Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Liz Truss Must Pull Through

Imagine it. A political party selects a candidate who in her past has had an affair. Shock, horror. According to the Eastern Daily Press yesterday, South West Norfolk Conservatives are in the mood to deselect Liz Truss, only three days after she was selected as their PPC. Why? Because three years she had an affair, and didn't tell the constituency party about it before her selection. Dear oh dear. Do we live in the dark ages?

Firstly, if the candidate had been a man, do we really think there would be such a fuss? And secondly, it's not as if the affair was a secret. Can South West Norfolk Conservatives not use Google? If you were selecting a candidate, wouldn't that be the first thing you would do? Type their name into Google and see what emerged? Apparently not a single one of them bothered to do that.

But even if they had, is a talented woman really to be deselected over an affair which happened several years ago? The ten people meeting this evening to decide her fate ought to look very deeply into their own pasts and ask themselves if they have lived totally unblemished lives. Very few people have.

The EDP story is littered with anonymous quotes from "outraged" local Tories. What a pity none of them has the guts to put their names to their tawdry views.

I hope Liz Truss comes out fighting.

David Cameron has said in the EDP today that he backs Liz Truss and there is an implicit threat that if the Association seeks to go to the wire on this, they will be put in special measures. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

For what it's worth, Liz has my complete support, and I hope readers of this blog will be more forgiving that some members of South West Norfolk Conservatives appear to be.

PS For the avoidance of doubt, I am not saying this because Liz Truss is a friend of mine. She isn't. I think I have only met her twice, so please can we avoid the ritual accusations that usually follow when I write a piece like this about Dale only defending his mates.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

The affair may not be the issue, but there seems to be some confusion as to whether she told them or not. Of course they should have known anyway, but Hey its Norfolk.

Being Norfolk, it probably would have been ok if it had been a relative.

Sunder Katwala said...

Of course you are right, though I also sympathise with the candidate over the level of national and local media attention this is getting, just at the point when she has been selected.

Given that the case was publicised, the Norfolk party really do have absolutely zero case.

The local party also creates an unfortunate impression for their national party that we have the female candidate facing a deselection meeting, and while involved the male MP facing no such thing (though the answer would hardly be for the Westminster party to act similarly to the Norfolk one). Perhaps the Norfolk party members involved would act similarly in the opposite scenario; I really can't guess.

Dick the Prick said...

Completely agree Iain - utterly irrelevant. However she was president of the Lib Dems at Oxford so I would actually completely bat this one back straight to the association for dereliction of duty. If someone openly tells you they were a Lib Dem (and only 34) you instantly ask - why did you change?

At no point is this anything other than drivel. The Lib Dem thing though is significantly more relevant.

Plenty said...

Totally agree with your piece. There are some parts of the TOry party that are just completely in the dark ages. They need to be got rid of before they damage the party even more.....

babapapa said...

You are of course completely right in your sentiments, Iain. The actions of a few sexist bigots is a disgrace.

Liz Truss will make an excellent MP. If she were deselected, it would show that all the effort to decontaminate the Tory Prty from being the "nasty party" would have been in vain.

Some members might like to adopt the custom in some other parts of the world where women committing adultery are stoned to death. I would hope that this would not be adopted, figuratively speaking, in today's Conservative Party.

Just Arksin', innit? said...

Was the affair with a man, woman or (Normal For Norfolk) donkey?

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

I have known about the affair for years - I read about it in the News!

It was not a criminal act and was personal choice even if ill-advised.

If it was a Man they would probably be egging him on!!!


It is just some anal, retenitive, puritan kicking up trouble for 'prinicples' sake. It really makes me want to puke when these people claim to be Conservatives and do nothing but shoot themseleves in the foot. It would not surprise me if it was the local association 'finding fault' as a local had not got it.

I really dont think an affair before she even put herself forward for this seat is worthy of even a mention.

