Saturday, October 17, 2009

Congratulations to Phillip Lee

Just to say that Philip Lee got the selection in Bracknell. He will be an absolutely brilliant candidate and I offer him my genuine congratulations. Rory Stewart came second and I came third. It's been quite an experience, which I will blog about properly later.

Obviously I am gutted; who wouldn't be? But it was a fair contest and there can only be one winner. And Philip is a very worthy one.

Thanks to Bracknell Conservatives for handling the whole selection so well and thanks to all those of you who have been texting, emailing and twittering your words of encouragement throughout the day. It means a lot.

I'm now driving to Saffron Walden to celebrate my Dad's eightieth birthday. I'll try and get myself in the mood on the journey by playing some Mango Groove!

UPDATE: Bracknell Blog has written a full account of the Open Primary HERE.

108 comments:

David from Ealing said...

Sorry to hear that. Good luck if you try elsewhere, Iain. Parliament needs people like you.

Anonymous said...

Bad luck. Maybe next time eh?

VotR said...

Better luck next time and chin up. The war against Labour goes on.

I Squiggle said...

Better luck next time Iain, and I’m sure there will be one. Strong candidates - was always going to be close with the likes of Rory Stewart in the mix as well. Perhaps others know the answer to this, but am I right that all the previous Conservative Open Primaries have been won by GPs?

Martin Day said...

Congratualations to the winner, though obviously I wished for a different candidate.

I am sorry Iain, tis the way of the world sometimes!

I still think you are a star political performer! Maybe if the Conservatives win a guy with your business experience and obvious media ability will see a different political career develope. Indeed maybe we will see you in the commons elsewhere! Dont take it personally! I have had enough rejection in the last two years to let it go! Though sometimes it takes a few beers! Maybe sometimes a few more!

Politics is an odd area of life and sometimes a huge setback as this must feel to you can be a gateway to something better!

I personally have had so many smacks in the face non-politically and come back - I am sure you will not just walk this but get something better! You have broad shoulders! You will not just walk away from this but build your foundations higher and be completely impervious to attack!

Anonymous said...

It was the Bedford debacle what did for you Ian. live and learn.

Plato said...

Well done for making the final three, it was a very tough line-up to beat.

I still think that you've oodles more influence outside the tent myself, but understand completely how gutted you are right now.

PollyB said...

Iain - so sorry you didn't get it. You are a true mensch - a man who could restore public confidence in politics and politicians. Don't give up - you deserve a safe seat.

Tony Walsh said...

Iain,

Sorry you didn't win, I thought you gave quite a good speech. I've got to say I did find the primary a bit more brutal than a usual vote- I would have been happy with any of the candidates normally.

Henry Mayhew said...

Congratulations on an excellent effort and on your commitment to public life.

Obviously, love the blog. How many MPs have the power and fun you have?

Cath said...

Bad luck Iain. I hope getting so close encourages you to go for others

Tom Harris said...

Really sorry to hear that, Iain.

JuliaM said...

Well done for getting through to the primary, and as others have said, there'll be other chances.

James Cleverly said...

Hard luck mate.

Steve Horgan said...

Commiserations Iain, and well done for making the final field. I think that your honesty in blogging about the experience does you great credit. While I only know you from your writings I have formed the definite opinion that you would be a first-rate local MP and an asset to the parliamentary party. So, don't give up for Christ's sake. A wise man once said that the key to a successful political career was persistence.

Unsworth said...

Well Iain, their loss but our great gain. Remember too that many of our better MPs often struggled to get their first nominations. But the undoubted quality of your competitors is also a measure of yourself. To be in such company is an accolade.

Robert Barnes said...

I am really sorry you were unsuccessful - well done to Philip Lee.
The party needs good candidates & hopefully you will still have a chance of obtaining a seat soon.

Peter from Putney said...

Iain, despite today's disappointment you must keep trying. with so many Tory MPs having already quit or set to quit over the expenses debacle, you will never have a better opportunity. Good luck to second placed Rory Stewart too, who according to the blogs is an outstanding candidate - it seems that you were both beaten by the local man.

no longer anonymous said...

