Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sam Gyimah Wins East Surrey

Sam Gyimah won the East Surrey selection today. I think it went to four or five ballots. I am afraid I totally underperformed in my speech, although I thought the questions went well. Sam is a fantastic guy who will be a superb parliamentarian. I hope this puts to bed any remaining suspicion that local Conservative parties are racist. He won it on merit.

43 comments:

Magical_Mist said...

Well done to him - but I'm very disappointed you didn't win Iain. I'll buy you a drink if we ever cross paths

Bond007 said...

Tough luck Iain.

Chin up ... The Tories will win the next GE and England will win the world cup - two things to look forward to.

trevorsden said...

You have been saved from yourself.

I think now is an appropriate time to give the lie to all those people who moan about 'politicians' only ever being 'politicians'. It requires a great deal of dedication and single mindedness to get into parliament - not easy to lead a 'normal' life.

No surprise that local govt councillors and party apparatchiks get an edge. Thats life - so lets stop all the bleating about MPs never having proper jobs etc -- how many who say all that actually ever thought about how hard it is to get an opportunity to stand, never mind win a seat.

DeeDee99 said...

Well done to Sam and commiserations to you.

Sean Haffey said...

I am sorry you missed out again. I don't know any of the candidates but ... well ... you have a real life outside Westminster and you are exceptionally good at it.

But I am very sorry you missed.

Best wishes

Nic Conner said...

Bad luck Iain, Do you think you get anuther shot for a seat?

javelin said...

Just read up on ths one. Sounds like some reverse sexism, racism etc went on. A selection of 6 candiates from head office black, indian, gay and 3 women. You can't compete with the straight white males not because your not straight and white and female but because you didn't rise up through this area.

Really all this reverse racism stuff was tried in the US years ago when I lived there and was found to be illegal. No one in the UK really gives a shit about -isms any more. If a black, lesbian grew up in this area and wowed the local party she would get in - no problems. This is pure political farce and Dave trying to appear more socially inclusive is show how at the ground roots it isn't - and that's just it airbrushing. Harpie Harman would be proud.

Matthew Dear said...

Happy for this Sam chap, but sad for you - I know you'd make an interesting, passionate and caring MP.

Can't CCHQ pull a few strings? :-)

strapworld said...

Hard luck Iain. I did believe you had a real chance. Congratulations to Sam Gyimah.

I admire your spirit. Perhaps you are being directed to be on the outside commentating and ensuring the tories live up to whatever promises they make to the electorate.

I do consider that Javelin has a point and you may like to read Parris's article in The Times and consider, what many have been suggesting, that Cameron has to be aware that the climate agenda is changing rapidly.

Bird said...

Put a sock in it Javelin.
Iain said the guy won on merit.
Hard luck Iain, but don't make any statements or decisions yet about future applications. You'll get there in the end.

Unsworth said...

Their loss and our gain, I'm afraid Iain. Still, keep buggering on - as Churchill is reported to have said!

trevorsden said...

The best person to determine if Javelin is right is Mr Dale himself. He seems not to agree.

We need a full independent judicial enquiry in to the global warming goings on at UEA. Given his record, just what was the Editor of Nature doing on the current investigation panel.

When we consider the billions at stake and Prima facie case against the scientists, it seems the best way to satisfy everyone.

Hermeneuticals said...

Ditto's to Sean Haffey but from a broader perspective Javelin has a point (no pun). I've seen what he's seen in America and it will hurt the Conservative party in UK. Candidate selection has to be merit, that's it, nothing else. All this affirmative action appeases lefty thinking while others lose a sense of security in Conservatism.

Gallimaufry said...

That you haven't been picked yet speaks volumes for the high calibre of the Tories' pool of prospective candidates. It may not be the best news for you but it's good news for the country that so many talented people will be refreshing the Commons.
Keep you powder dry for the upcoming Kirkcaldy by-election caused by the sitting member sustaining a fatal Nokia ricochet after the announcement of a Tory landslide.

Archbishop Cranmer said...

Dear Mr Dale,

Sincere commisserations.

You must be exhausted, disappointed and not a little despondent. If it's any consolation, you may have been saved a lifetime of doubt.

