No, not notes on Hustings, but a little song..

Whoever you vote for, may I remind you: (warning: contains some rather choice swearing)

and a little nod towards Soubry’s friend, Alan Duncan (I’m wary of posting this, she’ll probably accuse me of homophobia. Accusations of bigotry are so nasty, are they not?)

A full report on last nights hustings will be here later….t’was a very odd evening.


One Week To Go; Tory Liberal Attack Fail; In Defense Of The BeestonExpress.

A lot to deal with, as , due to unforeseen circumstances I couldn’t write yesterday. I’ve been so wrapped up in the election that I forgot I was recently made unemployed and with rent day looming, I best get a job.  So I attend a highly terrifying interview, and somewhere in the course of the interrogation, I kick my shoe off, absent- minded.

While trotting out prerecorded lines ( ‘My weaknesses? Errr, I’m a perfectionist’ etc) I realise I can’t find my shoe, so send my foot on a exploratory and recovery mission. As I spout corporate crap out my mouth about how teams should be more than sums of parts, my foot prods about, desperately trying to find the rogue brogue. At last, I find something solid, and go to draw it closer, before realising to my absolute abject, gut-sinking, belly-churning horror that I’m stroking the female interviewer’s ankle and calf with my stockinged toes. There is a moment of eye contact, and my voice goes 4 octaves higher, sweat springs from every pore and I go into a cringe that  took six-firemen, three cans of  WD40 and a steel crowbar to prise me out of.

I leave with a speedy and buttock clenching gait with some degree of rapidity, turn my Blackberry on,and ping ping ping, in flow the emails. Neil Davidson first, in response to David Watts. This is juicier than a Opal Fruit mountain:

Dear David,

1. ‘I know it wasn’t us and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been
Labour, so that only leaves one prime candidate.’Applying the ‘What would a man or woman on the Clapham omnibus think?’
test, there can be no doubt that you wanted your readers to believe
that the ‘one prime candidate’, to whom you referred, was Anna Soubry.
The electorate clearly want honesty in their politicians post the
expenses scandal; there is no truth whatsoever that Anna ‘ told a
local paper that they shouldn’t report it’ (Harriet Harman’s visit).
You, not the ‘local paper’, have chosen to put this scurrilous
allegation into the public domain without concern for its accuracy,
because you believe there is political capital to be gained in doing
so. The constituents of Broxtowe deserve better from someone who
wishes to be their MP (and a lay preacher to boot).

2. The Conservative party and our candidate know full well which
Broxtowe planning committee is which. However, most people attending
Sunday’s hustings do not and you made no attempt to draw any
distinction between two different Broxtowe planning committees. This
gave the impression to the audience that our councillors do not
participate in planning decisions, which is simply not the case as you
know full well and demonstrated by the Development Control Committee
attendance records.

In the absence of an apology and public statement in agreed terms, we
will instruct solicitors.

Neil Davidson

Wow, this is getting serious. I tentatively wait to hear if Watts backs down, prints a retraction and apologises. So its a snort of laughter that is induced when I see David’s reply…pithy is not the word.:

Go ahead, waste your money.

An absolute belter. Soubry’s team have deep pockets, financed by Belize-based tax-dodgers and shady far-right London businessmen, but I expect Davidson will not want to dip into them right now. Still, its opened up a new front in the Battle for Broxtowe,and should make tonights hustings an interesting affair. Watts has proved to be a pugnacious character in this battle, belying the Lib Dems stereotype of passive, quiet individuals.

I expected the overwhelming battle this election would be a straight scrap between Soubry and Palmer, but its been heartening to see we’ve also had Watts via Palmer, Watts Via Soubry, and Soubry against EVERYONE, including the local press.

If you haven’t had a gander at this fortnight’s Beeston Express, get your 25p right now and head down the shops. It is naturally devoted to the election, with a heaving letter’s page and a telling little comment from the editor, which starts with an anonymous quote that you dont need a deerstalker and pipe to guess the identity of:

“The Beeston Express, which supposedly prides itself on its impartiality, has let itself be used by the Labour party” These are the words of members of AN Other main party, thrown in front of the Editor of The Beeston Express when we contacted them to see what else has been happening on the political front”

Astonishing, simply astonishing.

If the Beeston Express is a purely Labour mouthpiece, then my name is Glenda and Im Dutch. Yes, it gives Nick Palmer a platform every second issue to write a column, though this is seldom of a party-political nature, more a good way to communicate with his constituents directly. I am sure it would offer Soubry, Watts, Cobb and Mitchell  the same space if she was to become MPs. Not the BNP, as crayon scrawlings are a real time consumer to sub-edit.

It also prints retorts from Chairman of Broxtowe Conservatives, Eric Kerry (or one of his lackeys) on a regular basis. The letters page may seem to have been largely pro-Palmer of late; though this reflects the readership (and local good-standing of the incumbent MP) than the Express becoming a Palmer-Pravda.

When it was thought that debate over on the Broxtowe 2010 blog was showing a left-leaning tilt, it withdrew support to maintain its impartiality: .

So, how are impartial are the national press this election? Not one jot, and the bias and lines of attack have been so depressingly awful that I am astonished the journalists can get through their lives without scrubbing themselves with bleach for five hours each evening.

The Murdoch Press; Sun, NotW, Times; have been particularly awful: Rupert can’t bear backing a loser and must have thought he could maintain this trend by backing Davey Cameron, but alas, as the poll-lead dissolves, it seems to be not going quite to plan. So savage attacks on Brown and Clegg flow from the pages, between the topless stunnahs and adverts for premium rate chat lines, while Davey Cameron is elevated to Messianic levels, photographed in soft-focus staring wistfully into the distance: a dreamy Che Guevra who just  can’t get beyond bum-fluff with the beard.

The Daily Hate Mail has turned from its usual preoccupation with terrifying everyone /cancer/ swan-eating asylum seekers: (this sums it up well:  Dailymailsong ) to some astonishingly nasty, even by their standards, attacks on Clegg. Hes not quite British, seems to be the gist,and on the strength of a well thought-out and argued article he wrote some years ago for the Observer regarding the British attitude to the Second World War, a Nazi sympathizer. This from a paper that regularly stirs up its readership into a quasi-fascistic fury, actively supported Hitlers regime in 1936 and once published a headline proclaiming ‘HURRAH FOR THE BLACKSHIRTS’.

Would Soubry argue against this strident bias that gives the Tories unlimited, unfair support? And where is her argument? Her paranoia that everyone, including myself, is out to get her, is baffling. Is it because The Express publishes pro-Palmer letters? Anna, thats not the editorial. Thats the public. Those people who you seem to hold with some disdain, some detached disgust. When genuine, worried members of the electorate send you email requests asking for policy detail, this is NOT  a concerted, Labour-drive campaign, and to think so smacks of a desperate bunker mentality.


David Watts response,above, must take gold,  but in second place in the pithy-put down stakes this week comes this gem from Nick Palmer, taken from his regular newsletter,regarding a request he received from Soubry’s team to stop his supporters writing to her: “…However, I’m dutifully passing on the request to you. Please stop annoying the Conservatives by asking about their policies”.


Another interesting letter in the Beeston Express is from an Ashley Walsh of Bramcote. He questions Soubry on why she launched her campaign from Dr John Doddy’s GP surgery in  Stapleford, and if to do so went against Cabinet Office guidelines, which strongly advises using NHS premises for electioneering purposes. He has wrote to Soubry regarding this matter, but, quelle surprise, no response.


See you at the Bramcote hustings tonight. In the meantime, I better get to work. Those Big Issues don’t sell themselves, y’know.


