable to CCHQ?

Iain Dale said...

Johnny toeline, if you are a regular reader of this blog you will realise that I have a mind of my own. That doesn't change if you become a candidate.

Dave H said...

Good luck with Maidstone Iain.

johnny toeline said...

Yes, I am a regular reader of this blog.

You do rather like to pander to the themes set by CCHQ, don't you?

I predict more pandering, less independence and more censoring of comments from now on.

Anonymous said...

jane said...
"I have always rather fancied John Prescott. So there."

This Jane turns out to be a former Labour MP, and her profile states that she fancies rats. Interesting.

Best of luck in Maidstone, Iain.

jane said...

No, it's the rats which are fancy.

Rachel Joyce said...

Good luck Iain. Would be good to have you as an MP - a real asset for us all.

Osama the Nazrene said...

Ms Widdecombe will be missed.