In another month, in a different year and with the wind blowing in the opposite direction, you may well have been selected to fight this seat, having been long-listed by a loyal local executive from 200+ applications, and shortlisted and interviewed by sensible association officers.

In the event, CCHQ chose not to accord the Surrey East Conservative Association with such attributes, but chose to impose a shortlist upon them.

With very great respect, the candidates were not chosen primarily for their political ability or personal merits, but because they were female, Muslim/Asian, black and gay.

As Ann Widdecombe has pointed out time and time again (and you must have taken note), no-one selected tonight from such a contrived shortlist could ever have been sure that they were in Parliament by virtue of their political skills, achievements or merits. Three women, one Asian Muslim, one black man and one gay man were shortlisted because of the seeming trivia of gender, ethnicity and sexuality. Certainly, they may all be gifted as well. But so are all those whose names are upon the List of Approved Candidates (how else would they be there?), and their giftedness alone was insufficient to be shortlisted by the selection cabal.

Sam Gyimah may be an outstandingly gifted man. But, like so many A-list candidates, as Ann Widdecombe has starkly pointed out, he will never be able to look his fellow MPs in the eye and tell them with absolute certainty that he is in Parliament because he is good when he was shortlisted primarily because he incarnates the 'change' which David Cameron never can.

Chris said...

Wish him well but never heard of the guy-sounds like a Hobbitt out of Lord of the Rings. Has he been a Councillor or stood for Council anywhere?, has he been involved in the YCS/FCS now CF, has he stood for Parliament before?

Of course - he's one of Dave's chosen favourites-nuff said. A pity really but he sounds quite good but being imposed by Dave will taint quite a few of the new intake

But as for Bond 007, I look forward to the first- the second I'm opposed to but with a name like mine, its anyone but that team.

Barnsley Bill said...

What his holiness said. With bells on.

Jabba the Cat said...

Reminds me when they chose Lord Taylor originally, it didn't take long for the third world political mentality to kick in.

Chris Whiteside said...

Congratulations to Sam, commiserations to Iain and the others who were not lucky this time.

Before being selected for Copeland during the selection round for the 2005 election I had an unsuccessful run of four applications on the trot in which I made it to the final and then lost. One of the professionals from Norwich said to me at the time "Once you start breaking through to finals, keep trying and you will be selected somewhere eventually."

I'm quite convinced that someone of your ability can and will get to parliament eventually.

Nigel said...

Always the bridesmaid...

... maybe you could become the Lord Adonis of the next Tory administration ???

Given how many selection meetings you have lost out on, there must be some truly remarkable candidates out there.

Jeremy Kite said...

Genuinely sorry that you didn't win Iain. I know you feel strongly that it's important to be practising what you preach ( and you surely will ) but as John Milton didn't quite say ... "They also serve who only stand and bait."

You, your blog and your commentary have a major role to play in the Tory government we all hope will soon come.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Commiserations Iain. Your loss is our gain! Maybe you'll get another chance, maybe?

simon woolley said...

Congratulations to Sam. I'm sure he'll be an excellent candidate and role model. We should also applaud the Tory party too. In its long history the party is about to make the biggest breakthrough on diversity during this election campaign. I'd like to applaud Iain Dale, who along with others has helped move the party to a progressive ground. Furthermore, when he has lost a selection battle he has always heaped praise on the victor. I hope he doesn't give up his aspiration of becoming a MP. He'll be a credit to the party and our democracy. Simon Woolley Director Operation Black Vote.

Tory Totty Online said...

Bravo Iain . .you gave it your best shot on the day.

Mark Bishop said...

Re the comments suggesting that Sam Gymiah or anyone else on the shortlist was selected by CCHQ for box-ticking reasons, I'm a member of East Surrey Conservative Association as was present both at the Executive meeting on Monday that discussed how to proceed given the centrally-imposed shortlist and today's hustings, so would like to give a first-hand perspective.

It's true that some members were initially deeply suspicious of Pickles' team's motives. The final list of six candidates was that length only because our officers lobbied hard for it to be extended from the three that would normally be the case under the by-election procedure that automatically applies after 1 January, so the suspicion existed that the 'one black, one Muslim, one gay' may have been the three to which we would otherwise have been restricted, which smacks of tokenism.

