Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Conservative MP with BlogBalls

As I have said before, you don't get many more entertaining blogs than that of Conservative MP Nadine Dorries. Today she writes about Sir Patrick Cormack...
His local Conservative association have de-selected him, which means he will be unable to stand again as a Conservative MP, despite having achieved a 9.4% swing during the last election, one of the largest in the country. It has gone to a vote of the members, and I believe we have to
await their decision. South Staffordshire Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves. I am disgusted. Sir Patrick has said that he will stand next time as an independent, and if he does, I would help him and canvass for him against the selected Conservative candidate, without hesitation and regardless of what ‘you will never be given a job’ threats will be thrown at me by the whips.
Gulp. She's right though.
UPDATE WED: The Indy Diary today has a story following up Nadine's post. Nadine says: "Francis Maude should be sorting out the local Association". I would submit that this is the very last thing he should be doing and if he tried it would foment even more trouble. Sir Patrick tells the Indy: "I've even had generous offers for a war chest if I do go independent." I doubt whether Sir Patrick is a reader of this blog, but he should know one thing. He has many people who feel sympathy for him at the moment. But any further mention of the possibility of standing as an Independent is not very constructive and will start losing him a lot of support. I hope someone will tell him to button it.


Man in a Shed said...

Principle above career - I knew I liked her.

fairdealphil said...

Re: your footnote on this post...

Are all teccy-types guys?

Iain Dale said...

Phil, fair point, but I suspect that they are...mostly.

Little Black Sambo said...

If all Tories were like her nothing could stop them.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing to read about a genuine MP with principles.

It takes real guts to take a stand at risk of career advancement. The more I read about Nadine the more I like her.

In a funny way i think saying what she mans and sticking to her guns will do her much more good anyway in the long run than becoming yet another toadying, fawning MP.

Lets hope this helps Sir Patrick!

Anonymous said...

No Iain, I think she's completely wrong. I don't know the circumstances in South Staffordshire but if Sir Patrick has lost the confidence of his executive and his association members then he has to go simple as that.
The Party belongs to its members not its MPs no matter how eminent.

Anonymous said...

‘you will never be given a job’ threats would be the least of her problems. Campaigning against an official Conservative candidate means automatic expulsion from the Party.

I don't know what Sir Patrick is like in Parliament, but locally he is viewed as pompous and certainly not a team player - boasting about the Party leaders he has brought down.

We saw in Solihull what happens when you have an MP who hangs arounnd too long whilst his association stagnates. Fortunately the Lib Dems still don't have much of a presence in South Staff but we can't take it for granted.

It's right that there should be a change now before things get worse.

Anonymous said...

It's always good to find an excuse to put a picture of the delightful Nadine on the blog, but I think you have omitted to mention that she is included on the list of Top Ten most fanciable MPs compiled by Adam 'big cuddly panda' Boulton. What's that ?

There is a link elsewhere on your blog ? Fair enough, Mr Dale.

Anonymous said...

She's brilliant - I was really sad to have moved out of her constituency last year!!! Brave woman.

Anonymous said...

Ms Dorries is obviously unaware that assisting a candidate to stand against an official Conservative candidate is an open and shut case for suspension, if not expulsion from the Party - and quite rightly so.

I also think that Ms Dorries, as an MP, would also be well-advised to keep her nose out of other Associations' business.

Anonymous said...

At least, somebody with principles. It's a pity Cameron and the rest of the Shadow Cabinet don't have as much backbone.

Anonymous said...

I gather Sir Patrick rather frowns upon canvassing, so no joy there Nadine.

Anonymous said...

Well done Nadine!
And as to this view, "I also think that Ms Dorries, as an MP, would also be well-advised to keep her nose out of other Associations' business." RUBBISH!
We tories are not backward at criticising our leaders or our MP's, so I don't believe that constituency associations have any right to some sort of "special dispensation" from criticism.
Either we are loyal as a team from the membership up to the leadership or we will fail.

dearieme said...

My dear fellows, The Young use "guy" irrespective of sex. Do keep up.

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

I thought you supported the right of Conservative Associations to select the candidate of their choice? Or does that only apply when they select the 'right' candidates?

Anonymous said...

I hope that ND is but the first of many Conservative MPs to come out in support of Sir Patrick. Come to think of it, let us hope that parliamentarians of other parties follow Phil Woolas's lead and come out to express support for Sir Patrick.

MPs may be local figures but they are also national ones and it cannot be in the national interest for a determined group of anti-incumbents to unseat someone of Sir Patrick's seniority.

I am sure that the average gentleman on the Clapham Omnibus (or Joe Bloggs for the less refined amongst us) would agree that Sir Patrick must be saved.