Neil Davidson shows his talent for PR and Strategy once more..

I’ve only had brief yet caustic conversation with Mr Davidson, and his Cricket website (see Beestonia passim) , and he made it clear he doesn’t want to talk to me (you),  thus its nice to see he retains his redoubtable  skillz of communication when talking to people who have significantly more influence than those who aren’t worthy of  his  amazing PR talents:

(all further communication is unedited..over to you Mr Davidson/Mr Watts)

Dear David(Watts),

I am Anna Soubry’s Campaign Manager and it is with some disappointment that
we have to write to you. Anna has always considered that personal relations
between her and yourself have been generally good, despite obvious political
differences. However, we have to take issue with the contents of your recent
email newsletter dated 26th April, in particular the following:

> ‘ 7. Visit of Harriet Harman

> Labour have had a visit from the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party,
> Harriet Harman. I wouldn’t normally mention this except that another
> party has told a local paper that they shouldn’t report it. The paper
> (quite
> properly) won’t
> tell us who objected, but I know it wasn’t us and I’m pretty sure it
> wouldn’t have been Labour, so that only leaves one prime candidate.
> II think
> that this behaviour is appalling. The free press are a really
> important part of the UK, and a safeguard for our democracy, and no
> political party should ever try and restrict that.’

There is no truth in these assertions and you will recall the support Anna
gave to you both privately and publicly when you were wrongly accused
(arguably libeled) by Nick Palmer.

The above comments, unfortunately fall into the same category. We have no
desire to instruct solicitors but will not hesitate to do so unless the
record is put straight publicly in agreed terms and an apology is received
for the damage done to Anna’s reputation, notably the assertion that Anna
has been in some way involved in trying to restrict the freedom of a
newspaper and elsewhere, that she is somehow paranoid.

In addition, at the hustings on Sunday, you said quite forcibly that the
Tories did not attend Broxtowe planning meetings. Find attached
the attendance figures for the Broxtowe Development Control group
which are a matter of public record, which demonstrate that you were totally
misleading in your assertion. We would ask you to also correct this
statement publicly.

Best wishes,

Neil Davidson.
Dear Neil

Thank you for your email but please do not be so silly. I have not named
Anna, you or the Conservative party in any way in my email. In fact I made
it abundantly clear that I did not know who had complained and therefore you
will know fully that this is not libellous. Given that the Tory party very
clearly libelled my colleague Ken Rigby in the run up to last years County
Council elections, which you failed to apologise for or put right in any way
whatsoever, it grates a bit to hear you cry wolf now. I have reported what I
was told, fairly and accurately. I would have thought you would applaud
this. Isn’t it the job of an MP to keep constituents informed as to what is
going on in their constituency?

With regard to the second issue you raise, I never mentioned the Development
Control Committee. If the Tory Party and their candidate really do not know
which committee even deals with the core strategy on Broxtowe Borough
Council then you are hardly equipped to represent the people of Broxtowe. It
may though explain why your members consistently fail to attend.

Yours sincerely

David Watts

Smell of desperation? Theres more, and its here, on Beestonia, after I have had a good nights sleep…

Knives Out? Duncan Dares; and the Most Conflicted Shop Window in the East Midlands

Very interesting comment from Davis Watts I thought I ought to flag up:

“As Steve mentioned I’m getting about 100 emails a day from people. Anna may be getting more than this but to say that there is a plot against her is crazy. I’ve heard a few reports locally about Broxtowe Tories infighting as they realise that their vote is dropping like a stone. Anna better watch out, the knives will be out for her. “

Still,she has some support:


Think Broxtowe is conflicted: then check this out, as seen on a recent visit to Loughborough:

The local Conservative Club there is apparently now a Revolution pub these days….theres a joke in there somewhere…


A few little nuggets: Why pubs are GREAT; Lots of oddness, University Community Day.

Thursday night, and I decide to hit the pub for my customary half a bitter shandy weekly treat, yet here, there is no escape from the Battle of Broxtowe.

To quote The Pixies: ‘Politics goes so well with beer’,  and talk invariably turns to the campaign. Friends who  were previously apolitical have been inspired to take an interest, and round the table I ascertain I’m with two labour supporters, two tories, one lib dem, one green, one UKIP and four undecided. Between answering pub quiz questions we argued, debated, and it dawned on me that this is the true fertile ground for politics. This is where the election is fought, in pubs, in coffee shops, anywhere people gather.

This seems lost on Soubry, who attacked ‘man-in-the-pub’ politics at a recent hustings. This might sound like the bitter rantings of a man snubbed by her refusal to engage via Beestonia (and her remark that I was ‘sexist’, which was a rather bizarre accusation, silly girl), but I am amazed that her campaign is failing so badly. Mitchell, Watts and Palmer have all commented here, have engaged in debate, yet she finds it below her. This seems indicative of her attitude towards the electorate in Broxtowe, she isn’t able to get her campaign over to them. It can’t be easy, a few months ago it seemed like she could just sit and wait for May 6th, strolling into power riding on the national popularity of the tories and Ashcroft’s lucre, but now she seems to have a real battle to depose Palmer.

A previous comment on this blog tells how Soubry didn’t reply to a constituent’s email, instead sending a out-of-office. This isn’t an isolated incident. A local businessman I was chatting to last night, wrote to Anna several weeks ago, asking her position on certain areas of policy that would decide who gets his vote. He even headed it ‘potential conservative voter’, yet it still remains unreplied. I should be flattered her rebuke to myself took just 7 hours to recieve: I sent it as 2am, her response arrived just before 9am.

The invite still exists Anna, anything you send will be faithfully posted up here unedited. The offer is also extended to the other candidates, even Mick Shore, the former Ku Klux Klan organizer and arse-faced tosswad from the BNP. He’ll probably accuse me of misandry (look it up) for that description…


A strange email this morning from someone purporting to be Soubry’s Campaign Manager, asking for details of Beestonia’s readership: how many people read this. I replied, and now wonder, if it was a genuine query, why? Any ideas out there?


This afternoon I did  what I do most days, and went into Beeston for coffee. Strolling in for my caffeine fix, I was rather shocked to see Soubry sitting inside. I thought better of saying hello. Possibly the least comfortable coffee EVER.

Later, a fellow caffeine addict told me she had just seen her in the bookies. Could this be linked to the revelation on the broxtowe2010 website that Ladbrokes are offering 3/1 on a Labour hold in Broxtowe? Was she hedging her bets with a flutter on Dr Palmer?


Politics aside. Tomorrow the Uni Campus is opened up to the public for an open community day, more info here Come along, its forecast a great sunny day, so you can grab an ice-cream and potter round Highfields afterwards.

Palmer responds, Soubry snubs, I need the pub.

Beestonia, once the home for the glib wittering of a baffled resident trying to make sense of the weirdness of his hometown, now seems to have metamorphosed into  a platform for the election battle. This is akin to staging the World Cup Final on my back lawn. Still, people are reading, commenting, sparring, so democracy is alive and well. My ex-landlord, Nigel, recently wrote to me to say ‘It’s a sign of a shift in power from the monied to the articulate. All thanks to the wonder web.’ Cheers, though I think the ‘articulate’ reference is a bit stretched.

So here goes. We left off last time with Watt’s rebuttal of figures, and my keenness to  involve Soubry into the campaign.  I thus wrote to both Nick and Anna, asking them to contribute further. Soubry hasn’t commented here before, so I was very keen to give her a platform.

