Monday, May 19, 2008

Sky Host Online Crewe & Nantwich Debate

Earlier today, Sky News Online hosted a debate between the main Crewe & Nantwich By-Election Candidates. The following extracts have been taken from the full transcript of the debate and are not necessarily in chronological order. (I have not edited this - Sky has). The full posting of the debate can be found HERE.

Fighting talk

9:30 [Comment From Stephen]
Tamsin, how exactly is Edward a 'con man' as your website states? Does he have a criminal record?
9:31 Tamsin Dunwoody - Hi Stephen, he ran on the 10p issue being the only issue in the campaign. Actually it is all about the local people and local issues. Cameron refused to say he would reverse the 10p change.

9:13 Edward Timpson - Mark - We have offered a number of things to help first time buyers, including reducing stamp duty for first time buyers and shared equity schemes. The problem with Labour's top down approach is local people have a disincentive for new housing because they are built without the necessary infrastructure, roads, hospitals and services.
9:14 Tamsin Dunwoody - Hi Edward. Are you actually writing this or one of your spin doctors...sounds like it LOL

Tamsin Dunwoody answering candidacy question

9:18 [Comment From Tim]
Tamsin - if your surname was not Dunwoody would you be Labour's candidate?
9:19 Tamsin Dunwoody - Hi Tim, I was selected on ability, experience and my fundamental political beliefs.

On the ‘Toff’ issue

9:19 Martin Stanford -
and for Edward - wot do you make of the "Toff" label?
Questions we have extracted from the Boulton & Co blog...
9:21 Edward Timpson - I have spoken to people across the whole of Crewe and Nantwich over many months and not once has it been raised as an issue. Local people are not interested in cheap attacks on class. What they want to know is how we are going to reduce crime, imporve local services and bring down the cost of living.

9:34 [Comment From Nick]
Tamsin, On the Politics Show yesterday Harriet Harman was clearly uncomfortable with the negative tone of the Labour campaign in Crewe & Nantwich. Do you support the "toff" attack angle or has it been thrust upon you by Labour high command?
9:39 Tamsin Dunwoody - Hi Nick, this is a by-election campaign and I do believe it is vital that voters know what they are getting. I am a single parent of five kids fighting to get a job. I have no family fortune to fall back on. The Tories have criticised Labour candidates in other by-elections. Its your choice. You know what you are getting with me.

On the environment/future energy supply

9:23 [Comment From john]
tamsin + edward what are your positions regarding our future energy supply and not just your party policy where should our future lie PRECISE PLEASE
9:25 Tamsin Dunwoody - Hi John. easier planning laws to allow householders to install renewable energy, get away from oil/gas dependancy, help those in fuel poverty (£1.2bn invested so far) keep working with business to reduce consumption, stop manufacturers making stuff that stays on standby all the time.
9:25 Edward Timpson - John - What we need is sustainable energy policy which is not over reliant on one form. it has to be a combnation of wind, oil coal, nuclear, solar. Additionally we need to be conscious about reducing our carbon footprint and to move sensibly towards Kyoto targets
9:25 Elizabeth Shenton - John - securing future energy supplies is a hugely important issue facing this country. With the abundance of offshore expertise in the North Sea oil industry, combined with its endless supply of wind - I don't see why we can't combine these two factors to make the world's largest offshore windfarm.

On going against their own parties if they thought it was for the greater good

9:26 [Comment From Rich T]
if needs be, would you be prepared to go against your respetive party lines if you felt it could be for a greater good
9:27 Tamsin Dunwoody - Hi Rich. Yes.
9:28 Edward Timpson - Rich T - I reserve the right to vote against my Party if it was in the best interests of my constituents or my country to do so
9:28 Elizabeth Shenton - Hello Rich. I have always advocated that I will be a strong independent voice for the people of Crewe and Nantwich, fighting for the issues that effect them. But that doesn’t mean I have to be a rebel – there is a world of difference between a rebel and a strong independent voice.

