A Message From Nick Palmer.

Intro by

Lord Beestonia

When I first started writing about politics, our MP was Nick Palmer. I didn’t agree with many things he supported, but I got to know him as a decent bloke and a genuinely helpful MP, willing to help anyone who asked, irrespective of their political stripe.

One complaint I did have, as a journalist eager stories, was that Nick was uncontroversial, professional and dilligent. There was little to write about, therefore. Now I look back on those days with absolute nostalgia.

Since handing the PPC reins over to Greg in 2017, he’s inevitably become less visible, but has been active in support of Greg. His latest email newsletter is printed in full here, and not solely because I’m lazy and want to spend my birthday politics free. Rather, it is a well argued and passionate plea to use your vote wisely tomorrow.

This is a binary choice, I’m afraid. A vote for anyone but Greg Marshall is a vote for a Boris Johnson majority. That’s the bottom line. Yes, the electoral system is screwed, FPTP is awful. Yet right now, don’t pretend this is a proportional representation election. Over to Nick:

Parliament has a surplus of people who define themselves by opposition to someone else. Astonishingly, the Conservative campaign this time has come down to exactly two messages, “Get Brexit done” and “We’re not Corbyn”. Do you remember anything else in their manifesto? Something about potholes, wasn’t there? And yet these hope to govern with a majority for five years.

Is that because they have no ideas? Actually, no. The Conservatives have purged their entire moderate wing. Former PM John Major. Former Chancellor Ken Clarke. Former chairman Chris Patten. The list goes on. What is left is a hardcore right-wing, nationalist party. That is why they are perfectly willing to embrace a Brexit in 2020 with no trade deal whatever, in the hope that they can construct an offshore tax-avoiding free market paradise. Since this is not an agenda that would get majority support, we’ve seen a Conservative campaign that would raise eyebrows in a Third World autocracy, grounded on a personality cult, lies, evasion and a blizzard of negative propaganda. It’s an embarrassment to a modern democracy.
On Thursday, either Darren Henry or Greg Marshall will be elected to represent you – the latest polls show them locked in a close race, far ahead of every other candidate. Darren represents the new breed of Conservatives, chosen from Wiltshire over local Conservatives because he represented the Brexiteer faith more completely.
Greg represents the tradition that I tried to establish as an MP – positive politics, based on a strong local focus and genuine open-mindedness. One of the reasons I like Greg and have been spending so much time working for him this week is that he predominantly stands for a positive vision – for decent public services, for a fair chance for everyone, for schools that have the resources to give a strong educational basis. Without these things, our society will decline – in productivity, in opportunity, in spirit. And he supports a reasonable compromise to end the Brexit nightmare – a fresh referendum with a choice of remaining members or leaving the political union but staying in a sensible customs union with our neighbours.
He’d make the better representative for Broxtowe, a constituency that has never embraced polarised extremism.
Please vote for positive politics, and support Greg Marshall on Thursday.
Nick Palmer

A Favour To Ask…

So here we are. It’s election eve and within 36 hours we’ll know where the country will be sitting for the next five years.

I’ve been struck down with a horrendous cold, and life is being experienced as if within a deep-sea diving suit. The occasion administration of Sudafed and paracetamol lets me enjoy temporary surfacing, before all the holes in my face clog up again and I’m back, deep in the Mariana Trench.

It’s also my birthday. And I hope these two facts serve to explain why a scheduled slew of pre-election day content – analysis, insight, rumour and psephology- will be replaced by a short piece on who I’ll be voting for tomorrow, and why.

That’ll be online soon, so in the meantime here is a way you can make this birthday special and get me what I’ve always wanted: a hopeful future for robust local journalism.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been aided in this blog by Chris Tregenza and Faith Pring, two volunteers who came forward after I put out a request on Twitter for help covering the campaigns. They both came forward, and have done a fantastic job. I’m sure you agree.

Put that appreciation into something more tangible: stick a fiver (or whatever you can) towards the fund I’m running to give them a wage for what they’ve done, making them professional, paid journalists and in a world that is still struggling to work out a way to prioritise truth, there is a a hunger for good journalism.

Every penny will go directly to the two young hacks – this blog has given me so much over the last decade I’m happy to not take a wage: if I can do my bit to pushing out new journalism, I’m happy enough.

