Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tory Candidate Should Come Out Fighting

Brendan Carlin has certainly hit the ground running in his first couple of weeks at the Mail on Sunday. He has a story today about Helen Grant, the new Conservative candidate in Maidstone & the Weald. According to Carlin's story she only recently left the Labour Party.

My first reaction was a huge shrug of the shoulders and an unspoken 'so what'? Shouldn't we welcome people who see the light? Of course we should, but many will understandably be asking how long they should serve a 'Conservative Apprenticeship' before they are allowed to stand as an official Conservative parliamentary candidate.

In another Kent seat, Gillingham & Rainham, the candidate Rehman Chishti was actually a Labour candidate at the 2005 election. He stood against Francis Maude. According to the MoS story, at the same election, Helen Grant allowed Labour telephone canvassers to use her office. It hardly compares.

It is alleged that Helen Grant didn't tell the selection committee about her Labour Party past. It's quite clear the selection committee didn't ask her, so she was hardly likely to volunteer it. You might think that would be their failure not hers. You might think that - I couldn't possibly comment.

At the end of most selection interviews you're normally asked to declare anything from your political or private past which might cause embarrassment to the local Association. I didn't get that question, so I imagine neither did she. I was asked if there was any issue (such as fox hunting) which I had controversial views on which might be a problem (for what it's worth I mentioned the English Parliament issue), but that is a different question to the one candidates are normally asked.

In the MoS story, Helen Grant seeks to play down her Labour activism, saying that she was only in the party for "about five minutes". There are some further somewhat unconvincing lines too. What she should have done was to take the story head on and be quite up front about why she left Labour and became impressed by David Cameron. A passionate defence of why she's a Conservative would be far more likely to convince Kent Tories of her worth. The weak lines fed out by CCHQ on her behalf to the MoS have done her a disservice.

Helen Grant won the Maidstone & the Weald selection fair and square. There was no CCHQ imposition. She topped the voting on each of the three rounds and beat ninety odd other candidates, including me, in a totally fair and transparent contest. If there is any flak from this story she needs to show the qualities which won her the selection and come out fighting. I've never met her, but from what I have been told I reckon she's more than capable of it. As indeed her predecessor has proved to be.

Helen Grant now has an early opportunity to prove her Widdecombe-esque qualities and sock it to those in politics and the media who are quite clearly seeking to undermine her.


Old BE said...

I'm not particularly worried about any flirtations with Labour. The fact is that many people in this country were tricked into thinking that Labour had changed into a party which had our best interests at heart. We now know it hadn't and it was the same old Marxist ideologies presented by a master showman. Now the showman is off on his retirement jaunt all we have left is the Marxist ideology and impending economic doom.

As for Helen Grant, I am interested in what she can do in the future not the mistakes she might have made in the past. At any rate, The Mail is mostly a load of old cobblers.

Anonymous said...

I am sick to death of newcomer, ethnic promotion of foreigners who don't understand our ancient, thousands-of-years attachment to our own roots, and to the longstanding relationships we have with the people on the continent, of which this individual is not one.

I hope every single voter in Maidestone stays away from the ballot box. Let the socialists and the dingbat parties win through zero opposition. It would be international news.

There is no democracy in Britain any more.

Anonymous said...

Iain, all that matters is that Barack Obama is going to change this world for the better. Get on board!!


Ted Foan said...

I thoght she was a bit dodgy as soon as I saw and her about her. "Too good to be true" was my my first reaction. Am I a reactionary?

Seriously though (!), she'll probably retain the seat - lawyer, woman, hard upbringing-made good, ambitious, true-blue (well, this week), lawyer, woman, hard upbringing-made good.

Did I miss anything out?

Ted Foan said...

Just another comment, if you'll permit it Mr "Failed PPC" Dale, as the odious toad Chris Paul might say: why is it that so many of the newly selected Conservatives PPCs weren't?

Are they so desperate to become MPs that they would lie about their true political beliefs and recognise that NuLabour is the busted flush that it is and the Conservatives will form the next government?

Or is this a cunning plan by Gordon in the event of a hung Parliament to infiltrate the Conservatives to ensure that a few "Quentins" or "Shauns" move over to him? Or even to the LibDems?

(PS: Chris - you're not really a toad but you are odious. LOL!)

Anonymous said...

Frankly, as far as I am concerned, this demonstrates that the Conservative Party is history.

And that may be why David Cameron, no matter how many hoodies and grafitti artists and huskies he has hugged, has failed to capture the ethos of the Conservative Party. People simply loathe him.

He's weak.

And he's the Leader.