Bad luck, hope you give it another go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

With the general election result impossible to predict, fate may have deigned that you will serve better by using your acute observation from the outside, rather than risk you 'going native' within. Another time, another place: for now we probably need you most where you are.

Judy said...

Sorry you didn't get the nomination. Why not try Mr Welch's constituency? Staines should be a good choice for a try....

Jabba the Cat said...

You are better off being on the outside pissing in than on the inside trying to piss out.

Alvin said...

I thought you had it there. But...

Unixman said...

On a personal level I am gutted for you - it must be a crushing blow. However from the wider viewpoint of the Party as a whole I am less unhappy. You are a superb communicator who has done more for the image of the Conservatives than pretty well all of the MPs combined - especially in the wake of the expenses scandal. I know you would make a fine MP but the freedom that being outside of the Commons gives enhances your power and influence.

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

Can Iain (or someone else) give us the exact votes cast at Bracknell for each round of the selection process?

Bunny Smedley said...

Bad luck indeed - but well done for making it to the final three in a very strong field.

Now that you've got the momentum going, though, I hope you'll try again - after all, is there ever going to be a year with more plum seats up for selection?

In any event, you undoubtedly achieve more with this blog, in terms of political and cultural influence, than the great majority of MPs ever do, so please don't let this afternoon's disappointment make you feel disheartened for too long.

Neil A said...

On the plus side Iain, I hear there's a very, very safe seat coming available in Surrey. Just promise not to give a contract for Political Communications Services to Total Politics.......

Anonymous said...

Hard luck Iain,i didnt think you would get the seat,one tory years ago said to me he would rather have labour in power than a gay tory PM.

Silent Hunter said...

Iain,

Never mind - concentrate on the really important things in life - your Dad's birthday is of more significance.
You will no doubt become a PCC in due course but enjoy the time with your Dad.

It's far more important.

All the best. SH

Anonymous said...

his name is spelt: PHILLIP

Richard said...

Thought you were the best candidate, and the only one that was brave enough to mention the elepahant in the room - the fact that this whole selection procedure was because Mackay is forced to stand down and there is a need for some integrity to restore the public's trust.
Probably didn't sit too well with all the audience - you're too honest to be a politician.

And West Ham lost as well... not a great Saturday for you!

Ian E said...

And there I was thinking that noone who had ever had a career outside politics would ever want to join the virtually-minimu-wage ration-suffering cruelly down-trodden self-sacrificing rank of MP!

Thomas H said...

Hard luck but stick at it!

The Frankenfurter. said...

Bad luck Iain, good bloke you are mate.

Bill said...

Never mind

You'd not really want want to take the pay cut anyway would you?

True Belle said...

Bad luck Iain, but-----------
you are absolutely the right stuff for which ever path you choose to take .

Time to wind down for a while.

Anonymous said...

Seems you don't have to be a GP to be a Tory candidate, but it doesn't half help...

Jay Deen said...

Sorry to hear about that but your comments about the winner say a grat deal about you. There will be many other opportunities and you will be a great MP.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear the news.To many dam daily mail readers in bracknell...lol.Keep your chin up mate.

Anonymous said...

Cant add much more , Chin up !

Bardirect said...

I wonder how well a rant against the Daily Mail went down 24 hrs before a selection in a place like Bracknell. Moir did actually getmore suppoting than anti posts

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are on Cameron's list for the upper house?

HarryF

miggles said...

I'm very sorry you didn't come first, but to be in the final 3 is a great achievement! When one door closes another one always opens..........?

jon dee said...

Bad luck, but keep trying.

You'll make a bloody good MP.

Bird said...

Don't worry Iain, there'll be a lot of sit vacs come the GE, particularly if family members are not allowed to work for MPs. There's no better time for getting a foot in the door.
For the moment, it will be noted that you accepted defeat this time with very good grace.

David from Ealing said...

Bardirect - principles are important

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Very sorry to hear that. I hope you go for another one.

Roger Dodger said...

You take it with dignity. We all hope somewhere else embraces you fast.