Click here: https://www.paypal.me/BEESTONIA and thank you in advance x

Politics By Design – Judging politicians by their leaflets No: 7. – Dr Teck Khong

Dr Teck Khong – Independent Brexit Party People’s Front of Broxtowe

By Chris Tregenza


The leaflet’s ambitions are fatally undermined by the lack of knowledge (in design) of those behind it. Potentially good ideas are poisoned by a heavy-handed approach and lack of overall balance.

Colour Use:

The dominant colour is confidently but unhelpfully identified as Tradewind by my colour spotter app. A dodgy greeny-cyan is a more human but only slightly more useful description. The strong border to the white-space is offset by a striped background in variant grey/green shades which, as a palette, is actually quite good. However, while Dr Khong’s take on colour is more subtle and sympathetic than you’ll tend to see from his end of the political spectrum, the end result is an ugly mess.


Life and design are very similar in many ways. Sometimes you have an idea which seems foolproof but when reality hits with all its details and little awkward problems, everything turns into a mess. Of course I’m referring to the striped background to Dr Khong’s leaflet. It’s a genuinely imaginative approach, providing an easy way to bring cohesion to the overall design but the doctor chooses ride roughshod over it in favour of his own limited and badly executed ideas. From the ham-fisted approach (to bolding) and the complete failure to understand technical issues (such as font size versus line-height); to misguided ideas about how to integrate white with colour (text), this leaflet is awful.


There is only one image, a badly cropped but otherwise good photo of the man himself. Notably the working GP has a stethoscope around his neck. In normal advertising, that’s illegal because the use medical props to sell unrelated products has been abused by unscrupulous people to do untold harm to consumers. Now, election leaflets are not advertising as such so it’s legality is a complex subject. I wonder whether Dr Khong carefully did his research and spoke to experts to check everything would be OK or did he simply go ahead in total ignorance of the potential pitfalls.


There’s not much here apart from vague statements with no explanation of how they would be implemented. Though potential voters should note that while he is only “for” brexit and can merely promise “to work on” homelessness, he is confident his experience as a police surgeon will allow him to “defeat” crime.


The leaflet’s message is “Hi, you’ve never heard of me but I’m appealing to all the small-minded little-Englanders who wanted to vote for Farage”.


Listen to expert advice and think things through or otherwise you’ll end up with this mess.


Chris Tregenza doesn’t have a real job so spends his time on Twitter as @Tregenza

Dear Anna by Chris Tregenza

The fall-out from Darren Henry’s rather misguided thoughts on foodbanks is still making the news, with the video passing 1.5m views on Twitter alone. On the same day Boris Johnson was so adamant not to look at the human cost of NHS austerity he stole a journalist’s phone, its not a good look for the party well beyond that describes by Theresa May in 2002.

Yet we will turn out attention to a former Tory who many assumed would be the key anti-Brexit candidate in Broxtowe. Our reporter Chris Tregenza was one of those, yet in this piece explains why things have chaged:

Dear Anna

By Chris Tregenza

Dear Anna,

In 2016 my concept of politics was torn apart. Everything I took for granted about our democracy and the basic decency of British people was upended when the voters decided to pursue an extremist agenda. That was the day I became politically active, determined to do whatever was in my power to prevent the perversion of Brexit.

Anna Soubry, by Chris Tregenza

This has led me on a strange political path as I organised hustings, co-ordinated local campaign groups and spent many cold and wet hours campaigning on the streets of Nottinghamshire. I’ve been snowed on with Revolutionary Marxists, sheltered under the golfing umbrellas of Conservative party members and shared suncream with Green party candidates.

Many of those hours have been stood next to you on People’s Vote stalls. I’ve seen you respond with dignity to abuse and talk with passion about the EU to people of all political stripes. In parliament, your speeches have been some of the most eloquent of the remain cause. While your willingness to speak truth unto power in your own party has been a true example of Churchill’s “Country, constituency, party” mantra.

No one has been a better example for the remain cause and UK democracy than yourself but I won’t be voting for you.

I want to vote for you. Your actions, sacrifices and commitment deserve my vote as a remainer. However only a small number of voters, maybe 5-10%, are deciding their vote on Brexit alone. This by itself is not enough to get you elected. To win, you need large scale defection from the Tories and Labour yet this is not happening at a national or local level.

Going into this election I expected to vote for you. In our political system independent candidates face immense problems getting elected but I thought you could do it. Your personal determination, your oratory and experience all gave you a fighting chance. Yet as the campaign progressed the fates have not been kind. The Boris-bias of the media, Labour’s Brexit strategy finally becoming clear and the failure of the Lib-Dem surge have all hurt your chances.

