Sunday, May 04, 2008

Crewe Reacts Badly to the Hereditary Selection

The selection of Tamsin Dunwoody has not been met with wholesale acclaim if the comments on THIS article from the Crewe & Nantwich Guardian are anything to go by. Here is a selection...

I am disgusted. Family and party cynicism and collusion in expediting the selection and election process before the funeral. Parachuting in a dynastic candiate with no connection to the area.
If the Tories did it they would be vilified. This represents everyting that the Labour Party is supposed to be against.

If her name had been anything other than Dunwoody she would not have had a chance. I do not see how that represents Labour's finest traditions.

I don't care who they select, I've had enough of tax and spend Labour.

Labour's carpet-bagger, shipped in from Pembroke where she was rejected. Not even the respect for her own mother to wait until she's in the ground before going on the stump. Shameful.

This is a cynical stunt and an insult to the intelligence of the electorate. What has happened to Labour when your surname counts for so much? I feel totally let down by this selection and will not be voting for Ms. Dunwoody-Kneafsey.

So - we are going to get a woman born in Devon, Educated in Kent and having represented Wales. So much for someone who understands the problems in Crewe.

What a disgrace! - if the Tories had done this we would be screaming abuse at them. How can the Labour Party possibly complain about the inequality of a hereditary Monarchy and then effectively establish the same rules for this 'fig leaf' of a selection procedure. Shame on you, C&N Labour Party, shame on you...

The labour party are in a mess at the moment, and because of this they feel the only way they will win the by-election is if they parachute Tamsin in to get a sympathy vote. RIP Gwyneth.
It seems to me that the Conservatives should be very careful not fight an aggressive campaign here. They don't need to launch attacks on the Labour Candidate. They need to be the voice of sweet reason and play up their candidate's local record - but then go for Gordon Brown's throat on the 10p tax debacle and other issues. And this is exactly what Edward Timpson seems to be doing. He's just released this rather interesting letter to the press...

Dear Ms Dunwoody

Congratulations on becoming the Labour Party candidate for the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, albeit in the sad circumstances of your mother’s passing away. She was a formidable lady and an excellent constituency MP; she will be missed.

As the Conservative candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, I am looking forward to the sort of frank and honest campaign that Gwyneth would have been proud of.

So it is in that spirit that I am writing to you to ask your views on a range of important issues. In the interests of fairness, I am very happy to make my views clear on each of them.

Do you support the abolition of the 10p tax rate?

I think it’s completely unacceptable to increase taxes on the lowest paid workers in the country. People who do the right thing, by going out to work to earn their keep, should be rewarded, not punished. By increasing taxes on the poorest, Gordon Brown has shown he has no idea what it’s like to live on a low income.

Do you support the Government’s national identity scheme?

I oppose ID cards because they wouldn’t make anyone safer. It would be an expensive project and the money would be better spent on frontline services.

Do you agree that – whatever Gordon Brown says – violent crime and anti-social behaviour is rising locally?

Violent crime has almost trebled in the local area and as the Chief Constable says: “every night of the week Cheshire officers and our community support officers are engaged in a constant battle against anti-social behaviour and alcohol-induced violence”.

Do you believe that the pre-charge detention period should be extended in terrorism cases?

I do not believe that the Government has made the case for extending the pre-charge detention period beyond 28 days. Instead, they should rely on using intercept evidence in court and post-charge questioning.

Do you think there should be a referendum on the renamed European Constitution?

I firmly believe that Gordon Brown broke his manifesto promise to hold a referendum on the European Constitution because he thought he would lose. The British people deserve the referendum they were promised.

Do you believe that the net level of immigration should be reduced?

I believe that this Government has failed to give local public services the support they need to cope with a rising population. As a result, there is pressure on the local council budget, on housing, on the NHS and on local schools. So we need to plan properly for increases in population, and reduce the overall level of net immigration.

Do you support the suspension of the Government’s post office closure programme?

I think the post office closure programme needs to be suspended immediately. There is nothing inevitable about the closure of local services like post offices, small shops and pubs. The Government and local politicians need to do all they can to keep these important services open.

I would be grateful if you could reply to these important questions as soon as possible. It is extremely important for the people of Crewe and Nantwich to know what sort of choice they face.

Given the public interest in these matters, I am releasing a copy of this letter to the media.

Yours sincerely

Edward Timpson
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich


Anonymous said...

I was just reading this suggestion that Boris' dad might replace him in Henley and thinking that Labour would make hay with accusations of candidate selection on the hereditary principle.

Then Iain posts this news about Crewe. Life never ceases to grow weirder.

Anonymous said...