Anonymous said...

This shows that increasingly politicians are not acting out of conviction, but are just after a job paying £200,000 a year including "expenses". The chance to sell your publicly funded second home and pay tax at 18% instead of 40% after 5 April 2008 is another nice little earner.

Anonymous said...

This is quite an encouraging story. I left the Labour party last year, having been a member since I was 18. Ten years on, I've faced up to the fact that I'm actually a Tory, albeit one who greatly admired Tony Blair. I had apprehensions I may be treated with suspicion if I started to participate in my local Conservative branch, but if someone in my situation can actually get selected as a parliamentary candidate, I see now that I had no reason to be fearful.

My only worry now is having to tell my (wonderful, socialist) parents that they've created a monster!

Anonymous said...

This is Tony Lit all over again.
All political parties should have strict rules on candidate selection. No one who has been a member for less than five years and who hasn't held some post within the party, local councillor etc, should even be considered.

Martin said...

What amuses me is not the story itself, but that it's your 'buddies' at the Mail that keep dishing it to you!

Anonymous said...

Most of these people who've been seduced by Cameron will leave in the end when they realise how insincere the party is. If I were a Conservative I'd keep them at arm's length, since they're not going to stick around when they encounter all the headbangers.

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to think this says as much about the MoS than it does about Helen Grant. Anyone who is non-white, female or shock horror, a single mum or who was brought up by one is automatically under suspicion. It is thoroughly evil and insidious. Anyone who has read their coverage of the tragic Crete child murder case over the last week will know that they truly do see women as the route of all evil. The Sun is much more honest and at least doesn't take itself too seriously. You are right Iain, Helen should come out fighting and I'm surprised by the apparent weakness of her responses - she should have told them to stick their backward rag where the sun don't shine.

Newmania said...

I have no idea how you have managed to convince yourself of this Iain because this is a catastrophic failure by the Selection committee who have quite obviously picked a candidate who believes in nothing .
Some might say they were so keen to get the right colour face and the right "Narrative" that they forgot to do a proper job..
Some might say that if they had been listening to what people said and not what they looked like they would have spotted a self serving chancer..
There is no way back from this and nothing she says can be taken seriously. Just pathetic and , I `m araid , all too typical of the woeful amateurism that characterises the Conservative Party`s administration . I know of what I speak and we would be far better off telling it how it is than pretending they could sit the right way round on a lavatory seat which they cannot .
We look idiotic and justifiably so . All those who get out and help will feel let down., and questions must immediately be asked about what the hell went opn and how we can make quite certain it never happens again

Anonymous said...

Health Secretary Alan Johnson has been accused of accepting a donation channelled through a third party during Labour's deputy leadership contest.

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes Iain. Not very attrative is it

Anonymous said...

Opportunist spivery. She'll fit in well.

Anonymous said...

Is the Conservative Party becoming like the Fire Brigade, sorry "Fire Service"? White men need not apply!

Anonymous said...

Well, in some parts of the country, it is a right bugger trying to find people WILLING to become candidates in ANY election (unless it's in safe seats- then it's 'world war 3' and more intrigue than an episode of 'Dallas'). If you're a member of a party, then you should be able to stand as a candidate- if selected.

Anonymous said...

As said elsewhere Iain this smacks of sour grapes.
You didn't get the job - now move on.
Concentrate on improving the quality of the reports on this site. It used to be one of the most readable but now I look in vain for any decent story.
You are not even in the top five 'must reads' now.
Forget the lists, forget West Ham and Audis and give us scandal

Tony said...

You are absolutely right Iain. Helen Grant won the Maidstone & the Weald selection fair and square. There was no CCHQ imposition. She topped the voting on each of the three rounds and beat ninety odd other candidates. That fact is beyond despite.

What I want to know is, do the constituencies see information from the Application Form for the Approved List? After all, Q.11 of the 2007 form clearly asks:

"Have you at any time been a member of a Political Party, Society or Organisation other than the Conservative Party? If so, which?
--- and ---
"Have you ever stood for office for another Party, Society or such organisation? If so, please give details."

If this information is not shared with the constituencies then I feel it should be made available, so they can ask why someone's political affiliation has changed and examine any motives behind that change. I know it does not stop them from asking in any case, but I think transparency is needed if such information is not shared.

The Mail on Sunday is simply trying to put the seeds of doubt in people's minds about Helen Grant's commitment to the Conservatives. Had questions about her political background been asked before her selection there would not be a story.

Iain Dale said...