Good job I am not a candidate - LoL!!!!! (Not that I have affairs - chance would be the fine thing!). Only joking!

TJUK2008 said...

Iain, seeing as this woman is likely to be the next MP for SW Norfolk, I think this issue is very important - was she clear, or did she deliberately avoid the issue? While there are very few of us who can be considered to be saints, there is a difference between being open and honest about past errors and avoiding the issue. It would appear that Ms Truss deliberately did not tell those who would be voting for about this issue, presumably because she feared they would not vote for her. It comes down to honestly and integrity, if she won't tell Conservative members the truth to get them to vote for her, will she tell the general public the truth?. Remember why the previous guy was selected, Christopher Fraser? because he said he would move to the area with his family, seemed very clear at the time, but as it turned out, his SW Norfolk home was classed as his 'second home' and his 'neighbours' reported to rarely see him. I live in Thetford, part of the constituency, and I am a Thetford Town Councillor (and a Labour Party member, just so we are clear) and I know of many people who rarely saw their MP or got the help they needed, aside from the issue of not selecting somebody who knows the areas, lives locally etc etc, if the next candidate is dishonest from day one, then I think it raises questions.

tapestry said...

All women shortlists now,

but virgins only need apply.

Disco Biscuit said...

I suspect the issue is whether she truthfully answered the, "anything embarassing in your past?" question, rather than who she's been having it away with.

Having said that it's not a deselection offence, surely just a serious bollocking by the Association chairman.

Anonymous said...

Aren't there some pompous dogmatic gits about?

When hearing of something that has happened to my fellow man, whether in my personal or professional life, I think it is worth remembering the following:

There but by the grace of God go I.

After that you judge everything and everyone on their individual merits and you can't go too far wrong.

And before anybody gets overly precious you can substitute the word God for whatever suits!

Norfolk Nubile said...

Since she white and not a lesbian of course she should be deselected.

The Norfolk Conservatives wives would not stand for any possible hanky-panky on their patch.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to quote from the Bible, that load of bollocks that nobody believes, but a bloke in it once said, of a woman caught in adultery,

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Rubbish advice. Make an example of her and feel better, cleaner and righteous.

Bob said...

Personally I don't really care that much, though of course it leaves her open to accusations of untrustworthiness, low moral fibre etc. The question is, is she capable of handling all the manufactured outrage and mudslinging from the tabloids? (And Labour)

One law for them and another for us said...

Iain the reason why it is an issue is because MPs pass legislation that affect the personal lives of others, so it is useful to know whether the sin of hypocrisy is being committed when they pass through the division lobby.

headless said...

Iain, to be fair, one local Tory Councillor did put his name to his comments (he is at the end of the EDP article).

Man in a Shed said...

As you say five seconds on google would have turned this up.

Indeed its the first thing I found when I googled her name when she was selected.

So what on earth were the local election panel playing at ? Surely everyone has a few basic searches performed on them. And do they still not ask the skeleton in the closet question ?

Perhaps they just received their list of candidates to select in an envelope from CCHQ ?

I don't agree with you on saying its irrelevant. An affair with a married man by a married woman is a fundamental breach of trust and braking of a sacred oath. Its not just a private matter as marriage isn't a private matter. (Nor are civil partnerships since we're on the subject).

All of the main Abrahamic religions regard this as a very serious matter indeed.

Being an effective MP relies on developing trust and there is clearly a public interest here in the character of Ms Truss.

However - we all make mistakes and do things we are later ashamed of - this should not bar Ms Truss from office. She has a frighteningly good CV and is just the sort of person we need in parliament.

If I had a say in it I would want to give her a chance to explain this episode in her life - as I would any other evidence of breaches of trust - and would be hoping very much she did a satisfactory job of it.

However the party must treat Mr Field in the same way or else face a charge of hypocrisy.

Cath said...