A man who uses a semi-colon. He gets some credit for that alone.

Anonymous said...

A semi-colon? You mean he's anally fixated with suburban housing?

Mostly Ordinary said...

Blimey are Labour so cash straped they'll go to any lengths to save money on campaign literature?

Anonymous said...

I really can not be bothered with all that political balloney.

The pertinent point is, why has Brown go for a by-election NOW and not six months down the line?

Daily Referendum said...

Her reply will be interesting. How could a government knock out so many important policies that go against the grain of the average voter?

Prodicus said...

You and Timpson are both bang on. Love the angry Labour letter. More for Gordon to chew on, as his financial collagues worry about party campaign funds drying up.

Unknown said...

What a cracking letter. I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

this post over at LD voice made me laugh

I like the fact the are criticising him for daring to run marathons in London and New York...

Sir Dando Tweakshafte said...

Elegant work, neatly avoiding the predictable "Timpson puts the boot in" headlines.

If you're no longer aiming for a parliamentary candidacy, Iain, are you about to become a by-election campaign guru?

Anonymous said...

Iain: how come you don't quote the second half of the Edward Timpson news release which then went on to make a series of personal attacks on the Labour candidate? I think the full news release rather conflicts with your comments?

Iain Dale said...

I have only seen a letter. I haven't seen a news release.

Anonymous said...

Handing her the rope how civil of him.

Anonymous said...

This is the bye-bye-election.

Pack up all my care and woe
Here I go, singing low
Bye bye Gordon

Anonymous said...

In that case I guess you might change your views when you read the full text :-)

Anonymous said...

Iain, check out the pdf Mark posted to his blog or also posted at ConservativeHome here:

The second half of that release is rather less pleasing than the letter from Edward Timpsion I'm afraid.

Praguetory said...

Good stuff from Timpson.

Anonymous said...

I'm being told that those Labour Possibles on the panel who were informed via email, were given a dummy address and valid cv's went into thin air.
Proof is coming.

Anonymous said...

They just need to play to common sense reason & fair play, darling.

Daily Referendum said...

I've read the pdf and I can't see much wrong with it. He's attacking her but is he telling the truth?

Anonymous said...

If you think this is bad you should read the post from earlier in the week on Guido Fawkes' blog.Labour using tribute messages to Mrs Dunwoody to electronically gather voter information.Actually made me laugh out loud with amazement when I first read it.More evidence of what the boney substance of Labour is like under the 'caring' mask.It inspired me to send a condolence message to her office (without mentioning the source that motivated me of course).Mrs Dunwoody was real quality and to use her in that way really sickened me.

Anonymous said...

Well from what I have seen the Tory release says - "Tamsin Dunwoody is an outsider who won’t stand up to Gordon Brown"

Well that's true isn't it. Her mothers still warm in her coffin and she allows the writ to be er, writ, and allows herself to be parachuted in to what she hopes will be a safe seat and a lifetime of brown nosing.

Seems to me that the 10 questions in the list are spot on and the attack on the candidate is as well. its very sad that it all has to take place before the woman is buried but that's Gordon Browns fault.

I hope the Tories 'Stick it to Tasmin'

Anonymous said...


I've read the comments in the local paper.

I've voted Conservative all my life and yet even I can see that most of those comments have probably been posted by Conservative voters. They are just too bloody obvious.

This is going to be such a dirty by-election.

Gwyneth Dunwoody deserves better.

Anonymous said...

Good approach

Anonymous said...

Why in God's name did she call her child "Tamsin"?

Anonymous said...

More people need to look at that LD Voice article - it's fantastic! Among the things Timpson is slated for doing outside the consituency are:

Being born.
Going to university.
Working where the work actually is.
Raising money for charity.

Nice to see the Lib Dems are up to their usual tricks.

Anonymous said...

***Her mothers still warm in her coffin and she allows the writ to be er, writ***

I think that, technically, you "move" a writ.

Hence the line: "The moving finger writes and having writ moves on."

Anonymous said...

Parachuting non local candidates in Wales a few years back really wound the locals up .....

Would Brown be allowed to canvass in Crewe you think , Kodak moment putting flowers on Dunwoodys grave , daughter in hand ....!

Will he ask for a 42 day delay for the funeral ?,so that it can be timed better for the election ....allowing him to throw a bit of dirt in the hole, bit of freshly cut onion rubbed on the back of his hand ,bringing a strategically timed tear just at the right moment ,(Cant do it to order like our Tone !
...... turns to the daughter .."I feel your pain" loudly in front of the press , " only you can carry the torch of truth and justice that was once your mothers , she was the peoples MP , you must carry the torch ! her memory "
"It is just , it is prudent "!


