Just received this from a contact, staying at the Premier Inn in Crewe & Nantwich. He had an interesting encounter with Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy and wanted to share it with a wider audience.
Thought you might like to know of my strange evening last night. I am currently in the Premier Inn hotel in Crewe, sadly missing Mr Dale by about 24 hours having come for the weekend to help the Conservative by-election campaign here.
Last night at about 10pm the was a power surge here which left the hotel without electricity until 5 am this morning. As the hotel room was rendered totally pitch black I decided to make my way to the hotel bar. Now I had previously made friends with one of the girls who works on reception here and she saw me in the restaurant and mentioned to me that they were just about to place a food order with a local pizza\kebab delivery business as one table had ordered food in the restaurant when we lost power. She also mentioned that this table included the daughter of the previous MP. Well, I knew straight away what that ment as I had been out with the Conservatives in Crewe earlier that day campaigning for Edward Timpson and, sure enough, right at the back of the restaurant I was sat in was Tamsin Dunwoody with her 3 children. Apparently they are staying in the Premier Inn hotel too.
Now comes the naughty bit - I like to think of it as a little white lie for the greater good - because when Tamsin came to the bar to check how long her food order would be I took the opportunity of introducing myself – just with one exception – I told her I was a Labour supporter just arrived in Crewe and would be helping her (when quite the opposite is true) the following day (Sunday). Because of my lie Tamsin asked me if I would like to join her and her family on the table and sure enough I did just that.
This was a bit of an opportunity to gently prod her and find out a few things so I did just that, with the following revelations...
Tamsin boasted that on Saturday she had a campaign force of 200 volunteers, and that she had never seen anything like it before. (The Conservative campaign I was involved in earlier that day had 400 helpers).
Related to the above, Tamsin claimed that her campaign was uniting all of Labour and this is why she had so many people come to help her campaign.
Tamsin told me that she had never met Gordon Brown but had had a very long phone conversation with him earlier that day (Saturday) and that apparently Mr Brown liked regular, personal updates via the phone direct from Tamsin.
Tamsin boasted about her family, saying that being an MP was “in her family's blood” and that one day her children (I would guess aged between 7 and 12), who were also sat at the table, would become successful politicians.
When I asked how her campaign was going she said that “It’s going to be very close” and that “it’s a straight Labour/Tory fight”. When I pressed her on if she thought she would win she didn’t answer just repeating,“It’s going to be very close”.
Tamsin said she was “very proud of my campaign" as it was "bringing back proper fighting the Tories". She repeatedly made reference to Edward Timpson’s wealth during our conversation claiming that during his campaign "he was taking his Bentley to Council estates" and "how could he understand what it was like for these people”? Yes, apparently Tamsin really believes this stuff, and it is not just part of her negative campaign.
Tamsin's children also asked “how can a millionaire represent you” and “who would want a millionaire as their representative?” I was unsure if they were just parroting what there mum had said or if they were saying this to be supportive of their mum.
How this woman has the bare faced cheek to slag off Edward Timpson for living a few miles outside the constituency when she is staying in a hotel, God alone knows. It sounds to me like the only way she can get through this campaign is to believe her own propaganda, which she has also indoctrinated into her children, who she also thinks should then inherit the seat from her. If ever the Tories needed any further incentive to campaign hard, all they need to do is read this blogpost.
Last night on the BBC News paper review I criticised the Labour leaflets for bringing political campaigning into disrepute. Even Labour MP Sadiq Khan couldn't bring himself to disagree with me. If Labour win this by election, this kind of campaigning will become the norm, and Labour will roll it out all over the country. They must be stopped from doing so.
UPDATE: This post seems to have caused a bit of a reaction. I did think about whtether to post it or not, but in the end came to the conclusion that it warranted it on the basis that if she really is "proud" of her campaign then it says a lot about her as a person. She and her people have lied and lied and lied about the Tory candidate - even going to far as to calling him a "Con Man" in their latest, desperate leaflet. Her mother would be ashamed of her daughter's campaign and would never have stooped to such a level. So please don't anyone come the high and mighty and slag me off for posting this. If the Labour candidate thinks her tactics are something to be proud of, I think people deserve to know it.
Ian, I suspect you would be amongst the first to complain if the professional media used sneaky methods like this. Let's sum up what you have here.
1. A Conservative activist tells a blatent lie in order to intrude on a private meal of a mother and her young children. Showing grace and politeness MS. Dunwoody allowed said person to interrupt what was probably one of the few occasions during a busy campaign where she had some time alone with her kids.
2. Ms. Dunwoody says nothing particularly suprising or interesting. Um...she had 200 volunteers? She thinks the election will be close?
What exactly has your correspondent learned that justifies his crass bad manners. His conduct is inexcusable and I'm dissapointed you chose to publish such a shabby little piece without a word on condemnation.
Iain I'm afraid I agree with anon 10.07. I'm rather shocked that you find this sort of impersonation acceptable. Believe me I will be as delighted as anyone if Timpson wins but I'm not sure publicising this behaviour was very wise. Sounds like something some seedy tabloid journo would do and will, I'm sure be used against us. Labour have done enough disgraceful things in this campaign and I honestly believe that most decent people in C&N and elsewhere can see right through them. I am shocked that this person felt he/she should sink to their level.
