Sunday, June 21, 2009

LibDems Select Itinerant for Norwich North

I always thought the LibDems could be a bit dim, but they've really gone and done it now. April Pond is their candidate for the new Norfolk seat of Broadland. Or she was. Today Norwich North LibDems have selected her as their candidate for the Norwich North by-election. Let's make an assumption that she loses - after all, the LibDems have never really done anything in Norwich North in the past and always come third, so it's a reasonable assumption. What does she do then? Go crawling back to Broadland LibDems and beg for them to have her back? What on earth will Broadland voters make of her whoring herself across Norfolk? After all, in 2005 she was the candidate in South West Norfolk for the LibDems. Norman Lamb had better watch out. She'll have her sights set on North Norfolk if he's not careful!

I do look forward to hear what Norfolk Blogger has to say on this. If the LibDems had had any sense they would have moved heaven and earth to persuade him to stand.

It's an unwritten rule in politics that once you are selected for a seat, you stick with it. Imagine in 2004 if I had abandoned North Norfolk to apply for the then vacant seat of Tunbridge Wells. April Pond's selection shows just what a dearth of candidates they must have had for this by-election. I suspect they will come to deeply regret their choice.

[It's OK, I have stopped ROFLing now.]

UPDATE 8pm: LibDem Voice has now posted about April Pond, but for some strange reason have omitted to mention her previous candidacy. Wonder why that would be.

72 comments:

Sir Dando Tweakshafte said...

There is, my housekeeper Sven tells me, an inelegant medical slang expession for such situations - "NFN" or "Normal for Norfolk".

(naturally, I don't understand that joke)

Russell said...

Sir Dando, I fear it refers to the lamentable tendency of the natives to copulate with each other quite indiscriminately.

I am sure there is no record of the exquisitely named Ms April Pond being the issue of any such questionable union.

She is, however, a Liberal Democrat.

disillusioned Dale blog reader said...

Iain, If you become the Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells, I will eat my hat.

Mind you, I will soak it up with a few beers at any pub in Tunbridge Wells with you that you care to mention.....

Morus said...

I'm surprised at your take on this Iain.

Norwich North Lib Dems didn't have a candidate lined up for the General Election when the by-election was announced, so they'd need to find someone - that they've chosen someone local implies they've learnt from their mistake in Henley.

Given that Broadlands (a new seat at the next election) contains some wards from the old Norwich North (the by-election being fought on the old boundaries of course) April Pond will get a chance to appeal to voters who will be in her 'new' constituency of Broadlands once the changes take effect.

This isn't exactly parachuting in a random candidate - she is already the PPC for some of the wards, and there was no candidate at short notice. I think the fact that she's "doing it for the sake of the party" would be the sort of line that would ameliorate her selection panel and voters in her new constituency.

I sort of get your point about abandoning your seat, but if "your seat" is part of a contested by-election, I think it's sort of understandable - though I'd have liked to see Norfolk Blogger contesting this by-election too!!

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

I dont think she will make much of a splash in the by-election!

LD = Pond Life!

VotR said...

Regardless of who wins, I hope Labour get nuked in the by-elections.

A message to Gordon and Mandy that their time runs short.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Sir Dando. There is an even more inelegant acronym. SNEFN, Sub-Normal Even for Norfolk. You must get out more, honoured Sir. You are far too sheltered from the crassness of today's society.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Russell, you have hit the target. Liberal + Democrat IS a questionable union

Anonymous said...

Not sure that it is particularly gallant to use the term "whoring" in connection with a female candidate, Iain. You should remove it and apologise.

Will said...

Having read your piece (and not knowing Norfolk) I assumed that Broadlands was a completely seperate constituency... until I did a bit of research (admittedly on wikipedia) and discovered:

Following its review into parliamentary representation in Norfolk, the Boundary Commission for England has created the Broadland constituency, which is the successor seat to Mid Norfolk but includes parts of North Norfolk and Norwich North

So you're taking offence that she is standing for a seat which overlaps with the same constituency she planned to fight at the next election? Makes sense to me - although I imagine she will be spending a disproportionate amount of time in the overlapping wards...

Iain Dale said...

