political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Why I'd Like to be MP For Bracknell
Some of you may have seen on various sites over the last two days that I am in the final round of the parliamentary selection for Bracknell. I didn't want to say anything here until the shortlist was officially announced by the local party.
There are seven of us in the final of the Open Primary, which takes place on 17 October. The others are Rory Stewart, Margaret Doyle, Katy Lindsay, Philip Lee, Julia Manning and Ryan Robson.
As regular readers will know, I haven't applied for a seat for nearly two years. I decided that the launch of my new business, TotalPolitics, wasn't compatible with being a candidate due to time pressures, but that I would review the situation after 18 months. Now that the business is up and running, and going well, I felt now was the time to plunge in.
To be honest, earlier this year, I had almost decided to give up any parliamentary ambitions, but it was the expenses scandal which got me fired up again. And however much people tell me I would have more influence doing what I do now, rather than being an MP, I cannot agree with that. If you want to effect change you've got to get 'in the arena'. Douglas Carswell has proved that you really can achieve things as a backbencher.
At the end of August, CCHQ advertised eight constituencies for selection, including Bracknell. I didn't apply for any of the others. I'm a great believer that you shouldn't have a scatter gun approach and that you need an affinity with a constituency you wish to represent. I'm certainly not going to pretend I am a local expert yet, but it's an area I know quite well.
I was delighted to be shortlisted from more than 200 applicants, and last Friday the seven of us addressed the local Association's Executive. On Saturday I joined some local activists to campaign in a council by election, and over the next three weeks we are all going to be out and about in the constituency meeting people, learning, listening and encouraging people to attend the Open Primary on 17 October.
I think it is a great shortlist, packed with people who have real life experience outside politics. Having met the other six on Friday, I think any one of us would make a great MP for the area.
If you'd like to express your support for my candidacy (even if you don't happen to live in the Bracknell constituency!) you can join the Iain Dale 4 Bracknell Facebook group HERE.
Note for residents of Bracknell, Sandhurst, Crowthorne & Finchampstead
If you are on the electoral roll in Bracknell and would like to attend the Open Primary on 17 October, you can find all the details HERE on the local party website. You must pre-register by phoning 01344 868894 or emailing primary AT bracknellconservatives DOT com. You do not have to be a Conservative Party member to attend or vote.
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It's alll about local issues and local concerns for you then. Representing the people and all that.
Best of luck, Iain. It's encouraging that you mention that it's the expenses issue that has rekindled your interest.
The blog posting headline reminded me of Lady Bracknell.
To lose one election, Mr. Dale, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.
Sadly, I think Rory Stewart will get it. He was born lucky.
Best of luck, Iain. Here at Ladbrokes, we have put you in at 2/1 to win the seat.
what have Ladbrokes got for other candidates?
Oh dear Iain you will then be just like the rest of them if you are accepted.
You will never ever be a free thinker anymore once you are trapped in the apple barrel, there are masses of ifs and buts though.
What challenges does cosy Bracknell have that we in more difficult rural coastal areas have more than our fair share of?
We were abandoned by the Tory high office, thrown into no mans land when our seat was lost.
Yours will be an easy run, I am sure of that .
Strong slate of candidates, which is great, but you're surely in with a shout. All the best!
The local taxi drivers are up in arms about the stupid pope-mobile style taxis Bracknell council forces them to use.
P.S. You've got a diverse constituency to represent, wealthy areas and estates like Great Hollands. Good luck.
Best of luck.
John Redwood and others have shown that being an effective MP and an effective blogger are not mutually exclusive. Stick with it.
Hmmmm.... It slightly beats me why you want to swap from being such a big fish in the blogosphere to being a 'bottom feeder' [for 5 years any way] in the big pond at Westminster..
Still, it can't do you any harm - but how will you cope with the restrictions on second jobs ??
Good luck Iain.
As per - all the very best of luck Iain but Rory Stewart would be a good plan B.
Best of luck Iain. If you become an MP you can still carry on blogging.
It is encouraging after a lot of the problems that MPs had not just with the expenses scandal, but also the cash for peerages, and in the early 90s with the cash for questions that people still want to become MPs.
I hope you can help sort out some of the problems that have gone on down at Parliament.
Good luck Iain.
I do believe Broadmoor is within that constituency. Which means having to deal with us lot will have given you a bit of a head start.
Okay, I have just had a delicious thought- you are destined to be fast tracked to become Prime Minister- you are oodles ahead of everyone. Why worry about whether you are elected as MP or not?
Just do as Nu Lab does-!!
Question today on Conservative homes grassroots survey-
"Who should be Tory leader if, God forbid, David Cameron fell under a bus"?
The answer is staring me in the face!
Best of luck Iain
Can you or Rory Stewart find somewhere else? I really wish you the very best, but this country needs Rory Stewart in government.
