Sunday, July 08, 2007

Labour Bully Boy Tactics in Sedgefield

What on earth is the Labour Party up to in Sedgefield? First they send their attack dogs to disrupt the LibDem campaign launch and then they try to do the same to David Cameron. Tory candidate Graham Robb writes on his blog...
These issues were not of any concern to Labour activists who tried to distrupt
David Cameron's visit. Fairly typically for a Party in trouble Labour tried their
best to stop us raising the issus and proposing alternatives. A silly stunt
involving a 'butler' was aiming to portray David as 'posh' but really he was
here caring about the policies I am proposing. I am the only candidate to have
issued a plan for the town centre, all Labour want to do is shout me down.

Perhaps this is what Gordon Brown means by the "new politics".


Anonymous said...

Wow! Labour drafted their frontbencher Shaun Woodward in to the Sedgefield campaign - he lent them his butler to bully David Cameron!

Good of Shaun to give David his seat as well. Very public spirited of Labour.

Anonymous said...

BBC Bully Boy Tactics on Tonights news at 10. They are certainly making the Tory policy of "Tax the Binge Drinkers out of business" a headline grabbing epic, which will scare every drinker in the Country even Conservatives, not to vote Tory.
Another Cock Up by Cameron and his advisors. Also very bad timing on the back of the Public Houses reeling with the smoking ban. Pubs appear to have had a quiet week with takings down 20% due to the smoking ban.
Camerons booze tax is bad, bad news if an election is soon to be called.
Another Grammar school type row which will deter the middle and poorer class tory voters,with the Cameron Conservatives labelled the Pub Busterrs.

Newmania said...

Iain what are they doing with their drink tax. This is madness , worried Tory is right the timing could not be worse , noone will like it and it undercuts the entire Libertarian agenda for the sake iof a gimmick.
For god`s sake we have just opened the country up to 24 hour drinking and the results are such that taxes are required ?This is Labour thinking and we just don’t need another Grammar school debacle now . Disunity in the Conservative Party actually persuaded me to vote for Tony Blair in 1997 and I well know how pointless it appears to vote for a Party that has no cohesion. Iain Duncan Smith is in my opinion one of the stupidest men ever to enter politics and this is a new low in his dithering career of intellectual blind man’s buff. Can the this be squashed ?

Just as the Brown storm was receding …What the hell is going on !!!

Anonymous said...

BBC Bully Boy tactics - to report Tory policy???

You lot really are losing it.

Anonymous said...

I could have sworn that Harriet Harman went to St. Pauls, the female version of Eton ? Why not send the butler to her? These stunts suggest someone looking for revenge, someone perhaps Scotttish and still smarting from their tongue-tied humilation at PMQs?

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

Only one MP has a butler and he's Labour

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, I think you will find at least two other Labour MPs do too - Geoffrey Robinson and Quentin Davies!

Anonymous said...

To Worried Tory and Newmania - you really are too stupid to vote Conservative if you are not aware of the circumstances in which the policy was suggested - The policy has been put forward by the IDS Social Policy Justice Group as a suggestion (repeat suggestion)and is not party policy.

This is from the BBC website -

A Tory policy group has put forward proposals to combat binge drinking by raising the tax on alcohol by 7p on a pint.

The Social Justice Policy Group said the move would raise an extra £400m a year, which could be used to fund treatment of alcohol abuse.

David Cameron tasked the group with producing social policy ideas to mend what he called "broken" society. The proposals are not binding and it's thought unlikely that Mr Cameron will back them.

Anonymous said...

The moral compass stoops to low skullduggery, Dave must really have rattled him this week.

Anonymous said...

Well Worried Tory WAS right the mass morning papers are full of this Tory Booze Tax. Forget bully boy tactics and get out of this right old mess. Every self respecting voter will run a mile from the Tories.
Crass stupidity is how I see it.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown Has Won - Thanks to IDS and his badly advised Booze Tax.

A sickened Conservative who is pissing off,away from it all!!!

Tapestry said...

Labour activists have always been 'special'. When I stood in 2001 (UKIP), I was continually verbally abused by Labour - the readership here would be too refined to be able to read the kind of things being said.

During the campaign, I found a bloke trying to set my car on fire - lighting up posters pasted on to the outside. Fortunately it had rained and he couldn't get the fire going. On the night of the count I saw the same person in the group surrounding the Labour candidate.