Anonymous said...

Sir Patrick's announcement that he intends to run as an independent tells you all you need to know about him. Pompous self opioniated idiot. Follow Howard Flight's example of putting party before self.
Nadine you should know better.

Anonymous said...

Yep, she's got courage and one has to admire her.

I find the 'style' of her blog a trifle unsettling, though.

Even so, she should be commended for her stance.

Anonymous said...

How nice Cameron and Conservative infighting lets show the voting public how great we are NOT

Chris Paul said...

Are all guys in this sort of context guys? People use 'guys' about gals.

But what is the underlying story newshound Iain? Why have they deselected him? Is there a Svengali or a Machievelli lurking? Are they gagging to select an A List candidate who ticks all the diversity boxes?

Will these two end up switching sides to UKIP or Lib Dems or something or will the gal with bottle be witch-hunted out of your party?

Although there are ways back with LP (e.g. Ken) campaign against own party, even signing forms against own party is usually seen as a suspension or expulsion.

The Daily Pundit said...

Just wondering if she'll 'clarify' her remarks over the next day or two. That's strong stuff coming from an MP.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that Sir Patrick's colleagues have more loyalty towards him than some of his local exec seem to!

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall Patrick Cormack being very supportive of Tony Blair over some issue or other a year or so back (Iraq war possibly?) in contrast to just about everyone else in the Tory Party.

Do I remember correctly or am I mixing him up with another MP?

Anonymous said...


Greetings from the wacky world of pinkos, commies and various dysfunctional lefties,

Was just wondering - while you and the team have got Nadine on the brain, would you mind giving her a bit of a prod, as it were, on the topic of abortion rights?

We over here in the listing land of socialism have been running a comments board today at Harry's Place on the subject of Nadine's plans to table another Termination of Pregnancy Bill and her calls for a reduction in the 24-week limit for abortions, as reported on the Abortion Rights website this week. The guys are Harry's Place tend to be for a reduction to the limit, while I, being yr standard humourless socialist slapper, am plumping for the 24 weeks to stand.

Anyway, to cut a fairly long story short, I've been trying to get Nadine to come aboard the board, so as to speak, to expand on her views and her bill. Could you maybe give her a bit of a gooseing (sp? - sorry, went to a state school in the colonies), and ask her to visit the link above and let fly?

Great site, btw. You're right about the tecchie world being full of blokes. So, I find, is the world of anti-abortionists.

Could be worse, I guess.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

Yikes, you certainly split them down the middle with this one, Iain. I fear that this could just be a flash in the pan, as she clearly would be booted out of the party if she campaigned against a Conservative candidate - and I can't believe that someone who has worked so hard to get so far in the party would be willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING just to make a point.

Or would she?....

Anonymous said...

Presumably if he stands against an official Tory and she backs him in any way at all then they will both be thrown out of the party and the Tories will have to find a replacement for Ms Dorries as their official candidate?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Judith. I don't know the reasons why South Staffs Executive has decided to throw open the selection process. The Party's rules are clear where a sitting MP fails to get automatic reselection. He/she is entitled to request a postal ballot of the full membership of the Association alternatively they can (at the MP's option) have his/her name automatically added to the final list to be considered by the General Meeting (in addition to the candidates nominated by the Executive Council).

It is a dangerous precedent for an MP for another constituency to interfere in the democratic process of another constituency. If Sir Patrick wished to challenge the decision by a vote of the full membership, then as in the James Grey case, colleagues could write in support.

Anonymous said...

Brave words, but I suspect she knows it won't come to that. 'Brave' and 'M.P.' don't go together.

Anonymous said...

well she is brave
kamakazie courage perhaps

Anonymous said...

"us hope that parliamentarians of other parties follow Phil Woolas's lead "

Is it Blairite R Slicker of the year award time already?

Anonymous said...

So let's see, S. Staffs dump their MP who warns that he'll stand as an Independent, another Tory MP says she'll campaign for him, though it should result in her being banished into the outer darkness. No doubt she'll stand as an Independent too.

That's two fewer seats for the tories, then.
No doubt it's all part of the cunning NuCon strategy - not only don't they need policies, they don't need MPs either.

Anonymous said...

I've just spoken to an MP who canvassed in South Staffs in '05. His view? "If Cormack goes solo, he'll fail miserably'.

Anonymous said...

this blogging with balls is a step up on the usual balls in the blogs

hope it catches on....

Bob Piper said...

anonymous at 6.35pm said... "I seem to recall Patrick Cormack being very supportive of Tony Blair over some issue or other a year or so back (Iraq war possibly?) in contrast to just about everyone else in the Tory Party."

