Monday, April 05, 2010

And So It Begins...

After what seems years of waiting, it;s finally happening. The election is on. As I sit here tonight, two thoughts come to mind. I think of all the candidates up and down the country, many of whom have been campaigning in their patches for up to four years. The next four weeks will determine their fate. Some will experience the elation of victory, and their work will have been worthwhile, while others will suffer the pain of defeat - and believe me, I know what that pain feels like.

The other thought I have concerns those who in four week's time may be given the chance to govern this great country. They wouldn't be human if they didn't feel some sense of foreboding. Even the most self confident politicians have some element of self doubt, however hidden it might appear to be.

I'll be quite honest, I am gutted not to be fighting this election as a candidate. But that's done and dusted now. So, what am I going to do during this election? To be honest, I am not sure. I'd quite like to know what you, my readers, would like me to do. What do you expect of this blog over the next four weeks? What would you like to see me covering?

I'm going to spend a bit of time helping my friends Tracey Crouch in nearby Chatham & Aylesford and Simon Jones in Dagenham & Rainham, and I'll also be putting my LBC election night programme together, but apart from that I'm open to ideas.

I'm intending to work as normal until the 15th, but after that I shall be taking the next three weeks off work to do 'electiony' things. Whatever they might be!

If you're a candidate in this election, or an agent, and have a news story, just email me or tweet me and I'll follow it up. Am always open to funny canvassing stories.

As you all know, I am a Conservative.I passionately want a Conservative victory as I cannot bear to think what another five years of Gordon Brown would mean for this country. But there's only so far I am going to go in cheerleading. If Brown or Clegg make a good speech, or produce a good poster, I'll say so. If I think the Tory campaign needs to go in a different direction, I will say so. But I want the Conservatives to win and I will do anything I can to help achieve that.

Onward into battle!


MD said...

Become an attack dog of Labour and LD PPCs!

Highlight any evidence i.e. expenses that the electorate should be aware.

Mikko said...

Good luck with that. Will follow you with enthusiasm!

Martin said...

We need to be on alert for BBC bias at this election. The BBC will do everything they can to try to get a Labour win or a score draw at the very least.

We've already seen the BBC's approach over things like Lord Ashcroft and Chris Grayling. We've seen the BBC ignore Brown's lies about defence (the BBC have totally ignored VC hero Johnson Beharry wanting to slap the jock idiot - and who wouldn't?) and the BBC have been bigging up Labour lies.

Paddy Briggs said...

If it's about voting for the Party that best matches your views then you Iain are not s Conservative at all - you shared with us recently that UKIP is your real home. I found that honest, but shocking. If you don't believe in what Camerpn et al say the modern Conservative Party stands for (you don't, by your own admission) then stop pretending you do. Either the Party really has changed - in which case you should leave it - or it's all a chimera cooked up by DC -in which case you owe it to us to say so.

Ed said...

Stay balanced, stay forceful, stay prolific.
By the way, thanks for your posts over the last year.

Iain Dale said...

Paddy, have you been on the sauce again?

I think you are misremembering what I wrote. Votematch kept saying I was UKIP. I am not. I think I am old enough to judge for myself who to vote for and who I agree with. All parties are giant coalitions. We all agree with 85-90% of our party platforms and I am no different to anyone else.

trevorsden said...

You are better off out of parliament. You are not cut out for it.

Me on the other hand ....

I do not know about Wayne Rooney's ankle, but the football analogy that springs to mind is 'sick as a parrot'.

Brown eschewed an election because his pollster only predicted a 40 seat majority. Now he goes to the Palace with the Tories on 41 and labour on 31.

To quote the punch line of another football story, 'Gordon, where did it all go wrong'

jon dee said...

Identify, expose and publicise Labour lies, as well as giving your excellent support to the Conservative party.

Expose and comment on BBC impartiality and bias whenever it occurs.

trevorsden said...

Your far too kind reply to thick tendentious and wilfully partisan Paddy Briggs explains to me why you should not be an MP and are better suited to be the polite cheer leader you are.

Briggs is asinine and risibly untenable in his chosen line. A Whitehall farce does not come close to being as funny or as his desperate telegraphed attempt at embarrassment.

Well not unless you count the last 5 years in Whitehall ....

Dave said...

At last this fcuking 13 year nightmare is about to enter its last final chapter.
As usual the BBC (Biased Broadcasting Company) is doing all it can to rubbish the Tories and saying its going to be a very close finish...Radio 5 Live....

Once DC has a clear mandate
one of his first tasks is a root & branch clear out at the Beeb....without compensation !! ..starting with Thompson & the so called BBC (Dis)Trust members.....

The BBC must become a balanced even handed media organisation & never allowed ever again tobe an annal loud speaker for this One Eyed mad Jock and all of his arse holes....

Remember We must all VOTE in this GE otherwise the Mad Jock will be BACK.....