I think this sadly goes to the heart of the AWS matter too, Iain. We all know that there would be a lot less fuss if this had been a male candidate and this kind of thing only serves to put women off applying. The archane attitude of some in the association also illustrates why Cameron is considering some pretty desperate measures to try to change the situation. I know you don't agree with AWS - neither do I - but I can see why the powers that be are starting to think the unthinkable

Paddy Briggs said...

"Affair" ......welcome to the Conservative Party circa 1955! As I have blogged before one of the main reasons for hoping and voting that these neandertaals stay in the backwoods where they belong is this sort of story.

Sean Haffey said...

I think plenty of male Tory MPs got into trouble from having affairs in the last Tory government, so I think the fact that she's a woman is irrelevant.

A bigger issue is that the more I see of the Tory selection process, the more corrupt it appears.

Old Holborn said...

Now now Iain

Should I mention REFORM?

Have you taken her Shillings?

Anonymous said...

Dick raises Liz's involvement as President of Oxford University Lib Dems back when she was in her teens/early 20s and suggests it's relevant.

I was also involved in OULD at that time and can reassure him that Liz was then as she is now an economic and social liberal who had many vigorous debates with her fellow members. She always put her points with good humour and grace and nobody was surprised or offended when she sought to pursue her ambitions in a different party after university.

I do think this insistence on lifelong tribal adherence is misplaced. In politics, the first thing is to know your own mind and only then to explore how best to progress them in the party political sphere. I frankly worry about the people who do it the other way around - there are far too many politicians in all parties who have no idea what they believe. Liz always had clear direction and decided her first choice of vehicle (at 18-21 years old!) was not the right one. Though I disagree with her, I wish her good luck.

On the topic of the deselection bid, SW Norfolk Tories would be fools to do it. It is a private matter and it would reflect very badly to deselect - and people would note there was never any question of deselecting the man she had an affair with several years ago which tells its own story about double standards.

Anonymous said...

While I disapprove of the self-righteousness implicit in throwing mud at the woman because of her affair, it's hardly unreasonable for the local people to feel that someone who is happy to lie to her so-called loved ones is not someone who is completely trustworthy.

This isn't about the individual's private life. It's about the individual's character as manifested through her treatment of other people (in this case, her family).

Personally, I have a hard time trusting politicians who are so completely lacking in basic integrity that they can't even be loyal to their own families.

Neil A said...

Tell you what, lets circulate a questionnaire to all current MPs including the question: "Have you ever had an extramarital affair?"

As some people think this is essential political information that an MP would be dishonest not to reveal, we could sack anyone who replied "Yes" and prosecute anyone who replied "No" and proved to be lying.

Victor, NW Kent said...

My sainted aunt! Bloody stupid local association living in Disraeli's times.

corporeal said...

Firstly, if the candidate had been a man, do we really think there would be such a fuss?

----------------

Unless you can provide any evidence to show that it would be difference then I'm going with yes.

Really it's just a baseless allegation designed to smear the local party.

Ed said...

Personally I think it is significant. An affair is, by definition, about breaking promises. Hardly a good attribute for a aspiring MP.

Scott said...

If her husband cannot trust her, how can voters?

It doesn't add up... said...

I believe that Mark Field has already been punished by demotion from a junior Parliamentary role at the time the affair came to light. I don't think he should be sentenced again for the same offence.

I'd have thought that the obvious pun ("Support Truss!") would have been more important than the ancient history of an episode in her life which is clearly over.

If I would have any doubts about her, they would stem from her spending time in an ivory tower think tank as a substitute for wider experience of life: she remains young and perhaps slightly callow. However, she is obviously bright and committed and potentially a future star, and a rising star. Her Lib Dem student days do reflect in some of her ideas: she is not on the right wing of the party, but she is clearly Conservative.

It doesn't add up... said...

@Scott:

Her husband does trust her: they remain married.

canvas said...

Did David Cameron do drugs when he was younger? Who cares - as long as he doesn't lie about it.