Sadly, the Tories enthusiastically backed the Iraq war... including Cormack who was very much in favour. In fact, if Cormack was going to fall out with his Party leadership over anything it would be opposition to Cameron's more positive attitude to reform of the laws on homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 6.35

Sir Patrick has indeed been supportive of Tony Blair on several issues, although, of course, he has had his disagreements with him.

It is Sir Patrick's support for The Prime Minister and some of the tough and difficult decisions he has had to make that marks him as the statesman he is, a man of whom it might be said he is of a party but above it.

It is also true that Sir Patrick has, as he would be the first to acknowledge, differed, and publicly so, with the party of which he is such a prominent member.

One thinks especially of his role during the debates on the Balkans in the 1990s when he drove a horse and carriage through the absolutely disgraceful policies and principles being espoused and promulgated by the then Conservative Government.

One thinks also of Sir Patrick's championing of the middle-ground during what were some rather distasteful times during the reign of Lady Thatcher and her somewhat fevered and irrational supporters.

Parties need people of Sir Patrick's ballast to counter the worst excesses of passing fancy and one hopes members in South Staffordshire will rise to the occasion and ensure he continues providing such ballast.

Anonymous said...

nmidsuczForgive me if I am wrong is the lady from scouseland , If she is I am on her side ,and I will agree with everthing she say's ,it's better not to argue with scouse ladies ,you live longer.

Newmania said...

I `m not sure what she is up to and a number of interesting theories present themselves none of which include any risk for her. In that she is trying to force the hand of the local Party ,is it possible she has discussed the best tactics with others either the Party or , more likely, Sir Patrick who would of course refuse her offer. ? Saying you will and doing so are very different things.

Perhaps I`m prejudiced but the inescapable fact here is how convenient it would be for the Conservative Party to impose its will on the local association and immediately one is suspicious.

I `m suprised Iain,as they know the man in question infinitely better than you or I, that you are so quick to dismiss their opinion.
Perhaps they know the swing was despite rather than because of the chap , perhaps he is simply a nauseating individual that noone can put up with ?

They know , we don`t.

Doesn`t their opinion count for anything ?It would with me .

Newmania said...

I `m not sure what she is up to and a number of interesting theories present themselves none of which include any risk for her. In that she is trying to force the hand of the local Party ,is it possible she has discussed the best tactics with others either the Party or , more likely, Sir Patrick who would of course refuse her offer. ? Saying you will and doing so are very different things.

Perhaps I`m prejudiced but the inescapable fact here is how convenient it would be for the Conservative Party to impose its will on the local association and immediately one is suspicious.

I `m suprised Iain,as they know the man in question infinitely better than you or I, that you are so quick to dismiss their opinion.
Perhaps they know the swing was despite rather than because of the chap , perhaps he is simply a nauseating individual that noone can put up with ?

They know , we don`t.

Doesn`t their opinion count for anything ?It would with me .

Anonymous said...

Well said, Nadine. Now we've three Tories with real principles - you, Boris and Iain - blimey! I'm impressed.

Can we see some more principles people come forward to support Patrick & Nadine. If enough stand up to be counted there won't be any expulsions, will there?

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

I think she has hit the nuclear button a bit early on this, but I admire her spirit.

My bet is that his members will support him, in which case Dorries looks a bit exposed as a hithead. If the arch cad Gray managed to get N Wilts members onside I would think that Cormack will survive also. Is his assoc chairman called McGregor or Gearson, perchance?

Anonymous said...

Suppose he was deselected by a ballot of the entire constituency membership-would she support him then? Iain-would you?

Richard Bailey said...

I know nothing of South Staffordshire nor Sir Patrick but it is my understanding from what I have read, that his re selection speech centred around his ambitions to be Father of the House and Speaker.

Forgive me but when a long standing politician has lost all sense of perspective and expects a constituency to humour his personal ambition over their desire for representation - I can perfectly understand their reaction.

Most MP's at least have the wit to disguise their ambition under an impressive local agenda. South Stafs clearly want to be part of today's Conservative Party rather than yesteryear's, and in the event that it is as simple as that, I commend them.

If he was a former Cabinet Minister I might have some degree of sympathy, but he is little more than a 22 year private soldier, and his time is clearly up.

Iain, you are very wrong to host this debate, and Nadine is on a suicide mission. You don't have to issue threats to deprive someone of a political career!

Anonymous said...

Note to Iain Dale,

Nadines site has now been transformed to support permalinks, RSS2 & moderation via Blackberry.
Its not as simple on IIS6

Techie Guy

Gavin said...

