Saturday, July 22, 2006

Steve Norris: I May Fall on my Sword for Dave

GMTV has an interview with Steve Norris tomorrow morning in which he hints that he might well not run for London mayor again.

Gloria De Piero:So Steve put us out of our misery, will it be third time lucky for you? Steve Norris: No I’m not going to say anything just at the moment, there’s a bit of time to go. I’m really interested to see who else might get flushed out because it’s quite an interesting process but so far we haven’t seen a lot of names emerge and I think it’s going to be interesting to see who is in the line up.
Gloria De Piero: Tell us what kind of factors might influence your decision?

Steve Norris: I have never made any secret of the fact that I think it’s the best job you could possibly have in government if you ever believe that you had any kind of mission there and that’s why I’ve did twice before. Now I always think about third time lucky and I think about somebody like me who has just about everything that David Cameron says he doesn’t want in his candidate. White male, middle class, middle aged, well middle age, I call it that, other people call it ……
Gloria De Piero: And you are a great Cameron supporter so would you rule yourself out on the basis that it was good for David Cameron?
Steve Norris:
Would I fall on my sword for young Dave? Yeah, actually, I probably would, to be honest, because I do want the party to succeed and I am a huge supporter of David Cameron and I think he has done really well so far - a long way to go, everybody knows that. But I like the way he is taking the party and I happen to think the drive to present a different kind of image of the party is absolutely what we need to do and to people who say that this is about positioning, not about policy. I say you have got to be in the position first and that’s exactly what he is assuming.
Gloria De Piero: So what do you do, what kind of soul searching is required when you are a great supporter of David Cameron but you recognise that you are a white middle class man?
Steve Norris: Well you know from my point of view it’s a whole variety of things. It’s about where you are in your life – I mean I get 4 years older every time although Ken Livingstone and I are exactly the same age so I keep reminding myself that if he’s old enough for it, I presumably am. It’s about who else is out there, it’s about you know as I say the other ambitions that I’ve got so without being coy about it, I’m going to take a bit more time as I see what develops but I am sure that we will find somebody good to take on Ken Livingstone but actually just making, about the only political observation I’d make. I think Livingstone will lose this time – I think the magic went, I think we all understood why he won the first time. Personally I understood why he won the second time but by a much reduced margin my vote went up an awful lot and his actually didn’t go up at all. I think you know next time he is going to be quite vulnerable and particularly because Olympic costs over-run – we are all going to be paying huge bills in London. People are going to realise there’s another side to Ken.

Steve Norris also tells David Cameron he should reshuffle his Shadow team soon. "I think David made some very interesting and innovative choices in his team when he started but he also recognised coming in as he did very much a new boy, that he was going to keep the continuity that comes from taking experience and advice from some of the greyer heads and the older people around. And I think that was quite right but there will be a time I am sure to refresh, to allow some of us older people to retire from the scene and leave the party in younger hands but I think he has played that quite well."

I will return to this subject during the week, as I rather agree with Norris on the reshuffle issue.


Anonymous said...

Norris fall on his sword? I thought it was more a case of nubile lovelies falling on his (pork sword, that is...)

Anonymous said...

Who do you think should go then Iain? Willetts and Lansley should get the chop surely, haven't seen either of them for 6 months despite shadowing two major portfolios.

Anonymous said...

David Cameron doesn't know what he is doing if he believes that this race is about the gender, race or sexual orienation of our candidate. It's about having the best candidate to win. That is why we are having an open primary.

Steve Norris is the best candidate the Tories have. This election is too important to throw away on trivialities like race, gender, age and sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

He has a good point about the reshuffle - there are definitely weak links.

Much as I hate to say it, George Osborne has to be in the firing line. With Brown's economic record being hammered on a near-daily basis not just by the press but also by influential bodies like the CBI, IoD and various Chambers of Commerce, the Tories surely need an eloquent, charismatic and heavy-weight 'big hitter' to help tear chunks out of Brown's reputation *before* he hits Downing Street. The right man for the job? It's certainly not Osborne. He may well be smart but he looks like a rank amateur up against Brown.

