FOUR DAYS LEFT!
We enter the final week of the election with fine weather and not so fine politics. A flurry of stories come in, with some serious misdemeanors slopping out the election cauldron as certain candidates slosh it with ever more desperate stirring.
We’ll start with the Lib Dems: I have a couple of stories to unleash today of their panicked madness: a corker on David ‘Liar’ Watts will follow.
They are facing an existential crisis, with a wipe out at Borough level and a fight to keep their deposit on the General Election. Nationally,they look like being cut in two, and more dangerously, being seen by the people who once saw them as the nice, wooly party; as the party that happily traded principles for ministerial limos, happily working with the Tories to issue in the nastiest, most swingeing programme of class-hate ever committed in this country. Cynical careerists and the reason a growing amount of people distrust politicians.
There will be a lot of soul-searching to do. A tip to where to look for these souls: the Tories have them, y’know, in that exchange for a few years of power.
Here in Broxtowe, they’re in free-fall. In desperation, Steve Carr decided to have a word with the Tories in what he assumed to be a private forum, a Facebook group set up for Beeston Central Tories:
Wow. Do his colleagues know about this? Does John Patrick, Lib Dem candidate for Beeston Central, know his fellow candidate is sneaking off to the Tories?
Do people planning to vote for him know he is unashamedly backing the Conservatives?
Carr isn’t much liked in the party as it is, as leaked emails have shown. When he heard these emails were being leaked, he went into a petulant strop and threatened to leave the party as he felt ‘stabbed in the back’. I know this cos that email was leaked to me too. Not a popular guy with his colleagues.
When I had a more cordial relationship with Carr, he attended a party I held. While there, he kept mentioning, relentlessly, that after he’d finished his wine he was off to the Nurseryman to meet (Broxtowe Chief Tory) Richard Jackson. I eventually rose to the bait and asked ‘So, you’re planning to join the Tories?’ I asked ‘AHA!’ he replied, gleefully ‘Who knows?’. The intention, was, it seems, was so that I went home and wrote about it, and his party would suddenly love-bomb him into staying. I didn’t write about it.
The same trick was attempted in 2013, during the County Elections. He got in touch and asked if I’d like to interview him, so I met him for a coffee on Chilwell Road and listened for an hour as he talked about how he was actually very left-wing, and how he was plotting a coup to get Tim Farron (Lib Dem Chairperson) into power and Clegg out ‘I’ll be his regional campaign manager!’ he boasted ‘What about the Clegg loyalists in the party?’ I asked, he smirked a strangely toothy grin ‘Well, they’ll be on the wrong side of me’.
As my colleague Christian, who had sat in on the interview to record the chat, and I made our way back to our desks, I asked ‘You think that was weird?’. Christian, who had sat in on about half a dozen political interviews over that fortnight agreed:’Strange man. What party is he actually in?’ . I didn’t run the interview in the end, such was it’s weirdness. Carr was miffed by this and demanded to know why. It’s the first and only time I’ve had a politician upset because I didn’t write about them. A few months later, he refused to ever talk to him again after I asked him if he thought consorting with / defending out-and-out fascists was a noble thing to do. He threatened to sue me for ‘liable’ (sic), sent a spiteful Facebook message to my wife and had a good cry to the right-wingers on the Ranting Room.
I previously mentioned that the Lib Dems are having an existential crisis. Carr isn’t even sure who he is.