Subject to the vagaries of second hand news, my reading of this report is that she believes she is going to lose.
The most important information was not even spoken. She is staying in a Premier Inn.
Why was she not being hosted by the locals, either with accommodation, or even for a meal? Perhaps she hasn't quite clicked with locals?
I call the election a lost cause for New Labour, already.
Don't want to rain on the parade - after all, I want the Tories to win this by-election too - but I agree.
Your anonymous correspondent acted pretty shoddily; they lied and misrepresented themselves to try and get the woman to cough up something interesting, and she didn't; what she says in private is apparently exactly the same as what she says in public.
Most politicians, in my limited experience, say things in private, even to relative strangers, that they would never dream of saying in front of the cameras. Not Ms Dunwoody; she seems to actually believe this rubbish, as you say. Well, good for her.
I'd say this encounter paints her in a better light, not a worse one.
Anon 10:07, as she is willing to put up photographs of her opponent's house on her campaign leaflets then she has forfeited any right to privacy.
If you're going to play at being a journalist, then perhaps you should act more like a real one, such as -
(1) How hard did you try to verify your source?
(2) Did you check if there a power cut at the hotel on the night in question?
(3) Didn't your antennae tell you that this smacks just a little of "telling you what you might want to hear?"
(4) Did you ever wonder how likely is it that a main candidate is not going to have a party "minder" with her during all her waking hours?
(5) Weren't you worried that, if you reported this "incident" without checking out the above, it is you who would end up looking the biggest pillock?
Instead, you report this cheap trick with a discernible glee, having just a few inches down the page, condemned Labour for their tacky campaigning.
I thought you'd learned something from Ealing?
Please make up your mind what you're meant to be. It's getting a bit confusing for the rest of us.
Why doesn't some enterprising wag ask Mrs Dunwoody-Kneafsy if she has made an offer of a property in the constituency yet?
Best to do it when the cameras are rolling perhaps...
Even "Broadcasting House" on Radio Four this morning at 9.00 a.m. was virtually a ppb for Moyra Tamsin Dinwoody- Kneafsy A.M. (failed) It also included a calypso-type song that described Timpson as " the toff"
Biased BBC indeed!
The behaviour of your correspondent was appalling.
Why anybody is surprised at Labour tactics is a mystery- they've employed them to my knowledge since the 1960's and probably before that(as - it must be said have the Tories). Did anyone think that such tactics were a thing of the past? We should take heart from them employing personal abuse because it means that to use a phrase of Mrs T - they're "frit". They know that they can't win the argument on policy; they can't win on the government's record or Brown's prudence and rectitude or his competence so what else is left to them.
Interesting though your "correspondent's" story is I tend to agree with the view that reporting a conversation(which you'll have to agree tells us nothing we didn't know already - other than Tamsin seems to actually have convinced herself of the truth in the slurs against Timpson and that her supporter's tactics are ok(and let's face it how many times have our children parrotted things we've said in private to sometimes our discomfort and children of that age tend to have the views of their parents which in future years they may reject).
Imagine if the opposite had happened and a "Labour" activist had inveigled their way into a family meal of Edward Timpson on a pretence of being a "supporter".
If Labour wish to deal in the gutter let them. We should have more faith in the electorate's good sense. They know when they're being spun a line and believe me they don't like personal abuse and Labour will pay a high price for it on Thursday.
Hmm.. Good article, but maybe you should treat it with a pinch of salt - after all if you are just the one 'stranger at the banquet' it is going to be obvious to 'team Labour' who's leaked the story, and therefore lack the deniability you would somehow expect from a subterfuge..
Not impressed. The only remotely interesting part is TD's apparent belief in the Timpson-as-Toff smear. Either that, or she just likes to tow the line in front of (what she thinks are) campaign volunteers. Also: why would she say she hasn't met Gordon Brown? There's a photo of the two of them together! Isn't that what this is - http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2292/2478269130_a74b57c1a2_o.gif
Anyway, this is thoroughly dishonest, and deeply unpleasant. I'm no fan of TD (and loathe the Labour campaign in this by-election), but I feel a bit sorry for her after this sorry tale.
Anon 10. 07 am is quite right.
This is just the sort of revolting behaviour for which you have been rightly castigating Ms Dunwoody's campaign team. I was ashamed to read the account of what had happened and felt guilt by assocation, once I had done.
As for the crowing of what a scoop, Ms Dunwoody is clearly brighter than your low life contact thinks she is. She seeems to have said nothing that she would not have done on the record to any journalist.
She at least comes out of this showing that she is not so stupid as to go blabbing confidences to any stranger she meets - but then only an idiot would have expected her to be that stupid.
You should be condemning this episode not glorifying it.
Also have you bothered to wonder whether your blog may well result in the poor receptionist getting the sack.
Well if we're talking bare-faced cheek here, I think Labour would be the clear winner!
Mrs Dunwoody-Kneafsy is attempting to "inherit" her mother's seat, having started campaigning for it before her mother was actually buried.