Out of interest would you be able to suggest why he won. What was it that resounded strongest. The people I spoke to went your way.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you did not make it on this occasion.

Please keep trying.

Joe Mooney, Wymondham

adamcollyer said...

If at first you don't succeed...

Sorry to hear about it, Iain, but there'll be lots more oportunities!

Hamish said...

Delighted to hear you lost.
I hope you know from my occasional comments, I mean that in the best possible way.

ukipwebmaster said...

Sorry you didn't make it. Perhaps you should try closer to home?

Bardirect said...

David from Ealing said...

Bardirect - principles are important

Judgment (and like comedy ...timing) is essential.

Anonymous said...

I notice Old Holborn hasn't commented on here, instead he's come out with a load of snidey crap on his site instead. Nasty piece of work.

Frugal Dougal said...

Hard luck, Iain. I hope you forget about it all for a little bit at your Dad's!

John Chaytor said...

I'm genuinely sad.

I think you would be great for the politics of this country.

Anonymous said...

What do you make of these "open primaries", Iain. Is is democracy?

Weygand said...

I was not one of those who wished you "Good Luck" beforehand, because what I wanted was that the best candidate should prevail - whoever it might be.

I had feared that the whole process would be a popularity contest, which you would therefore have won hands down, which might have been good for you but not for the political process.

Events prove me to have been wrong, and looking at the CV of both those who finished above you, I am astonished at the quality of candidates available. It has to be said that there are very few sitting MPs who could have matched them.

Imagine that you were Rory Stewart - save for finding a cure for cancer and achieving peace in the Middle East, what is left for him to do?

If I did not wish you well beforehand, let me wish you well now.

Although I think you have more influence (and would be more respected) as a blogger than you would as an MP, you do have what it takes to become one and if you were beaten on this occasion by even better candidates it is good news for the Conservatives and for the country that the talent pool should be so deep.

Don't give up, if it's really what you have to do - but remember "be careful what you wish for, because it might come true".

Thats News said...

This might seem selfish, but this meanse don't lose your blog. Well, at least until someone does select you!

Thats News said...

This might seem selfish, but this meanse don't lose your blog. Well, at least until someone does select you!

Anonymous said...

Come and stand in Bromsgrove. You would be great.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Commiserations Iain. Looking at Philip Lee's web site he seemed very much the local candidate, a localish GP, active in the party for many years and already living very close to the constituency.

However your loss is your reader's gain. We shall continue to enjoy more prolific blogging.

M.Hristov said...

There is no disgrace in coming third in a primary in Bracknell when your principal opponents are a person trained to govern and communicate with obscure tribes and a local GP and you have just defeated four other well qualified candidates.

Indeed, it is an astonishing achievement.

The person who complained about you mentioning the expenses scandal is clearly unaware of the strength of feeling in the Bracknell area about that topic.

As for attacking the Daily Mail, a few days before. The Daily Mail is not holy writ in Bracknell or anywhere else. They had a go at you and you had a go back. Quid pro quo.

I hope someone from Conservative Party HQ and the local constituencies is reading this. Iain now has a proven track record in a difficult primary. He should be put forward for some more.

As for Old Holborn, I hope you one day get a chance to sample the anarchy that you so clearly crave. Better not be old and defenceless when that happens.

subrosa said...

Auch Iain I feel for you. I know you'll make a good tory MP so there will be a seat somewhere for you.

Just don't come to Scotland! (That's supposed to make you smile).

Witan said...

Well done Mr Dale, an honourable attempt and a magnanimous loser. Your turn will come, almost certainly when you don't expect it.

Benjamin said...

Please don't give up. Honestly I cannot think of someone who would contribute as much as you.

Anonymous said...

unlucky.next time.chin up.your to good not to get there.if your listening david a word to the wise.

Blessing in disguise said...

Oh well. At least you can sleep easy tonight safe in the knowledge that you preside over the number 1 (yes, that's number ONE) Conservative blog in the Total Politics list. Fantastic stuff.