Tapestry said...

sickened conservative (troll) - wake up a bit. 7p a pint on beer. solve alcoholism problem - save NHS and the economy £100 billion.

If Conservatives tax bad things like pollution and drunkenness, they will also cut tax on good things like work and enterprise. Try to imagine a more intelligent programme than you and the media have managed so far.

Anonymous said...

Rb Butler was in edgefield?

Anonymous said...

Fairy typically

Could you manage an "l" in that Iain ? It looks a bit odd

Praguetory said...

Tackling binge drinking is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt want to be a Tory Canvasser knocking on doors in Sedgefield Or Ealing with the proposed Booze Tax all over the morning papers and BBC Headlines.

Anonymous said...

Just listening to Campbell on Today prog and it strikes me how easily he would fit into dave's current news of the screws media gang.

Anonymous said...

Everyone forgets that binge drinking is a symptom of the cultural nihilism and social decay in our society (Christ, I'm starting to sound like the intelligensia) - a tax "here" and a tax "there" to "fund" a specific issue does no such thing. As we intelligent right-wingers should know.

First, it all goes into the great churned wash of danegeld, that is the exchequer, and is carved up by the Chancellor at spending reviews. There is no such thing as "ringfencing" only general revenue.

Second, taxing alcohol is possibly the most ineffective way on the planet of tackling heavy drinking. It does f**k all to stop drinking. Look at Norway, Sweden and Denmark with the highest rates of alcohol abuse AND tax? Look at prohibition! It doesn't work..

Third, it is not right. Conservatives are the party of the individual, the responsible citizen. I see no reason why 90% of people who are sensible responsible drinkers should be punished because of a few lairy pikies. It's the usual Toombstone Ann "can't get her leg over, so I'll become Mary Whitehouse Mark II" Widdecombe nutjobs that are backing this.

Fourth, even supposing you managed to tax alcohol out of existence (which you can't) people would take drugs, make moonshine, sniff glue.. something, because (guess what?) ALCOHOL IS A SYPMTOM NOT A CAUSE.

People drink because they've got issues. Life is shit, bereavement, crap weather, break-up, bad day at work.. fuck knows. Those problems don't go away if you ban it.

So, basically, another proposal of Class 1 muppetry from Iain Duncan-Halfabraincell-Smith.

You want to tackle binge drinking? Strengthen the family, school discipline, sports and communitites.

Don't f**k EVERYONE off by raising tax on alcohol, because it won't do sh1t to solve anything.

Anonymous said...

Local BBC TV and radio feature the Labour candidate in Sedgefield with film clips and interviews while giving very little coverage of any other candidates. They give the impression that a labour victory is the only logical result.

Anonymous said...

yes, anonymous @ 8:33, I'm sure all those Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in Southall will be very worried about higher taxes on alcohol.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this report was released so close to a by election in Ealing to appeal to the large sikh community who wouldn't really care about the increased tax on alcohol.

Also re: sending a butler to sedgefield. Didn't the tories send a bag-piper to a Gordon Brown event.

Bit hypocritical to complain about "bully boy tactics" really!

Anonymous said...

The great thing about the IDS proposal is that it is selectively regressive.

In 'Ye Olde White Hart' in the shires, where it may still be possible to find a pint for below £2.10 it effectively becomes a 3% hike in VAT.

In the hideous city centre superpubs which are open till 1am, where you would only find a tory if he/she had become very lost, and the bottles of beer are upwards of £3, the tax becomes a measly 1% of the price. One-per-cent ! That is about the same insignificant per centage that Gordon is giving to the flood areas as a percentage of the cost of clearing it up !

Yet what is getting ALL the head lines ?? Another PR disaster from the 'Grammar School' team..

Chris Paul said...

Prague Tory is right. Tackling binge drinking is a good idea. 7p on a pint. Let's say 3% means that instead of 33 pints I will have to make do with 32 or find an extra £2.

That's a well worked out proposal that is.

And as for cutting tax elsewhere as a result? IDS proposes a ring fenced tax to deal with binge drinking so that won't wash.


Chris Paul said...

PS It might stop one or two Labour Students making arses of themselves.

The last time I saw this lurking around other parties press launches wasn't it Tories doing it to Labour, wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Let's say 3% means that instead of 33 pints I will have to make do with 32 or find an extra £2. "

32??!!! THIRTY-TWO??!!