If I were Cameron, I'd put success before friendship and swap Hague and Osborne. Frankly, a drunken mule could out-class Beckett on the foreign brief; Hague's talents are wasted there.

Right now, the 'big three' are the Leader, the Treasury and the Home Office. Currently, Cameron has two of them spot-on.

Anonymous said...

Hague charismatic? Are you sure?

Anonymous said...

About time Norris stopped blocking a winnable place.

What an ego? He will fall on his sword? He should be put to the sword for conceit, hubris and poor business sense.

Anonymous said...

Ed is correct about Osborne who has been very poor as Shadow Chancellor. Thou one doubts he will be moved. Ineffective in debates in the Commons and the pre-Budget Report. Also he does not come across well in the media, his profile seems rather low in the various newspapers for a Shadow Chancellor as well. Thou I do'nt know what the City makes of him.

Praguetory said...

Ed is right, I think. Just moving Hague to Shadow Chancellor would get the press thinking seriously. On the other hand I really like some of the ideas Osbourne has been putting forward of late. But sometimes politics isn't fair. Willetts is one of my favourites so I am probably biased, but we should be looking to effectiveness in government more than effectiveness in opposition so he should stay. Despite the way it has been run by Labour, health is not a slam dunk for the Tories. I do not accept that Lansley has been poor. But I do think Dr Fox was a more credible shadow. Other suggestions gratefully received.

Anonymous said...

1 visitor online........ME!

I've gone sad. Is this an age thing? I'm about the same age as Steve Norris should I not be shaggi*g rather than blogging??

p.s. Think of me as ScotsToryB; I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to be an effective opposition when your hands are in the same tills as Labour and the Lib-Dems so I doubt a re-shuffle would have any effect despite the shortcomings of Hague and Osborne.That Hague neither resigned nor was fired over the EPP fudge says all we need to know about blue labour.

Anonymous said...

If your party doesn't find a way of forcing Norris to stand you're all potty.

As he says himself, he increased his vote last time round and virtually squeezed the LibDem's Simon Hughes out of the race.

Steve has the recognition factor you need to spearhead a campaign which could see you further increase your seats on the Assembly.

if you really want to change the the face of the party in London you need to ensure that the currently held Assembly seats aren't dominated by white middle class candidates.

The TaxCutter said...

There's a simple reason why Norris should not run - he's a lazy, ineffective campaigner.

Getting rid of older heads is daft. David Davis, is one of the oldest members of the Shadow Cabinet, and the most effective.

The Tory Party will only win next time around if it looks like a government. I had to remind myself who was in the ShadCab. We need More Team, Less Dave.

Anonymous said...

Willets did all the Education Bill stuff; hardly 'inivisible'.

I'd be seriously worried if Lansley, Hammond and Willets went - they're the serious policy minds in the ShadCab. If anything, Willets or Hammond should be Shadow Chancellor. I'd choose Willets - he's a well respected economist already and knows the ground. If we want to be taken seriously, that's exactly the kind of move we need.

Anonymous said...

Er, sorry, "taxcutter," Steve's vote went up last time while that of the Tories standing for the GLA wen't down.

Norris has the candidate and people skills, the media strength and the name recognition and credibility with Londoners that any candidate must have.

Anonymous said...

Taxcutter - as a total outsider who isn't going to be voting for the tory candidate I fail to recognise your description of Norris.

From following two elections close up he struck me as a very dedicated and hardworking candidate who gave Ken a real fight for the job.

The TaxCutter said...

It would have been dreadful if Norris' vote did not go up given that he was up against dream opponents in Livingstone and Simon Hughes.

What he failed to do is highlight Livingstone's many failings and come up with his own policies, I bet Red Ken can't believe he got such an easy ride.

Very personable Norris may be, but credible... he gets a lot of flak for his business connections and his extra-curricular activities.

Its time for a proactive candidate.

Anonymous said...

Livingstone is not a "dream opponent." Your remarks underline how out of touch you are with reality.

Anonymous said...