Charlotte Vere said...

Onward Iain, and if you have time to help in Brighton Pavilion, it would be a pleasure to have you.

Jess The Dog said...

I think Team Cameron should make the most of the "Fire up the Quattro" image by selecting an 80s anthem as the campaign song.

That woiuld help seal the deal with the 80s generation, who are now in their 30s and 40s with mortgages and kids.

In fact, why not compile a list of what was good about the 80s....the last time there was a real Conservative government.

As we all know, it wasn't all Billy Elliot, miners strikes and poll tax riots. There was quite a spirit of optimism and a forward-looking culture. End of the cold war as well. Of course Labour hate all that!

Harry Hayfield said...

I have decided (after assessing the mobile phone signal) that I will not be going to the Ceredigion count (but have asked the people there to send me any info of interest). May I enquire if I may be permitted to be your "Peter Snow" for the campaign with regular polling updates and my own virtual Con / Lab swingometer (in Powerpoint format)?

Iain Dale said...

be my guest!

delanda-est said...

Dear Iain be looking forward to reading your stuff in the next weeks. For 'independents' like myself I would just ask that you don't turn into an agent of CCO! I've felt that - for the most understandable reasons - you've been a little less balanced than normal in the past two months. As for election night I can't wait to listen to your show: the funniest radio I've ever heard was your European Election Count.

manicbeancounter said...

Being fair-minded to the good points in others will help take some of the heat out of this campaign. The Tories will benefit from clarity and objectivity, as Labour have been very poor under Gordon Brown, first at Chancellor then as Prime Minister.

For instance
1) Gordon Brown's Golden Rule (only borrow to invest) will, by my estimates, account for half the projected national debt of £1400bn in 2014.
2) Compare the way David Cameron and Gordon Brown responded to the expenses scandal. Who showed signs of better leadership?
3) The Pensions raid, the failure of the regulatory system set up by Gordon Brown and the increasing complexity of the tax system.
4) The filling of the media with a constant barrage of policy initiatives that never see the light of day.
5) The constant evasiveness when answering questions. I know politicians have always done it, but New Labour have developed this into an art form.
6) Please find examples where instead of saying sorry (and often resigning over serious issues), Ministers have evaded questions and then the Spin Doctors have turned the debate around.

In other words, please help enlighten people on how Labour, by their very approach, have cost this country dearly. Possibly use illustrations from speeches on the campaign trail alongside examples from the recent past.

Iain, however you deal with this, the fact that you are able to appreciate other points of view will help take some of the venom out of this campaign. Labour are cornered and will scrap like fury to save themselves. They know that a heavy defeat will lead to a period of internal feuding that could mean years in the political wilderness.

Ashley said...

All the best for the coming month Mr D.

I started reading political blogs a few years ago, and I have followed you ever since. I really hope it is time for change.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I am sorry you are not standing as a candidate.

It may have something to do with the pros and cons:

media friendly, boring, safely homogenized lifestyle choices; e.g. Elaine Paige and Audis, monogamy and football.

balding and old, Eurosceptic, a real Tory, a coherent world view that compares too favourably with the vacuous hole at the centre of Cameronism, good advocate, media friendly (and therefore likely to be given a lot of air-time),can be an awkward bugger and not toe the line, willing to pledge a number of worthy promises to your constituents (thereby embarrassing those who do not), you don't need the status that being an MP confers - in fact as present public perception goes, it would be a lowering of status, etc.

Need I go on?

There is a difference between being slick and shiny at selection meetings and having a consistent public profile gained over many years that is more open to scrutiny than most candidates will ever be. What you stand for is available for all to see in minute detail and you are known enough by people who matter to be found out if you are not what you say you are.

So, I am sorry too, that you did not get the gig.

Thatsnews said...

Iain, I know you wanted to be a contender. Sorry! Candidate. And I do feel for you. I lost a council seat by 12 ^&*$ing votes in 1985...

However, like many of your readers I am pleased -for purely selfish reasons- that you aren't a candidate. We need you here, Iain. In command of your blog. Telling us how it is.

Wow! The wv is about Gordon Brown and his relationship with Sarah.... undershe!

The Grim Reaper said...

I'll believe it when I see it. Brown's most probably dithering away in Downing Street tonight wondering if there's any way to get out of calling it tomorrow.

forgelindin said...

I think you're fairly safe on the good poster front there Iain. I say this as a labour supporter. To think the Gene Hunt one actually won a competition. I hope we win but we are clearly mad.

Similarly, if Gordon Brown does a good speech? I think if he did a good speech outside a labour conference you'd just about fall over.

But, I really hope he wins.

wild said...

For what it is worth I think you would make a good Member of Parliament (even though it would probably make you insufferable).

I am sorry you have to endure the disappointment of not being selected to fight for a parlimentary seat (even though there are more important things in life).