Since the election has been called I’ve been talking to people in Broxtowe every day – party activists, ordinary voters and those alienated by traditional party politics. Few have expressed a willingness to vote for you. All of the polling, national and local, shows you considerably behind both Labour and the Conservatives.

My doubts about Greg Marshall are similar to your own and should he be elected, all Broxtowe will get is a loyal servant to the party machine. However Labour is now firmly behind a second referendum with an option to remain. There’s no doubt that elements within Labour will fight to subvert this commitment but that is a battle for another day.

If Boris gets a majority, the remain cause is dead. We won’t get a second referendum and instead we will plunge into the worst possible Brexit. Stopping Boris on the 12th is the only way forward for remain.

Anna, you deserve better than this. Never have I been prouder of a local MP then watching you demolish the lies of leavers in the House of Commons but elections are all about winning. As a remainer I must do whatever I can to stop Boris and stop Brexit. In Broxtowe, only Labour have a chance of beating the Conservatives.

That is why I will be voting for Greg Marshall.


Chris Tregenza



by Lord Beestonia

I wasn’t able to attend last nights hustings as I was too busy posting content on here / being lazy, but it seems to have been a cracker and one particular bit of video seems to have gone a bit viral for the sheer awfulness of what was said.


In defence of Darren Henry, he did apparently follow this up by saying payday lenders should be better regulated, but that seemed to be a little bit like Marie Antoinette saying “Let them eat cake” and noticing that she didn’t get the reaction she wanted, follow up with “Lidl have a two for one on cherry bakewells right now”.



by Chris Tregenza

So, you are a Broxtowe voter whose number one goal is stopping Brexit (AKA subverting the democratic will of the people). Who should you vote for?

This is a tricky call and no one can agree – not the candidates, not the tactical voting websites and certainly not the people of Broxtowe. Speaking to die-hard remainers of all political stripes I’ve heard various views and some pretty interesting (and possibly libelous) reasons why such-and-such a candidate can’t be supported.

Remainers have three real choices:

Greg Marshall (Labour) – Historically the party most likely to come second to the Tories which gives Greg the best chance of winning. However there is deep-suspicion among hardcore remainers of Greg’s Boss. Corbyn has clearly resisted the idea of supporting a 2nd referendum at every step and some of his closest supporters are hard-core leavers. Now add in Greg’s alignment with local Corbyn supporters and the fact he hasn’t been trumpting his own remain credentials (he campaigned for remain in 2016) and there is a nagging fear Corbyn could pull a fast one should he ever get into No 10.

Anna Soubry (Change) – The candidate with the best, though certainly not perfect, remain credentials. As well as voting in parliament for A50, in the 2017 election Anna refused to attend a Brexit-focused hustings event because “Brexit was a dead issue”. Since then she has endured the slings & arrows (& credible death threats) of the Brexitiers and earned the respect of many people in the constituency. However, her star has been waning since Change UK formed and the People’s Vote campaign has refused to support her re-election bid. Weirdly, she has also focused her campaign (or at least campaign materials) on her record as an MP and not as an icon of the remain cause. After a campaign which has failed to make waves and a national shift towards Labour, Soubry’s chance of winning are fading fast.

Kat Boettge (Green) – A staunch remainer representing a party unambiguously pro-EU make Kat a good candidate. Many Labour remainers have been looking at the Greens as a less-bad option than Souby. However neither nationally nor locally have the Greens been making any impact on the campaign trail. As the realities of our out-dated First-Past-The-Post system start to bite, voters are reverting to type. In this crazy election, anything can happen but it will be a massive upset if Kat wins.

Tactical voting only works when there is a clear option but in Broxtowe the future has been looking decidedly cloudy. But as we enter the final week of campaigning Greg is emerging as the most credible option for Remain.



Intro by Lord Beestonia

Lots to get through, and I’ll use this state of busy to use as mitigation for describing Gregg Marshall as our ‘Conservative Candidate’. This was swiftly pointed out to me, by no less than the candidate himself, and amended accordingly. Please don’t think I’ve been hijacked by Russian bots to spew out fake news. Nyet, nyet, nyet.

I’m missing tonight’s hustings – staying out past 7pm is anathema when you have spent the day with a toddler- but I’m sure I’ll hear how well -or otherwise – it goes. Let us know!

We have two things for you today: a forensic look at the seat-searching adventures of Darren Henry by guest contributor Simon Cross; and a close look at the dilemma facing Leave- supporting voters by Chris Tregenza – a Remain version will be published tomorrow.