It includes two wards, Taverham and Drayton. Big deal. I fully expect LibDems to come out and say why this is the greatest idea ever. But it isn't, as most of the honest ones realise.

James said...

"Whoring" is overstating it. Boris? Sir Malcolm?

But I disagree about Norfolk Blogger. He'd have led another of those dishonest local campaigns the Liberals specialise in. His contributions to a recent LibCon thread on this would have been funny had they not been so depressing.

Morus said...

Fair enough - it's by no means a great idea, but I think it isn't quite as flagrantly awful as abandoning your seat to fight a completely unrelated by-election, which I agree would look very bad to the voters.

Stephen Glenn said...

Iain I've just point out your hypocricy.

Care to explain Davena Rankin selected for Glasgow South, who then stood in Glasgow East and is now surprise, surprise PPC for Glasgow South.

Mike Smithson said...

Iain - come on you are making a fool of yourself here. The story is not as cut and dried as you first out and you, after all, don't have much to boast about when it comes to fighting the Lib Dems in that part of the world.

I seem to recall that in 2005 you were trying to overturn a Lib Dem majority of just 403 votes.

On election day that became 10,606.

Hamish said...

"Imagine in 2004 if I had abandoned North Norfolk to apply for the then vacant seat of Tunbridge Wells"
Er, what would have been the mind-boggling result?

This peevish post falls below your usual standards, Iain, and shows how your rejection still rankles.
Surely you can see that it opened the way to a successful alternative career, to your benefit and ours.

Dic Dyffryn said...

Iain, "whoring" was wholly unnecessary, and coming from someone who gets so worked up about sexist remarks, it was doubly unfortunate.

Everybody has their off-days, and I hope this was one of yours and that you will have the good manners to admit as much.

As for breaking unwritten rules, April Pond has some illustrious predecessors, including Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.

Stephen Glenn said...

Of course Iain it is a written rule in the Lib Dem constitution that if a by election is called, even if there is a PPC in place nominations are reopened to all approved candidates who are interested.

John Moss said...

I believe the next Tory leaflet in Broadlands is headlined,

"Lib-Dems think Lib-Dems can't win here"

Caron said...

I can almost get you wanting to make trouble, even if you don't have a case, given that as I understand it the sson to be formed Broadlands constituency and the Norwich North one share some territory.

However, to do so using such misogynistic, sexist terminology is appalling and if you do nothing else, you should withdraw that and apologise to April.

Iain Dale said...

Get over yourself. There's nothing worse in politics than holier than thou, sanctimonious LibDems on the rampage. What else would you call it then?

Yasin Akgun said...

very hypocritical of you to accuse someone of being sexist just because they described someone who happened to be a female of having a hissy fit whilst here you are using the term whoring..

pot, kettle, noir anyone?

Mark M said...

Iain, anything on the reports of the Labour whips trying to influence the vote? Gordon Brown again criticised for his role in the whipping operation.

How much longer can he go on, really?

Anonymous said...

Zzzz....

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

There's nothing worse in politics than holier than thou, sanctimonious LibDems on the rampage.

There is actually. It's called dishonest, sexist disinformation.

Pond fan said...

Not all Iain's readers are Tories. I'd like to thank him for giving those of us who are Lib Dems even more incentive to go and campaign for April.

Thatsnews said...

Expensesgate continues, Gordon as mental as ever

Thatsnews said...

"Wonder why that would be?"

Errr... because the LibDems are a bunch of dirty rogues?

Thatsnews said...

Stephen, you wrote: "Iain I've just point out..."

Can I point out that you, Stephen, are not quite as literate as you think?

Anonymous said...

insightful, informative and entertaining?

my arse!

Douglas McLellan said...

Although politically I dont usually agree with you I always read you blog looking for well informed comment.

Whilst you may have a point about candidates changing seats I think that they term whoring was totally out of order. Do you have the courage to face up to that?

You said hissy fit was sexist language. Why isnt whoring aswell?

Anonymous said...

There are male whores. Mark Oaten was found in bed with one, was he not?

Russell said...

Whoring is a quintessentially Liberal Democrat predilection. Look at the current name of the party! which Cleggover is said to hate!

Anonymous said...

There's nothing to joyful to see than a bunch of third place Limp Dicks whine because their crap candidate got called out. I believe phrase is epic fail.