Having taken a gander at Ms Dorries' blog, she strikes me as a wonderful person and MP who talks a huge lot of sense on many issues. If it is true that she is putting her own position at risk by supporting Mr Cormack, then I sure hope she knows what she is doing, and that she knows why he has been deselected and feels that the decision is wrong, because if I were in Nadine's constituency I sure wouldn't want to lose her as my MP.

Ha, the cynic in me says that, as she talks so much clear common sense and is a member of Cornerstone, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she is not exactly adored by the Cameron camp in any case, and she may well know that she is not at the top of the queue for promotions anyway. Still, I like her and I like what she writes. If only the party leadership spoke like that, I wouldn't be (almost certainly) voting UKIP at the next election.

Anonymous said...

Nothing unusual here. He's just another long term trough snouter well past his sell by date, who doesn't know when he's out stayed his welcome.

His threat to stand as an independent merely confirms this.

It's all about ME, ME, ME.

Newmania said...

NEWMANIA PREVIOUSLY SAID-Perhaps they know the swing was despite rather than because of the chap , perhaps he is simply a nauseating individual that noone can put up with ?

I think my guess is turning out to be pretty accurate given his arrogant and stupid remarks. I have the distinct feeling that Mr. Dale will want to recxonsider his initial reaction and if Nadine is by any chnace the real McCoy she will feel much the same way.

In fact I am becoming so certain that the truth is that this Sir Patrick is a royal Pain in the arse that I hope we are going to return to his preenathon regularly so I can remind everyone of my foresight

Newmania said...

Oho Frances Maude will be sorting out will he.
My respect for him , which was never high , collapsed into a puddle of contempt when he complained that unlike the Lib Dums Conservative Activists didn`t arrive at by-elections in flottilas of caravans and stay there for weeks.
With his parentage he may find the concept opaque but we are working and will be avaiable for "demos" on Sunday," occassionally."
The man strikes me as an intellectual pygmy in the Cecil Parkinson tradition and he is the last person to "sort anyone out"
Furthermore I begin to think that there is a well of bitterness here amongst the local memebers at the way they have been treated and it may well be replicated elsewhere

Anonymous said...

"I hope someone tells him to button it".

Why don't you tell Sir Patrick and Nadine to button it. You are backing the wrong horse.

Anonymous said...

Didn't she back about three horses, twice, in the leadership contest?

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Every time i try to access nadine's blog from my computer at work, it prevents me - saying "Phishing and other frauds blocked"...

Anyone with an ounce of techno nous tell me what that means???

Anonymous said...

Is it just possible that the "Boy Wonder Clone" and his team of "Tiny Tots" are behind this lot, using an electric cattle prodder on the local party to make a space for an A-lister, or whatever the idea-of-the-month is currently? It wouldn't surprise me as this has been a recurring event within Nu-Labour and as we all know the ...hero worship!

Praguetory said...

Thin-skinned Brownite MP tries to raise blogging standards.

Anonymous said...

The party belongs to its members and not CCHQ, Mp's or PPC's.

If an association wants to make a change then they have the right, the power and are should use these powers.

Nadine should not involve herself in the workings of another association. She rightly says on her own website that she does not involve herself in parts of at her own association (like finance). So why step in Sir Pats? If I was her Chairman I would be calling her in right now for a chat.

I also hear rumors of an A-lister campaigning for an independent and his career is hanging by a thread.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Iain, but she's not right.

This 9.4% swing business is a complete fantasy.

A statistical myth, as I explained the other day.

Anonymous said...

Shades of Joe Lieberman, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Sir Patrick Cormack invariably comes across as a pompous ,self regarding bore who has lost no opportunity to brown nose Bliar.

On my personal list of Tories who inspire loathing whenever they appear on television he would feature in 4th place.

btw, 1)David Mellor 2)Miguel Portillo 3)George Walden

Pompous vote losing prats one and all!

Good riddance to Cormack.

david kendrick said...

Is Cormack a big asset to the tory party---do they need him in the Commons?

Does he bring rare, specialist knowledge and expertise to the House?

Is he irreplaceably expert on the problems of S Staffs?

The tory association in S Staffs may be both vicious and incompetent. But not on this evidence.

Anonymous said...

Iain, In Wales two top tories who have given a lifetimes service to the Party, including Sir Eric Howells, have just been kicked out of the party for saying something very similar

Anonymous said...

fcblcI find Nadine Dorries' stance on this pretty insulting to local party members. By her logic, CCHQ might as well just take over the selection of all Parliamentary candidates.