Please don’t forget that this blog is entirely funded by donations, which in themselves barely cover expenses and a few millimeters of expended shoe leather. If you could put a fiver our way, we’d be chuffed to bits and know that in a world where reliable local news is fast drying-up, we’ll continue to be a sparkling spring of insight and news: fivers can be sent to us here: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/BEESTONIA  . Every penny will be spent on vodka and those big bear hats   our great team of young hacks.

Henry the Sixth: Any Seat Will Do

by Simon Cross

Interesting to read Darren Henry describing Broxtowe as ‘home’ in Faith Pring’s recent interview with him for Beestonia.  On his website our recently selected Conservative Parliamentary Candidate says:

‘We spent many happy years in the Broxtowe constituency before I was posted away by the Royal Air force to serve our country and we always wanted to come back home. Having moved back home to Broxtowe and the communities that exist within it, the independent businesses, the nature reserves, our local pubs, we are elated to be living here close to our family and friends – back where we belong, in Broxtowe.  I am honoured and proud to be a man of Broxtowe and I want to make it an even better place to live.’

But the would-be MP’s links to Broxtowe appear tenuous.  When he left the RAF in 2013 did Mr Henry head ‘home’ to Nottinghamshire?  No: he settled 170 miles away near Salisbury where he has lived and worked since, rising to become Area Chairman of Wiltshire Conservatives.  In 2017 Darren Henry was elected onto his local Council to representative his local ward Till and Wylve Valley- a place he called home.

The selection of Cllr Henry has proven controversial within the local Conservative Association with few members turning out to work for their new representative. A former senior member has been less than impressed by the Tory candidate and, in particular, the narrative underpinning his personal journey:


Facts below support this observation.  Despite protesting he is not a ‘professional politician’ Mr Henry has devoted a huge amount of time and effort trying to become parliamentary candidate in five constituencies in five different regions starting in the West Midlands, then South West, followed by the South East,  London and finally the East Midlands.  He also tried becoming Police & Crime Commissioner for his home patch in Wiltshire.  He has certainly clocked up some impressive miles in recent years.

2015– Mr Henry’s first incursion into electoral politics appears to be his contesting the then marginal Wolverhampton North East in the General Election that year.  Working for the locally based (and now defunct) outsourcing firm Carillion seems to have been his only discernible connection to the city.  The election resulted in the Labour incumbent doubling her majority.

2017– the newly elected Wiltshire Cllr Henry didn’t contest the snap General Election. During the last 16 months he has stepped up his efforts to find a parliamentary opportunity…  literally here, there and everywhere.

2018– in July Cllr Henry sought the parliamentary nomination for Stroud in Gloucestershire.  It is not clear what local connection he had other than campaigning against car parking charges on a visit to the area.


Perhaps he was inspired by high-profile interventions on this issue from the actor who played Fallon in Dynasty and the former sidekick of TV’s Alexander Armstrong.



Alas, it was not be and the local Conservative Association opted to select a former Camden Councillor instead

2018– in October Cllr Henry sought the parliamentary nomination for his native Bedford.


But, having only been added to the shortlist following the withdrawal of another candidate, he was not successful.

PicturDDDSe1PictureDDD1 2019– April saw the end of a process that began in November 2018 when Cllr Henry put himself forward to become Police & Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire in an election to be contested in 2020

He had to wait five months for the party to select the other candidate for the post.

2019– in July Darren Henry was seeking to become parliamentary candidate for the UK’s third most marginal seat of Kensington, West London.  He must have fancied his chances, with columnist Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail identifying him as the ‘favourite’ before describing him as ‘a carpetbagging councillor from Wiltshire with no local connection whatsoever’.

Self-styled ‘Tory Boy’ Pierce’s acidic compliment might have swung it because, you guessed it, Cllr Henry was still looking for a parliamentary berth.

AP2APpng2019– September.  And so after his fifth attempt, or sixth if you include the shot at being a Police Commissioner for his home patch, Broxtowe came up.  At least Darren Henry could copy and paste the CV he drew up when seeking to become Wiltshire’s PCC for reuse in this seat having deleted the bit about his actual home of the last six years.