I hope that Crewe gives him what he deserves .......


Scipio said...

What this shows is that the local Labour Party are deeply worried about losing the seat, and have decided to get in someone with whom they can trade on the name of dear old Gwyneth. It shows that they have no confidence that they would hang onto the seat with a non-Dunwoody candidate.

Watch deedpoll - perhaps Tasmin will change her first name to Gwyneth.

They are just grasping at straws, and I look forward to a couple of days canvassing in Crewe!

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Dale finally flips.

Why not post the whole of the Timpson propaganda post? Go on: if only in the spirity of:
the voice of sweet reason ... exactly what Edward Timpson seems to be doing.

Of course that would go against the nasty little Aunt Sally technique you've got here.

Quote an anonymous source; and feed it back as great wisdom. Sheer puffery.


Anonymous said...

So why do you keep censoring comments about Edward Timpson, Iain?

Iain Dale said...

Jeez, they don't like it up 'em do they, these lefties.

Malcolm is another lefty blogger who has failed to comment on Gordon Brown's interviews this morning.

Iain Dale said...

Cheshire Cneese, I censored your nasty little comment because you are a nasty little coward - or shit, take your pick. Put your name to your comment and I will publish it, as I did with Malcolm Redfellow's just now.

Anonymous said...

You seem to have ruffled a few feathers over on LDV, Iain. Touchy these Liberals aren't they?! Good work!

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any happier, I'll use a name, other than "Cheshire Cheese."

I thought that name was okay, since I live in Cheshire and am a dairy farmer. Sorry you didn't appreciate the link.

I am a long-standing Conservative voter - and someone who has turned out for his local party in the north of England since the age of 14.

My gripe is that I cannot believe the party is still throwing up as candidates the offspring of rich fathers who have little to connect them with the ordinary voting public in seats like Crewe and Nantwich.

It's a throw-back to the days before Margaret Thatcher was leader of the party.

Still, it's nice to see that you call people who disagree with you "coward" and "shit".

Very classy for a PPC. Or has that gone by the wayside?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... " only you can carry the torch of truth and justice that was once your mothers , she was the peoples MP , you must carry the torch ! her memory "

Hi Steve Carter here. I love it! But look , the Torch references have to go. No more to hold/ not hold stuff..
If we can actually have GB tossing the first handfull of dirt into the grave..
Even better.. some family members [pref big burly males, shortsleeves and braces and flat caps] step forward. They have shovels and begin to fill the Grave with earth.
GB steps forward and takes a spade off one and says..
"No! This is a task I, and I alone, must do."

Let him shovel a few spadefulls in then we can go.
Annonymous.. just a great idea get in touch with me at

PS.Your thoughts on who else we could 'funeralise' soon?
PM wants Charles Clarke but i'm up for Wedgie.. lot more cred and red grief.Brass band..concorde shaped coffin etc.

Iain Dale said...

1. I am not a PPC
2. I didn't call you that for disagreeing with me, I called you that for hurling unwarranted abuse around behind the cloak of anonymity.
3. What you are saying is that if your father is rich you should be disqualified from standing. Reverse snobbery.
4. Would you have the same attitude to farmers being selected? I suspect not.
5. Have you ever met Edward Timpson? If not, do you really have the right to abuse him in the way that you did in your original comment which I didn't let through? You can dish it out but you appear not to be able to take it.

Anonymous said...

@Archie Moore

Mr Timpson was selected as the Conservative candidate after winning an open primary.

Anonymous said...

dearieme said...
"Why in God's name did she call her child "Tamsin"?"

What's wrong with that. My sister's name is Tamsin.

'Derieme' is really peculiar.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dale,

In answer to your comments at 11.08 pm -

1. No - and I imagine you never will be.

2. Unwarranted abuse? I would like to argue that point with you, but I don't think you like to debate the subject of selection, do you?

3. Don't ask me; my father is also rich. I merely question whether the sons of rich fathers are the ideal candidates for constituencies like Crewe and Nantwich.

4. Not many farmers would make good MPs in 21st century Britain. They're too honest.

5. Thank God no, but over 40 years of being active in Conservative politics, I've met so many like him. I'm sure he's a nice enough chap but it's PPCs with his background that have rendered most of the north of England and Scotland unwinnable for the Conservatives.

"You can dish it out but you appear not to be able to take it." I can on both fronts without getting catty, dear.

Iain Dale said...

1. You're probably right.
2. Happy to. Were you aware he was selected in an open primary - ie not just by Tory members? Thought not.
3. The people of Crewe & Nantwoch obviously thought so. Maybe they are better judges than someone who doesn't live there.
4. You probably right!
5. You wouldn't like to generalise then?!!!!