She lives in a huge house - bigger than Edward Timpson's, I believe - 175 miles away from Crewe, but is claiming to be "one of us" to the electorate of Crewe. She is allowing her campaign team to attempt to smear the Conservative candidate by referring to him as a "toff" and a "con man".
The biter bit, perhaps?
What a self-serving update, which completely (and deliberately) misses the point.
The vast majority of posts have objected (and in strong terms) to the underhand behviour of your contact not to what was reported -which, despite what you say, tells us nothing we didn't know or had not presumed.
My guess is that you won't be getting a bouquet of flowers delivered from Conservative Central Office, but one might arrive from Labour HQ.
If you don't get why so many object and do so strrongly, you should go and sit down quietly in a corner until you do.
Otherwise, you might single-handedly start a Labour revival in Crewe.
If a Labour campaigner had done something similar to Timpson you would have rightly condemned it in the strongest possible terms.
The activist who did this is a waste of space. He must have no back bone, pride or dignity.
And it's hardly surprising that Dunwoody kept up her 'public persona' in front of (what she thought to be) an unknown supporter.
Did you think she'd drop her guard just because she thought this person she had just met was a Labour activist? We can't draw any conclusions from this because I don't think she took this person into her confidence.
At best, this is a nothing-story, at worst it is the cowardly invasion of someone's privacy, made even worse given that it was a family occassion.
As others said, Dunwoody comes out far better than your activist - she invited someone she didn't know to join her family meal!
I hate the current Labour tactics, but your reticence to condemn this should make us all wonder if the Tories are actually any better or if they're just looking to play the faux-victims in Crewe but happy to use dirty tricks when it suits.
And who are you to say what Gwyneth Dunwoody would have made of this? You think you knew her better than her own daughter? Get your head out your arse Iain Dale.
I can relate to what is reported. When Labour is resorting to lies and innuendos, it is fair game to get as much out of TD even impersonating Bill Clinton, the Labour's icon.
I came across a labour activist in the recent mayoral election who was calling Boris as the Toff who lives in a big house. I said to her the previous Labour leader of my council who is an MP now lives in a much bigger house in a much posher area. This I can testify as I know where Boris lives and where this MP lives. She said as a socialist she cannot bear the sight of the Toffs. I replied that as a pensioner who is getting just a 5th of Prescott's pension and what '£4000 taxifare Michael Martin' would get. I can't bear the sight of so called socialists who drive an expensive foreign car and keep two horses for cross-country jumping ( this labour activist does!).
For Labour, me a pensioner getting a 5th of Prescott's pension who vote Tory, have a private medical insurance for emergency purposes
( bought having saved money not taking holidays for years and not eating out for years)
is MIDDLECLASS. But TD brought up in a comfortable house, has all the hall marks of a rich person is working class. There is something wrong with Britain.
I tend to agree that just because Labour behave like scum there is no need to leap into the stinking, stagnant cesspool they inhabit.
From the Times:
"There have also been Labour attempts to smear Edward Timpson, the Conservative candidate, as a “friend of the paedophile” because he has occasionally defended sex offenders in his job as a barrister. “I think you will find he is not the type of lawyer he claims to be,” one Labour MP said."
From the Sunday Times -
"In further evidence of negative campaigning, Labour activists have been accused of telephoning Crewe voters in the middle of the night posing as Conservative canvassers."
If this is true, then you are absolutely RIGHT to post this. If ZA-NuLabour resorts to disturb ordinary people in the middle of the night masquerading as Conservatives, then at worst your source is just giving Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsey back some of her own medicine!
Perhaps your source was just sitting having a quiet drink wearing his top hat (after all isn't this the usual casual attire for Tory Toff supporters) and the working class Ms Dunwoody simply mistook him as one of her supporters?
That said all rather a non story, there is no need for your boys to be throwing any mud, the Labour lot have managed to dump enough on themselves with their nasty, hypocritical campaign.
(and says it all when their most ardent supporter on the campaign is a rich actress)
Iain, I am surprised at the outrage expressed in most comments.
The reality of the situation is that New Labour are running a disgraceful campaign and deserve to be exposed.
If the boot was on the other foot, with the local Tory behaving mendaciously, such a scoop would be lauded.
Having heard about things like this before, it would have gone in one ear and straight out of the other as a lot of this type of confrontation are fictional. May have been unwise to put this into print Iain, but I sympathise with Tories working this campaign against a totally unprincipled Labour party.
I don't know if there is a PMQ this week, but it would be an ideal time to ask if Gordon would condemn the blatant untruths propagated by Labour in this campaign and to solicit a public apology (which would never take place, of course!
We'll probably only get to hear his phrases of the month however, as he's programmed only to recycle them every ten minutes without another software update.
Iain I don't think any of correspondents argued that Labour haven't run a disgusting campaign in Crewe but you have ignored the key point most people were making - that this information (limited though it actually is) was gained through impersonation or even an attempt at entrapment. This is exactly the sort of thing which leads to the "they're all as bad as each other" mentality in so many potential voters.
This might seem ok to someone who has been caught up in the adrenalin and passion of an election campaign but for the vast majority of non-politicos it is shoddy and dishonest. I very much hope that the grubby little story turns out to be untrue.
I've read your indignant update / rebuttal to all those who expressed their disquiet with this post.