First, Nick Palmer  replies to David Watts:

Hi Matt,Sorry to hear about your tumble – hope no lasting effects!A response to the response (are you going to keep this up?):

I’m a bit puzzled by David Watts’ response. I’m a mathematician but one doesn’t have to be to see that the 13% swing claim is wrong, and I don’t care if it’s on God’s website. The figures last time:

David: 16%
Me: 42%
Conservatives: 37%

Let’s assume David somehow gets the 13% swing he mentions. The result is then:

David: 29%
Me: 29%
Conservatives: 37%

So the Tories would win by a mile. He needs to take more than half my vote in one fell swoop, and a casual glance at the posters around the constituency shows that simply isn’t happening. What he CAN do is build up the LibDem position for the local elections next year, and that’s what their campaign is really about – but the price would be a Tory win.

By contrast, I don’t need a net swing at all to hold off the Tories, who seem to be making no progress. I just have to persuade enough new supporters to balance losses to any voters who fall for David’s spiel.

If people want to support David because they like his campaign, fine. But he’s basing his appeal on the claim that he’s poised to win – even, according to his website, that he’s the only candidate who can beat the Tories – when clearly this isn’t the case.

Best wishes


over to Mr Watts.


Soubry: Not Happy.

Last night, I wrote to Anna. My email is published here verbatim:

Hi Anna,

My name is Matt, and I run the Beestonia Blog, which I’ve presently turned over towards a dedicated report on the tight Broxtowe campaign.

I am presently experiencing high, cross party readership, and am providing a platform for parties to argue points outside the usual hustings environment. At the moment, an argument is raging between Palmer and Watts over their position on tactical voting, and as the favourite to take the seat, I invite a right of reply.

I admit that my position on your performances of late may be harsh, but this is less partisan (I myself am undecided, as are most my friends) more a constructive critique and observation. I feel therefore that would be a boon to your campaign to engage on this level. I have been cynical of the ‘bloggerati’s’ influence on such things, and have stumbled upon hosting such a discussion via my site almost by accident. Nick Palmer has been aware of the site for some time, less through a political stance, more an appreciation of previous,decidedly apolitical articles.

I will post all responses unedited, with only a level of personal commentary (see the site for more detail).

Its a fascinating battle, and a microcosm for the country as a whole, so I would be delighted for some response along the lines provided by Messrs Watts and Palmer. I understand you must be phenomenally busy at this time, but feel this is an effective way to engage an audience beyond usual campaign techniques.

I can be contacted via reply of email ,or on 07************


Matt Goold, Beestonia.


A reply arrives the following morning. I am not going to comment whatsoever, I think it speaks for itself. As promised, it is published verbatim, unedited. Let me know what you think. I’m off to the pub, things are getting too weird, and I now evidently have an image to uphold.

Dear Mr Goold,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry but having read the Beestonia
Blog I would rather not contribute. I have no difficulty with attacks
on my political beliefs, though prefer them to be based on accuracy
rather than prejudice, but I believe some of your comments are
personally offensive and do nothing to engage people in politics.

If you had introduced yourself I might have been happier to have my
photograph taken on your mobile phone; I’m not sure why you didn’t say
hello and ask if you could post it on your blog. I certainly did not
run away as you reported, though it would have been reasonable in the

I have read a number of your comments about other women; I wouldn’t go
as far as to agree with one of your friends that there is a hint of
misogyny but you do display a considerable amount of sexism.

No doubt you will post this on your blog and if you do I very much
hope you do not edit it in anyway.

Thank you again for your email.

Anna Soubry.


Tactical votes? The Lib Dem response.

My last post on the College House Hustings included an email I received from Nick Palmer stating that a vote for David Watts and the Lib Dems was, de facto, a vote for Soubry and the Conservatives. I published it verbatim, yet gave a right of reply. I may not come across as the most balanced commentator on such affairs, but Im also a man who hates a skewed fight. I had a brief stint at the BBC where every move during the 2001 election had to be carefully weighted for bias, of which I shall address later. It is stifling, and impossible to write under when your blog is a personal viewpoint.

I am also massively intrigued in how the centre has  risen through exposure, and if this macro phenomenon can be translated to a micro, constituency level. I hand you over to David Watts:

Hi MattThanks for giving me the right to reply to Nick. I think that everyone who heard his assertion last night that my vote will go down compared to last time will treat any figures from Nick with a pretty large pinch of salt. The BBC web site confirms that we need a 13% swing to win the seat. We achieved a 9% swing in the county council elections last year and we have been picking up votes from both parties throughout this campaign. When I got home from the debate last night there was an email waiting for me from a Conservative Party member in Broxtowe who had just resigned his membership as he felt that Vince Cable was the only hope for the UK.

Nick Palmer seems to have picked the 6% figure he suggests out of the air. He’ll know that this is less than the swing we achieved at the County Council elections, and I’m sure that his canvassing tells him what ours tells us, the Lib-Dem vote is growing all the time. As a rule of thumb, the more Labour tell people we can’t win here the more they are afraid that we will win.

What has surprised me in this election is how weak the Tory vote is. Whether it’s Cameron or Anna, someone doesn’t seem to be doing it for the people of Broxtowe, and I think that this election may well be a fight between Nick and I.



I received this email during  a visit to the pub with my housemate, and we were both intrigued with a couple of points. I wont assume the role of a psephologist in an analysis of the figures, you have your own  calculators to do that, but more the  last paragraph.

What has surprised me in this election is how weak the Tory vote is. Whether it’s Cameron or Anna, someone doesn’t seem to be doing it for the people of Broxtowe, and I think that this election may well be a fight between Nick and I.

I doubt six months ago I was alone in thinking the fight would be between Soubry’s heavily financed campaign and Palmer’s earned popularity as an effective, focused  incumbent representative, and would have not imagined a two party battle between the Lib Dems and Labour as Watts suggests. I’m going to leave the pros and cons of Palmer v Watts for you to decide with the evidence provided, and instead address the lacklustre performance of Soubry.

I have been accused of a leftish bias in my blog by other commentators,and a half-joking accusation of possessing a misogynistic streak by a certain very close friend. Reading back on my notes of Soubry, I understand this, but also opine the bast form of criticism is constructive. I would love to see clear blue water between her and Palmer, but she has been uncharismatic, shoddy on policy and, ironic for someone with a media background, lacking any killer blows. If someone should know how to form a watertight soundbite, that someone should be someone who once trotted them out on a daily basis.

I hate to think shes given in, so  am more inclined  to imagine her antipathy is strategically affected:let Palmer and Watts divide, and stroll in effectively unopposed.

I invite Anna to a right of reply: state your feelings now or further hold your breath. If she does,I shall publish verbatim, if not, I shall shrug my shoulders and witness a cynical attitude, out of tune with Broxtowe’s tradition of positive, constituency-based representation. I will duly write to Anna.

I’m of to bed. My haircut trauma will be resolved by my next post, as today I misjudged the amount of lighter fluid needed in a brazier, and burnt off my fringe, lashes and brows.  Tarah, the marginally less-hirsute Lord Beestonia.

Round Two: Three-way Bout?

You may have noticed an eruption of bad analogies of late, as Iceland unleashed a belch of filth over Europe unsurpassed since Bjork’s third album, and Nick Clegg went from Mr ‘Who Hell he?’ to a man more popular than Jesus, even if Jesus was promising every one on Earth a Crunchie Ice Cream and eternal Battenburg. The comment writers had a field day with the simultaneous phenomena, excruciatingly predictable. Yes, while we waited for the wind to change, a wind of change blew across the country. Thats one of the least offensive. If it wasn’t for the glorious fact Chris Moyles was stuck in the US and Status Quo in Russia, I would have blew my…ahhh, no, I can’t do it.