In summary Darren Henry has sought nominations six times:

  1. Wolverhampton, 2015
  2. Stroud, 2018
  3. Bedford, 2018
  4. Wiltshire, 2018-2019
  5. Kensington, 2019
  6. Broxtowe, 2019

So, invoking the name of an epic Shakespearean play, we’re Henry the Sixth’s choice.  But you wouldn’t know this when he talked up his ‘very very very strong local connection here’ (twenty years ago remember) in his interview with Faith which breathily continued: ‘When I close my eyes and finish my life, it’s going to be here in Broxtowe, so it’s perfect for us’.  Yeah, right.  Remind you of anything?  The words of a famous song beginning ‘I closed my eyes’ perchance?  Well to paraphrase the title of that tune Darren Henry’s really is a case of ‘Any Seat Will Do’.

References not inserted above


https://www.facebook.com/stroudconservatives/ scroll down to date in question

https://twitter.com/VoteDarrenHenry/status/1024178008368799744 references venue in constituency https://www.stonehousecourt.co.uk/

Wiltshire PCC:



Leavers Dilemma

by Chris Tregenza

As a true democratic patriot, delivering a Brexit that represents the 17.4 million is the only issue for this election. In Broxtowe this is a two-horse race between the Tories and the Brexit Party Independent candidate. Yes technically there is another candidate but she is a hate-filled troll and I’m not wasting my time on that attention-seeking turd.

In the blue corner we have Darren Henry (Conservative). With Boris and his deal, this election should be a shoe-in for Darren but there are three problems. Firstly, Darren is a remainer and therefore cannot speak for the 17.4 million true patriots who voted leave. Secondly there is Boris’ deal which sells off Northern Ireland to the EU plus the UK will still have to accept many EU laws. Thirdly, Boris is a lying buffoon who will say anything to get elected so there is a lack of credibility in Darren’s bid to be King of the Leavers.

Facing Darren in the different-shade-of-blue corner is Dr Teck Khong (Independent). When Farage sold out his customers supporters and pulled his candidate out of Broxtowe, local leavers scrambled around for a new candidate and picked Dr Khong. It’s certainly a good choice – well educated and well spoken he breaks through the gammon-stereotype. While I have no first hand knowledge of his views, the hard-core leavers in my aquaintance certainly rate him as having true “leave” credibility.

Dr Khong’s chance of winning are extremely thin. Short of Boris announcing he now a remainer it is hard to see the good doctor getting his deposit back. But, as every true leaver knows, all we have to do is believe in Brexit enough and anything is possible.


As an aside, can we take a moment to note the progressive nature of the candidates standing in Broxtowe, We have two women candidates (one German), two BAME candidates (and not from the end of the political spectrum you might expect), and one working-class pensioner. This diverse mix of candidates speaks well for the multicultural and rich tapestry of life in Broxtowe.






Intro from Lord Beestonia

It’s been a whirlwind couple of days since we last posted here, so forgive our slight hiatus in keeping you in the know when it comes to Broxtowe.

Corbyn came to Nottingham yesterday, inspiring the leader of the journalism course I’mIMG_20191204_124047 doing some teaching on to turn the event into a bit of live journalistic experiences for our cohort of wannabe hacks. Cameras, mics and determination in place, we marched across town to Nottingham Castle to find a gathering crowd, including the world’s media pointing lenses at the opposition leader. Corbyn gave his usual set, throwing in those crowd pleasing bangers plus some new material he’s working on, then was mobbed by fans. As the only person in Britain not to have a strong opinion either way on Corbyn (I also occasionally like Marmite, occasionally don’t), I can say with a degree of objectiveness that in the half-dozen times I’ve covered events with Corbyn I still find it weird to see such rock-bandesque levels of fandom, especially among the young. A short time ago, any political event with a key figure -Clegg, Miliband, etc, would be stuffed full of long-term activists, grey of hair and their sensible jackets bearing the needle marks of dozens of pinned rosettes as surely as a junkie’s arms. I’d be easily in the youngest third of the audience. Not now. Whatever the result, we should at least be delighted that the young are politicised again and see the point in trying to change the world.

While I remain an agnostic, one thing I do believe in with a passion is decent journalism,


Beestonia announces it’s latest signing. I wish.

and few embody that than the thoughtful, quietly incisive Gary Gibbon, long-term political editor at Channel 4. You’ll forgive therefore my own gauche actions in introducing myself to him when I spotted him in the crowd, and having a very interesting chat with him. He even consented to a selfie, where I later noted I seem to have styled my hair in tribute to him.


In other news, we have a hustings, and we have it tomorrow! Over at Beeston Parish Church, BBC East Midland’s Political Editor Tony Roe will be chairing from 7.30pm -arrive at 7 to guarantee a seat. More details here.



By Faith Pring

As the general election quickly approaches, we’ve put another Broxtowe candidate in the hot seat, this time the spotlight is on Labour’s Greg Marshall.