On 42 day detention issue

9:28 Martin Stanford -
and for all the candidates - a question that has come up a lot before today...

How will you vote on 42 days detention?
9:29 Edward Timpson - I will vote against 42 days. The Government has not made the case for this. We have proposed the introduction of intercept evidence into trials and detention post charge.
9:29 Elizabeth Shenton - In answer to how I'd vote on 42 days detention, I'd vote strongly against it. The Liberal Democrats have always been consistent on this. Not a single terrorist prosecution in this country has required someone being questioned for longer than the current 28 days - it's that simple.
9:30 Tamsin Dunwoody - The balance between human rights and national security is an important one. The current proposal is only intended to be used in the case of multiple terrorist incidents and cannot be invoked without parliament and the judiciarys approval. It is also not renewable. However, my concern would always be for the people of Crewe and Nantwichs safety.
9:32 [Comment From Craig]
Tamsin, at 9:30, you didn't actually state whether you would be voting for or against the 42 days detention?
9:34 Tamsin Dunwoody -
I would support it with the five safeguards built into it and that it is not renewable. Parliament has the ability to vote against any rare usage of this and it prevents the country having to be put into a State of Emergency which the Civil Contingencies Act would currently do.

Make of all that what you will! Congratulations to Sky for hosting this. Their online presence really is becoming excellent.


John Backhouse said...

Oh, so if we don't allow long periods of detention then Labour wil suspend the rule of law? So let us be lawless, or we'll be lawless. Labour heve always been like this and neither Brown nor Blair have surprised me but it still disgusts me.
As for the "fighting to get a job" this is twaddle. A job? JOB? This is a temporary position, bestowed upon Tamsin Dunwoody by the electors of Crewe and Nantwich, and she has no right whatsoever to give it such a vile utilitarian title. I think these two things alone show how unfit a person she is to be an MP.

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations to Sky for hosting this. Their online presence really is becoming excellent."

Private Eye runs a column which shows blatant plugs for Sky from other parts of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

I wonder if that will soon include people who are paid to review the newspapers on Sky News?

Anonymous said...

I think the readers of Boulton & Co have made their views very plain from their post-debate vote. The "toff" gets 63% whereas poor, downtrodden mother of five whose country pile has only six acres comes in a creditable 3rd at 15%.

Whilst I'm hoping our man wins, and wins BIG, I can't in my wildest dreams think it would be that big. If only - then perhaps our luckless PM would soon be joining poor Tamsy at the job centre.

Anonymous said...

A while back, Iain, you included a quote from someone (Max Hastings, I think) about the lack of press coverage of the by-election. I guess it's picked up now, but given your comment about Sky, how do you think the media is covering it online?

Iain Dale said...

Just a thought, do you really think that I can be bought for a hundred quid?

Anonymous said...

But surely everyone would agree we don't need another nondescript, no-passion, boring-as-hell white middle class man in the Commons? (No offence Iain ;p) In any other circumstances, Dunwoody would win hands down - she's obviously a warm, feisty and passionate woman with that steeliness that only Labour women have: I saw her on the politics show yesterday, and the similarity with her mother is remarkable in their approach to opponents - a hearty contempt. I don't think we'll hear much of Ed Timpson once he's elected - could anyone be more bland? Whereas I think Tamsin would make a name for herself very quickly; sadly, it looks like she'll be denied the chance. However, if she hangs around for the next general, I think she'd win it back easily.

Anonymous said...


would you vote for fudge or Toffee?

"I'm not sure sweetie it all depends on the five safeguards blah, blah, blah......."

Anonymous said...

I'd have guessed fifty!

Anonymous said...

Iain - caught a bit of Sky news earlier, but with the sound down. Think it might have been about substantial figures in the Conservative Party that have lost lots of weight, as your talking head piece was immediately preceded by young Lord Lawson...

Anonymous said...

TD says: "I am a single parent of five kids fighting to get a job. I have no family fortune to fall back on". I thought that she had a job in Wales?! Poor TD has to maintain her large mansion too!