Dave, I can assure you there is not a sour grape in my body over this. I was very pleased for Helen Grant when she was selected and this doesn't change that. She won, as I said in the post, fair and square. Quite how you interpret this post as sour grtapes I fail to see. I have reread it again and I just can't see it and am rather mystified by your interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Tory candidate isn't Tory? Quelle surprise.... What do you expect when the example has already been set by the choice of leader?

(Oh, and Iain, ignore the tripe about sour grapes. It doesn't come across as anything of the sort, and one can only assume the posters want you to ignore anything critical of The Party and its candidates)

Anonymous said...

The other part of the story Iain is the conflicting accounts as to whether she's been a donor to the Labour Party (gift in kind of free use of her office and phone lines).

It's a tricky one for Labour, as if they've got documentary evidence it would show her up as not telling the truth, but it could also show they'd broken the law on donations too.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight.

Maidstone has a candidate who has just left the Labour Party?

Local Politics yes. National politics no.

The Tories have just lost Maidstone.

Mostly Ordinary said...

Is it any surprise that the general public doubt politicians when they say they have fundamental beliefs?

This lady, who is indubitably talented, wanted to be a Labour Councillor and looks as if she jumped ship to get a better gig.

Geezer said...

This is depressing. She looks like just another political opportunist, who happens to tick the right boxes of the selection commitee. The Conservatives need more politiicians who have a tribal attachment to and ambition for the Conservative Party, not people only driven by personal ambition who work under any flag of convenience. She has the potential to embarass the Party in the future.

Man in a Shed said...

What price loyalty for male English party members ? I hope Helen Grant is a great candidate - though looking at her CV she looks more like a great sports person. But she has the get up and go to run her own business and clearly can present herself well.

But the problem is loyalty doesn't pay any more - especially if you male, not from Kensington and Chelsea, didn't attend Eton and are English.

strapworld said...

Is Francis Maude a Tory?

With David Cameron changing the Tory Party to be different to the Party that created Churchill (by the way didn't he change his political beliefs and parties?), Macmillan,
Powell and Thatcher to be more 'modern'and 'in tune'
it does not surprise me that Ms Grant belonged to another Party.

Unlike Ms Widdecombe who was/is a Tory through and Through the modern selection appears to be more on political correctness rather than political conviction!

Far too much emphasis is placed on yoof and ethnic background. The right person for the job appears to be way down the list!

The Mail on Sunday is a most disappointing paper. It has lost so much and when they have to get Frank Dobson (WHO??) writing about Economics!! then the end is in sight.

The Daily Mail is desperate in attempting to be both critical yet supportive of Brown and this shower of incompetants. Oborne, strangely absent for the past month,writes one week highly critical of Brown then the next what a terrific fellow Brown is. Oborne is mad - well he gives me that feeling!

The only political commentators of note are dear Quinten and Littlejohn and the editorial is strange in its approach.

Either the owners have a clear out of editorial staff or they will lose many readers.

I had already made my mind up to purchase another paper before reading your blog, Iain.

The Mail used to be true is now yellow!

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand this 'buggins' turn' mentality. The person selected should be the best one able to represent the constituency. By all accounts, Ms Grant is intelligent, energetic and personable. An ideal candidate. Best of luck to her.

Anonymous said...

I have only just become aware of who Ms Grant is.

With the political culture in this country degraded beyond the prospect of redemption in most of our lifetimes, dissecting the niceties of the PPC selection process seems to me a pinkish herring.

As a resident of the new constituency of Hammersmith, I shall be voting for Shaun Bailey at the next general election on the grounds that:

(a) he has always been an implacable opponent of the dependency culture;

(b) he is not a lawyer, or, so far as I know, a member of any of the other attention-seeking professions;

(c) that's it.

Oscar Miller said...

The good news is that people are leaving Labour to join the Conservatives. That someone of the calibre of Helen Grant has come over is a good thing. If nobody moved on, developed their thinking and changed their opinion there would be no democracy at all. Labour are ever more discredited and the Conservatives are gaining a solid reputation for themselves on important policy areas. It's absurd to brand Grant insincere instead of congratulating her for making an enlightened move.

Newmania said...

You lot have your heads in the sand . How can she criticise any aspect of the Labour Government. I could make mincemeat of her myself on that basis alone.