So Tuesday, and I’m off to College House (famous alumni: Richard Beckinsale; my dad) to see how the weird polls would influence the debate. Would Watts be courted by Palmer and Soubry, or attacked? Would Watts revel in his role not as kingmaker, but potential king?

I arrive, and my entrance is announced with great gusto by David Patrick, the Husting’s organizer. ‘Ah Beestonia, welcome, and well done for telling these people that it began at 7pm”. About twenty people are already sitting there, a good half hour before the start, due to my inability to cut and paste the right time. Apologies if that was you. It was cold out anyway, you were best in, safely warm.

The Beeston Express's Sheila Eaton and's David Patrick, organizers par excellence.

I meet my friend Dave B, a staunch Labour voter who should have been in Spain, but instead abandoned his plans when he heard about the event. And nothing to do with the flight ban,oh no. ‘Been swept up in the yellow wave?’ I ask. He snorts ‘It will be a cold day in hell..’ Dave B is not a swing voter.

The format differs from the Evening Post  event,with questions being solicited from the floor, with Notingham Uni’s Prof. Stephen Diacon chairing. 150+ Beestonians turned up, a good mix of demographic rather than the usual profusion of grey that tend to dominate these events. This is by no means an ageist observation, its just good to get  a seemingly  increasingly disinterested youth engaged   . The Beeston Express’s Sheila Eden lay down the ground rules, and we were off.

A starry David Mitchell.

The BNP again were absent, and I later discovered the mystery seventh candidate had withdrew from the race altogether. So the same line-up sat before us, nervously sipping water and adjusting the microphones.

The candidates were asked to give a brief opening statement, and Chris Cobb trotted out the UKIP agenda; David Mitchell (Green) looked slightly less nervous than last time but still far too agreeable to look like a politician; Nick Palmer (incumbent, Labour) flagged up his progressive credentials and his record of integrity;Lib Dem David Watts stressed his local roots and warned against getting carried away on the strength of a few good polls (though his smile seemed to suggest otherwise); and then Anna Soubry (Conservative) did a couple of interesting things…

First, she asked how many people  were still undecided. Ten people rose their hands. I mentioned in my last Husting’s report that such events are normally attended by party faithfuls. But I think there is a natural reluctance with the British  to state their political preferences in public, its akin to that awful faux pas of letting slip how much you earn, and even expressing an open mind is seen as faintly embarrassing. So I imagine there were more less brazen souls, but still, Anna made a valid point.

She then appealed to these swing voters to see through the myths that they might believe are true about her and her party, and not to be influenced in ‘gossipy, man-in-the-pub websites’ . My companion Dave claims I squeaked with glee at this. That one sentence possibly validated Beestonias existence more than any other. Of course, I might just be experiencing high levels of hubris, but if she wasn’t talking to me, to steal from Travis Bickle, ‘well I don’t see anyone else round here’.

Again, I will only skirt briefly over policy, and not only cos my notes smudged quite badly and resemble a dirty-protester’s prison diary. There were interesting snippets however. The subject of PR over first-past-the-vote was raised, Palmer touting the ‘Alternative Preference’ idea over out-right PR, and threatened to resign the party whip should Labour renege on promises of electoral reform. Soubry bizarrely claimed she was against reform as ‘a referendum would be too expensive’, yet was all for Trident in a further question.

Climate change, pensions, NICE and the decline of a manufacturing base were all raised, and there was little clear ground between the parties. David Mitchell was still pleasantly agreeable, but failed to take the high ground on the issues that he really could claim high moral ground: sadly for the Greens, so much of their agenda has been co-opted by the major parties there undoubted radical agenda gets ignored. Mitchell is a lovely man by all accounts, but his quiet demeanour and his inability to throw out a concise sound-bite means that he is not made of the stuff politicians need to be made of. I hope if he reads this, he’ll recognize thats a compliment.

Chris Cobb was infuriatingly liberal for a UKIP member, and I once again found little disagreeable about him , outside his party allegiance. I really wanted a Kilroy-Silk to shout against, but aside from planting the uneasy image that he was ‘comfortable in bed with Trident’,  he could on occasion have been standing for anyone. Please, Chris, next hustings, for my sake, and to stop this blog becoming a love-fest next hustings,please use the F-word judiciously, and blame foreigners for something. Farage slagged off a whole country, show some form please. Ok, just one ‘Its political correctness gone MADDDDDD’?

Great thing about holding hustingsin school halls is when it gets dull, you have decent art to look at it. Somewhere in the pension's discussion, I admired these fish. Beestonian kids can outpaint Damian Hirst,

Watts was not quite triumphant, and aware that such is the bizarre  nature of the politics right now polls will be up and down like a whore’s drawers, but  still put in a bombastic performance. He is undoubtedly a gifted speaker, and comes pre-armed with facts to fight on both left and right flanks, and does so well. I don’t know how effective he is being in keeping the Lib Dem vote from slipping towards a tactical Labour vote, but he isn’t going down with a fight. Thursday’s TV debate should do him no harm, foreign policy being a strong front for the centre party to rally on, their opposition to Iraq elevating them morally above the  support of both Soubry and Palmer’s parties.

Soubry had toned down her hectoring style that was on display at Roundhill, yet still lacked the necessary charisma. Just months ago, I really expected her to take the seat with ease, now shes looking a bit panicky, and unsure where to go next. Nothing policy-wise lit up the room, and one response, on her unequivocal support for Trident, elicited actual hisses from some quarters of the crowd. Can she do it? Like Cameron on a nationwide scale, she is appearing to be a busted flush, peaking too early and now scrabbling to keep what lead they have as initially star-struck voters drift away.

Plus, I’m now officially scared she’ll banish me if she gets in. If  I’m living in Clifton come mid-May, I can only blame myself. Hell hath no fury…

Palmer was strong on policy, and able to pick fault in others with a clinical touch, and pleasing self-effacing at times. Campaigning in Chilwell, he realised he had green credentials when a  youth asked him  ‘Why have you got such a rubbish car?’. His final appeal was the same tact as the last hustings: stating that Soubry is a shoe-in come May 7th should people not realise that this is a two party race.

Im no psephologist, you’ll be shocked to hear,  but I recieved an interesting email from Nick Palmer this morning that seems to suggest a Lib Dem victory could be pie-in-the-sky. I’m printing it in full, not through any allegiance, but as it explains things with numbers, those weird things that look like words but are too baffling for a simple child like myself. I am however offering to print a full right of reply from David Watts, as soon as received.I know this issue is forming one of the central themes  of  the debate, and Mr Watts will not want to let this go unanswered.  If Soubry, Cobb and Mitchell also want to weigh in, they also are guaranteed space here. Oh, and if Mick Shore, the invisible BNP candidate fancies getting his tuppence in too, I await the scrawled crayon missive tentatively. Please refrain from wrapping it around a brick next time, I have a perfectly (fireproof) letterbox.

I quote: Hi Matt!Just a quick note re the tactical voting position. The LibDems are saying that they only need a 13% swing to win here, but assuming tha tthe Tory vote doesn’t actually go down the LibDems need a mind-boggling 24% swing – in other words, they need to persuade more than one in two of my voters to switch to them. That ereally isn’t going to happen. By contrast, I don’t need a swing at all – I just need to avoid losing 4.7% of my vote (assuming the Tory vote doesn’t go up).

The most likely way that this will happen is if the LibDems persuade people that it’s a three-horse race and take, say, 6% of my vote – then the result will be Con 37 Lab 36 LibDem 22. We’ve been here before – that sort of result was common before 1997 and it’s the reason the seat was always Tory in the past.

Best regards, Nick.