Now, can you answer any of the 5 questions I put to you earlier, regarding your checking out (or otherwise) of your source?
Despite the update Iain, I still think this is a bit underhand. What the guy calls a "white lie" seems utterly deceptive given his motive and subsequent actions. Even willing to report the comments of her children, this sort of guy seems the last person I'd ever want to have dinner with, even if he was not minded to send a report of our conversations to a blogger afterwards.
I'm a Tory and I think this kind of stuff should be left on the shelf. Let's leave nastiness to Labour, they do a better job of it than we do anyway.
Sorry, Iain, but I have to agree with the majority of posters here and think you have made a bit of a blue on this one*.
If the Tories are running a campaign at least partly based on rising above the NuLabour smear machine, this sort of reporting does it no service.
On a broader note it does little service to the residents of Blogistan. Our reputation is, perhaps rightly, not very good as it is. For one of the more serious and respected members of the community to report this will simply confirm to many what a bunch of hooligans we really are. It will certainly allow the Grown Ups to act all principled and moral.
*And that's from someone who is far more capable (and guilty) of commiting worse faux pas, believe me.
Just so you know, her name is not Dunwoody-Kneafsey - she's divorced, and dropped the Kneafsey as soon as she divorced.
Not in impressed at all.
Actually, I'm appalled. Regardless of the circumstances, this is not the way to behave and, if true, this person should be ashmed of himself.
Given that this post takes away a portion of the Conservatives moral high ground in this election (both sides are lying...), and also given that nothing new is actually said (Moyra is on-message right the way through) do you think it's possible that you've been suckered by a Labour black-op about the black-out?
I agree that, to be frank, the contents of the email were less exciting that I thought they were going to be, but Iain's criticisms of the campaign are still absolutely valid. I am not a Tory. I have never voted Tory. If I lived in this constituency, I wouldn't be voting Tory on Thursday. But the stuff that Labour is throwing at Edward Timpson is outrageous. I have long thought that Labour is the party that fights dirtiest. Now we call all see that. I hope and pray that Labour is smashed in the by-election on Thursday.
Jolly good that you posted this. It just goes to show the nastiness of Labour in general now that electorally they're being cornered. Fair enough if you believe in all this class politics nonsense, but indoctrinating children who are too young to be political and indeed indoctrinating them with hyperbole is a bit much.
I cannot understand why people are complaining, this is the sort of stuff that goes on in the blogging world, look at Guido Yet no one moans when he posts a story about an politician shooting their mouth off in private.
I think that "Deep Throat" is right Iain - there's some leftie somewhere laughing to his mates about how he sold you a cock and bull story.
Unwise posting... and your going to look pretty stupid if what deep throat surmise's is right ...
Deep Throat is wrong. I know the person who sent me the email. Even if you reckon I shouldn't have posted it, at least credit me with the intelligence of assessing its veracity. If I had received it out of the blue from someone I had never heard of before then Deep Throat would have a fair point. The fact is, he/she doesn't.
So, at 10pm on Saturday night your correspondant is happy with himself to tell a lie, disturb a family dinner and invade privacy.
And you are happy to publish the results of the deception.
Take a close look at yourself, Iain. If this event happened you have betrayed a family's privacy (and even the tabloid press move away from quoting children) and if it didn't (have you checked? called the hotel?) then you have spread misinformation.
You are a good writer and the new medium in which you operate fills an interesting space in the media spectrum. But if you don't maintain some standards you bring the medium, and yourself, into disrepute.
Get back to Millbank Towers. You are clearly a Labour troll.
Iain - do you condone the behaviour of your "correspondent"?
OMG - heard it all now. Tory lies and misrepresents himself during an election campaign. And you Tories dare to complain about a few leaflets? I'd love to have read the reaction if a Labour supporter had been found to have done the same thing. In my own constituency the Tories lied and smeared our candidate at a GE. It's par for their course.
Have to agree. I don't think this should have been published.
However, having just watched Ms Dunwoody on the North West section of BBC's politics show claiming to be an'unemployed mother of five.' I almost doubted my judgement.
But no, even if she is an obnoxious class warrior, a slimmer, female version of John Prescott and a disgrace to her mother's memory I still believe her privacy should have been respected.
You did satisfy yourself that your source was telling the truth. I find it difficult to believe but I'm prepared to take your word for it.
I can only therefore repeat what I said earlier:
"Instead, you report this cheap trick with a discernible glee, having just a few inches down the page, condemned Labour for their tacky campaigning."
The next time you get the urge to use the phrase "pot-kettle-black", perhaps you'll think back to this post.
Jafo said "Mrs Dunwoody-Kneafsy is attempting to "inherit" her mother's seat"
As opposed to Stanley Johnson aiming to stand for Henley, and Boris's brother being considered for a job in city hall?
Contrary to most, I think it is an excellent post.
Lets get more inside stuff on these slimes..
Iain, was your correspondent perchance dressed as a sheik?
Desperate Iain, desperate. The Dunwoody family home in Crewe was I believed repossessed a few years ago, which whatever else is true or not about ET's background would never have happened to him.
Publicising this deceit is almost as clever as the Tory Lord Young (I think) tramping in wet concrete and posting opposition leaflets that he had been extracting from letter boxes to divert the blame. Actually it is probably worse. Not even funny.