She is damaged goods and this is quite simply a horrendous mistake . Own up and move on .She will scrape home anyway and be useless baggage in Parliament. The thing is to understand how such an abysmal clown show was made of the selection of a plumb seat. Who was on the committee and what were they thinking of ? That local Party needs to be shaken up , I know how bad things can get and this lot need the taste slapped out of their mouths , metaphorically speaking
Iain Dale may not have any bitterness but the way he was treated does ot inspire confidence and I bloody well would if I were him . I am getting the impression that the arrogance that goes with a a safe seat has infected this Constituency and a bunch of witless old farts are to busy throwing fish to their performing egos to think straight .Iain would have been a marvellous addition to the national campaign and now we have failure to launch.

As to her background ..its not unusual, you know , you are still allowed to call her a fraud which she obviously is.

fairdealphil said...

She won fair and square eh?

So the selection panel were aware that she was a fully paid up member of the Labour Party and had even tried to get selected for Labour in the last round of elections.

And that only after having been rejected by Labour for a local council seat has she turned to Cameron's Tories - and been selected as a parly candidate in a seat with a 14,000 Tory majority...

Is this the Tory idea of what's fair and square...?

As a candidate yourself Iain, are you really happy that you lost fair and square...?

Anonymous said...

Newmania said:

"The thing is to understand how such an abysmal clown show was made of the selection of a plumb seat"

I misread this the first time as "...abysmal clown selected for plumb seat..." But, no. That must have been Michael Gove.

That wittering little [?] Morningside twerp epitomises everything I detest about the politico-journalistic complex. He needs an afternoon in the ducking stool. Now.

Brian said...

How many more votes will Helen Grant gain from floating Labour and Lib-Dems than a hard-right Toryboy who holds that there is no such thing as One-Nation progressive conservatism with a social conscience? She is elected to represent all of her constituents not merely the ethnically pure uber right to whom Verity appears to ally herself. For things to stay the same there always have to be changes.

Paddy Briggs said...

I would have thought that if one is seeking selection as a candidate for a political party the fact that one has until recently been a member of a rival party is material information that should be disclosed. Don't you?

Anonymous said...

Iain, couldn't disagree more.

I know an excellent person who, after 15 plus years of faithful party service spent some time abroad working (although membership and postal voting was kept up).

Upon his return he applied to get onto the candidates list and despite being told he was 'an excellent candidate' failed because he didn't have 'recent political history with the party'! He was told that with a couple of years work at a local association under his belt he would make the list no problem! But too late for the next election.

So how come people who less than 4 years ago were either campaigning against - or even standing against - the party can be selected!

It means the rules are arbitrary, and I suspect conveniently so when a candidate deemed 'the right sort' turns up.

This is a kick in the teeth for the foot soldiers, and insulting to them. Personally, I would canvass and work for any Tory candidate, but I would draw the line at the people like Louise (carpet bagger) Bagshaw, and the two other candidates you mention.

This is more to do with getting media friendly people into the limelight - and not about getting real conservatives elected!

Savonarola said...

The issue is not whether Grant was a member of Labour or not.

The issue is this. Would you trust a candidate who did not immediately and openly disclose the'5 minute flirtation' to the selection panel? Apart from the moral issue, how stupid is it to expect that your involvement, however brief, would not emerge.

Poor judgement on two counts.

Helen G remains an inspirational person despite her 'oppotunistic' approach.

Anonymous said...

DJM. Why are you a Tory? I am genuinely interested! Can you please tell us what made you realise you were a Tory?

There are differences between a Tory, a liberal and a socialist, and I am curious as to where you are on issues such as the monarchy, the importance of tradition, evolution versus revolution, personal freedom, the role of the state and the individual, attitudes towards family life etc.

The Labour party ceased to be socialist years ago, and is now a disagreeable European style autocratic social democratic party.

The Tory party is not really 'Tory' in the classical 'high tory' sense either, it is more a neo-liberal party these days (an inevitable conclusion of the Thatcher years which focussed on economic liberalism but not social libralism).

SO, I am genuinely interested in what it is that makes you a Tory?

For me, it is a belief that I know better than the state what is best for me, and that I should therefore have as much freedom over, and responsibility for myself as possible. Some would say that is a liberal belief - and I confess a love for Mill and 'On Liberty'!

Anonymous said...

"You might think that I couldn't possibly comment"

Please please please please please please don't start quoting from the house of cards...

please please please please please...please stop it it does my head was only funny 3 times...please please stop it!!!!

Anonymous said...

Helen Grant was (I believe) one of the candidates who stood at the husting for Hammersmith & Fulham, won by Shaun Bailey. I found her very impressive - she looks like Kelly Holmes, is obviously intelligent and quick on her feet, and doesn't just spout platitudes (a few, but not too many). She lost out there because she wasn't a local candidate, and she wasn't as inspirational as Shaun. I think Iain is right, she should have come out and said she had been a member of the Labour Party,but she impressed me as an excellent candidate and who will make an impressive and hard-working MP. It's a shame that the A-list saga has made people so suspcious of candidates who aren't white, male and heterosexual that we now have a situation where anyone who doesn't conform to that stereotype is deemed to have made it because they were imposed by Central Office.

