political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Francis Maude Tonight on 18 Doughty Street
Tonight on 18 Doughty Street I am interviewing Conservative Party Chairman Francis Maude from 9pm to 10pm. If there are any questions you'd like me to put to him, please use the Comments section.
Yes Iain: ask him HOW without the aid of smoke & mirrors is he going to clean up the political scene in the UK. Oh and Bull excrement.Remember that lurking in the wings are still later day, Archer's,Yeo's, shagger Norris's et hoc!?
Following the near disaster of Bromley, what exactly has he done to improve the Conservatives by election campaigning system?
Francis Maude recently criticised Conservative activists for not bringing their caravans to by-elections and staying there . Given that most Conservative activists are employed with responsibilities , does he now regret this quite infuriating remark ?
Why do the English have no representation on the Council of the Isles?
Please ask him why he and his party have done nothing to help the people of England attain fair treatment with the Scots. Ask him why - as an Englishman and an MP - he and his party have not demanded a referendum on an English Parliament.Ask him how he manages to live with himself when English folk cannot get life-saving drugs that are freely available in Ssotland..etc...etc..etcAsk him what his party will do for an encore when EVoEM fails as it inevitably will.
Does FM agree with John Redwood that:
"The parties are in denial about big money politics"
This is Redwood on the public being suspicious about party funding AND how they spend it.
According to Guido,
"Tory MPs have been sent a note telling them to maintain a silence on the issue of party funding"
(Though he also reports that Redwood does not appear to have read it.)
What does he think is the probability of GB calling an election next year and, if that were to happen, how ready will our Party be?
Ask him why the party has been so feeble in defending our democracy and liberties against the the various assaults upon it mounted by Labour. This a broader issue than just ID cards, but gets to the heart of protecting our rights as citizens. The Conservative position is too diffuse and lacks a clearly articulated platform in this vital area of political life. Ask him as well how the party intends to deepen popular participation in the political process, the sole means we have of rebuilding the UK's soaring democratic deficit.
Ask him why on newsnight last night he tried to put forward contradictory arguments on the issue of party funding.
Paxman made him look particularly bad. I suggest you (light-heartedly of course) to switch his phone off so as not to repeat the further humiliation.
Really though why are the tories not standing up against greater state party funding?
Does he believe that David Cameron still needs a "Clause 4 moment"? If not why not?
Why is Francis Maude not pressing the Electoral Commission about Michael Brown's donation to the Lib Dems? Many Conservative Associations are raising six figure sums from their members only to see the Lib Dems funded by what would appear to be impermissible donations. Members can quite rightly ask why they should be contributing such sums to the party, if the party will not question the apparently illegitimate funding of its opponents.
Questions were first raised about 5th Avenue Partners in May 2005. Neither the Lib Dems, nor the Electoral Commission have ever been able to say what business the company was in, whether it ever had any turnover. 5th Avenue Partners has never filed any accounts at Comapnies House and is due to be struck off. Nobody apart from Michael Brown has ever been identified as an employee. Moreover, neither the Lib Dems nor the Electoral Commission have ever explained why or how a company with £1 of capital could make a donation of £2.4 million without really being a front for another company.
The judge in the HSBC v Brown case said that the company was only engaged in criminal activities and was not engaged in business. Eight weeks ago the Electoral Commission said they were "considering the available evidence" and expected "to reach a decision on whether to apply for such an order in the next few weeks". Whay are the Conservatives not pushing the Electoral Commission for their decision?
P.S. I could go on about how the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust are not really in business, and how Joseph Rowntree explicitly stated that the income of the Trust should not be given to established political parties, but let's deal with one dodgy Lib Dem donor at a time.
Regarding the Conservative MEP candidate selection process for 2009, please ask Mr Maude any or all of the following:
1. Will all regions be required to operate the same selection mechanism?
2. Should Party members be offered a postal vote, rather than having to turn up at one of the regional selection meetings?
3. Who will be eligible to apply to be a Conservative MEP candidate? (Will there be any sort of approved list?)
4. Will sitting MEPs enjoy any guarantee of a place in the final stage of the selection process?
He might recognise some of these questions because I discussed them with him in conversation on Monday evening. It would be interesting to see what he's prepared to commit to in public.
With hindsight would he sign the MAASTRICHT TREATY?
Francis Maude insisted on Tory Radio that he was not in favour of state funding.What is he actually going to do about it?Please don't allow him to wriggle out of it by just criticising the Labour Party trade union links.
How about who was involved, on both sides of the transaction, in negotiating their £250,000 Juniper Trading Equities Limited loan at base rate -0.25%, repayable over 30 years, and whether they consider this to be a commercial rate?
Is Juniper offering similar rates to anyone else? If this loan is not commercial, will David Cameron publish the names of the owners and backers of Juniper Trading Equities Limited, based in Geneva and registered in the British Virgin Islands, and reassure us that they are permissible donors?