I know you might all be too busy campaigning to wade into a fight on a man-in-the-pub blog (chance would be a fine thing, Im resigned to park-bench cider drinking until further economical upturn) but I’m sure it’ll be an interesting forum to debate on.   Im available via  (matt beestonia), or email: . Go on, make my Blackberry ping.

Beestonia, later today.


A little note…walking back from the debate last night, I strolled by the Hop Pole Inn, and saw Nick Palmer having a post-punch up drink in the front bar. ‘Excellent’ I thought ‘This could make a cracking photo’ and I was just about to turn and hit the bar when I went arse over tit, falling in a heap and doing something evil to my ankle. For no discernible reason, I was sober, laces were tightly secured, the pavement even… but I vowed to abandon any side-line in paparazzi shots, its a cursed business.


Again very nice last night to meet people who read this gubbins,thank you for saying hello, even though my crippling shyness renders me a gabbling wreck.


With the election presently taking up all my brainspace, a limited area at the best of times,  I have neglected a few other things that need a mention round Beeston.  So, until I get round to writing more thoroughly on them, a little round up

  • Theres a very interesting event cracking off on the campus this weekend,  which you, yes YOU are invited too: . I’ve been asked to blog live from the event, so shall be doing so from around 11am, Saturday. The campus  is a beautiful place this time of year, and there will be some fascinating things to see: if you don’t see an IQ boost of 20 points by the end of the day I shall personally reimburse your admission fee. Entry is free.
  • The Crown is the BEST PUB IN THE WORLD-OFFICIAL!! Well, if you consider Britain is the best palace for pubs-and you do, unless under a Section 4; and Notts is the best place for pubs on this tipsy archipelago (a slightly more spurious claim, but I reckon it might be true), then the Crown, Beeston’s Oldest boozer, has been voted the best in the county by CAMRA. Those blokes with gin-blossomed cheeks and furry beards know their stuff, cos its my local. Third was the Vic. Also in Beeston.  Beestonia: Booze heaven.
  • I am One! Sometime over the weekend this blog hit its first anniversary, I was so busy with the election and discovering the delights of the sublime sitcom Summer Heights High I forgot all about it. I never expected it to last more than a few posts, and definitely didn’t think it would be read by anyone. But, several gallons of wine, three laptops, and weeks of lost sleep later, I now enter my second year.

I’m off to celebrate. Feel free to buy me a pint/call me an ambulance.

The Curse of Beestonia hits Election 2010.

The Election grinds ever closer, so I decide to take a break and hit the Peaks to cast all thoughts of polls, hustings, campaigns and suchlike from my head. Surely a weekend in the depths of the Pennines will give my buzzing brain a break, the only policies running through my head involve how much alcohol I’m allowed before attempting to climb Mam Tor/Kinder Scout.

Yet there is no escape. Driving through rural Derbyshire should be an experience that exhilarates in its bucolic majesty, but there is no respite. Remote fields are scattered with huge red, blue and yellow signs imploring you to cast votes for the local candidates, drawing the eye from the dizzying gritstone-edges, the gambolling lambs, the spring-blossoming hedgerows. Rather than marveling at the aesthetic spendour, im fervantly checking swings in the constituencies to check their swing-value .

Naturally, being in the countryside, the profusion of blue is predominant, possibly due to the countryside’s tendency to vote to the right, possibly testament to Ashcroft’s largesse.

There is no escape halfway up a hill, either. Climbing up the lung-straining path to Peveril Castle, I get emails telling me results of polling on Peveril Road. Staring over the stunning vista of Surprise View, I am checking my Blackberry to hear surprise news on latest opinion polls. I now know, even if I was to crush my phone beneath the wheels of a quarry truck, blind my eyes with red-hot biros, i’m in this deep for the duration, liberation only available on May 7th.  My apologies.

Now back in my Marlborough Road palace, I’ll lance the swollen boil of thoughts i’ve had since I last stuck owt down here.

First off, the legendary Curse of Beestonia has struck again. Regular readers will both know that whenever I state one thing here as an evident, unarguable truth, the opposite happens.   So when I claim that crime in Beestonia is overstated by scare-mongers, I catch a burglar in my bedroom mere days later. I write about how death/funerals can be quite funny, a lovely uncle dies two days later. I write how Humber Road chippy is the second best restaurant in the world after El Buli, El Bulli closes the very next day. You get the picture, and may also argue that I should be blogging therefore about the fact I HAVE NEVER WON THE NATIONAL LOTTERY or SUZI DENT OFF COUNTDOWN HAS NEVER ASKED ME IF SHE COULD POP ROUND ON AN AFTERNOON  FOR A CUP OF TEA, but no, I shall explain further.

I wrote up the hustings event at Roundhill (see last post:) as a two-horse race, Soubry vs Palmer. Next day, I wake up and find that the Lib Dems are surging in the polls, to the extent that when the stats are applied to this rather brilliant BBC  tool: ,and taking in account Broxtowe’s idiosyncrasy right now (a popular incumbent, a popular third party challenger, an unconvincing supposed tory shoe-in), I truly believe that we really do have a three-horse race now. This might be of particular worry to Dr Palmer, as expected tactical-voters may not go his way, but I would not like to be Soubry right now, as the anti-labour vote leak into the middle. If any constituency is a microcosm of the national mood, Broxtowe is it.

I must state that I’ve been given  a mention from Watts in his later newsletter. I’m a sucker for praise; god knows how many finger-blisters, ruined relationships and damage to my kidneys  I’ve suffered to keep this blog afloat, any validation is welcome; but Palmer has also dropped my name to great effect also. You’re probably here through one or the other. Anna, if you’re reading this, please feel free to galvanize the Soubry support base with a plug. I wont be holding my breath.

A poll on the excellent has the rather stunning statistic that David Watts will landlslide for the Lib Dems with  a 62% share, followed by Dr Palmer’s 28% and Soubry’s 4%,but to get all Jon Snow on you, these results are in no way science, possibly more indicative of Watt’s mention of the poll to his supporters. If aweek is a long time in politics, 18 days is an eon. Still, interesting times…

Another party has beat the deadline to join the race, though Im vague on who. The BBC are still reporting its a six-party battle, but I gather its a Christian based party, thus most likely to be the Christian Peoples’ Alliance. Who are they? Well, there name is a giveaway I suppose, but I must state  it isn’t official yet. If it is, here is what I know of them: they are nominally left wing in certain aspects, recognizing the socialist views of the biblical Christ, but small ‘c’ in every other way, opposing contraception and abortion, supporting tax breaks towards the married….

They will only stand to raise their profile, and seep off Tory votes. Im still uneasy. Seperation of Church and State is important, go to a dedicated secular country such as Turkey and you will see how we should not take what we have for granted. There, any government struggles to impose Islamic value on policy is stymied through a intuitive military, who will depose any leader who uses his platform to assume a Theocracy.  I can’t see a hole in the argument ‘Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Religion’. Still, democracy is democracy, so i’ll move on.

The BNP need a mention before I go and get a long, radox-sponsored bath to ease my troubled thighs. You will be aware they are standing a candidate, on the grounds he will appear on telly for three minutes in the early hours of May 7th, and look defiant and proud despite the result suggesting that 98.2% people think hes a twat.

I had a look earlier at some of his personal views. This involves having to visit BNP sites,  which Im not going to link to for obvious reasons. His central thrust seems to be not flagging up his own party’s policy of bigotry, hate and exploitation but claims he is ‘an alternative to the failed policies of the present three-party system’. Not to be churlish,but surely his party and its policies rather showed conclusive they were failed when Musolini swung from a lamppost and Adolf topped himself  in a Berlin Bunker back in 1945.