Iain, you are a half decent entertainer and seem to be a good bloke: but, and deep down you know this is true, you would be worryingly out of your depth as an MP.

Simon J said...

Hard luck mate. Please do try again as you'd make a great MP.

Do you think it's possible that some voters in attendance yesterday refused to vote for you because you're gay? I think it's very possible and could may have cost you the selection.

How about next time standing in a blue constituency that it's a bit more 'Cameroon' e.g. the outer boroughs of London? Just a thought mate.

Keep going and don't let the feckers get you down! :)

Sunray said...

Commiserations Iain. I am sure that you will find a constituency if you keep looking. By the way, my MP Ann Winterton is standing down in order to spend more time with her money so how about it? South Cheshire is a nice part of the country and has the advantage of being a relatively long way from London. Well, that's how we think of it anyway!

WV=glumm (honestly!)

Anonymous said...

This was always going to be a difficult one so you did very well to get to the last three.
Adopting local GPs seem to be the safe-bet in seats where a sitting MP is tainted by the expenses scandal, first Totnes and now Bracknell.

Tappestry said...

If Parliament continues to elude you, Iain, your media and communications career will be much the beneficiary.

There is only one Iain Dale.

Once you're in the real game, your role as a commentator would inevitably be reduced. That would be a great shame, in my opinion.

While wishing you the best for what you clearly desire, I always keep the fingers of one hand crossed behind my back.

Your full attention here and on the various media would be sorely missed.

The blogosphere is still growing in importance and effect, and your influence on events from here could well be far greater than from going 'inside'.

If you are going to stand, why not choose a much tougher seat, where your cross-party appeal might pay dividends?

Anonymous said...

re anon,

its true that OH isn't being kind.

But what I'm glad to see, when I read the comments here, is that he's wrong (mostly).

Iain isn't screaming 'homophobia' and only the odd comment about Daily Mail readers hints at it.

In OH terms, Iain is taking it like a man (not intended to be a joke). I think that that is the way to go for Iain; dignified.

I don't think many people are homophobic these days, as long as you don't make homosexuality the main issue.

People that think that someone wants to be their MP just to get a soapbox, are less likely to vote for that candidate.

On the other hand, I wouldn't vote for someone who thought being an MP was an easy root to cash.

A tricky line to draw.

Good luck with whatever ypu decide to do next.

If it's to be an MP again, maybe you should read OH's comments. Not as 100% true, but maybe as a guide to how some people see you. It doesn't matter that they're wrong as they still won't vote for you. Perhaps you could adapt to correct their misapprehensions?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Well thats an open primary for you.
Sorry you did not make it, but KEEP TRYING.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Ps We need people with your attitude. you are a credit to the Tory party.

Ron Todd said...

Given that you might be slightly biased in this case. Do you think that the primary system is more likely than the old selection system to produce a candidate who is better at campaigning but who might not be as strong as an MP or might not be as suitable for promotion into the ranks of government.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry Iain and I do hope you feel that you gave it your best shot. That is what matters.

Anonymous said...

Best off out of it, the Mail would have made your life a misery.

Stick to blogging.

HC said...

Chin up Mr Dale - you might have to settle for the Lords - we'll need a blogospeerage and they can hardly send Guido.

Anonymous said...

Better luck next time, Dale, and congratulations to Philip Lee.

Just keep in mind that the overarching goal here is to defeat Labour and establish a government that's at least partially competent. Personal ambitions may take a dent along the way but the mission remains - and I hope you will continue to focus on the mission of electing a Conservative government and of driving Labour into irrelevance.

In many ways, this is a far more important job than simply getting yourself elected to Westminster and it's a job you can continue to do from this blog.

True Belle said...

Iain

Whose business is it anyway whether you are in a civil partnership/ divorced ten times / atheist or spendthrift / Aren't most MPs in these categories.

Stop analysing everything.

You still have time now for precious moments especially with your father, and your best mate, and his father !!

Go and play golf whilst the weather is still fine, and relax!

trevorsden said...

Maybe its saved you from a fate worse than death?

Philipa said...

Off topic: Mail to be held to account?