Good luck - the list looks quite a good one though, no sin in loosing. The quip about losing 2 elections is typical crap.
We should be a country that thinks well of people for trying and not denigrating people for not succeeding.
"stupid pope-mobile style taxis" -- they are in several places now. I think I used one at Edinburgh airport. According to the taxi driver its due to disabled wheelchair access.
No doubt the blog would be more interesting from an MPs perspective -- so long as you can be 'whipped' and independent at the same time.
Since 1997, the Conservative vote has never dropped below 46%.
It's a golden opportunity for whoever wins the open primary to make a career for themselves.
Sandhurst, Crowthorne and Finchampstead.
This is a beautiful and historic part of the world. (Ignore Bracknell, we all do)
It deserves a decent MP and I hope you are it.
Wow what an honour. I shall attend and vote with my conscience. (and a cross presumably)
good luck Iain
I quite often visit South Hill Park, Bracknell (coming from Reading).
Bracknell looks like a great place to live. :-)
"It is encouraging after a lot of the problems that MPs had not just with the expenses scandal, but also the cash for peerages, and in the early 90s with the cash for questions that people still want to become MPs."
Erm.... yes I wonder what the attraction could be?
Best of luck, I was beginning to wonder if the MSM were mischief making about this.
I notice you're up against a well known financial genius*; and a man who governed part of Iraq at the age of about 14.
Good luck though!
*Note to Biased-BBC bleaters: Margaret Doyle used to work for the Beeb as well, so there's another one to ignore when making your paranoid little lists of ex-BBC employees now in politics
I wouldn't bother if I were you Iain. Half of your readers already think you ARE an MP......
Good luck Iain, wishing you all the best...
The people of Bracknell will have an energetic (and hi-profile) MP should they elect you.
While I wish you the best of luck, I have to say that Margaret Doyle seems the candidate to beat.
The Tories might need more openly gay MPs, but they also need more women - especially women with cabinet potential - and Ms Doyle looks very much the ticket in that regard.
I think you'll be a very good MP if selected and elected. But this blog will undoubtedly go down hill because you simply won't be as free to comment both in terms of time and content. Shame.
"To someone seeking power, the poorest man is the most useful." - Sallust
"Politicians as a class are dangerous, that people who are seeking power over us are not, by definition, our friends." - James Bovard
But you're already insufferable as it is Iain.
Note for residents of Bracknell, Sandhurst, Crowthorne & Finchampstead who happen to be readers of my blog
Come along pick me, pick Me, pick ME!
I wish you the very best for this. Don't start by going all diplomatic and bland on the blog.
Is it really an Open Primary??
Shouldn't everyone on the Electoral register be sent a voting card for it to be a full open primary?
True Belle writes:"Who should be Tory leader if, God forbid, David Cameron fell under a bus"?
George Osborne, the bus driver!
Good luck Iain. If I lived in the constituency I'd vote for you.
Why is this post headed "Why I'd Like to be MP For Bracknell"?
It tells us none of the reasons why you would like to be MP for Bracknell, unless you think that any of the other candidates are natural troughers. But you don't, because you say:
"I think it is a great shortlist, packed with people who have real life experience outside politics. Having met the other six on Friday, I think any one of us would make a great MP for the area."
So tell us why you would like to be MP for Bracknell, and more importantly, because what you would like is not really very important to voters, tell us why the people of Bracknell should make you their Conservative candidate and de facto MP.
Dear Mr.Iain Dale, I wish you all the best and keep us updated like this all the time. I want you to keep blogging forever.
Very best of luck in the Bracknell Primary!
If all else fails, the Central Suffolk list closes on the 12th October.
Hope you have a plan B.... sorry plan C (or is it plan D)??
Promoted by Iain Dale of x on his own behalf, hosted (printed) by Google Inc, of Mountain View, CA, USA.
I am delighted and do hope yopu are successful. thank goodness I do not live in Bracknell as I am a life long labour supporter. Jane
Good luck; Hannan, Carswell, Redwood, Hooey and Field prove you can still be an MP (MEP in Hannans case but should be here) and have valid opinions.
Just a thought: is not the UK HQ of a certain German one-time manufacturer of airplane engines based in Bracknell? Those Horch and DKW etc interlocking rings might be a tad unhelpful.
BrianSJ above makes a valid a point. Aside from the merits of any of the other candidates, it's a particular pity that you're up against Rory Stewart.
Having read both of Stewart's books recently (and written about one of them at rather tedious length on my blog, in the unlikely event that anyone is interested) I can't quite work out whether he'd be a disaster as an MP or, alternatively, world-transformingly amazing and lovely, but, given the dreary state of politics at the moment, the experiment is clearly worth a try.