Anonymous said...

I did not detect a whiff of sour grapes in Iain's very gracious post (with which I do not agree).

This gal's a chancer with, apparently, no fixed political convictions other than scrambling onto a gravy train by hook or by crook.

I agree with Gary Elsby: the Tories have just lost Maidstone.

I endorse every word of Newmania's astute analyses in both his posts.

Gallimaufry writes: "not merely the ethnically pure uber right to whom Verity appears to ally herself." What a stupid, blinkered, self-satisfied individual you are. (No offence.)

Rich Tee said...

I'm with djm on this. Moving from Labour to Conservative is no big deal really. I used to have left/liberal tendencies (although I have never been a member of any other party nor ever voted Labour).

Let's face it - the education system is left/liberal, the justice system is left/liberal and the mainstream media are left/liberal. When I look back at the past it is easy to see why I got brainwashed.

It was only when I started to talk to people on the internet that I started to discover that was at heart a conservative.

She is obviously ambitious and would rather be in the party of government rather than the party which will soon be in opposition for 20 years...

It's a safe Conservative seat anyway. Good luck to her.

Newmania said...

How many more votes will Helen Grant gain from floating Labour and Lib-Dems than a hard-right Toryboy who holds that there is no such thing as One-Nation progressive conservatism with a social conscience? She is elected to represent all of her constituents not merely the ethnically pure uber right to whom Verity appears to ally herself. For things to stay the same there always have to be changes.

It is a great mistake to confuse One nation Consvervatism , which I like to think I embrace , with the Labour party, and especially the Labour Party of Tony Blair that this ridiculous women was so keen on. One Nation implies just that, an emphasis on all those things which promote social coherence. Controlling immigration , suppressing cultures inimical to our own and enabling free movement between classes Binding and strengthening . It does not imply a ruthless attack on the Working and lower middleclass , a reliance of supranational capital and cheap imported Labour and it has nothing to do with the erosion of every institution that cements the country . Radical educational Policies and a form of National service are One Nation as is targeted help to free marginalized groups . Not slum creation , breaking the family , and absolutely not selling the country to Brussels for a porcine retirement

It is not socialism and it is not the Labour party and no-one who is a One Nation Conservative could touch Blair with a barge pole. While we are on Europe it would be interesting to here what this performing puppet has to say about that . Whatever the last person said I expect!
Conservatism is at its heart about loyalty and love for country for family and above all it should be suspicious of the Flag of convenience . The same does not apply to Blairism which was formed in a historic act of betrayal and defined by no more than cynical managerialism .Cynical self serving smoothly plausible creeps have a place and it is the Labour Party. Helen Grant clearly thought so too !

PS KLAXON_ Why not read Mill on coherence you will find it provides an excellent argument for One Nation Conservatism.

Anonymous said...

[2:25] You make a good point. The hated, undemocratic 'A' list fiasco was damaging to the party's credibility.

Anonymous said...

This is how you pat someone on the back whilst peeing copiously into her handbag.

Paddy Briggs said...


I think that you really do need to reflect whether the sort of post made by Verity is of value for inclusion in your blog. I quote:

"I am sick to death of newcomer, ethnic promotion of foreigners who don't understand our ancient, thousands-of-years attachment to our own roots, and to the longstanding relationships we have with the people on the continent, of which this individual is not one."

Further comment on this sick-making bile is unnecessary - other than to say that it is unworthy of inclusion here and to suggest to the dreadful Verity that her version of truth is better vomited out on a BNP blog (if there is such a thing).

Oscar Miller said...

This is more to do with getting media friendly people into the limelight - and not about getting real conservatives elected!