In fact there's no evidence of this and, more to the point, the standard of the candidates was very high. I think any one of them would have made a great constituency and back-bench MP and the top half of the list are, in my view, all future Cabinet material.

While there was some hurtful reporting that sought to characterise the pre-hustings tensions as Cameron's modernisers versus constituency reactionaries, in fact the Association's members, given a free choice of candidates, four of whom were Caucasian, opted of their own free will for a young black man - not for reasons of political correctness, but because, in a very strong field, we believed he was an inspirational speaker, a gifted achiever and a passionate Tory.

Iain Dale said...

Thanks to people for their kind comments.

But can I just lay something to rest.

Some people are labouring under the misapprehension that I have been in dozens of selection contests.Not true.

Since the 2005 election I have been in two finals (Bracknell and East Surrey) and three other shortlists (NW Hants, Witham and Maidstone).

I have been very selective over the seats I have applied for - some would say too selective.

Horshamite said...

I am sorry for you because I believe you would make an excellent MP.

Your gracious defeat speaks volumes.

Its not over until the fat lady sings - or Gordon runs out of time. I sincerely hope you will have other opportunities and will still be a candidate at the next election.

John MacLeod said...

Well done for him, Iain, but I'm really sorry you didn't make it. In Providence, though, you may well have much more influence - and certainly far more privacy - as an informed and always honest observer of our governance through the next Parliament.

Thatsnews said...

Hang on Iain, you are a broadcaster, a businessman, journalist, author, publisher, editor, after dinner speaker, blogger,husband... are you absolutely sure you'd have time to be an MP, too?!

But that to one side, bad luck in not winning. However, there's another way to look at it. To beat someone of your unique skill set, Sam must have been very good, indeed.

simonemmett said...

To follow up on what Nigel said, a new tory government would need to appoint around 100 new peers.

Lord Dale of the blogsphere has a ring to it ;-)

Q said...

I have no background knowledge of the way in which the East Surrey CA went about choosing their candidate so I have nothing useful to say on the vexed question of whether candidates were chosen on the basis of race, gender or sexuality.

What I can say is this (and I know Mr. Dale will disagree): you cannot represent an area in Parliament if you have no meaningful connection to that area. It is sickening, truly sickening, to see political celebrities and senior party officials regularly being parachuted into safe seats in constituencies they've never even set foot in before.

This is not a specifically Conservative problem; in fact, arguably, it's a larger problem Labour. Nevertheless, it is a problem because, so long as you are treating local constituents like colonial subjects who need to be ruled over by outsiders, you are murdering the local party, you are raping local democratic choice and you are taking a steaming dump over the party's own ability to find fresh blood.

Iain, I know you want a seat but the only seats you should be thinking about representing are seats in which you live or work or have lived for a serious length of time. Local constituency parties exist for the benefit of local constituents and to provide regular infusions of local talent into London politics. They do not exist to ensure that celebrities and apparatchiks can keep their seat at the Westminster table.

(Obviously, the reasons I write this are that I'm a small-minded bigot, a Turnip Taliban, a yokel and all the other names that regularly get thrown at anyone who challenges the God-given right of political celebrities to annex local democracy on a whim.)

Ean Craigie said...

ain just keep the faith and try not to over think the electorate. Dave will need your brand of free thought to succeed

Paddy Briggs said...

"I hope this puts to bed any remaining suspicion that local Conservative parties are racist."

Er why? Agreed it suggests that East Surrey isn't - but how on earth can you generalise across 500 or more other constituencies.

By the way I hope that East Surrey isn't homophobic either...

Houdini said...

To Mark Bishop.

What is the point of being a member of the executive committee or being present during their deliberations when you have six candidates foisted on you, and choosing one of those six candidates that you had no power over choosing as the finalists is hardly proof that it was good and the best possible candidate for your area was chosen.

In the end you chose one of six people chosen for you.

Richard Bethell said...

Q (whoever he or she is) couldn’t be more wrong. But I would second Mark Bishop's earlier comments. ANY of the five unsuccessful candidates, including East Surrey based Sally Marks, would have made a favourable impression in the House of Commons. And hard luck, Iain. The North Norfolk albatross may have sunk your chances. Better luck next time.