Try to counter the endless pro-Left anti-Tory media agenda of the BBC with factual information they choose not to report would be my advice.

Curbishlyauto said...

As already mentioned highlight BBC bias. Especially those on 5live.

kasou said...

a) Keep an eye on the Military vote. Make sure our soƶdiers get the chance to vote.

b) Keep a real close eye on the BBC, especially the TODAY program, and NEWSNIGHT.

c) Go your usual thing.

cassandra said...

Conservative victory?

The only winner will be the EU anti democratic superstate.
The big three parties have demoted themselves to the role of a local assembly fit only to enact federal legislation.
All the mecahanisms are in place and await the election of this local titular regime and then the superstate will stamp its authority on it with surprising speed.
The real power in the federal state was not born from the popular vote of the people of this budding federal state, these new overlords owe nothing to the democratic tradition indeed they hate and despise democratic convention, this is the post democratic era where democracy will become the fake facade and the real power will show its ugly face.
Does anyone stil wonder just why the big three have no big policies anymore?
The terrible truth is that all the real power has been given away to the federal superstate and all that is left to the incoming regional satrap regime is to rubberstamp the federal diktats that will flood into the local regimes offices.
In the new federal state the voters duty is simply to elect regional toadies who can follow orders.

The very first thing an incoming local regime will do is crawl off to Brussels to receive their orders, it will be hidden of course in the guise of a EU conference but behind the scenes the new satraps will be handed their policies and orders.

BrianSJ said...

See what you can get by way of posts/reports from people on the ground. Real personal impressions are very valuable and won't be in the MSM I suspect.

Hendo said...

Just keep doing what you're doing Iain, ie creating one of the most readable political blogs on the web.

Allan said...

At long last the people will have a say on how this country is run. I will not be surprised if Gordon Brown's car breaks down on his way to the Queen today, just another delay!

I don't support Labour or the Conservatives and never will, in fact my desire is for an independent Scotland but even I would welcome a change of government from the crap we have sitting in number 10.

Many people in England hold the daft notion that most Scots support Labour!, well we don't and never have done. The current political system for Westminster (FPTP) only highlights the inadequacy of the seat allocations in Scotland, in that it roughly takes (excluding the Lib/Dems) roughly 2 votes for the SNP and Conservatives to win a seat to every one Labour vote.

Mark M said...

"If Brown or Clegg make a good speech, or produce a good poster, I'll say so"

And quite rightly so. I dread to think of this country turning into somewhere where your opponents efforts are ignored purely for partisan reasons. Even our at a football game, brilliance by an opponent is greeted by a quiet admiration from the other fans. It's the equivalent of clapping a member of the other team who has just brought up his half-century at cricket.

What a shame there are so many lefties who don't understand this principle. To them, being a Tory automatically makes one wrong.

Robert said...

A general election! When the general public votes for which party gets the vote to elect our represenatative on the council of ministers.

Now that is what we call democracy today. Can't see what all the fuss is about really.

robonly said...

When you look at a Poll of Polls, its still showing as Labour losing its majority...

DespairingLiberal said...

And as I sit here tonight (well, this morning anyway) one thought comes to mind - how frequently Iain Dale predicted the election was imminent, next week, in two months, in June last year, the previous year, 6 months ago, etc, etc, etc.

Could Iain really have been so misguided by his sources? Or (perish the thought!) was there (no, it cannot be true, surely!) perhaps a co-ordinated CCHQ campaign to make Gordon look vacillating by saying he was planning an election every few weeks! I deny that completely!

Letters From A Tory said...

"If I think the Tory campaign needs to go in a different direction, I will say so."

You weren't thinking of writing an article for ConHome anytime soon, were you?

Jim Arnott said...

One thing that might be helpful to do would be to listen to people's suggestions of how the Conservatives could improve their message and maybe even run a simple poll on the observations.

For example, this morning I heard David Cameron with the slogan"

"Do yo want 5 more years of Gordon Brown?"

I immediately thought it could be improved by asking:

"Do you want 5 more years of Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson?"

I then thought a great improvement would be:

"Do you want 5 more years of Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown?"

I know from talking with people just how much Mandelson is detested so that the last slogan brings Mandelson to the fore whist implying that Brown is subservient to Brown. Subtle but might be effective.

Maybe you could test what people think of potential improvements like this and pass it on to CCO.

Jim Arnott said...

Apologies, my last post should have read "...Brown subservient to Mandelson..."

Silly me, shows I didn't review the post before publishing it. Will do so in future.

Kevin said...

such a shame iain wont be a candidate in a winnable seat - think he would have madea brilliant MP

Charles said...

Carry on doing a lot of what you do anyway: as a voice of reason on press reviews and so forth you are often the most sensible conservative (small or large C) voice many of the normal voters will see and listen to.

That's probably what will help most in offsetting the prevalence of media liberalism