As anon 10:07 says you've learnt nothing from this encounter. The whole thing might even be made up and/or embellished wildly. And it is so nothingy anyway.
Shame on you.
PS On the Kneafsy smear, perhaps you would apologise? Ms Dunwoody has dispensed with the name having dispensed with the husband that gave her it. Is that not OK?
Talk about pot and kettle. I've edited out something here about a little Ms Tory as it's not worth throwing away on this.
All those taking the moral high ground are clueless. In politics this is standard and doesn't come close to constituting dirty tricks. A 'normal' person might see it that way, but I don't believe any of the commenters are 'normal' people. Activists go into other parties' HQs and pretend to be their activists all the time in order to see what's going on, mess it up and put leaflets in the bin instead of delivering them.
It's absolutely lauaghble that you moan endlessly with vague gripes about shoddy Labour campaigning... and then post this.
Good to see that malignant hypocrisy is alive in the Conservative party!
Totally out of order. you can't lie to get a story. Tory dirty trick.
verify a source ? this is a blog !!
You're going to feel so glad you put up this post when Labour start using this dirty trick to defend their dirty tricks.
No shoe-in safe Tory seat for you, Mr Dale. I imagine no Christmas card from Dave Cameron either.
Is Dunwoody staying at a travel inn? If so she is more like Alan Partridge than Alan Johnson.
And she can hardly claim to be the local candidate can she - which would not matter but for the fact she is saying the Tory is not local.
Methinks that some people are protesting too much here. The origin of the story is laid before us and is easily verifyable.
Anon @ 2:35 and you have just wonderfully described why most "normal" people think politicians and their ilk are at best, a bit strange and at worst, lying scum.
Yes, written by a man who is available to review the papers on rolling news channels and generally pass judgement on others' journalism.
So, it shouldn't be too much to expect similar standards to be maintained on the blog.
There are those of us who think this is a bit low and have stated so.
There are those of us come to give Iain a good kicking, the opposition.
I don't think this comes close to calling Timpson a con man or a 'friend to paedophiles'.
Iain would have to go some way to match how disgusting tha Labour campaign has been.
I see you've attracted quite a few new outraged readers Iain.
Whilst not agreeing with your source misleading Ms Dunwoody (even if only to get a slice of pizza which would surely not have been offered to anyone not "one of us") pretty laughable to try and tar the whole Conservative party with the actions of one activist, especially given the sort of campaign that Labour have run in C&N.
However the biggest irony, having dissed rich as equating to evil, is that their latest campaign leaflets apparently contain endorsements from Sir Alex Ferguson.. sometimes you just have to laugh. (although it's probably only the seriously rich, plus of course totally workshy, that should be suupporting Labour these days)
yes, it's a shame you didn't bring up your little scoop while playing holier than thou when reviewing the papers isn't it?
Firstly, you've no evidence that this conversation ever actually occurred.
Secondly, Tamsin Dunwoody stopped using the hyphenated surname in Summer 2005, nearly three years ago, so I don't know why you insist on putting it on her (and spelling it wrongly while you do so).
Thirdly, how about condemning Tory tactics in Brent East when they accused the Labour candidate of living in a nice home that wasn't in the constituency? How was it acceptable then, but not now the boot's on the other foot?
Please, those trying to equate this episode with Labour dirty tricks are either stupid or Labour stooges.
This was a spur of the moment action by a single individual, not sanctioned by the Conservative powers that be, no one was bad mouthed, no lies were told to the voting public.
Labour dirty tricks are premeditated, repeated and performed by many Labour individuals, spreading deliberate lies to the voting public, and sanctioned by Labour HQ.
So enough of this false horror and moral equivalence.
Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy! How dare that woman use her middle name and drop the name of her ex-husband!
You've previoulsy written that Obama and Cameron are similar (like hell they are), but refrained from calling him by his full name. How remiss of you! It's Barack Hussain Obama, as people like you over the pond never fail to point out.
Same tactic and just as low Mr Iain Campbell Dale!
Travis Bickle: It's not just one activist. It is one activist AND the offical mouthpiece of CCHQ in the blogosphere. And thence no doubt others in the Party.
Ferguson has always been Labour, as has the woman behind Vera Duckworth.
Pretty poor show this Iain.
Your 'correspondent' basically intruded on her personal privacy and lied in order to get information.
This is a cowardly form of politics and one I wouldn't expect you to subscribe to.
Your complete misjudgement of the ethics of what you report suggests a good reason why you will always be rejected, as you were recently, for political office.
The most interesting revelation was her regular contact with GB. Removes any doubt that Labour's disgusting campaign is not fully endorsed from the top.
Just so anyone can verify that one of these Premier Inns had a power cut recently, was it the one at:
T: 08701 977 068
or the one at:
221 Crewe Road
T: 0870 9906418
which interestingly costs a fiver a night more, being in Nantwich.
There doesn't appear to be a single "Premier Inn, Crewe and Nantwich."
The question is -
WAS POSTING THIS STORY ON MY BLOG:
(a) Not the best idea I've had in 2008.
(b) A bit of a clanger.
(c) If I knew then what I know now.