Imagine a Labour voter circa 1990 writing this and substitute "real socialists" for "real conservatives". It gets to the nub of a key conundrum - viz the relationship between political principle and the media. What IS the value of sincerity if the idea of "a real conservative" is going to be jeered at by a hostile press, frightening off voters just as much as the idea of "real socialists" turned them off in the 1980s? It's no politics at all to opt for "true" belief without winning anyone round or actively turning them against you. On the other hand what's the point of a political party that is so keen to gain support through pleasing the media it has no core principles left? Neither option is desirable. Personally I deplore the manipulations and deceit of the media control exercised by Mandelson, Campbell (and Brown). I also have to acknowledge it's brilliance. I don't advocate the Conservatives emulate it, but I think it's plain bonkers to behave as if media image isn't a prime consideration. Electability is everything. If you believe in the ideas you want them implemented - not to be consigned to the grumbling sidelines, watching a bunch of people who are willing to be cynical, deceitful and corrupt runaway with the prize of power. Presentation in today's politics is extremely important - it's one of the sillier shams for people to dismiss it as 'spin over substance'. There is no value in substance without communication. I know - I know - this is what the Cameroons are all about - I know it's precisely why so many Tories don't like Dave. My argument is - you don't have to throw away principle in order to embrace and value good presentation - adapted to suit the all invasive requirements of today's media. It's the world we live in and I want the Conservatives to come to power in the real world - not some fantasy of "real conservatives" in a parallel universe.

Anonymous said...

Iain's high-minded support for her is not likely to be matched through the rest of the hard-working loyal membership.

A good day for UKIP I feel.

Newmania said...

longstanding relationships we have with the people on the continent...

Phillip of Spain , Napoleon , The Kaiser and Hitler for example , yes we have had a long relationship and one we could have done without . The same is true today , when the mendacious Liberals are trying to grab power within a non elected PR court by supporting Brown’s Constitution lie and negotiating to trade for PR. So I` m not sure what Verity is on about when she praises the continent .
Having said that should Paddy Briggs decide that keeping his provincial bourgeois squeamishness to himself was a model for future behaviour the world would benefit immeasurably

Oscar Miller .-You have missed the point entirely , the fact this spavined political Tiny Tim cannot attack the opposition or speak with authority is exactly why she will be no use in the media. The leadership of the Party , David Cameron , Davies Hague and others broker the deal with the electorate true, but , she will hot help . Your parallel with New Labour is false . Conservatism is doctrine of realism and needs to clause four moment . In the case of Ms Grant he objectives are clearly only her own aggrandisement and so her ability to help in any way is hopelessly compromised , Conservatives have to reach out to the wider electorate not establish their lack of sincerity beyond all doubt .

Anonymous said...

Another post full of meaty goodness, Newmania, but where the hell did I ever praise the continent? Are you mad? I do like Denmark, which I have never visited, because their prime minister refused to meet with the mad mullahs, saying the Danish press was free to print what it likes. End of story. Blair would have had endless glasses of mint tea in Downing Street with the fragrant Inayat Bungalawangla.

But I don't believe I've ever had a good word to say for the continent in a generic sense.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a bit rich of the Mail on Sunday to criticise Helen Grant for changing parties. The leader column derided her, and we were all ment to have a good laugh at her expense.

Then on the next page we had former Troskyite and Ken Livingstone supporter, turned ultra rightwinger Peter Hitchens!

Compared to his conversion, Helen Grant somewhat pales in comparison!

Newmania said...

Verity -I have obviously mistaken your meaning. Sorry

Anon , Peter Hitchens howls at the moon but its fun to read and he is only an all licensed fool . The political meanderings of Ken Livingstone and the Labour Party`s, whorish support for him are more serious.
Ken would to be King.In eight of London`s Boroughs 60% of children in the school system speak English as a second language, if at all. Ken will be king of a country we can no longer call England .
Londonistan has been suggested but Kenland is an alternative.

Paddy Briggs said...


"I do like Denmark, which I have never visited"

Excellent. Pretty much explains the nature of all of your posts. Never let knowledge interfere with prejudice...

hatfield girl said...

Failing to mention, or emphasize and explain, recent Labour party membership, recent Labour candidature application and Labour activism including recent donations to the Labour party must be reasonable grounds for deslection and holding a selection process again.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see the criticism towards Iain Dale.

It's either a fact or a 'guido'.

Remember one thing when John Bercow and Ed Vasey do come over to Labour, you bet your sweet little existence that we will milk this for days on end.

I can just see white papers waving in the commons as i write.

So by all means, put out a Labour memebr as a Tory candidate.

Big mistake that the US wouldn't fall foul off.

Hey, but this is Dave and Georgie's show!


Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that helen Grant is an ambitious opportunist, but isn't it good news that she chooses to jump ship to join a winning team?

Chris Paul said...

Does your form really not ask how long someone has been a member and for their political history? And the future embarrassment question too? Scrolling down I see that Tony confirms the precise wording of the form and of course it does do.

It could well be that not all the selectorate were aware of any facts that were volunteered at this point in the form. Possibly because the powers that be contrived it like that.

Mark Pack seems a bit hopeful on any donation issue ...