Will 883 said...

Where I come from in Norfolk the equivalent of "Normal For Norfolk" is "Normal For Wisbech" (Cambridgeshire).

Unsworth said...

"Whoring".

Excellent choice of term - most appropriate. More please.

Pay no attention to the language gauleiters here. Let them attack the argument rather than the terminology. They are simply seeking to win argument by petty control freakery. Let them put up or piss off.

Simon Gardner said...

Umm. “Normal for Norfolk” on medical notes is specifically about incest as is “Normal for Cornwall”.

Simon Gardner said...

“It's an unwritten rule in politics that once you are selected for a seat, you stick with it.”

First I’ve heard of it. Are you sure you aren’t making this one up?

Anonymous said...

Caron et al..

You are forgetting that there is nowt worse than a gay failed MP who sees a woman potentially being more successful than him because she has more 'cojones'...

No wonder Mrs Dale is throwing all the toys out of the pram. Can't you just hear that self-righteous indignation in the blog 'tone of voice'...

'Take that sister !'

Anonymous said...

"What does she do then? Go crawling back to Broadland LibDems and beg for them to have her back? What on earth will Broadland voters make of her whoring herself across Norfolk?"

DALESPEAK TRANSLATION =

'What should I have done then ? Gone crawling on hands and knees to look for another constituency instead of being an 'A-list' Quitter. I am a LOSER in the MP stakes because I didn't indulge in ENOUGH WHORING and now it is too late, sob sob, and a WOMAN is going to succeed where I failed. Boo hoo hoo..'

Terrible thing, jealousy...

Mark Senior said...

I think Iain has a fair point . The LibDems should have followed the Conservative practice of adopting parliamentary candidates a la Ealing Southall
1) Find someone who is not a member of the Conservative party and who
2) also donates money to the Labour Party and
3) will disappear back into oblivion once he has lost the byelection but
4) persuaded a sectarian group of local councillors to defect from Labour to Conservative who then could
5) take over control of Ealing Southall Conservative association from the locals who had served the Conservative Party for many years .
Yes we LibDems have certainly a great deal to learn from Conservatives on how to select byelection candidates .

Caron said...

Iain, I really think the tone of your reply to me suggests that you know fine you have seriously screwed up here.

It happens to all of us - I think you should apologise to April and move on.

Iain Dale said...

It is always good to see LibDems full of righteous indignation.

David from Ealing said...

As a Lib Dem, this is the one Tory blog I feel I have to visit every day.

stereodog said...

Iain.

I am not in a position to comment on the Lib Dem's chosen candidate but saying "It is always good to see LibDems full of righteous indignation" is a little unfair. It reminds me of a catch 22 comment my Uncle once had at a job appraisal which was "Does not take criticism well".
Rightly or wrongly you were quite rude about the Lib Dem PPC and so supporters must either stay silent or face the accusation of indulging in righteous indignation.
I'm absolutely sure that you would be similarly indignant in the defence of a maligned Tory candidate.

Bearded Socialist said...

Haha, at least the good people of North Norfolk had the good sense to vote in Mr Norman Lamb, eh Mr Dale?
At least the Bearded Socialist is amused.

Also, is it true that in said election, you were part of "a very negative campaign in what had been one of their top targets seats"?

Stephen Glenn said...

Thank you that's news I hod noticed the tense of 'point' was incorrect. That's what I get for starting to write a comment, going of to write a blog post and then carrying on the comment without too much thought.

However, it doesn't go away from the point that I pointed out of how hypocritical it is for Iain to use this approach to launch his coverage of this election.

I agree with several of the other commenters and counter blogs that say he should apologise for his language. Which this time I personally didn't attack him on as there were so many faults in what he wrote.

(BTW I know exactly how literate I am also the level of the dyslexia I suffer)

Unsworth said...

@ stereodog

"so supporters must either stay silent or face the accusation of indulging in righteous indignation."

Yes, well they could equally simply sod off. Nobody actually forces them to comment, do they? It's not mandatory, and silence does not mean assent and agreement - unless you're some kind of Marxist or policeman (or, indeed, a Marxist policeman) of course.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dale a disgraceful comment to a female PPC... of whatever party.