Mulligan said...

So. in the space of a week, poor single mother of five Tamsin, who doesn't own a mansion anywhere near Crewe, has completely changed her mind on the 42 days issue. Labour integrity at its finest.

Anonymous said...

I submitted four questions.

Two were ignored.

The third was not shown yet the Liberal candidate responded.

The fourth was shown, no reply printed.

Conclusion: Sky blog censor's no more or less than Dale's blog.


I spent ages writing a response to your Crewe Premier Inn scoop and it did not make your page, not impressed.

Anonymous said...

John, clearly you have been watching a very different Dunwoody to me. The only one I've seen is a brittle, unimpressive, spinning, cold and maybe even slightly thick individual. She has absolutely no capacity to think on her feet, either. They say many traits skip a generation...

Oscar Miller said...

she's obviously a warm, feisty and passionate woman with that steeliness that only Labour women have

What that great 'steeliness' (known only to Labour women)that leads Tamsin to lie about and smear her opponent while regarding a parliamentary seat as some kind of dynastic hand-me-down. Please spare us this patronising sentimental guff John.

Bill Quango MP said...

if needs be, would you be prepared to go against your respetive party lines if you felt it could be for a greater good.

Tamsin: hi, yes. Absolubtely. As long as the government said I could first.

wot do you make of the "Toff" label?

Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsey:
I don't like Toffs, or hereditary principle [ except now. ] But as Tony Blair said to me on the mobile only this morning...
"Look Tamsin, you know, we .... could have abolished the House of Lords. When Michael Foot attained the leadership of the Labour Party, abolition of the House of Lords became a part of the party's agenda.
Of course I stopped that!

I saw we could make a huge pile of cash from stopping the hereditary bit and then selling peerages to rich people. Great for everyone.
We get to perpetuate the Class system and we get hard cash.

I mean comunism, captilism, rich , poor, worker, toff ..Labour Conservative. Its all just the same these days isn't it.

Anyway love, gotta dash got a man is coming from Sky to fix a dish up in my new house. Just can't remember which new house it is."

Anonymous said...

Just read the transcript. Best response goes to Elizabeth Shenton.

(Henry, 9.34)
Tamsin, is Gordon Brown an asset or a liability?

... no response from Tamsin ...

(James, 9.35)
Tamsin: Gordon Brown asset or liability?

... no response from Tamsin ...

(Elizabeth Shenton, 9.36)
Gordon is an asset to our campaign!


TheMadCobbler said...

"Just a thought, do you really think that I can be bought for a hundred quid?"

Yes, in beer.

I was actually quite surprised at the lack of comment from Ms Dunwoody and instead it was Elizabeth Shenton that surprised me with the substance and indeed length of answers.

Reading the blog fully Tamsin laughs away her big home in Wales as a "building site on 6 acres, 3 of which are bog."

Timpson did well and managed to answer things a bit, but Tamsin was just stupid with her "LOL" comment. I really hope they loose now, Gwyneth wouldn't have sanctioned this kind of dirty play surely...

John Pickworth said...

John said...
"I think Tamsin would make a name for herself very quickly..."

I'm sure that's precisely her career plan... but why would that be good for us or the people of Crewe and Nantwich?

Haven't we had enough of the fools in Parliament that think they are more important than the job we send them there to do?

Frankly we do want more nondescript, no-passion, boring-as-hell white middle class people and less of those who think they're on some better paying Big Brother show.

If Tamsin is such a talent, I'm sure it won't be too long before she finds another opening at the trough. Personally, I think she (and us) would be better if she actually got a real job... assembling cars at Bentley maybe? Surely that would satisfy her maternal need to be close to her beloved Crewe. So Tamsin, are you ready to roll up your sleaves and do some real work for a change?

Anonymous said...

Someone ask Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy, "Do you miss your mother?"

Luke Akehurst said...