[Thanks for the ugly plug and the clarification Diablo]

Oscar Miller said...

Newmania - I usually like your posts but profoundly disagree with you on this. From what I've heard Helen Grant will be a very good media performer. Moving across party lines does not make her damaged goods. Quite the opposite. But my point is a broader one about the relationship of political integrity/principles and handling the media. I clearly wrote Conservatives should NOT emulate New Labour's media manipulation which has had an obnoxious effect on public life. But reaching a "wider public" is mediated across a minefield of largely hostile press outlets. If that minefield can't be negotiated with some canniness - without compromising on principle - the party will never come to power. In fact I think this is precisely what Cameron has managed so ably and is one reason I support him so strongly. It seems to me a lot of party members live in a bit of a fantasy world where "true" Conservatives just need to say what they think loudly and clearly and eventually the population will 'see the light'. This just isn't the world we live in. It's as deluded as Michael Foot was in the 1980s. Image does matter. Media performance does matter. It doesn't automatically equal insincerity.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Briggs - Before social cohesion and national purpose were destroyed by the malign socialists, huge swathes of the world would say they "liked England", although they had never been there. A lot of people like Hugh Grant, although they have never met him.

Denmark has a strong, brave international personality and I like it.

How do you feel about America?

Anonymous said...

Oscar Miller - interesting post.

My objection is not that people who once supported/stood for other parties are now seeking office as a Conservative candidate, but the indecent haste with which these people jump ship and are rewarded with places on the candidate list, and the right to stand for Parliament.

For example - I once supported Labour and actively campaigned for them. But I didn't vote for them, as I was 12 at the time. However, I joined the Tory party 8 years later and have been a member for nearly two decades. I wouldn't expect my youthful mistakes to stand against me.

However, should I have only a few years ago been campaigning for Labour, I would expect there be a decent amount of time to pass before I was deemed fit to stand - even if only 'pour encourager les autres'! After all, if these people are confirmed tories, they won;t mind taking a few years to show that fact, and prove they are not simply after the job, salary and perks!

What the selection of this women, carpet bagger Bagshaw and all the others says is in a competition between rewarding principle and seeking electoral advantage, it will choose the later over the former.

I say you have both - there are plenty of excellent candidates and potential candidates who have not blotted their copybook with RECENT activity on behalf of another party!

Stephen Paine said...

I don't see the issue here - we all make mistakes!

Helen has already said that she is guided by Tory principles and values and, looking at her background, I can't see anything to contradict that.

Let's not dwell on the fact that the Conservatives haven't always been as open and liberal-minded as they are now, but the fact that Cameron's shift to the centre ground has attracted some superb candidates!

Anonymous said...

"Cameron's shift to the centre ground has attracted some superb candidates!" Name one, Stephen Paine.

Brian said...

"Verity said...

Gallimaufry writes: "not merely the ethnically pure uber right to whom Verity appears to ally herself." What a stupid, blinkered, self-satisfied individual you are. (No offence.)"

Dear Verity,
Many thanks for your erudite and accurate assessment of my character. Nice that you resort to an ad-hominem attack. I couldn't say how much I admire you.

Given that women got equal voting rights to men only in 1928, democracy wasn't around for very long in Britain anyway.

Your cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face attitude will merely put Labour back in government again.
And aren't the ideas of Burke, Disraeli, Churchill and Thatcher the common denominators of Tory thought?

Anonymous said...

Gallimaufry - "And aren't the ideas of Burke, Disraeli, Churchill and Thatcher the common denominators of Tory thought?"

Not today. Sheer merit was a major pillar of Conservatism. Cameron instituted the A List.

Oscar Miller said...

Klaxon - these are all fair points. I wouldn't want to comment too much on the specifics of this case - I just don't know enough. But to the wider non-Tory/uncommitted electorate I'm sure a candidate like Helen Grant is a huge asset. I'd also like to add I think Iain is being very magnaminous in the circumstances. I saw him on telly before I knew about his blog and spontaneously thought he'd make a very good Conservative MP.

Anonymous said...

Oscar - he would, but it would be the death knell of his blog. He'd be an insider pissing out rather than an outside pissing in!

I think that regarding the electorate, a large number will think her rather untrustworthy and vascillious.

Remember the profile of the constituency is not particularly meotropolitan which would appreciate such nuances. They had Mad Widdy for 20 years!

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

Am rather confused, as here in the US conventional wisdom is that party switches are GOOD for the party that people want to switch to.