You've already asked the audience (and look at their response!)
You can now go 50:50 or phone a friend.
Though hang on - wasn't phoning a friend where all this started?
I disagree with you on this one Iain.
Imo totally unacceptable conduct by the activist, and a bad idea to publish it - accurate or not.
I think the activist owes Ms Dunwoody a public, written apology.
Sea Shanty Irish here"
Iain, you have unconsciously (one presumes) demonstrated how the Tories could conceivably lose the Crewe & Nantwich by-election: by going way over the top.
Now I realize that all the boys & girls on the Big Blue bus are as nervous a virgins before a hot date.
But it would be ironic if you allowed yourselves to interrupt what should be a satifying climax to the C&N campaign this Thursday!
Travis Bickle says "of course totally workshy, that should be suupporting Labour these days"
Another little gem to put on a Labour leaflet, and a further reminder that Tories really believe that Labour voters/supporters are workshy scroungers, even as they crawl around the constituency begging for their votes.
Sorry Prague Tory. You're wrong. GB doesn't write our leaflets for us. Even time won't tell what has worked and what has not worked.
Iain, why don't you just apologise for this disgraceful post?
Chris Paul said
'Sorry Prague Tory. You're wrong. GB doesn't write our leaflets for us.'
but not wrong about yours being a disgusting campaign.
As people in hushed tones whispered that 'Labour aren't very popular around here' it became clear that the good people of Crewe & Nantwich are relishing their chance to give the verdict.
Iain, I have just returned from a weekend's worth of campaigning in Crewe. I managed to aquire the latest Labour leaflet, and quite frankly, it was disgusting. Gwyneth Dunwoody would certainly never have stooped to these levels. The Labour campaign is nasty and personal. I am sure that they are using these tactics as a dummy run for the next general election, but it won't work. From my canvassing this weekend I know the people of Crewe are going to give Labour a bloody nose; they just haven't decided how they are going to do it.
As I wrote earlier, unwise to post this piece of hearsay, but nevertheless minor in comparison to the Labour agenda of deliberately printing deliberate and defamatory literature which is downright libelous. Some of the stories I have read during the last week would have driven me to take legal action, despite the reluctance of Conservatives to react. This reluctance has only encouraged Labour to make even more outlandish statements which should be slapped down.
The first person I'd like to slap is that idiotic leftie from Strangeways...whatshisname - Chris Poorly - pratt!
You were all getting ready to claim the moral high-ground, and then you let it all go with a gibe against someone's name. Oh, Vienna.
where did all the prigs come from?
Disgraceful? Talking to the Labour candidate who has based her campaign on the basest form of class warfare?
Having a chat to Ms. Dunwoody on the basis of being a Labour-supporting member of the public is hardly a crime, and nor is publishing the results of that.
it's a blog ffs
Labour can pull all the dirty tricks in the book,but when it happens to them its a different story. Just who do Labour think they are, they think they have a god given right to be in power.
Labour always leaves office with the country in a worse state than when they came in.
Tamsin claims never to have met Mr Brown?
Donc, Iain, je suis un petit peu confused by the picture accompanying this post of Guido's:
Is he that forgettable? (Really?!)
Yes, unwise to post this one, I think.
I agree with Matt Wardman, only a public apology from your source would suffice. This is gutter politics and I, for one, don't like it. I don't like it at all.
At the time of this posting, there have been 77 comments on this subject.
Your last comment on this post was at 12.48 pm and there appears to have been a further 43 comments since then. Most of which express a discomfort about the original post.
Let's assume your "source" is accurate. By anyone's standards, an utter shit, but possibly accurate.
It seems that most commenters have a certain distaste for any "source" who tricks their way to the dining table of a single mother (who is having dinner with her family) and who then tries to turn perfectly straightforward comments into something they're not.
I did give you the benefit of the doubt over the accuracy of your source, but your silence since then does cast some doubts - doesn't it?
There is so much irrelevant and nasty crap being thrown around in this by-election, I would have hoped that you could have avoided posting dubious tittle-tattle like this.
This by-election has become a grubby warning of how the next General Election will be fought. There are many of us who would hope that certain bloggers could rise above the dross and comment fairly.
And, before you accuse me of being a Labour troll, I've been a Conservative activist and voter for over 35 years.
Over to you, Iain?
I imagine La Dunwoody, who wasn't born yesterday, saw straight through your correspondent's story and took them for a tabloid journalist, for whom such subterfuge is routine. Few rank and file Labour Party supporters are keen enough and rich enough to stay in a hotel in order to campaign even in good times: now there must none.
As for Dunwoody senior's financial troubles, the Times [April 18] said: ' . . Few MPs in modern times have been so embarrassed by the revelation of their financial problems. Her five-bedroomed constituency home was repossessed after she failed to meet mortgage repayments. She narrowly escaped eviction from her flat in the Barbican in London for rent arrears. Bailiffs seized her furniture over more rent problems. Barclays Bank took her to court over an unpaid loan. In an unprecedented move she became the first MP to be threatened with legal action by the all-party Commons catering committee after she ignored repeated demands to pay an overdue bill of £2,000 for meals and drinks. Few MPs could have emerged from such financial irresponsibility merely damaged and not destroyed. Indeed, within a few years she was being seriously considered as the new Speaker . . '
Matthew Dear - I've tried to tweak this image in Photoshop to no avail.