I cahhn only manage 2 pints before I'm totally pssssshhheedd...!!!

I love YOU! You're my best mate!!!

Anonymous said...

I was going to sit down and have a right old rant about IDS's moronic suggestion to increase tax on alcohol. Fortunaltely More Vulgar .... has already done it for me - thanks More.

Bottom line is that 7p per pint won't change people's behaviour (guess what all you New Puritans - people actually like drinking). All it will do is piss people off on a big scale and disproportionately increase the tax burden on the economic bottom half of the electorate - you remember them, they are the ones you Tories are trying to attract.

Like I said - absolutely moronic.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I wouldn't worry about it, the Tories haven't got a snowballs chance anyway. The booze tax is just another example of how removed from the real world they are. IDS is a good bloke but is losing his way in blueLabour. The pair of you would better serve your country by moving to UKIP before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

"The pair of you would better serve your country by moving to UKIP before it's too late. "

Sorry Chad, not today thanks.

Anonymous said...

Maybe most of the posts above are from trolls, or perhaps this blog is full of mindless readers, but the purpose of IDS's proposal is not to put people off dringking y raising the price, but to create a source of funds to address some of the problems caused by alcohol. It's all very well to go on about personal responsibility, but when things do go wrong more people than the drinker usually get affected.

The BBC coverage is predictably biased presenting it as a tax hike rather than as a solution to a social problem, but I would have thought more readers of this blog (and ConHome) would have had the intelligence to see through that.

Anonymous said...

Mark Williams - at last, the voice of sanity on this blog!

Iain Dale said...

Mark, I accept that, but I do not accept a tax rise is the way to go about it.

Anonymous said...


I don't like the idea of raising taxes any more than the next man, but it looks as though IDS's think tank have thunk:

1. This problem needs some investment to provide a solution.
2. The Labour party will jump on it and say how are you going to fund it.
3. Funding it out of general taxation is one solution, but funding it out of duty is probably better (the current appropriation of duty by the Treasury being deemed inviolate).
4. Assuming that the problems are solved or reduced by IDS's solutions, there will be a future payback in terms of reduced NHS costs and social security costs, even though it is probably not going to be possible to show a direct link.

So on the whole, I would say this is a tax worth raising.

Anonymous said...

No tax is worth raising.. leave that to the Nu Nu Labour party.

Cut the number of MPs by 2/3, qungos completely and the not-so civil service by 15%.

Disenfranchise all non-income tax payers.

Sit back and enjoy!

Oscar Miller said...

Also re: sending a butler to sedgefield. Didn't the tories send a bag-piper to a Gordon Brown event.

And didn't the Labour party beseige Michael Howard with swarms of 'vampires' wherever he went during the 2005 election? A truly nasty tactic complete with vile anti-semitic associations.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on Iain! What about the Tories sending a bag piper to follow Gordon Brown on a walk about in the South East recently?!

All the parties do it and your party played up to nationalism/xenophobia to boot as well.

This by election is really bringing out the worst in your blogging.

Anonymous said...

I had the dubious pleasure of being present in Newton Aycliffe when the Labour "activists" invaded the Cameron visit.

As I said in my blog at I am not fluent in "yob" thus most of the shouting made little sense to me!

The Great Gildersleeve said...

Maybe its worth noteing that in the last local election, in the town where Labour has now set up its campaign hq regarding the by election...practically every labour candidate who held a place on the borough council(and that includes the leader)were voted out. I think it is the only part of this area that did this.

Now suddenly, much of the campaigning is being held and fought in this town. It's been argued for years that this town has been neglected.

Now, am I cynical to suggest that because most of the area is a safe seat for labour and this town has decided to step out of line...that is why we are being courted and being given so much attention.

In various flyers from Labour its been talked of how other candidates are not local and been brought in, sometimes from other areas where the candidates have stood and failed...does that sound familiar.

There are also many more issues locally over this election(missed by the national press and the television and radio political commentators)the worry is that if the local population isn't picking up on these things and I know things are being missed, they may think that the local party is ok and vote them back in again.

Overturning what was achieved only 6-8 weeks ago.

I am looking at what is happening totally dispassionately purely as a news story.

The Great Gildersleeve said...

I must add that of course this time its more important because if our town votes the way they hope, it will secure the replacement candidate for our previous MP and be of the same political persuation as before.