Greg first joined the Labour party in the early 1990s after being raised in a Labour household which apparently influenced him to maintain an active role within politics.

“I was influenced by that, but you have to make your own decisions. My sister had exactly the same upbringing as I did and she’s not heavily involved in politics, so you make your own choices and see things you want to try and change,” he explains.

As someone who has worked for the Environment Agency for 25 years, Greg’s priorities lie in a wide range of places, but most importantly, they lie wherever the Broxtowe think they lie.

“You talk to people on the doorsteps, and often the bread and butter issues like the NHS, transport, education, or the economy could up just as often as Brexit. We need to be aware that Brexit isn’t a defining factor in people’s lives.”

“I’m really keen to say that I’m not ignoring Brexit, we have to face that, but as important, we have to acknowledge the things that are just as important,” he added.

Despite Brexit not being at the top of his priorities, he still believes he made enough of an effort in the lead up to the 2016 referendum, despite some people thinking he hasn’t been proactive enough in voicing his opinions about Remain.

“I think I was the biggest remain campaigner in Broxtowe in 2016, and I say that because I was often the only one carrying the pasting table down Beeston high street. I wouldn’t campaign shoulder to shoulder with Anna Soubry because of her voting record on the most severe austerity measures which have hurt thousands and thousands of people up and down the country.”

On a more national level, many people have doubted Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to lead the country, however Greg claims that Corbyn has revolutionised the face of British politics.

“We’ve seen a large increase in homelessness, the proliferation of food banks, we’ve seen utilities rocket with energy prices and train prices. We’ve seen the NHS roll out privatisation, and inequality, the gap between the haves and the have-nots.”

“Now we’ve got the chance under this labour party with Jeremy Corbyn to do something about that and say that it doesn’t have to be like this,” Greg adds.

However, Greg will be the first to admit that there are some key issues surrounding the Labour party, particularly their overall unclear stance on Brexit.

“The unique issue we had was of course that the top 30 leave seats were Labour, and the


Greg, This is England director Shane Meadows and John McDonnell in Beeston earlier today. Photo shamelessly nicked off Twitter.

 top 30 remain seats were Labour so we had a unique problem in how we were gonna pursue our Brexit position.”

“That’s been difficult but I am convinced now that the Labour party position is the right position to hold. I wouldn’t say it’s been dead easy, but the position we have now is the fairest and the best position we can have on the Brexit issue,” Greg claims.

As a trade unionist for the Environment Agency, one of Greg’s key aims is to battle climate change in the small window of opportunity he believes we have to resolve the issue. However, he admits that climate change activism group Extinction Rebellion may have made mistakes.

“There are no two ways about it, we are in a climate emergency, and I’ve organised climate strike meetings here in Broxtowe and I am supportive of the action that Extinction Rebellion take as a kind of string to the bow of campaigning and raising the very real and present issues that we are facing.”

“I think they have made mistakes because some of their actions have impacted what I would consider ordinary commuters and workers trying to get to work. If organisations like that are taking direct action, then they maybe just have to be more carefully thought out about the ramifications.”

Ultimately, why should you vote for Labour, and more importantly, Greg Marshall?

“I guess there’s a couple of reasons. We are facing either a Johnson, Farage and Trump direction in the country at the minute which is an inward looking, isolationist one for the rich and powerful and driving down working standards, or one of mutual respect, collaboration, investment and having a wider view of the world.”

“I think we’re on a cusp of real change that we haven’t seen the likes of for forty years and I want to be the one to offer that positive vision of the world, of Britain and Broxtowe,” Greg admits.

Whether it’s his passion for real change in Broxtowe and in Britain, the decision of if he gets your vote is up to you.

ELECTION 19 SPECIAL: The Hateful Troll and the Paedo’s of Doom

A  very strange day where I had an unpleasant run in with the fascists Chris Tregenza describes in the excellent article below; and a reader of this blog and good friend and neighbour Neville Westerman managed to blow himself- and most of his house – up. After a roller-coaster of conflicting statements on his well-being, I eventually received a picture and a witness report showing he was ok – in a bit of a mess, but ok, and that more than off-set the depressing sight of out-and-out fascists on our streets. Nev is the polar opposite of them: he’s affable, community-spirited, kind and compassionate. More Nevs, please. Lord Beestonia.