It's like a party snap that's been left to soak in Pimms No.1 Cup.
But, to be fair to the gel, wouldn't you try to erase any meeting with Gordo from your memory?
Iain - the methods were underhand and wrong, and I think that the person who did it - well intentioned as he may be - should apologise.
What I am suprised about is her gullibility. Why didn;t she ask the most basic of wquestions to establish the guy's credentials?
However, that said, it does say a lot about the women. I agree - her mother would be ashamed of the campaign and would not condone it.
I am now going to cancel my reservation at the Premier Inn and find another hotel in case Ms Dunwoody-Quesy is still there!
But why isn't she staying at her mother's house?
Iain - now read all the comments and I think you have been unfairly kicked. So, to your defence I spring....
1. You were right to publish, because if you didn't, it would have been censorship, and you could have been accussed of party political bias, by covering up a story which was potentially embarrrassing to us!
2. You should have said however that you disaproved of the methods, even if the end result was interesting.
3. CCHQ should come down hard on this muppett as it pulls the rug from under our campaign, and means we can't quite claim so much moral high ground. He should be sent home pronto!
4. It didn't tell us anything new. we know that Dunwoody supports this campaign of smear and filth-mongering, because if she didn't, it would have stopped by now. All we know now is that she is more deluded than we thought - was it really worth it? No!
5. The Tory campaign should now focus on 'Tasmin - what would your mother say'? Show the b******s that just because she has her mother's name, she doesn't have her mother's decency. Show the voters that she is not 'one of us', but 'one of them' - a career politician who will say anything to get elected!
And yes, we should point out that she aint exactly local, that she is loaded, and that she is an utter hypocrite.
We should now attack Tasmin - but using her own words to condemn her.
God what a load of squeamish little girls are whining about this courageous under cover agent and his selfless work behind the front . He deserves a medal for putting up with the Labour blue blood fraud .
Carve his name with pride , I say.
In the context of the Labour Party stirring up ethnic hatred against the blameless Poles , in Crewe in vast numbers entirely due to Labour Party Policy , a trick played on Tamsin –Smythe Fetang fetang - who-am-I-today? ; is hardly the end of the world . I agree with Praguetory , by far the most interesting revelation here is that Gordon Brown is personally supervising this campaign with its racist overtones and infantile name calling .,No surprise of course but there is the proof.
Why would anyone wonder at it . Snagging a few bigots by adopting a Daily Mail attitude to the torrents of immigrants Labour have flooded England with is not a new tactic for Brown. “ British Jobs for the British” onwards he has , in spite of all sense tried to neutralise the justifiable anger the English feel at Labours mass immigration Policy by using the same immigrants to justify authoritarian plans to dog tag the English ...starting with those dreadful Poles !!!
By leading and setting the tone he has made this By Election a vote of confidence or otherwise on Gordon Brown . This is vital news and I am surprised none of the nationals have picked it up .
Well, done Praguetory .Well done Iain !!!
Boothroyd Defends the Workers ! Yippeee
Aha is that Public school educated and Labour blue blood David Boothroyd I see endorsing the class warfare angle ? Works in the Building industry you know ., as a Political Consultant for about five minutes ..oh yes a horny handed son of toil who will empathise immediately with the problems ordinary men and women face getting their stupid book about poltical chit chat published .
Salutations Brother Boothroyd how is that Top Hat looking today ?
As a former member of the Labour Party I despise nulab and its stinking bunch of traitors. I'd like to shoot the whole rotten lot of them. Even so, given the behavour of this creepy little tory I could almost think of giving Tamsin a sympathy vote, not that I live anywhere near the place.
Shame on you, Iain Dale.
You were absolutely right to post this article. Your blog has always been a source of information, insight and ocassionally tittle-tattle from within the world of politics. I'd have been very disppointed if you hadn't shared this with us (your faithful readers).
Pizza-gate is little more than some gossipy nonsense and doesn't offer any earth shattering political revelation. As an exposé, its pretty unspectacular too - but just imagine what might have happened if she had made any unguarded comments? Fortunately for her, she didn't.
The informant's little white lie might have given him a few minutes access to Dunwoody but it also worked against him. It appears she merely spent the 'meeting' filling his head with campaign messages believing he'd be repeating the same on the doorsteps of Crewe on her behalf.
On the whole I'd call it a 0-0 draw.
Having said that, it is interesting that Dunwoody claims NOT to have met Gordon Brown? So I guess on that point alone the article justifies its publication. On a personal note, I'm fascinated that she's holed up in a hotel and not lodging with one of her many 'local connections' in the area.
Anyway, good for you Iain. You didn't set out to engineer this encounter and have no reason to apologise for it. You simply published what was offered... and that's why we read you as opposed to the 'filtered' news elsewhere.
Everyone is missing the point with this campaign. The tactics are remiscent of the tactics Labour used in Scotland to defeat the Tories.
They painted the Tories as toffs and the English Party. The tactics were meant to play on the anti-English mentality of the Scots and it succeeded.