Thousands of New Labour activists are meeting up at Moyra's estate tomorrow morning to saddle up and ride into Crewe for leafleting and Tory name-calling. Then we're back to the mansion in the Pembrokeshire National Park for a spot of game shooting with our poor host, the single mother of five with no family wealth to fall back on. We'll give you lot a jolly good thrashing on Thursday!

Anonymous said...

Philip W said...
I think the readers of Boulton & Co have made their views very plain from their post-debate vote. The "toff" gets 63% whereas poor, downtrodden mother of five whose country pile has only six acres comes in a creditable 3rd at 15%.

There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding here in that you think Sky polls represent the country at large. If you read the Sky blogs they are Tory dominated, and if you look at the Sky poll of 'who won PMQ's' at 12:35 every Wednesday you will find that Cammers has already 'won' by 98%. No actual number of voters is published, so it could be just the regular dozen or so commentors clicking. As we know Labour voters tend not to engage in this type of poll, or even vote unless pushed, despite the fact Tories insist that Labour's client state of scroungers and bad 'uns keep them in power. They don't. And anyone who has ever campaigned for Labour knows how hard it is to get their vote out, because frankly - most of them can't be arsed.

Unsworth said...


"Just a thought, do you really think that I can be bought for a hundred quid?"

We're not discussing price here, are we?

'Beyond Pearls' I'd have thought...

NB said...

Latest ComRes poll for Crewe and Nantwich gives Tories a 13 point lead:

By election voting shares - CON 48%: LAB 35%: LD 12%

Anonymous said...

couple of hundred on a regular basis ...innit !

your becoming a media tart


Anonymous said...

If there is a god ...the liberals will beat Lady Tasmin into third place as in the sky poll , Shenton seems to have some common sense .....!
It would be a Portillo /Blair (re Reg Keys speech )moment...... squirming in the spotlight .....


Worth staying up for

Newmania said...

'I am a single parent of five kids fighting to get a job. I have no family fortune to fall back on.'

This is crap she is rich and does not have to worry .How can she talk such rubbish, she would not be the candidate if she was not Dunwoody either and her line on 42 days is equally shifty.


Anonymous said...

All froth and no wonder people don't vote.

Anonymous said...

So, Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy was not only to the manor born but still lives in one.

There's a whiff of the Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper wealth syndrome to our Tamsin too, since both her parents were well heeled government ministers.

As a former AM and having presumably inherited big money from both her wealthy parents, Ms Dunwoody-Kneafsy must be rolling in it.

How can Dunwoody-Kneafsy claim to be in touch with the problems of the people of Crewe when she comes from a wealthy family and lives in a bl**dy great mansion with its own estate, her place is the size of Southfork, Dallas.

John Pickworth said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"So, Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy was not only to the manor born but still lives in one."

I'm surprised no one has looked up her farm on the Land Registry website yet? Or even perhaps checked with local estate agents for a guide price?

Anyway, her Ladyship Tamsin said this to The Times back in 2004 about the time her parents both got elected:

"When they both won, we were carted off to London, literally overnight. It was a dramatic change to our lives. One day we were living in Totnes, having a rural life in this beautiful town; the next, we'd moved in with my grandfather in Fulham. We had to change schools, make new friends, adapt to a new life. We stayed with my grandfather for the first year, then moved to Westminster....

... It took time for us to realise that it was a wonderful opportunity and to appreciate that we could have a social life - with parties and trips to the cinema - that we wouldn't have had if we'd stayed in Devon. At the same time, we could go back for the holidays and at weekends.

She then adds this about the time her parents lost their seats:

"Of course, then there was another upheaval. Dad went back into general practice, while Mum found work in the film industry. It was all very glamorous. We'd go with her to Cannes and other film festivals, where we'd be fighting
for seats with Donald Sutherland."

I mean, seriously, she's got some cheek to raise Edward Timpson's background but conveniently forgets her own rather charmed upbringing. Trips to Cannes... Mmmm I'm sure that's going to resonate with her target voters - Not!