You clearly owe an apology.

Anonymous said...

April Pond. Hm.






By the way, what was the name of the LibDem candidate?

Joe Taylor said...

Dr Pack makes an excellent point over at LDV:

"But Iain, a good chunk of Broadlands is in Norwich North and moving to Broadlands at the next election. So if she hadn’t got the selection, you could have written, “Lib Dems dump the person they’ve already selected to fight part of the seat”."

An easy mistake to make, I could have made it myself (although I'm not from Norfolk).

Time for an update of this post perhaps?

Yasin Akgun said...

Unsworth:

People are actually highlighting Ian's hypocrisy rather then saying they themselves have a problem with his rhetoric.

I for one had a lot of respect for Ian but when he went for the populist feminist support by accusing someone of being sexist my respect went down a notch.

And then to see him here say something that can be perceived as far more sexist (I'm not saying it is) shows him to be quite the hypocrit. I don't think Ian will shouting sexist at any more people now

Thats News said...

I think the thing about Iain's comment re Michael White is context. Iain is fully aware that Michael White is a hypocritical old sexist windbag and chose to call him on it.

White's reaction was amusing as it clearly touched a nerve.

I can imagine White saying to a woman: "My dear, I am fully in favour of women's liberation."

Jim said...

I am sure that "sex workers" will take great umbrage at being put in the same bracket of moral turpitude as MPs.

Should the use of the terms "honourable" and "member" be considered oxymoronic?

Bearded Socialist said...

Mr Dale calling Michael White a sexist was hilarious. Mr White was bang on the money and Mr Dale looked like the dogmatic idiot he so clearly is.
HA!

Iain Dale said...

As everyone will be well aware I was not calling April Pond a whore. I used the word in the sense of touting.

In any case, even if I had used it in the sense that so many seem to allege, it could not have been sexist. For the education of most of the commenters on this thread, I should let you into a little secret. Whisper it, but there are male whores too. Gasp!

Bearded Socialist said...

Mr Dale's comment above tells all you need to know about most of the people who read here.
Anyone need help unfolding their voting papers?

Bearded in supporting Ian Dale shock. It won't last

Jim Baxter said...

'It's an unwritten rule in politics that once you are selected for a seat, you stick with it.'

Maybe somebody can explain this to me but I take Iain's point to be that you stay with the constituency that has selected you as its PPC and contest an election for them. After that, win or lose, there is no stigma in switching to another area. This lady seems to have switched before contesting the seat for which she was originally selected and that's the difference. Isn't it?

Iain Dale said...

Jim, that's correct, yes.

Anonymous said...

"but there are male whores too."

Yes Iain, but men can also have "hissy fits".

The point is your inconsistency, not necessarily your sexism.

(Though Conservatives starting a dirty campaign is a bit uncalled for.)

April is a fantastic candidate.

To Jim: Yes, it is a difference, but April had already been selected by the local Liberal Democrats for part of this area, so her selection makes perfect sense.

(I think Iain should probably withdraw the article myself - go on, be brave.)

Iain Dale said...

I might take more notice of you if you weren't anonymous. By the way, I haven't made any comment on April Pond's abilities as a candidate, contrary to what you imply.

Mark Senior said...

Looked at Norfolk Bloggers blog and he leads on Osborne's flipping to save £ 55,000 in tax now is that mentioned on this site - I wonder why not ?

MatGB said...

Jim, that would've been a good point if it were accurate.

April is, and remains, the PPC for Broadland at the next General Election. Broadland is a new seat. She's also the candidate in the seat the by-election is in, which shares four wards with the new Broadland seat, but ceases to exist at the next General Election.

There are a number of sitting MPs who will change constituency after the boundary changes take effect, the most famous one being in Brent, where Sarah Teather and Dawn Butler will contest the same seat as they've effectively merged.

If April is elected, she will remain the candidate for the new constituency, as the seat she's contesting in the by-election ceases to exist.

Iain. The two towns you name each have two wards in them, making four wards from Norwich going into Broadland. She's not abandoning anything.

You would've had a good point if you hadn't got the facts wrong, and you devalued it by the poor choice of language used.