The battle keeps raging. Don’t go changin’ y’all.

Ding! Round One.

History, we were told, was in the making last night, as in front of a huge audience, those who were wanting your vote appealed directly.  Yes, Roundhill staged the first proper Beeston Hustings. *rimshot*

I doffed my best shirt and cherry-blossomed  my best brogues, and set out. Outside, anti-BNP campaigners were busy giving out leaflets (the BNP cried off, the thought of returning to a school too painful for them). Despite donning my best Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall disguise (anyone offering free haircuts, please pop round. Bring shears) I was recognized at the door by one ofthe campaigners. Basking in fame, I then realised it was because one new years eve,at a party that went so awry I didn’t drink for a year after, I borrowed a book off him. Even more bizarrely, the author of the book was with him. I’ll drop it back soon, honest. And in the meantime, a plug for a very worthy cause to stop nazi politics creeping into the debate:

Soubry arrived just on time, looking flustered. As mentioned previously, the BNP didn’t show, so we had five faces staring imploringly out at us. I instantly regretted sitting directly in Soubry’s eyeline, lest she had read Beestonia passim and my observations on herself and the Tories. I put my head down,and earnestly took notes.

Anna Soubry addressing the audience.

Questions were asked from the audience, yet this had a contrivance about it: the questions were selected from a pile submitted on paper from the audience, rather than on a spontaneous basis. Pragmatically, I can understand this; the main issues: the economy, the tram, housing etc needed to be addressed in a relatively short time scale as the hall was booked for just ninety minutes, but it took away any real hope of interaction with the audience.

I wont dissect each subject, my expertise in analysing policy promises is akin to a jellyfish’s expertise at hopscotch, but rather a few choice cuts. Most surprising was Dr Palmer’s admission that he was wrong to vote for the invasion of Iraq, possibly the first contrite statement a Labour MP has made on this issue. This elicited a wonderful response from the Lib Dem, David Watts, who after thanking Palmer on his bravery in saying sorry, pointed out that his was the only party to vote against ‘Charles Kennedy was drunk at the time, and he still got it right’.

On economic recovery, Palmer compared the tories plans as similar to a pet gerbil he once had, running around in no intelligent direction. Despite his sober appearance, Palmer has a gift for the deliciously absurd put-down. This incensed Soubry, who thought this analogy was trivialising the debate. Unfortunately,she rather misjudged the mood and appeared to lose her temper, then compounded matters by praising Ken Clarke and describing him as ‘the best Chancellor ever’. The boos suggested that the fat tobacco baron of Rushcliffe might not be quite the hero she imagined.

The Tram inevitably got a mention, all for it, though the route was disputed. The most interesting comment came from David Mitchell, for the Green Party, who argued that the debate was answering the wrong questions, and while the tram was fundamentally a good idea, cheaper, greener alternatives had been left out of the debate.

Most other issues were just trotting out the party manifesto line, so I decided to examine each candidate on other criteria.

The best debater, with a strong voice, passionate intonation and a sly sense of humour was David Watts. I’ve never seen him ‘live’ before, but he has been an effective and committed counciller for some time now, and he is an asset to Beeston. He was fighting a losing battle to convince the audience that Broxtowe is a two horse race though, yet he was also aware that his popularity meant both Soubry and Palmer were desperate to align with him, to draw the tactical voters to there camp. To paraphrase the god-like Ray Davis ‘I bet they wish they could be with David Watts’. I’m sorry, I can’t help it..

David Watts,he seemed busy so I took this from a distance. Also was slightly worried about making involuntary Kinks references. n

Chris Cobb, for UKIP, was fairly marginal on issues, despite the usual bombastic attack on all things EU in his opening speech, he failed to live up to the little-england stereotype I expected. Quiet, agreeable, and I cringe as I write this: likeable, I was almost willing him to make a Farage/Kilroy-esque rant about the evils of foreigners. But he kept a mild demeanor throughout, and was excessively polite when I later asked for a photo. This is the opposite of meeting a hero only to find they are arseholes; I almost felt guilty of past descriptions of him. I still despise that odious git Farage though, who looks to me like the type of man who would pay to be peed on. Hey, he was appalingly rude to Van Rompuy in the EU Chamber, so its open season.

Chris Cobb, nice man,nasty party.

David Mitchell, no, not that one, was the best dressed, and most pleasantly mannered, though the latter is not always a boon in politics. He struggled to get any real point across, yet was refreshingly honest on his reasons for standing: to show Broxtowe an alternative, and build on that. Maybe when the ensuing Enviro-geddon floods the Rylands and makes the Victoria a pleasing Marina Bar; cometh that hour, cometh that man. Sadly, right now, we can reverse the Tories ‘vote blue, get green’ with Mitchell: vote green, get blue.

The debonair Al Gore of Beestonia, David 'no, not that one' Mitchell

Before I attended the hustings, I wrote a few notes here (see previous post) about how Anna Soubry would try and portray herself. Man,she needs a new PR person, Ashcroft must dig a bit deeper. She appeared to have a touch of a sore throat, understandable with the amount of public speaking necessary right now (though as a former news anchor, a familiar problem). She arrived late, flustered, and decided to pitch herself on the Torie’s ‘Change’ agenda (If Davey Cameron is our Obama, we should seriously just have a revolution right now. Im serious. And some LSD in the water system to kick-start our obviously turgid imaginations). She stressed her green credentials heavily, and her Notts roots, yet it missed the mark.

Anna Soubry, who when I went to take this, said 'Oh God, do I have to?' and ran off, hence the quality..

The parallels I mentioned earlier with Thatcher are hard to escape from. Her voice was reminiscent on Grantham’s most infamous, as was her  rather hectoring style of oration. There also lacked any humour, aside from a quick mug when the compere described her as on ‘the far-right’ (seating wise, though maybe he knew something we didn’t). Her admiration of Clarke and her praise of the Tories pre-Blair legacy painted her as an unreconstructed old Tory, an image Cameron has spent a fortune trying to paint over. At one point, she reacted to a heckle badly, and looking at my notes I seem to have written 7.48: Crowd heckling,shouting, punch up imminent. Check exits. Yet no Simpson’s Town hall brawl kicked off, though it put Soubry on the back-foot, and she didn’t recover.

Nick Palmer, Broxtowe’s incumbent MP, was comfortable and was, after Watts, a winner. He doesn’t look the type to get into a scrap, but when he does, he relishes it. He won points from the audience for his aforementioned Iraq apology, and didn’t give Soubry much room to draw blood. It could be said that he was on home turf: hustings very rarely attract swing voters, rather party faithful, and Beeston has a more leftish inclination than other parts of the constituency,so he did have an advantage. Its also hard to get in attacks on his character when he, at least in comparison with other MPs, is quite spotless. Soubry failed to get a good punch in, leaving Watts to inflict damage where he could. Its quite a sight to see, as was reflected in the later national debate, the Lib Dems holding a position of power and knowing that either side is terrified of attacking them. Palmer concluded by acknowledging this, urging the Lib Dem faithful to join against Soubry. How convincingly, we will find out soon.

At last, we meet...'Whats it like not being an MP?' 'Liberating...'

The meeting broke up, and I discovered I was  sitting two seats away from the creator of Broxtowe2010, which gives me a good opportunity to give his site a plug: . He is organising the next hustings on Tuesday at College House, full details are available off his site. Very nice guy, and I swear he offered to buy me a pint next week. Should prove to be an unfettered, more pugilistic affair. The hustings, not the pint. Though I have been on the wagon for a week, so who knows…

The Evening Post wrote a fairly paltry write-up of the debate, yet did photograph the back of my head for the illustrative photo. I so need a haircut. I’m not joking, anyone willing to do it today, for free, will receive a 2,000 word hagiography right here. And some anecdotes about my holidays.