Did Liz Truss have an affair? Who cares as long as she doesn't lie about it.

I can't bear local Conservative Associations. Most of them are Daily Mail reading hypocrites! yuck.

canvas said...

There is old style Tory hypocrisy - John Major , "back to basics " > and there then there is new style Tory Boris Johnson...

"He is a liberal Tory, and when he was exposed for having an extra-marital affair, no one was able to accuse him of hypocrisy because he had never moralised about family life."





"

Norfolk Blogger said...

She has something of a history of diplicity then. She was a Lib Dem, then switched to the Tories. She then had an affair whilst married.

Now these are the facts, but should people have to do Google searches when candidates come forward ? Shouldn't they present all the information about themselves ?

Old Holborn said...

I notice that Iain has been a speaker for Reform, her think tank

Free of charge of course.

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain said "Can South West Norfolk Conservatives not use Google?"

Obviously not, but I can. So just for fun, what comes up when we put YOUR name into Google? The results are... actually quite boring, to be honest.

1. Iain Dale's Diary (with the most popular entry appearing to be "Guardian Gagged Over Parliamentary Reporting"
2. Iain Dale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3. iaindale.co.uk
4. Iain Dale on Twitter
5. Iain Dale's columns, comment, opinion - Telegraph
6. West Ham Till I Die - Iain Dale's West Ham Diary
7. Iain Dale | guardian.co.uk
8. Iain Dale's Dairy (a Tim Ireland attack blog, by the looks of it)
9. YouTube - Iain Dale & Recess Monkey on GMTV
10. Liberal Conspiracy » Iain Dale costs Mail “substantial damages.

Ian Thorpe said...

I'd be more inclined to vote for a candidate, male or female who had had an affair. it would at least prove he or she was not a party robot.

Craig Ranapia said...

Scott:

Good question. But I've got to say my esteem for Winston Churchill hasn't diminished after reading biographies that repeated persistent rumours that he not only had an affair with his sister in law, but fathered at least one of her children.

As for the people who say, "If her husband cannot trust her, how can voters?" Let me turn it around: Are voters' non-criminal but possible distasteful sex lives any business of the Government? I suspect the SW Norfolk Conservative Association would asnwer with a resounding "HELL NO!"

And when it comes to people I don't trust, I'd have to say people who don't have the spine and testicles to attack someone in the media ON THE RECORD are close to the top of my list.

Richard Patient said...

Does it really matter whether she did tell them. It's public knowledge. There was a massive story in the Mail. Duh.

All this story indicates is that people in Norfolk don't have broadband, internet explorer and a keyboard.

True Belle said...

Are there many Moslem Conservatives in Norfolk? Have they been offended?

Does the modern Conservative party approve of Sharia law?

Norfolk had to put up with their present MP, why are they being awkward now?

jailhouselawyer said...

What do you expect with these Norfolk Broads?

Kath said...

Are these conservative family values??

Practice what you (or your party) preaches, if you can't measure up, don't stand.

Anonymous said...

She has lost the vote. Selection referred back to entire membership. NFN.

Shamik said...

Spot on Iain! Surely it's only ever relevant if there's some kind of hypocrisy involved; the old "do as I say, not as I do" mantra preached by a small minority of MPs.

A bigger scandal is the Dail Mail (surprise, surprise) printing this story in the first place - in May 2006 - and in so doing costing the man involved his marriage.

Don't they have bigger issues to report on than prying into the bedrooms of the nation's MPs?

Anonymous said...

if a woman can lie to her family and spouse, imagine what she could do in westminster. women are pre-programmed to find a mate, men are preprogrammed to spread their seed far and wide, so don't make the comparrison.

Anonymous said...

I don't care about the affair, and don't entirely buy the idea that it says anything about her moral judgement or anything else. I'm more inclined to believe this is the worst sort of parochial moralism, and I don't think we need pander to it by giving it any sort of false rationale.