On the other hand, it's hard to deny that you'd bring a great fund of experience, ability and old-fashioned common sense to a parliamentary party which could dearly use all of the above.
So, good luck, Iain - but for what it's worth, I hope young Prof. Stewart finds a seat, too.
Good luck, Iain! I'm sure you'd make an excellent MP :)
I am a big fan of your and had been hoping for this news for a while. I just wish you hadn't come up against Rory Stewart - a possible PM in waiting.
Good luck Iain. If you can get the seat without resorting to petty Little Englander and intellectually shallow anti-Europeanism then I wish you well. Leave that garbage to UKIP and the BNP. Be Green as well and shelve your regrettable tendancy to decry climate change. Think for yourself!
And if you do get into the arena, with your "face marred by dust and sweat and blood" as Teddy Roosevelt would say, as the glorified social worker for Bracknell, just exactly what do you propose to do for the ungrateful and undeserving? Not that Bracknellistas are any worse than any others, of course, although they were a bit brutal with the last chap.
Have you actually been to Bracknell??
Perhaps the first thing you could do if you do get to stand - and then win - is have its rickety old cricket club rebuilt. Followed by the rest of town. (Only kidding. Bracknell's just peachy really.)
Best of luck, ID. You'd be a stonking MP for any consituency.
Good luck. However, if you win and are elected, will you close the blog?
Good luck Iain
Good luck Iain.
Which are the other 6 with an open primary? (Apart from Skipton and Ripon)
Good luck Iain, you'll be a great asset for Bracknell.
Maybe in a few years time, I'll try to follow you into the HoC...that's if there's room for a gay Tory programmer!
N.B.: Naturally enough, Iain disagrees with my honestly held opinion expressed below, but is, I am sure, big enough to publish my comment/criticism second time around anyway. At least I hope so.
Paddy Briggs: "If you can get the seat without resorting to petty Little Englander and intellectually shallow anti-Europeanism then I wish you well".
But Paddy, Iain is a petty Little Englander, as evidenced by his repeated digs about Scotland and his obsession with promoting an English parliament at every opportunity (even though England is 85% of the Westminster Parliament as it is), even bigging up the Englsh Democrats and their hate-mongering propaganda.
This sort of parochialism is why Iain should stick to blogging and spare us from his legislative abilities.
Alex's question needs an answer, Iain.
Why do you want to be an MP?
And why should anyone vote for you?
It's not because you're a personality, is it?
I see you've got Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum in the constituency. You might have to do visiting surgeries.
Good luck again from me! Really hope you get it, Iain.
Sea Shanty Irish here:
Oscar Wilde would be VERY proud!
Good luck & God bless!!
Sorry Iain, but Rory Stewart would get my vote (in the primary only of course!). Having taken his class at Harvard he is an extraordinary mind and while it would be great to see you both in parliament I'd vote for him just to get him back to the UK.
Good luck. If you become an MP don't be afraid to tell the whips to sod off.
Best of luck Iain. I just hope that it doesn't detract from your blog; it's one of a very few that I read 2 - 3 times a day.
Just to add to the voices on Rory - no offence, but the guy has some experience that Parliament and Government are currently seriously short of. He is also realistic - he doesn't go in for the usual trick of 'I said it, therefore it can and will happen' that's so common among the talking heads.
Would he get on in Parliament and/or Government? Dunno, but absolutely worth a try.
And I know you don't want to hear it, but I wish you'd stay where you are - you'd be wasted as a backbencher and, again no offence, I suspect no good as a minister, because much more than half the battle for ministers is learning how the system works in terms of controlling the civil service, and getting No.10/HMT to get on board with your position. I can't see that you've got the brass neck to be able to do either, but I could be wrong.
Iain. Any thoughts on my question about keeping the blog? Also, have you deleted your integrity pledge?
It will be great for all of us to know a blogging, publishing twitterer who becomes an MP.
The very best of luck Iain.
I wish you the best of luck in this Iain and am glad to see that you appreciate a motivated backbencher can have influence as highlighted by the efforts Douglas Carswell but also the likes of Frank Field who is a model backbench politician.
I can assure everyone that if I win I will carry on blogging!
Alex 12.23, go to iaindale.net.
THe fact remains that anyone who wants to be an MP shouldn't be allowed to be one.
Anon 9:53 (and others) - as to why young Master Dale is standing. I fear you all underestimate the power of this blog in bringing forth the Cameron victory. A promise of some future office or other will have been made to Iain as a reward. He will now be selected for Parliament to ensure the reward goes through.
Next stop - a sinecure on Sky after retiring from the House!
Fantastic, I wish you all the best.
If you win the nomination and need any help during the election campaign, drop me an email.
Good luck and all, but it is a shame that you are going up against Rory Stewart. He is exactly the sort of person we need in politics and it would have been better to keep you two apart.
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