Cheers to the people who said hello and have discovered the Joys of Beestonia, feel free to have a look around, theres an archive widget and a search engine now, so have a gander. Subscribe too, it’ll cost you nowt and you’ll get freshly laid Beestonia in your inboxes straight after I’ve laid them, which is quite a worrying analogy…


Little follow-up: The Bohemian Boozehound of Beestonia, who I wrote about last month, has been in contact and far from threatening me with a knee-capping for my indiscretions has instead arranged to meet me for a pint/pints/three-day-bender. I am considering selling tickets, will be a startlingly exciting affair.


A friend of mine has had to cancel his stag-night in Amsterdam because of the ash-cloud. First the banking collapse, then Kerry Katona, now this. I declare Beestonia officially at war with Iceland, and have kidnapped Bjork and put her in my shed until Reykjavík surrenders.

Pre-Hustings Doodlings.

Latest polling results show the Tories are somewhere between 6-9% ahead.  Anna Soubry needs around 4% to unseat Nick Palmer and get in,so its a done deal, right? Wrong.

The most important factor in the election is the remove in voters minds between Palmer and PM Brown/ The Labour Party.  While Labour ,and particularly Brown are lagging in popularity with the country, Palmer is increasingly being  seen as an MP in his own right, not a mere party stooge.

This means jack to the majority of Broxtowe voters, who pay more heed to the difference between Jedward and Joe than the difference between who rules over them for five years. Most people vote rigidly along stoically rigid lines ‘I’ve always been a Conservative/ Labour, always have been, always will…’etc, and will cast  votes accordingly.

The legendary ‘floating voter’, the Holy Grail all parliamentarians seek, is thus the key to success. And this is what makes Broxtowe so interesting. We have an MP (I know hes technically stood down now, but I can’t be arsed playing around with tenses every time I mention him) who is popular across the political strata. The groups ‘Conservatives for Palmer’ and ‘Libdems for Palmer’ are testament to this, and show that Palmer has successfully shifted the focus from Westminster to  Broxtowe. A few acts of rebellion in the last few months, opposing the seriously flawed Digital Economy Bill a notable stance, have been successful attempts to lose the Labour Loyalist tag that has dogged his image over the last few years. His whiter-than-white credentials were tested during the MPs expenses scandal and passed the Daz  Doorstep Challenge, albeit claiming twice for some Virus Protection Software, in error.

This is a real problem for Soubry.The loyalty of the electorate towards Palmer is such that the 4% swing is not as attainable as the maths might suggest. After publishing my last two posts, a swathe of comments and emails have been sent to me saying ‘Im not a natural Labour voter, but…’ and then gone on to list a reason why they want to retain the incumbant. How can Soubry prise these people to her camp?

Her major line of attack is guilt by association. Her campaign material therefore uses Brown’s unpopularity to call for ‘change’. You may have received such a missive: one side lists her local credentials, cringingly describing herself as a Nottingham ‘lass’, overleaf David ‘Dave’ Cameron stares out looking into the distance like a Che Guevera who just can’t do the beard. The economy is broke, society (cos it exists now, apparently) is also broke, and we need to rebuild trust in our political system (the irony of that line being used on a flyer funded by a dodgy tax-avoiding Lord in Belize is far too easy to rant on about).

Possibly a greater problem is a quite simple one I’ve been hearing lots from chatting to people round Beeston: ‘well, its Anna Soubry, innit?’. Anna’s tenure on the telly was probably seen as a real bonus at the selection meeting, coupled with her gender she was possibly seen as a shoo-in destined for a cabinet position early on- remember the Blair’s Babes of ’97?- but these two factors may be hindering her chances.

Turn on the local news now (exclusively BBC, as ITV just sees the Midlands as a homogeneous mass, although its a fact that Brummies are genetically different to us -theres no evidence at all for this, but its a fact)  and you get Anne Davies. Lovely sweet, Anne Davies. Flirty, giggly, but with a lovely smile and a knowing look, you’d possibly vote for her. She even does the voice of Indigo buses, telling you that you are at Beeston Bus Station, and I had to suppress an urge to thank her disembodied voice the first few times I heard it….i’m sliding off the subject here, and sounding like I fancy Davies. I dont (Kylie Pentelow, however…).

I would like to have a drink in a pub with Davies though, she’d make you laugh and tell indiscreet anecdotes about Quentin Rayner. I’m sure no-one really can say that for Soubry. She has a much more steely matriarchal feel about her, a stern authoritarianism that is great for TV with gravitas, but a failing when trying to woo an electorate still sore from the Thatcherite years, still looking back on Edwina Currie’s rule over Derbyshire with a shudder.  I don’t like image-based politics, but these things resonate, work on a subtle level, and could see Nick Palmer once again taking up the reins.

Thus, tonight shall be interesting. The first big hustings will pit the main parties (and the BNP, if they can drag their knuckles that far up the road) against each other, and will doubtless be more interesting than the constrictive formatted version Brown, Clegg and Cameron will engage in on ITV. Will Soubry attack Palmer or Brown, local or national? Will she try and ‘triangulate’ Palmer with positivity and promises of local activism? I’ll be there, you should be too, its at Roundhill School (another reason Im surprised the BNP are turning up) and its at 7pm. I will be there, do say hello.


After running this site for a year, I’ve only just figured out how to put a search function, an archive and a subscription button…all to the right of what you’re reading right . Feel free to look at more of my stuff, which proves I can also write poorly on LOADS of subjects…

Battle of Broxtowe Part 2, and some self congratulation.

More politics I’m afraid, but since no one else seems to be writing about the Battle for Broxtowe, I will try and fill that niche.( edit: I’ve since been pointed towards this rather excellent slice of commentary that you should have a look at, its a hell of a lot more professional than my witterings: )  I’ll save any other nuggets of Beestonian weirdness till after the election, where you might need as much light relief as possible, if Cameron becomes PM. He’ll probably repay Murdoch’s favours of Sun /NOTW support by blowing up the BBC and making everyone swap their Facebook accounts for MySpace ones (a Murdoch owned company).

So news. And not that good. I was hoping that we might have got away with out any outright fascists throwing their hat into the ring, but alas, here comes Michael Shore. Say hello Michael, the latest BNP twot to try and stake a claim in Beeston/Broxtowe.

A brief history of the BNP in Broxtowe: Sadie Graham was narrowly elected to the council a few years back by the residents of Brinsley, attended very few council meetings then went very strange…she split from the BNP criticizing Nick Griffen and setting up a blog attacking him, had her husband leak the membership list to the press (she was accused, but charges dropped) and did what is customary amongst the far-right when they grasp a bit of power -let the aggression and frustration of having to suppress their true natures behind a veneer of respectability flood out.

Sadly, the BNP take away votes more rapaciously from the left than the right:

Of course, you wont see them round Beestonia. Here is an exemplary example of a well integrated community, the numerous shops and restaurants that provide such variety to the high street testament to this. Come to a town that actually has a diverse racial and ethnic population is not a strategy the BNP dabble in, instead they go to places such as the Amber Valley and Brinsley, both homogeneously white areas, and tell scary tales about the evil Kurds, Kosovans, blacks, Asians, Lefties etc in a method that served so well for the ruling party in Germany in 1936.

I wont go on about a polemic about the evils of the BNP, as I have planned to spend the rest of the afternoon shooting some bucket-based fish.