If she directly lied or concealed the fact when asked by the selection panel, then she's in trouble. If they didn't ask any question that would have led her to tell them, then she's done nothing wrong and the constituency association have done nothing but prove why open primaries are better for the sole reason that they might include someone in the process who has heard of Google.

For my money, based on what I've seen of Reform and her own articles, I think Ms Truss should be kept as far away from the levers of power as is reasonable without actually exiling her to a Pacific Island - I want her nowhere near public policy or public speaking, but think for her to be deselected for this is ridiculous.

Peter said...

Well, if you Tories will harp on so incessantly about family values ...

Anonymous said...

It's Norfolk

Seriously are you surprised?

A bunch of web footed eejits who get confused when they see a vehicle that has wheels of the same size front and rear. A county that if you offer them a credit card to pay for goods or services will first try and eat it before declaring you a witch.

Norfolk - the county that global warming can't come soon enough for.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the required discussion at CCHQ is about all candidates selected from the CVs by the six strong, local selection panel - so possibly 36 candidates - and that the reason for this is so that CCHQ can "advise" the local selection panel about anything they know that the locals may not.

Given that Ms Truss made it through this stage and a subsequent Exec Council interview, how could this issue have not been known about, at least by the selection committee and exec Council?

Normal for Norfolk? Mad as a box of frogs if you ask me!

Anonymous said...

I wonder why we are still called the NASTY party...hmmm

Quietzapple said...

The alleged details of Boris Johnson's most famous affair no longer appear in his WIKI profile.

I thought them more scandalous than any I have ever read, but I have rarely read the N o W etc much. Profumo, anything with Osborne, & Mcbride are about it.

As Ken Livingstone suggested, people are less interested in politicians' private lives than might be expected.

Anonymous said...

I don't care about the affair, and don't entirely buy the idea that it says anything about her moral judgement or anything else.

You are saying, in effect, that lying is not a moral issue, that breaking vows is not a moral issue and that basic trustworthiness is not a moral issue.

If Ms. Truss were a single woman who spent her weekends at swingers parties, I would not care because it would be no reflection on her ethical bearing. But she is not. She is a person who committed herself to a marriage and then lied through her teeth. She is, in a very plain and simple way, a liar. She is a person who simply has no ethical problem with lying. That means she will lie to voters.

We have accepted liars and cheats as our parliamentarians for far too long. Is it not time that we demanded a higher standard? Is it not time that we had politicians who didn't see deception as an implicit part of the job?

Am I really so out-of-step with society because I want some elected representatives who understand that Ethics isn't a country near London?

Iain Dale said...

Old Holborn 7.55. I don't recall ever speaking on a Reform platform, but if I ever did it certainly would not have been for a fee. You don't understand much about think tanks do you?

Anonymous said...

For the people bringing up Boris' affair, I like Boris at a personal level; he's very funny and would make a great permanent host for HIGNFY. But he's a careerist and a liar and I trust the man about as far as I can spit him.

The people who say "Well, what about Boris?" are making my point for me. Boris, like Ms. Truss, has shown that he lacks character and is not a trustworthy individual.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Tories = shaggers

Socialists = traitors

MPs = Thieves

Manstein Plan said...

When will CCHQ learn? Surely after the experience of Ealing Southall, Maidstone and Gillingham when the Candidates Department tries to foist "favourite sons (or daughters)" on local parties there is bound to be some blow back.

Anonymous said...

It is relevant.
She appears to have been economical with the truth to her selection committee - the fact that they could have Googled it is irrelevant.

Do you not understand that we want some honesty and integrity from our MPs? People in such trustworthy positions have to be better than the average Sun reader - not one of them. Just look at the present lot.

If you don't get this then you are unfit to stand yourself.

Craig Ranapia said...

Is it any coincidence that the person most stridently denouncing Liz Truss goes by the name A. Nonymous?