Lib Dems choose existing PPC to fight by-election shock. Had to happen someday I suppose.

Iain Dale said...

Matt, you should do your research properly mate. Norwich North does not cease to exist at the next election. It continues in its current form minus Drayton and Taverham - two County Council seats. She cannot be candidate for both. There is no analogy with Teather or Butler.

Will she stick by Norwich North or crawl back to Broadland. I suspect the voters of neither constituency will be very impressed.

MatGB said...

Ah, for some reason I thought N North was being scrapped completely. So yes, could've picked a different example. Regardless, parliamentary constituencies are mapped to district wards, not county wards, as I'm sure you're aware (not that it makes a huge difference), and thus it's 4 wards, Taverham N, Taverham S, Drayton N and Drayton S.

If she's elected as MP for Norwich North in this Parliament, she could of course chose to be candidate there next time, or she could still contest Broadland, which is what Keith Simpson, the MP for Mid-Norfolk is doing as Mid Norfolk moves significantly as well. I'm sure he'll be pleased that you think he's "crawling" to a different seat ;-)

Norwich North Lib Dems didn't have a PPC, but Broadland did, and Broadland is made up of part of the existing Norwich North. Seems like the most obvious choice to me—the only part of your objection that makes sense is if she wins.

Are you conceding defeat to her already?

Iain Dale said...

Oh dear Mat, please stop digging your hole deeper and deeper.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Norman For Norfolk is one of those urban myths trotted out by townies on other parts of the world who think themselves very funny.

The worst example of this was when Recess Monkey claimed on his blog that it was a phrase used about people in Norfolk that Norfolk people largely knew nothing about.

In fact it is a quote often used in Norfolk for a totally different purpose which is to point out something that is very local to Norfolk in the way that people mught say "Only in America".

Also there is a regular "Normal For Norfolk" revue held every year at the Norwich Playhouse which reviews the year, from a Norfolk point of view.

As for James view of my campaigning, he knows little of what I do or how I behave. Iain does know how I campaign and although I would desribe my campaigning as fierce, and full on, I think Iain would agree that I am fair and don't tell lies. But as James appears to be a Green I guess he's experienced in that type of campaign, a common feature of the way the Greens work.

Unsworth said...

@ Yasin Akgun

(A fine old English name, that. From the Norfolk Akgun branch, perhaps?)

Anyway, do you not think that 'people' might/ought to be able to express their views without your assistance?

Anonymous said...

Dear Iain,

There aren't many people who could do what you do:

Sit at the computer all day tracking other's progression in life, commenting on it whilst desperately trying to hold in your bitterness and resentment of the fact that you are going nowhere.

(Just to satisfy my childish needs)P.S. You are a Twat

Jim Baxter said...

@Anonymous said...
Dear Iain,

There aren't many people who could do what you do:

Sit at the computer all day tracking other's progression in life, commenting on it whilst desperately trying to hold in your bitterness and resentment of the fact that you are going nowhere.

(Just to satisfy my childish needs)P.S. You are a Twat

June 22, 2009 9:27 PM

Gosh. So that's what it's like to look in a mirror. I always wondered. Mine always crack.

wv: nintsw - perfect - meaningless twaddle.

Gerard Charmley said...

You know, as someone who was brought up in Broadland, and who cut their political teeth in the Mid-Norfolk Conservative Association, I should like to point out that the villages of Drayton and Taverham have only been a part of Norwich North since the 1997 boundary changes. Before then they were part of Mid Norfolk. And very nice parts of it, too. Drayton and Taverham are far more Broadland than Norwich, anyway.

Norwich North is not going to cease to exist at the next election, it is simply going to change a bit, as it has for a good while. The idea that one gets from some of these posts that the constituency will essentially morph into Broadland is ludicrous. April Pond is going to another seat, simple as that. I don't blame her, as Keith Simpson is one of the best of the Norfolk MPs.

If April Pond did get elected in Norwich North, does anyone seriously think she'd even be allowed to return to Broadland if she wanted to?

Oh, and the fact that some people cannot get the name of the new constituency right does not fill me with confidence as to their ability to accurately report the situation on the ground. After all, Broadland does happen to be an existing local government division.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for Dale's apology for his appalling comment about April Pond.