The Green Party Join the Fray

A more warm welcome to the battle to the Green Party, and their representative David Mitchell. Presumably hes at a bit of a loose end, and must fill in that time between appearing on every tv panel show going, hosting his own radio 4 quiz, writing a column for the Observer and doing Peep Show and his sketch show. Mind you, as the chances of the Greens getting in are the same as a polar bell in hell, he won’t be giving up his day jobs soon.

It might actually be a different David Mitchell.  I’ll google, one moment.

Ah, I’m sorry. My journalistic nous is flawed. Hes actually a Beestonian and a governor at Roundhill, not the ubiquitous Lidl-Stephen Fry.

I feel sorry for the Greens. As we approach enviro-geddon, the ice caps and glaciers disappearing and the planet threatening to turn into the New Mars,  the Greens should be taking in voters as fast as the ark took in braces of animals when they last had an issue with rising sea-levels. But no. They have slipped away, marginalised a few years ago by Dave ‘vote Blue, get Green’ Cameron and his lovely, chauffeur-followed bicycle, and his relaunch of the Tories as the saviours of the environment. This has been shown to be bogus, the only examples of green practices being chimney-wisteria control, clean moats for all and luxury housing for ducks.

Beestonia has, or rather had, as from today Nick Palmer stood down as MP pending the public vote, an MP with good green credentials. Opposition to building on Green-Belt, and the pro-active tackling of the deforestation of Toton sidings by a dodgy extraction outfit, amongst other notable interventions, mean that we do/did have a green with a small g MP. If you do fancy giving the Green Party a vote, wait until local/European elections, when your vote will actually mean something, rather than wasting valuable, possibly not-recycledpaper on a vote on May 6th.


As mentioned above,  I seem to be the only person writing exclusively about the Battle for Broxtowe, I’m duty-bound to attend the various debates cracking off round Beeston. I urge you to also attend, and see the candidates in the flesh:

  • 15th April Nottingham Evening Post event, Roundhill School, Foster Avenue, Beeston, 7.30pm
  • 20th April Beeston Express event, College House School, Chilwell, 7.30pm.25th April Hope NG9 churches event, Beeston Baptist Church, Dovecote Lane, 7.30pm• 29th April Anglican event, Bramcote Parish Church, 7.30pm

Any of the many Beestonians who live outside Broxtowe, apologies for the focus on what must be a dull subject to read about. The same applies to Beestonians who live inside Broxtowe. Sorry, Ill write about stuff soon in the traditional manner: poorly, drunkenly and about subjects less insomnia-conquering.


If any of the candidates wish to contact me for right of reply/ info, or anyone from the National Press wish to save time surfing Wikipedia before they come here to report on this key marginal, or you fancy sending me some links to funny clips of ducks on skateboards, you can get me directly at, or by ringing my PA  , who by a weird coincidence is also called Matt Goold and sounds just like me,on 07595954622.


One more thing: I recently went past 10,000 hits here, which is fairly stunning in my head, seeing as I only set this place up out of sheer boredom and finding it a more effective conduit for my mind-slop than babbling in The Crown/ The Bean to disinterested parties. Although about 75% of these hits were probably from the tale of Teresa Lou (now in its own dedicated site: ) , but all the same, I am celebrating by having my head grafted onto the Beeman for a month.


To no-ones surprise, least of mine having received a possibly drunken  indiscreet message from a member of the Labour party, we have an election in a few weeks.

My dabbles into politics via Beestonia have been pretty glib, but then again, Guido Fawkes or Iain Dale never dip  into drunkenly duping  Malaysian scammers . Its important though, Beestonia has changed massively through MP intervention, so  daft to ignore, despite my relative ignorance. So, with a sigh, and an apology to all regular readers (me mum, and an Estonian with fat fingers) I am going to do some blogging about the May 6th where-do-you-place-your-x?-factor.

Here is going to be a key battleground, hence the appearance in recent weeks of both  Brown and Cameron. Expect Beestonia to be crawling with journalists and camera crews soon, trying to probe the hive mind, from which they will attempt to extrapolate the future. Joy..

So  lets line up the candidates. First up, is the challenger:

Anna Soubry.

Yeah her! That lady who used to do the news!

Soubry is a true lover of Broxtowe, to the point she can only feel the love from a distance, so doesn’t actually live round here. Her devotion to here is such that at the last election she stood in Gedling, and on losing, was parachuted here. But Broxtowe was always her first choice, I imagine, and Gedling was only a practice run.

Her campaign is being bank-rolled not just by tax-exile Lord Ashcroft, but also by some shady far-right characters, notably the pro-hunting lobby, but also by a London-based Multi-millionaire derivatives  dealer to the tune of £55,000,  funding the  big blue billboards springing up all over town right now. This seems to me hardly fair, legal, but not fair.

The Tories have been uniformly crap round here anyway. Their opposition to Tesco was rather undone by their  willingness to accept a pot of gold for their club premises, which means that they are either very stupid, or very greedy. A unkind friend pointed out that ‘very stupid, very greedy’ is a pretty succinct way of describing the Conservatives, but I will not be so severe.

The Conservative County Council have managed to make quite massive tits of themselves since they took power, back peddling furiously on promises when they realised they were either unrealistic  or not properly thought through. Its an embarrassment to watch, and a warning that soon such incompetence could be the norm for here. Remember Jim Lester, the last tory to grace Parliament for Broxtowe?  Bumbling wasn’t the word. The man was so hands-off he practically forgot he had constituents, and needed an A-Z to find his way to MP surgeries.

Nick Palmer

I make no secret that I have connections toDoctor Nick. Hes been a supporter and fan of this blog for some time, and Ive done a bit of voluntary work for him in the past. I’m not naturally a Labour person-Im not naturally any party, us potential benign dictators tend to be like that- but Nick has been an attentive, hard working, decent representative. Transparent in his decisions, he has not always made the right decisions (I was annoyed by his support of ID cards, though he has recently bcked down on this stance due to cost issues). But the primary reason I am a fan is his lack of talking shite. He is bizarrely self-effacing, straight talking and almost masochistically keen to throw himself into lion’s dens, all qualities missing in modern politicians.

Plus, he drinks in the Crown (or at least holds meetings there), so a man of taste too.

David Watts

I like Watts, and not just because every time I say his name I get a blast of the Kinks dash into my mind… which is always nice. And smooth.

Its a terribly awful thing to say, but David is rather superfluous. There is a two horse race here, not a three. The Lib Dems are fervently trying to deny this, but even their own supporters are  realising this and drifting into a Pro-Palmer group  called ‘LibDems for Palmer’. It did seem at one point that they might not actually put up a candidate so as to scupper the tories, but after a bit of a falling out with Labour they are now snapping angrily around at Nick’s heels. This has led to a schism within their own local party: ex-counciller Adele Brunton has broke ranks and lent her support to Nick.

Chris Cobb

Great name, terrible party. Cobb is standing for UKIP, the party for people who think the Daily Mail is too liberal, hate ‘Health’ and ‘Safety’, howl in horror that political correctness has gone MADDDDD!  at any perceived  slight , and secretly would rather eat a rotted donkey than have their daughter marry an ‘ethnic’. He won’t get in, I doubt he’ll get his deposit returned, but may slice a few votes on Soubry, so good luck to him.

So who to vote? Obviously you aren’t going to make a decision off a rather rubbish blog, so thats between you and the ballot box. But if, on May 7th, this sliver of red turns blue, then my planned peaceful revolution may become armed insurrection instead, Beestonia being established with a forceful take over of the Town’s major seats of power (possibly the Last Post).

For proper political comment, read this instead: and be assured that my next post will be about stuff I do know about, pubs, glorious pubs.