Come on folks, if you want to pontificate about integrity and family values, here's a bit of advice from my late Nana: "If you can't be nasty to someone's face, save your breath to cool your porridge."

If you can't muster the courage to sign your name to your insults, what makes you fit to be taken seriously as any kind of moral arbiters?

TomTom said...

OPEN PRIMARY

Dick the Prick said...

Anon - 6.33. No, I meant if she openly said she was a Lib Dem then you're going do some back checking wouldn't ya? So not even that got their synapses popping. Useless Assoc.

Andrew said...

Ian,
I see
so now in the "Modern Conservative Party"
It's all O.K to decieve your partner
It's all O.K to connive at the potential destruction of someonelse's family
It's all O.K to lie to your selection panel and by implication the voters.
Sorry boys and girls but not in my world....

Now of course none of us are perfect ,we have all made mistakes and done things of which we are later ashamed - they way forward is to own up, apologise, do what you can to mend the damage and seek to do better in the future.
Instead all to often what we get from the political class are attempts to obfuscate,lie or pretend it doesn't matter.
It amazes me that would be politicians think private skeletons will somehow not be exposed in this day and age and it shows very poor judgement.

As to all of you who say "There wouldn't be all this fuss if she a man"- You have short memories
As an activist in the nineties I got fed up of sleazy Tory M.P's who couldn't keep their pants on! It didn't go well on the doorsteps, demeaned the party and I am NOT prepared to go down that road again.
After all that's happened we need men and women of fibre, honesty and integrity in Parliament, the public is no longer prepared to be told what to do by unrepentent cheats.
I am sorry but when you stand for PUBLIC OFFICE your character IS an issue.
Our blighted country needs good leadership and you lead by example.

Anonymous said...

I think a few things need clarifying. The SW Conservative members present at the meeting did not know prior to attending who the candidates were. Therefore, it was not possible to Google candidates unless you had a mobile phone that connected to the internet. Members were not given time to carry out in-depth or any internet research on candidates. In order to ask a question, candidates had to write their names on a question sheet and hand it to the Chair - Members were not allowed to ask candidates direct questions whilst the Q&A was conducted.
The concern has more to do with the fact that Conservative members feel that they should have been informed by central office and that there was a certain level of deception by central office - This may not be the case, but that is how some people feel. I think the blame lies with central office and the whole procedure of electing a candidate from beginning to end, rather than with Liz Truss herself. This story is far more complex than you suggest in your article. It also involves how the candidates were selected.On top of this we have all women short lists which i consider to be incredibly patronising.
With the expenses scandal, plus this I'm not sure i want to give my vote/power to any politician. I'm sick of political scandal, lies and deception. The whole system needs an overhall.

Bethel said...

I've never read this blog before. It's embarrassing. An incredibly high number of ignorant, patronising and offensive comments, both about Norfolk and local constituents' values. Do grass roots opinions not mean anything then? Are we all supposed to subscribe to an 'anything goes in public life mentality' and put up with whomsoever the centrists foist on us?

Craig Ranapia said...

Andrew wrote:
I see
so now in the "Modern Conservative Party"
It's all O.K to decieve your partner
It's all O.K to connive at the potential destruction of someonelse's family
It's all O.K to lie to your selection panel and by implication the voters.
Sorry boys and girls but not in my world....


First, in my world I don't patronise adults as "boys and girls".

Meanwhile:

* It is NOT OK to proffer officious, unsolicited opinions on the marriages or family affairs of complete strangers.

* It is NOT OK to adopt a tabloid editor's warped idea of what constitutes the public interest.

* It is NOT OK to either indulge or encourage those who have unhealthy and perverse fixations on other's sex lives.

* It is NOT OK to try and pass the buck when you've been given a responsibility and failed to carry it out properly.

* It is NOT OK to hold others to standards of conduct you are not willing to practice yourself.