The Hateful Troll and the Paedo’s of Doom

The trouble with writing about fascists is that fascists want to be written about. All

WhatsApp Image 2019-12-03 at 20.00.08 (1)

Shite Knight Fascist

publicity is good publicity as far as they are concerned. Even when, say, a Conservative Councillor is caught posting hate on their Facebook page and is suspended from the party, this is seen as free advertising for the fascist cause. Because while most people tut in disgust there are those who quietly nod approval and enable the hate-merchant to pop-up somewhere new as, say, a campaign manager.

Which brings us onto the fascists standing for election in our own backyard. We will not give her or the “party” she represents the dignity of their names but instead refer to her as the Hateful Troll and the Paedo Party. If you don’t know to who we are referring to, lucky you.

Now we don’t bandy the term fascist around lightly. It is not a generic insult for anyone on the right-wing. Darren Henry (Conservative) is not a fascist just because he is standing for a political party which created a hostile environment for immigrants and caused the Windrush scandal.  Likewise Dr Khong (Independent Brexit Party) isn’t a fascist just because he wants a no-deal Brexit. To the best of my knowledge, Dr Khong is a genuinely caring and intelligent man who just happens to want to keep foreigners out

Fascism is ultra-nationalism; it targets minorities as the enemy and blames everything on them; it claims to uphold law and democracy while simultaneously decrying any decision it doesn’t like as the act of traitors. As you can see, there is no way mainstream politicians in the Conservatives or Brexit Party could be called fascists.

Now the Hateful Troll and her Paedo party tick all the boxes. Excessive use of Union Jacks – tick. The failure of public services the fault of immigrants – tick. The judge who banned her from Broxtowe a traitor – tick.

It is easy to dismiss the Hateful Troll as harmless nutter. She tried to “commit suicide” fifty times, costing the emergency services £1,000,000 in helicopter rescues and was eventually banned from the entire UK coastline. She also used an illegal weapon to disrupt an anti-Trump protest but only managed to cut herself with it. While it would be inappropriate to comment on the Hateful Troll’s state of mind, she certainly does like being the centre of attention.

The weird thing about the Paedo Party the Troll represents is that their central idea of England having a separate parliament as part of federal UK is quite a progressive idea. It’s one of the possible outcomes as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland edge towards independence. Of course, their ideas about who would be allowed to vote for that parliament are the very definition of “Little England”.

The Hateful Troll will not win in Broxtowe, but not because most people around here are decent, friendly folks. The same can be said of America in 2016 or Germany in 1931. She will lose because winning is not the goal. An election is a chance to spread hate, a chance to let other mean and inadequate people know they are not alone.

Everytime a journalist writes about fascists we incur a debt to society. We inadvertently amplify the fascists hate even as we do our job of keeping people informed. Please help me repay the debt I owe for this article. Tell your Polish co-worker you are glad they came to our country; thank your Mum’s Latvian care-worker for treating her with respect; or say good morning to the elderly Chinese couple doing Tai-Chi in the park. Don’t let the merchants of hate use our democracy to make our country poorer.   Chris Tregenza


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The hero we need right now: Dave Bishop.

A happy postscript: Dave Bishop, aka Militant Elvis, came to protest against the fascists and do a bit of campaigning himself. Let’s hope he soundly beats the Paedo Party next week. 



Politics By Design – Judging politicians by their leaflets. No: 6. Kat Boettge – The Green Party

Yesterday’s piece on the Broxtowe Conservative civil war has thrown up a couple more serious allegations: these are being verified and we’ll have a further story up soon. In other news, YouGov have looked at Broxtowe and calculated that barring a miracle, Anna Soubry will not be our MP on December 12th. While the best performing of all the Change candidates, that’s much the same as being the most sober drunk. She’s failed to create a substantial position, despite the Lib Dems stepping aside to aid her cause. We are  very much are a straight up two-horse race now, and watch considerable resources flowing into Broxtowe to take the seat. 

Will Soubry even beat the Greens, who could pick up a strong protest vote-share and gain third place? It’s too early to tell, so instead we asked Chris Tregenza to cast his critical eye over their latest leaflet. Is it a winner? Should it go straight into the recycling bin? Over to Chris… Lord Beestonia

Politics By Design – Judging politicians by their leaflets. No: 6. Kat Boettge – The Green Party


Overall: As a design nerd, what jumped out to me is the odd choice of paper size. A sort of tall A5, close to but not actually C5. To ordinary people, what will strike them is the colour.

Colour Use: If your party is called The Green Party there is only one way to go and this leaflet doesn’t disappoint. We have light greens, dark greens, gradated greens – at least five different distinct shades. It certainly leaves you no doubt who the leaflet is from but the designer lacks the ability to make it work.