I was at the meeting also. For what it's worth, Iain, my multi-factor scoring system awarded you 54 out of 60 points, equal to Natalie Elphicke and Sam Gyimah, with the latter fractionally ahead in my book. Sam really impressed us all and we in Horley look forward to working with him in the very near future.

Much to everyone's surprise, Natalie came 3rd in the voting, as the albatross hanging round her neck was huge:- fat cat lawyer; huge fee-earner partner at Addleshaw Goddard; allegedly connected with schemes to build affordable housing in the green belt; lives in Belgravia but with husband fighting seat in Dover. When she came on stage, my first thought was: yes, Cameron cutie, alright. My second impressions? A formidably bright and effective communicator with right of centre views that are decidedly not for turning. Doesn’t that remind you of someone? I predict she will win a seat shortly and receive junior ministerial promotion before the end of the Conservatives' first term.

Dick the Prick said...

Breasts. Good luck to the fella. To be fair, it will be quite a restrictive gig being an MP in the next parliament - choice between a few horrid decisions. Hey ho - you've still got a good job that you enjoy. Some candidates who don't get thru are going back to drudge.

All the best buddy.

Vienna Woods said...

Commisurations Iain, as I know you would have been an excellent M.P.with a wealth of political experience.

As for the others foisted on the local association, I cannot comment, but I am left feeling that this method of candidate selection by Central Office is totally wrong. The local worker bees throughout the country are the Conservatives only really active support and this help is falling away with every passing week. It was with great anxiety that I read this morning's Daily Mail article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250900/After-Gordon-Browns-tears-emotional-David-Cameron-tells-TV-regrets-following-sons-death.html)and the ever growing list of angry comments.

Speaking this morning to a local association friend, he tells me that resignations and questions about Central Office interference in local affairs are already causing severe membership problems. At this stage in the game, just weeks before an election, it's not an exactly clever idea, especially when Cameron is telling us on one hand that he wants more decisions to be taken locally in any future Conservative government. Obviously the "local" decisions will be taken by his "locally" appointed man.

I'm very much afraid that this is all going to end in tears!

Mark Bishop said...

Re Houdini's point, yes, it's true that the shortlist was compiled by Eric Pickles' team, rather than the Association, and ideally things would not have been done that way. But these are the rules that apply in the case of by-elections or when a General Election draws near (deemed to be 1 January 2010) - presumably because of fears that the time taken for officers to acquaint themselves with and interview prospective candidates would have been excessive, potentially risking us having no candidate when the election is called. So I think the rules are to blame (and, to an extent, Peter Ainsworth, for not making his decision known sooner), rather than the Candidates' Office for allegedly seeking to 'impose' a shortlist.

As Richard Bethell emphasised, any of the candidates, Iain very much included, would have made strong candidates, so it's not as if the shortlist was in any way substandard. And as for the suspicion that we'd be saddled with a group of moderniser candidates, if there's one linking thread between the people we saw it's that, to varying degrees, they all stood somewhat further toward the Eurosceptic end of the spectrum than current Party policy - which rather gives the lie to the media coverage.

Sungei Patani said...

Clearly, by selecting a heterosexual male, the Surrey East Conservative Association is homophobic and misogynist.

Mike Rouse said...

Gutted for you Iain.

Steve Smith said...

Some remarkable comments on here.
This is my first port of call for the political blogs and I enjoy listening to Iain on radio and TV appearences, but while I am sure that he would be a perfectly OK MP, I don't seee any evidence that he is obviously outstanding.
As for local connections - other than Sir Alec Douglas-Home I am not sure that any Conservative PM since WW2 has had any major local connection with their constituency (and of course some including Churchill had more than one).
Same applies to Labour, of course, with possible exception of Attlee.

fesone said...

Some of the posts here are down right pathetic. If someone other than a white Middle class male wins - it will be because of some kind of affirmative action and not because they might just be better. Even Iain himself stated that Sam was the better on the night. When it's all said and done, it is what you do when it matters that seem to be the deciding factor at these selections. As a black and darned hard working activist in my constituency that was selected for a local election, it really makes me wonder how many 'others' talk smack by suggesting I was selected only because I am black. One is in a seemingly no win situation i.e. if selected - you'll never get the credit you deserve, and if not - it'll just go to prove that you're not capable. STUPID

Grendel said...

The comments under his youtube election launch video say it really - take a look and judge for yourselves