OT but was watching the golf there and commentator Mark James said the winner's prize of £700,000 could "almost get you a government peerage".

Anonymous said...

Norris tripped up and fell A over tip years ago onto his sword (A plastic one) and did himself an injury from which, hopefully he will never recover.

Anonymous said...

As soon as you think about it, you realise that what Norris does or doesn't do, or the Tories do or don't do in London, has no importance whatever. Shows how dominant Ken has become and how little chance any of the others have of rocking him. Let me know when Ken retires so I can wake up and take an interest in this nonsense.

strapworld said...

Damien Hockney should be the Tory choice (if they can get him to join the Tories!)
Young,gay,dashing and charismatic.....


I would put Dr Fox in a more prominent position. Shadow Foreign Sec/Home Sec. The opposition need street fighters and he/david davies and William Hague could make a hell of a difference..BUT they need policies to push for Labourlite to get noticed!

Has Cameron vsited the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan yet?

Is he F R I T?

Anonymous said...

Hague, Fox and Davis in the top 3 jobs? Dave would look like a "prisoner of the right". Osborne is "leader's friend" as well as simply stopping anyone else holding that vital job.

Anonymous said...

I realise not everyone on this site is a Conservative like me, but can we leave the nasty personal comments out of it and have a civilised discussion?

Steve Norris is a serious candidate and seriously credible Mayor. If you have a candidate who you actually believe is going to enter the race--as opposed to an idle and pointless daydream--then we discuss merits and demerits of candidates like grown ups.

strapworld said...

Dear Ruth,

Only a woman could say that about Norris.

He is a self opinionated pompous snob who does more to harm the tory cause, but not as much as the boy david.

I was a tory, thought of returning but...

Can you, dear Ruth, tell me what policies the tories have these days? which Londoners would be attracted to?

Iain Dale said...

Strapworld. Have you ever met Steve? He's about the least pompous Tory I have ever met. Self opinionated he may well be, but neither you nor I are short in that department, are we?

Anonymous said...

Dont bother getting upset with the likes of phone cam foolery and strapworld. Self confesed BNP fanatics claiming to have been Tories,is not a new thing. Assuming that they are not lieing, I have never worked out what attracted these types to the Conservative Party in the first place. As they clearly have no idear what it stands for or trys to believe in. If they did the last place they could possibly end up at is, the BNP.

strapworld said...


Actually I have met him, just once, and I based my opinion of him on that one meeting, in my office.

Iain,yes I am opinionated and I respect you and your blog immensely. More power to your elbow.

BUT on Norris on this one occasion our views must differ!

strapworld said...

we all know this said suggests I am BNP!

He couldn't be further from the truth. I can prove a long association to the tory party.

strapworld said...


I forgot to mention I was a Young Briton before becoming a Young Conservative before becoming an adult member of the party.....then left!

Anonymous said...

There is no alternative to Shagger Norris. The other declared candidates are out of their depth, especially Lightweight Lightfoot and Boring Borwick.

Anonymous said...

"Only a woman could say that about Norris"

Oh the authentic voice of the neanderthal tendency in the Tory Party. How we miss these primeval grunts! What patronising rubbish.

Let's go forward with Cameron and Norris and leave outdated prejudice and reactionary ramblings firmly in the unhappy & electorally unsuccessful past.

Paul Linford said...

I have to say I fail to see the logic of what Steve Norris is suggesting.

He seems to be saying that he is prepared to "fall on his sword" to enable Cameron to impose someone who more closely meets the Tory Party's current brand image, irrespective of whether or not they are the best/most popular candidate.

Does Norris really believe this claptrap? And if he does, how can he possibly call himself a Tory?

If I was being really cynical, I might think he was subtly taking the piss out of Cameron by saying this and highlighting the absurd tokenism and obsession with political correctness which seems to have taken over the party.

Anonymous said...

I think that Sir Paul Beresford would be a good choice based on the fact that he has made such a good contribution to inner city rehabilitation over the years and has been a Shadow Environment Minister in the past.

Is also a sitting London Mp at the moment.

Would the fact that he was born in New Zealand would go against him though?