The Labour campaign leaves a sour taste in our mouths, because we do not despise success. Nor can Labour bring in the anti-English part of their Scottish campaign, which makes their scheming meanlingless.
Dunwoody doesn't get it. She's spent too long in the Welsh Assembly, where they too think that Toffs = Tories = English. The Welsh are as bad as the Scots for hating the English, so once again, they can't bring in that part of the campaign to England.
Labour don't understand the English and can never be representative of us. Even working class people like me.
Cheap tricks are nothing new in politics so please you 'good hearted' Tories, stop beating yourselves up about morality.
If a person is honest, then they will not fall over or trip up no matter what the trick.
Did Tamsin come through this cheap TORY stunt unscathed and untouched?
Re-read it again and you'll find that she did.
Self flagellating about right or wrong is best not observed post John Major.
To intrudeon a Mother and Children for political purposes, is not exactly the Dave at breakfast 'shaking the shreddies', is it. Clearly wrong and immoral.
Another 20 years in wilderness may clear the crime from the public mind.
Well said, Iain.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting this story. The tactics used to obtain the information were devious, yes, but the fact is that TD shouldn't be lying about anything, to anyone, regardless of their identity. Her beliefs and facts, if true, won't change depending on who she's talking to. The fact is, she's evidently full of it, and that is the story here. She gave this (false) information freely and openly; the fact that she thought the person to whom she was talking to already agreed with her propagandist rubbish is irrelevant.
I can understand the views of those who disagree and think this kind of reporting is morally pernicious, but I suggest they have jumped too quickly to a slightly superficial conclusion.
Furthermore, to those that question the authenticity of the source - those of us not in the know have no idea - so you have to trust that ID has taken an informed decision on this, and I for one, do.
Why aren't her children in school?
This appears to be a bit of fun rather than some grossly underhand act - where after all is the crime in saying you support one party when in fact you support another so you can ask a few well-chosen questions of people who are normally rather secretive as to their true feelings, eg, most current politicians?
I am a bit concerned though that this isn't just a bit of spin by some pal of Iain's or something. How do we know it's a true account?
The quoted statements don't seem particularly damning. She supports her campaign. She believes her PR. Shock horror.
I have read previous by-elections from the infamous Major 93 - 97 tory by election defeat era. The worst by elections results for instance saw Labour taking Dudly West of the tories by 20,000 votes. If labour get there they really be in MAJOR trouble.
btw, she IS called Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy, at least that is what she put on the 2008 electoral roll. I would encourage you to continue calling her this.
It is simply absurd that you are critising Dunwoody for a negative campaign, and yet you apparently endorse a mate impersonating a Labour supporter. Come on Iain, surely you can acknowledge that the tactics used were wrong, just as Labour's negative campaign is wrong.
How can she have come through this unscathed when she said she'd never met Gordon Brown? She's either delusional or a liar. I'm really trying to be objective about this, but honestly!
I think it is rather a boring story, but you have no need to be defensive about it. I think the impersonator was a little in the wrong, but I doubt anything Dunwoody said about her campaign, as opposed to herself, in such circumstances should be taken seriously.
She was engaged in conversation with a putative supporter who she imagined would be working for her the next day. Even if she despised the campaign and was thoroughly ashamed of it, she would be an entirely hopeless politician if she didn't talk it up to him. Even the dullest of hacks knows this is what you do with miscellaneous canvassers, and the dullest of hacks are often the best at such dissimulation.
Single, unemployed mother of 5. Hates "toffs" yet is listed in Burkes peerage herself
and is the grand-daughter of Baroness Norah Philips and Morgan Philips.
Proper working class roots, eh Tamsin Dahling?
I thought you all might like to know that I am writing this from the Premier Inn in Crewe!
You might also like to know that I spoke to a very nice lady on reception when I checked in last night who confirmed that there was indeed a power cut the other night, and that she and the staff from the Beefeater next door did indeed order pizza.She also said they were also joined by several 'guests'!
She was also very curious to find out how the hell I knew!
So - whatever you think of Iain's decision to post the story, a few apologies are due from a few posters for doubting Iain's credibility on standing it up.
Why should we all believe you?
I have nothing to add to this thread, Iain, other than this is the 100th post.
Do I win a prize?
No I thought not.
Although the content was interesting, I'm left feeling slightly tarnished myself on how it came to me. I think the comment has been made previously about how this information came to you in the first place and yes, I think you should have checked yourself before posting it. Whoever, the individual was who gleaned the intimacy of Ms Dunwoody, even to be invited into her family circle, in this way should be ashamed of themselves. Ms Dunwoody showed the better, but, not the first time I'll use this phrase, naive, character in allowing this to happen.
The comments did reveal a sad naivity and even desperation in Labour politics and opinion and now, post-result, it's easy to see how such an approach was comprehensively knocked down in a great by election win. It's also the sadness of these comments which makes me think less of the comment "of bare faced cheek" but rather a pitiable and lamentable grasp on reality and a complete lack of strategy from Ms Dunwoody herself.
We have to rise above these kind of tactics and if David Cameron's Conservative Party is going to really make a difference for the UK then we can't use the means as justifying the ends - although I accept this is an invdividual acting under the own steam.
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