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:
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
In the absence of an apology and public statement in agreed terms, we
will instruct solicitors.
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: http://www.broxtowe2010.co.uk/2010/04/beeston-express-withdraws-its-support_22.html .
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.