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20091018/tuk-daily-mail-under-fire-over-gately-co-dba1618.html

Paddy Briggs said...

Maybe there is more to Mr Lee than his facile “guiding political principles”

• the value of small government
• the value of low taxation
• the importance of personal responsibility
• the value of liberty
• the supremacy of the Nation state

I wonder how many Tory candidates at the General Election will be standing on a similar empty and prejudiced platform. Most of them I expect. The principles are easy to demolish and no doubt thoughtful commentators in Bracknell and elsewhere will do so. But for now let me just comment as follows:

 Insufficiently interventionary Governments caused the financial crises in the United States and Britain. Smaller government would have made this worse not better.

 Everyone would like “low taxation” but in a mixed economy taxes have to be at an appropriate level to maintain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all – and you can’t leave those things to the market!

 “Personal responsibility” is easy for those like Mr Lee (and Mr Dale!) who are professionals, personally committed to public service and comfortably off. It’s a bit more difficult for an ill-educated and socially-deprived single mother on a sink estate.

 “Liberty” is a subjective concept. A basic principle of any society is that freedoms have to be curtailed to some extent. And that is the job of Government. To “value liberty” is a platitude – to propose where the line between personal freedoms and the public good should be drawn is much more difficult. Real Politik!

 The “Supremacy of the Nation Sate” is another platitude and facile code for being a Eurosceptic. At the heart of the modern world is the principle that whilst the Nation State is of course supreme there is an unavoidable need for partnerships across national borders. Whether it is the UN or NATO or the EU some surrendering of national sovereignty is not just essential - it is morally right.

Twig said...

Agree with Plato, perhaps it's better that you're doing what you do from outside the tent.

Anonymous said...

So all the time and money that UK plc spent training up this GP have been a total waste then.

If we had one term MPs who solely wanted to take 5 years out and serve their country then it would make sense but as it is, sense it does not make.

Ron Todd said...

Some people are better placed to be able to take 5 years out of a proffesion than others. One reason why we have so many lawyers. GPs are now getting so much money that like lawyers they can earn a life times worth of money in a few years then go into politics without having to worry too much about earning a living after.

Those of us with jobs rather than careers have no chance. Not only do we not move in the right circles to come into contact with the right people to get a start on the ladder we could after 5 years find ourselfs unemployed and near unemployable.

Anonymous said...

I sympathise with your disappointment, Iain, but I'd like to see a bit more analysis of the result. It is generous of you to praise Philip Lee, but why did he win? What did he say/not say that you didn't? Were there policy differences? Was he more local? Which factors do you feel came into play in the choice?

strapworld said...

Hard luck Iain, better luck next time.

I find it quite fascinating that Open Primaries much prefer local people. You and many like you have been banging on about that for quite a long time.

In the West Country IF the conservatives do not have 'local' candidates as opposed to 'blow ins' or people whose 'in the auntie or granny lived or lives in the constituency' you have no chance whatsoever.

But Cameron has been warned so many times.

So, iain, it has to be a Norfolk/Suffolk seat for you!

Anonymous said...

Hard luck, I think you would have restored some confidence, do try again.

L.A.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Well, well, well, these open primaries are not quite so lily-white as they claim to be. It seems that in Macclesfield a local candidate was not allowed onto the list of 6 (and our Dave was seeking to bend the rules and add a 7th person to the list).

In my view local people, given the choice, would prefer the genuinely local candidate rather than one "parachuted" in from the centre. Open primaries are giving them the choice so a tension arises when a local favourite is not permitted onto the list!

Victor, NW Kent said...

My commiserations Iain but as a supporter of local candidates I feel that the constituency might be better served by one than by an outsider.

MikeyP said...

Hard luck, Iain.

I would rather have you as my MP than the present incumbent. He is Tory, not a conspicuous trougher, but also not very spectacular in any other respect either.

I understand there is a Labour marginal coming up at Redditch soon. Why not try that?

Conand said...

Politics is now all about honesty and rebuilding trust.
In light of that I feel I have to be honest and say that I'm quite glad Iain remains free to write what he wants in his blog.
A bit selfish of me really. Naughty me. Obviously I'm sorry that Iain's gutted.