* It is NOT OK to attack people while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.

If the South West Norfolk Conservatives can't get behind all of the above, then they don't only deserve to lose Liz Truss as a candidate, they deserve to get soundly thumped at the next general election. And many more to come.consketi

canvas said...

"Do grass roots opinions not mean anything then?"

no.

Andrew said...

Craig @ 2:59

Such a long post.
Such a shame that none of it answered my basic points.

In case you forgot them....

* When you stand for PUBLIC office your personal conduct is an issue

It's the only guide the electorate have as to how you will act when in power.

* The public want honesty and integrity and a record of concealing extra marital activity does not bode well

Kindly address the issues instead of flying off the handle

Our friends in the S.W Norfolk Assoc are entitled to select a candidate who they feel best represents them and their constituency - after all
when it comes to election time it's the association members who will have to do all the "donkey work" of canvassing, delivering leaflets, telling etc (been there done that got the T-Shirt).
They are entitled to a candidate who enjoys THEIR confidence not just the blessing of central office.

Craig Ranapia said...

Andrew:

I'll be more terse. By you standards, Winston Churchill -- arguably the greatest Tory ever -- would have been unfit to hold public office. After all, he wasn't only an alleged adulterer who fathered at least one bastard on his sister-in-law, but a notorious drunk and extremely difficult to live with thanks to his history of severe depression.

Ditto for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who it was revealed long after his death had numerous extra-marital affairs -- including one with his wife's social secretary. Also not entirely honest with voters about his disability.

Thank God millions would beg to differ.

Meanwhile, I think Conservative supporters (and potential swing voters) in South West Norfolk should have little confidence in the local association. If they're not competent enough to do basic due diligence when selecting candidates, God only knows how they'd run a real live general election campaign.

As for Truss' supposed "dishonesty", this is beginning to reek more of a pretext for backroom game playing than any sincere moral outrage. And I've seen people willing to do the "donkey work" become very hard to find when their alleged leaders are more interested in pushing their own personal agendas than winning.

Craig Ranapia said...

Kindly address the issues instead of flying off the handle

Andrew: Arrant nonsense doesn't become any more convincing with repetition, or added condescension. Just for future reference.

Andrew said...

Craig,

I dont want get into to a debate on Churchill - we would be here all week.
I am not ignorant of history and was well aware of his personal life. Whilst I respect his wartime role I have never idolised him. He was fortunate that the media was far more deferrential in his day and I think it's fair to say that his record as a peacetime politician was "chequered".
Extreme circumstances and very different times do not make for
a good example.
Moving on to Norfolk in 2009...
I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were other agendas behind the scenes.I suspect locals resent HQ pushing Dave's favoured candidates. In their shoes the least I would have expected is a tip-off about the potential controversy , like I said in my first post you can't realistically expect this not to come out and you can bet your bottom dollar that it will do so at the worst possible time.
Hard as it maybe to believe not everbody is internet savvy or spends their time trawling around on google and the role of Central Office should be to provide neutral
backup.
As you correctly point out there are less and less people willing to become involved in politics, the reasons for this are complex and have been discussed on this website previously
For my part an exchange earlier in this thread between Bethel and Canvas summs it all up

Bethel @ 2.57...
"Do grass roots opinions not mean anything then?"
Canvas @ 3.39
"no."

For once I agree with Canvas
Which is one of the reasons why I lapsed my party membership.

Anonymous said...

I really don't care about Liz Truss' private life and don't think it should be a selection issue.

I am also very proud of the progress the Conservatives have made in modernising the party particularly in encouraging people from different backgrounds to join and stand.

I draw the line however at someone with anti-Monarchist sentiments that even the Lib Dem conference didn't support. Doesn't she know why we are called the Tories?!?!? Was this not diclosed at the selection meeting?

I think after today's newspaper revalations it would be best if she stood down.

And no I am not "blue rinse" just a genuine London Toryboi.