For example, just had a popular GOP state representative from Seattle suburbs switch to the Democratic party. Yeah for my team, the Democrats!\

Unless there is some kind of evidence that Ms Grant lied or otherwise misled the selection committee re: her sordid past, then fail to see what all the yelling and screaming is about.

Except of course to underline the ugly underbelly of Toryism, of course.

Which clearly does NOT include the likes of Iain Dale - no sour grapes, rather a class act.

Anonymous said...

@ Klaxon at 13.58

Thank you for your questions, sorry I didn't reply sooner. I've been fairly perturbed at the reaction to this story from some of the posters on this thread, it's really not what I expected.

"DJM. Why are you a Tory? I am genuinely interested! Can you please tell us what made you realise you were a Tory?

There are differences between a Tory, a liberal and a socialist, and I am curious as to where you are on issues such as the monarchy, the importance of tradition, evolution versus revolution, personal freedom, the role of the state and the individual, attitudes towards family life etc."

I have great respect for the monarchy, I believe it enables our country to run effectively without a needless extra tier of politicians above those who are elected and appointed to perform a specific role, whether it be within their constituency or to advise in their field of expertise. Besides those factors, I believe that the Queen and her successors have the necessary knowledge and experience to be valuable and constructive counsel to the Prime Minister and his/her government.

On tradition, the people of my generation, and of generations to come, have a duty to preserve what is good about this country, and to challenge those elements which would subtract the basic elements of Britishness from it. If newcomers to this country, or others who feel differently to myself or others of the conservative persuasion who wish to add to the rich tapestry of British life by introducing new ideas and customs, they are welcome, but they should not do so at the expense of our great traditional values.

As for evolution versus revolution, I think it's important for conservatives to remember that Margaret Thatcher was a revolutionary figure, who managed to effect change in this country that would have been unimaginable to her predecessors in her eleven years in government. I would welcome change on such a grand scale again from the next Conservative government. Perhaps evolution won out versus revolution in the pre-Thatcher era, but in these times of landslides and political polarisation, we need bold statements and decisive action, things the Labour party have withheld from us for a long, long time.

On personal freedom, it's none of the government's business to tell people what they can and can't do in private with other consenting adults. Human rights should paramount above all other concerns, and although certain Conservatives in the past have had misgivings about issues such as homosexuality, abortion and freedom of expression, I believe there are much bigger and more important issues for the party to involve itself in. Namely, lower taxes, smaller government, less bureaucracy economic growth and political corruption.
The Labour party ceased to be socialist years ago, and is now a disagreeable European style autocratic social democratic party.

The role of the state is to butt out wherever possible. It's the people on ground level who know what is happening in their community, be they teachers, police, community workers or general members of society. I was absolutely infuriated recently when it was announce that it will be compulsory for all children to learn how to cook, and that time will be given over in the school curriculum for this purpose. It's condescending, irrelevant, unworkale nonsense from a group of people who are in government in name only. I think Conservatives would have more common sense than to to try and use their power in such a way.

As for the role of the state in foreign affairs, we should be a bastion of strength and a moral beacon for other countries. I feel Tony Blair managed to upheld this vision rather well, despite opposition from his so-called allies at home. It was Blair's steadfastness in the face of Islamist threats that kept me tied to Labour for so long, disregarding the ever-more ludicrous pieces of legislation (the despicable ID card scheme springs to mind) that his government continued to generate.

Attitudes to family life-I don't think it's controversial, or easily disproved, that children are more likely to have a happy childhood and a successful transition to adulthood if they are brought up in a two-parent environment. Obviously I will add the caveat that single parents are also capable of doing a fantastic job with their kids, but it's undeniable that the success rate is higher in a stable, two parent home.

Incidentally, it may be too early to judge, but I think that children who are being brought up by homosexual couples are more likely to have a stable and loving family life and reach adulthood unscathed by the myriad problems our youth faces today than those raised by single parents. I may be wrong, but my gut instinct is that two parents, of whatever gender, are better than one.

"For me, it is a belief that I know better than the state what is best for me, and that I should therefore have as much freedom over, and responsibility for myself as possible. Some would say that is a liberal belief - and I confess a love for Mill and 'On Liberty'!"

I'm big on Burke, Hume and Paine myself, but JSM has always given me food for thought. The state should always endeavour to limit itself and to reign in the impulses of passing fashion. I think that maybe once the Labour party understood the value of individual liberty, but that understanding was suffocated by their brief tastes of power. Right now, the country is gasping for breath.

I reckon this may be the longest post ever on this blog. Sorry, Iain, I just had to let it out!

Oscar Miller said...

Excellent post djm - very glad you did "let it all out".