@molesworth_1 said...

The letter from the constituent was exactly the sort of reaction that I was imaginig when I posted about Tamsin Dunthinking's selection in the live-chat earlier this evening. With form like this I'm off to the bookies...

Anonymous said...

In response -

1. You couldn't afford the cut in pay to become an "honest" MP!

2. and 3. Both were before Gwyneth Dunwoody died. With a majority the size of her's and such a strong personal vote, Crewe and Nantwich was never going to be a winnable seat. Remind us all, Iain, what position did the party have Crewe and Nantwich as on the list of "winnable seats" at the next election?

Mr Timpson was just a token candidate until the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody and the events of last week.

BTW I do live near to Nantwich, but not Nantwoch (which I think is in Wales.)

4. A low punch, I know. You come from good farming stock. Bless you.

5. Sadly, this is based on experience of being involved in lots of elections where the Conservative PPC has a tenuous connection with the constituency. At the risk of sounding like a professional northerner - it is different up here for Conservative candidates.

Iain Dale said...

Archie, I'd like to apologise for my outburst earlier. I get some many anonymous trolls on here who delight in causing trouble. I realise now you are not one of them, but I hope you can understand why I reacted so strongly. It's a nightmare to police this blog at times and sometimes one gets it wrong.

I have never aspired to class anyhow. Just as well, eh?

Anonymous said...

Pax Vobiscum Iain. No offence taken and I'll admit I'm guilty of winding people up for the hell of it.

10 out of 10 for your efforts on behalf of the party in the past week or so.

Don't lower your sites by hoping to become an MP.

"They're a rotten crowd, you're better than the whole lot of them put together."

(Nick Carraway - The Great Gatsby)

Anonymous said...

Wow. This has really kicked off, hasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sites - sights - sorry.

@molesworth_1 said...

Iain, turn the comment moderation off & go to bed mate. You've had a busy few days, during which the service you have provided us political fruit-cakes has been second to none. I think you have given the mighty BBC a bit of a kick up the arse this last week. But look at what is to come... Bozza's first 100 days, 42-day detention & a bye-election that the Tories don't actually have to win to make political capital from. Labour is stumbling on from another poorly received re-launch straight into a new commons rebellion, even before they have really settled the last one, whilst Bozza, if percieved to be doing well, will help the effect of the local council & mayoral results "washover" C&N. Momentum. The Tories need to listen to Michael Gove's comments today if they wish to gain some traction while they have this momentum. A large swing would be enough to point to the writing on the wall, a victory would ignite the Labour party internally. So pace yourself, dere boy, lest you burn out...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it hilarious when Tories try to pose as supporting social justice! They just can't do it; we all know tories only care about themselves and feathering their own nests. I don't think people will forget the trebling of child poverty in a hurry. Tories will always put markets and the rich ahead of social justice - anyone who claims otherwise is just trying to justify the selfishness of voting Tory.

Anonymous said...

Why in God's name did she call her child "Tamsin"?

So she'd fit in at public school, most likely. Labour MP, see? Private education for their kids, state crap for us proles.

Anonymous said...

I am now told that the apllication to become the Labour candidate for Crewe and Nantwich went out to male and female panel members and no all woman shortlist.

Guido was right all along in the parachute job for Tamsin Dunwoody.

The notion that the Labour Party is a 'broad Church' and offers 'no discrimination' is fatally flawed and is now proven such.

Emailed panel members were given a flawed email address and failed before the race begun.

An official internal investigation won't go ahead but a public annhilation of the process will.

This will take place in Crewe Centre and throughout Unionised workplaces everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale said...

"Archie, I'd like to apologise for my outburst earlier."

archie moore said...

"Pax Vobiscum Iain."

Just when it was starting to get interesting. Tory weaklings.

Anonymous said...

Oh for Gawd's sake Dale just ignore the likes of Mark Pack. Lefty Hampstead and Islington media-types who went Lib Dem because they're "radical" [sic] and anarchist (TM B. Paddick) and opposed the "evil fascist Zionist war in Iraq led by Bushitler and his poodle Bliar, yeah man".

They're just McDonnell-esque useful-idiot stooges for Labour. Of course they'll have a pop at Tories, regardless of what Tories ever say or do. In their mythology we all secretly pleasure ourselves over pictures of Mrs T all the day long.

They might grow up some day but don't shed any tears if they don't.

Anonymous said...

I see Stanley Johnson has applied for Henley.... exactly how is this different Iain?

Iain Dale said...

Inamicus, the very point I made in a separate post late last night...