Dr Lee sounds like he'll be a great candidate.

Graybo said...

Sorry to hear that you weren't selected.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there is more to Mr Lee

That's Dr. Lee.

than his facile “guiding political principles”

And what exactly is facile about them? Presumably the fact that Dr. Lee doesn't have the Labour Party's engorged member in his mouth.

Labour: you just can' help yourself.

Cardiff Blogger said...

Proof that open primaries are not always the best!

Please don't rule out attempting to stand again - that which does not kill you can only make you stronger. As many people here have said; live and learn.

Look at the age of most people on the Tory benches - you've decades left until you can retire!

Auntie Flo' said...

Congratulations to Philip Lee, however, I am sorry that you were not selected, Iain, I think you would make a brilliant MP.

Have to say that, for a number of reasons, I find this emerging pattern of selecting doctors as candidates a disturbing one.

One of the major weaknesses of our parliament is that it's over-engorged with lawyers and other professionals who have a very poor grasp of the lives of the majority of most of us.

Such professionals a clueless about enterprise culture and how to foster this

Stuffing parliament with doctors because HO believes they have the moral authority to win elections will simply exacerbate these problems.

Doctors are addicted to state funding and big state.

Most doctors I know are arrogant elitists who have 'nanny state knows best' stamped into their DNA

Unless we recruit parliamentarians from a far more diverse pool of talent, we will both increase the alienation between parliament and people and end up with an even more useless parliament and government than we have now.

No more doctors, please.

DMC said...

Iain

You have accepted defeat with grace and dignity- Well i actually would not call it defeat as you made the primary more interesting.

Im not a Tory party supporter but if you were in my constituency i would find it hard to vote against you.

You are believe it or not more of an asset to the Tory party were you are now- You pioneered Conservative blogging in the UK and nobody can ever take that contribution to the Tory party away from you.

Anonymous said...

Second posting....

I have read the link on events as they happened. Sadly, Iain you did not stand a chance against a local GP. Somehow, local practitioners are seen as having God like qualities. Further, the local hospital being an issue was a further obstacle. Impossible situation but from the minute of proceedings you excelled in your presentation which I would expect from you.


Do keep trying Iain and withdraw if you are up against a local doctor again.

Richard said...

Sorry to hear that Iain. You'd make a great MP and I'm sure you will. Several opportunities yet!

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Hard, luck, and while personally I do not think you quite have what it takes to be an MP, that is not to say that you haven't got a tremendous amount to offer politcal life in Britain. Don't worry about being an MP and continue to do what you do best - sharing and encouraging all people to engage in politics at all levels.

Geoffrey Woollard said...

Tough for you, Iain.

I bet that up to half of 'em don't 'do' the internet ('I'm terribly frightened about all of that crime on line') and that up to three quarters of 'em don't know the difference between a blogger and a bugger.

I'll make a suggestion: stand as an independent!

Anonymous said...

Iain - it is such a shame, you would have made a great MP.

A bigger shame that the Heatherwood Hospital issue is actually in the neighbouring constituency of Windsor & Maidenhead, perhaps Adam Afriyie should have attended.

Would be good for him to actually do something for a change...

Anonymous said...

Proof that open primaries are not always the best!

Why? What can you possibly offer to prove that Dale would be a better candidate than Lee?

What amazing arrogance you display in assuming that because your preferred candidate did not win the whole system is wrong.

Dale stood; Dale lost; Dale is perfectly at home with that. He had accepted it with good grace and clearly feels that the selection of a strong local candidate is a vindication of the system.

People who demand that the system be altered to deliver their preferred candidate would probably be more at home in the Labour Party than in the Conservatives.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Genuinely sorry you were not chosen. Try to enjoy the family party. It's probably exactly what you need right now.

Anonymous said...

Iain, it was the best thing that could have happened. You would have been a hopeless politican. Stick to blogging - it's far easier and a lot more fun.

AMW said...

Oh well, better luck next time.

It could be the fact that your to nice :)