Typography: Oh god kill me now. To be fair, nearly all the text is clearly readable and that is the number one goal of all typesetting. More professional designs from other parties have fallen short on that particular issue. Where this leaflet comes apart is on alignment, font-sizing, margins, padding and consistency. I’m pretty sure the leaflet was typeset in Microsoft Word and it is really hard to get something decent from that heap of shit but even so.

Images: On the front is a nice professional black & white shot of the candidate (other candidates please take note). However it’s haphazardly placed and out of alignment with any other element on the page. The back has a photo of Kat with supporters adding the only non-green colour to leaflet but please, please, please, candidates, please – if you have a group shot, make sure the candidate is front and centre of the image.

Also on the back is one of the images which tells me this leaflet was designed by someone without any experience. It’s a Green Party logo occupying a third of the page. This shouldn’t be a problem but the designer makes the beginner’s mistake of taking a small image from the internet and scaling up for use in print. If you don’t understand why this is a problem, please don’t ever design a leaflet.

Truthiness: There is little here in the way of policy or claims so nothing to fact check.

Message: The leaflet limits itself to three issues – remain in the EU, environmental action and Kat the person. This is a good tactic and better than the Labour or Tory leaflets which have tried to say too much and end-up saying nothing. However it is let down by the execution which is haphazard and scattered rather than one clear narrative. I must also point out that, as a Guardian reading, musili-eating lefty (i.e. the target market), the fact Kat was on Wife Swap, even a Brexit special, is not a selling point.

Summary: Good ideas but unable to deliver any meaningful impact. So sums up the Greens nicely.


Chris Tregenza doesn’t have a real job so spends his time on Twitter as @Tregenza


By Lord Beestonia. No, I’m not a real Lord for heaven’s sake

We predicted before the election that Broxtowe Conservatives are not in a happy place. After what most assumed would be a uncontroversial coronation in selecting Cllr. Richard Jackson for the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Broxtowe was scuppered, a strange civil war has kicked off that has just blown out into the open.

Many in the party are unhappy a candidate was seemingly parachuted in, especially after his many dalliances with other seats. Whatever your opinion of Cllr Jackson, it can be said that he was a long-term local politician who – even when he was trying to abolish the very same council he was head of– knew the area and it’s unique problems. Yet his loyalty over the years to Anna Soubry, now anathema to the Brexit-addled Blues, seems to have tainted him in the eyes of those who voted, and Henry became the candidate.

Usually Tories are good at repressing their angst for electoral gain: after kicking out some of the most esteemed party grandees and being untruthful to the Queen, Boris has survived stuff parties with higher standards would have collapsed under. So far, so Trumpian. Yet the frustration in Broxtowe has blown a gasket, at least with long term party activist and former Brox Cons Deputy Chairman Sally Brealey, who tweeted this last week:

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ooof! There’s more…

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Picking up the attack last night, she laid this charge at Henry’s door, and it’s a serious one:

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Woah. Who is the Campaign Manager? Sally provides some help:

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… and who is Carl Husted? Well. he isn’t exactly the best ambassador for the Tories.

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That last sick and hateful trivalising the rise of the Nazis and ensuing Holocaust rightfully earned him a rebuke and a suspension for the Conservative Party. This scuppered his chances of taking the Wollaton West seat in the last round of local elections

His reappearance on the scene, in the position, according to Brealey, of ‘Campaign Manager’ is worrying. I contacted Darren Henry for comment, who immediately denied Brealey’s claims:

“The person Sally refers to is not my Campaign Manager but someone who has volunteered to distribute leaflets and his short suspension is over now anyway”

When pressed on this, he again denied that Husted is Campaign Manager, and when asked what disciplinary process Husted has been put through to allow him to rejoin the party following the disgraceful remarks, he replied

“Naturally, it is not appropriate for me (to) comment on your second point”

So, who is right: Henry or Brealey? Brealey also alluded to sensitive data on Conservative members being being passed around to non-Broxtowe members, in possible contravention of GDPR:

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We will be following on this soon…..

With less than a fortnight left and a lackluster campaign being ran by the Tories (the reluctance of many activists has left them begging to other constituencies) is damaging their chances of retaining the seat. It’s certainly scaring off formally loyal voters


After all, in these bitterly divided times, what attraction a party that can’t even hold itself together, let alone the UK?


A quick postscript: it seems Brealey is a fan of this blog, judging by her Twitter profile:


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