Anonymous said...

newmania - ah, but what you must remember is that Iain Dale is not a journalist, but a blogger. Whereas a journo [Michael Crick?] would get on the phones, write letters, call in and scare people when they hear the words 'Michael Crick is in reception' - this is not the role of a blogger.

Luckily they can pass comment and express opinions without having to worry about tedious things like finding out the facts. And I am quite glad about that, since when one finds out the facts about any gossip they are, disappointingly, never quite as exciting as rumours.

Anonymous said...

My, she's pretty and such a lovely smile too. I'm on her side.
The way this man has been treated is appalling. I hope he adopts an English Parliament policy. If he does and goes Indy, I'll donate to his campaign myself.

Anonymous said...

If the ballot of constituency members comes out against Sir Patrick, he should do the honourable thing and retire quietly from his position.

If he does anything else he'll just look like a complete burk.

On the other hand, if his consituency members flock to him in support, he'll be set ok for the next couple of elections.

Anonymous said...

He should have taken the Howard Flight approach if he wanted to get anywhere.
Having said that, I agree strongly with Capt Richard Bailey's view.

Anonymous said...

Because of the death of the Lib Dem candidate the election in South Staffs was 'Countermanded' Sir Patrick was therefore re-elected some weeks later. Although it was not a by-election it was treated as such and Party helpers were drafted in to help. There's your 9% swing straight away.

With no disrespect to local workers (who, it seems to me, have clearly had enough of this man)the existing organisation would have been considered poor in the 50's and the candidates reluctance to allow 'get out the vote' activities until mid-afternoon on Polling Day makes the point perfectly.

If re-selected this would be a lost seat should a by-election occur.

Anonymous said...

Well you have to admire her loyalty - a quality lacking in politics on all sides. At least she rises above the back biting and self-promotion so frequently embraced by today's MPs. She shows courage and loyalty - something we need injecting back into the policitcal arena - well done Nadine.

Tom Robbins

Anonymous said...

Nadine is gorgeous and her stand shows her to be someone not remotely interested in self-aggrandissment, but totally committed to ethical standards.

Tapestry said...

Is she a europhile - as is Cormack?

South Staffs is strong UKIP territory, and many Conservatives there don't like having a europhile MP. Deselection seems the inteligent course of action.

Who's next? If the europhiles are deselected, the Party could start winning again.

Anonymous said...

Blimey, she does indeed have balls: in the same post she mentions the stupid list of fanciable MPs and writes "Caroline Flint was No 2, zero personality though".

thatcher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

from Mike Snyder, Seattle, WA, USA:

Sir Patrick's current conundrum reminds me of that faced by Emmanuel Celler 35 years ago.

Cellar was first elected to the US House of Representatives from a New York City district in 1922. Fifty years later, he suffered his first defeat in the 1972 Democratic primary when he was defeated by Elizabeth Holtzman.

The 1974 edition of the Almanac of American Politics notes that, “Nobody thought Celler was in much trouble in 1972” due to his long and distinguished tenure.

When Holtzman decided to challenge him for the nomination, Celler scoffed at her chances, saying “She doesn’t exist, as far as I’m concerned.” She proved otherwise, raising $37,000 (big money back then), distributing 200,000 pieces of campaign literature and organizing an aggressive, effective campaign.

“As the campaign progressed," says APA '74, "a clear and growing feeling developed that Celler was too old and that Celler paid no attention to the district. . . . His was a classic case of a Congressman hanging on too long.”

In the general election, Holtzman garnered 66% of the vote, compared with 23% for the Republican nominee and just 4% for Cellar, who ran as a candidate of the NY Liberal Party.

The similarities with between Cellar '72 and Cormack '07 are obvious.

The major difference, is this: the fact that nearly 35,000 ballots were cast in the primary that denied Cellar renomination.
Whereas the “electorate” that deselected Sir Patrick (at least for the time being) numbered less than three dozen.

That's a ratio of 1,000 to one. Granted, a US congressional district is much larger than a UK parliamentary constituency. But it is still a heck of a difference.

The British Constitution is the admiration of the world, but the process by which candidates are selected by your political parties is NOT one of its finer points!

Apologize this comment is so long (don’t have time to make it shorter!) but allow me to finish by saying that I’m a personal (if not political) fan of Ian Dale.

Last time I visited London, when the Politico’s bookstore was still in operation, Ian took the time, out of what I’m sure was a very busy day, to speak with me personally. He is a true gentleman. (Only wish the Yankee dollar was a bit harder, so I could afford to buy his books again!) IF the British people insist on sending a few Tories to Westminster, then hope Ian may be one of them. Sooner rather than later, so that he may have a chance of making even a fraction of Sir Patrick Cormack's contribution.