Does he believe that the A List has created a second class Tory candidate, many of whom are now unwilling to work for the party because of the complete collapse of meritocracy? I, for one, am doing nothing for the party until the A List is abandoned.
There's a particular issue I'd like to see him tackle with even more rigour than he has thus far - commentators in the broadcast and print media, not to mention some of the more vocal party activists, seem all too eager to caricature Cameron as some sort of abomination and the very antithesis of what conservatism is all about. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the long and diverse history of the party knows this to be nonsense and we need to be far more vocal about the Conservatives historical interest in topics like social cohesion and sustainable communities.
There seem to be some within the party that view Thatcherism as some sort of pinnacle or conclusion to 400+ years of Conservative political thought and any dissent from it's main beliefs is some sort of heresy. This is a dangerous fiction that's a gift to our opponents and needs to be robustly challenged at every turn.
I must have been one of the few conservatives who thought privitisation of OUR utilities was absolutely barking (knowing full well that conglomerates would be the main movers and shakers- not the ordinary member of the public). Now that rail, energy, and to a point BT (in name only) have been shown to be disasters can he make a pledge not to add to this mess and privatise nout else!
Please ask Mr Maude:
"Is UKIP a threat. If so why. What specifically does Mr Cameron intend to do to ensure that Conservative voters do not switch to UKIP."
We need to meet this head on. No fudge.
will you be giving your seat to an a lister
Is the best way to get on the A list to stand against you in Horsham?
I hope you ask him direct questions and insist on direct answers, What I have seen of him he is dripping wet. An older man trying to dress and behave like a younger man.
Please ask him about basic Conservative beliefs. Less state, less tax. I think he is a Tony Blair new labour man, I have yet to be proved wrong.
Why his former colleagues in parliament were removed from the list with a two paragraph letter from Andrew Mackay last year yet many of them are younger than Mackay, Maude etc.
When will the Conservative Party leave the EPP grouping?
Which comes first: His extensive portfolio of outside interests or his role as Chairman of the Conservative Party?
griswold - get hold of today's guardian. apparently the green's are a bigger threat to the tories than ukip.
ukip if you want to,
cameron's not for sleeping...
anon thanks for the pointer.Will read.
UKIP, although not large in numbers, will use their votes to influence results in seats which otherwise the Cons expect to win.
Here are some I prepared earlier:
Those from Parbury Politica are all good though given Fawkes' Q to Dave/id in the corruped poll on web cameron Mr Maude may defer to DC.
Mr Maude may decide he's not playing after the first (which Will has also posted here in comments) so you'll need some other questions in reserve.
You could ask him about disreputable Tories cheating on their own "Ask Dave/id" polls? Possibly knocking Lord Fawkes off top spot in a late flurry of VEVO rather than OMOV activity.
Or Rupert Murdoch's merry hordes been disenfranchised on your own blog I suppose.
You could ask him what he thinks about the Lib Dems being so "affronted" by the Tory tactics in the Cheadle bye-bye-Tories-election when these were a word perfect repetition of err, Lib Dem tactics used elsewhere against Labour - but incidentally is there a Lab-Con coalition on the go? Apart from last year in Rochdale that is.
And you might ask him why Jake "the Fake" Berry who is now working for the Tories in your manor, having left his lawyering job in Manchester 'voluntarily' (it says on his blog, but why say that?) is STILL pretending to live "on the outskirts of Manchester" when he actually lives nearer to Liverpool. The wrong side of the M6 I think.
His replacement as candidate in City Centre ward in Manchester says he lives in the city centre and you never know this may be true, but then again he has a job as a professional fiddler. Actually not so different from Jake come to think of it as he was a specialist in property deals and now works for Tory Central.
Why not ask Mr Maude what it is like to have sunk back to a negative rating (minuf four out of a possible plus 100) from his own membership? As shown here. Ta-ra
What does Francis Maude think his father would have made of the latest Tory leadership, in particular its anxiety to enter the next general election with the biggest tax 'n spend programme in the party's history?
God, I'm so excited by the prospect.
according to the Guardian poll of voting intentions, g\Greens come more from labour than Conservative, and UKIP comes more from Conservative than Labour.
If we stem any haemorrage to UKIP (How do you spell that word?), a Green party surge would hurt Labour more than us, and the growth of the minor parties need not harm us.
Is that why John Redwood and IDS have been brought out of the shadows recently - to address the anger generated by the Polly Toynbee play, and the lift provided to Nigel Farage? It would be quite a coincidence if it were not.
To FM, why are so many selections on the A List bringing in Europhiles? Isn't the story of Bromley that Conservatives will no longer vote for Europhiles? Is Francis Maude manilpulating the A Lists to bring in the maximum number of europhiles that he can - and is that why Bernard jenkin was acked from making the slections - who was the only eurosceptic amongst the selection panel?
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