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Tuesday, May 10, 2005 

Spot the attention-seeker

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Yes, it's the man in the orange tie.


The best 'in defence of' comment so far has come from Patsy, who seems to be claiming here that an MP who seeks attention is more visible, which in turn makes them more accessible.

Well, perhaps from a sniper's point of view.

(Attention Mandy Worrall: that is what is known in human circles as a *joke*. And speaking of jokes...)

Independent - Electoral reform: Why it's time for change: The Government is facing calls for a wholesale review of the voting system after the general election was condemned as a "travesty of democracy". Politicians from all parties demanded that the first-past-the-post system be scrapped after Labour formed a Government with the smallest share of the vote for more than 100 years. In Surrey, more than 148,000 votes were cast for the Liberal Democrats and 87,000 voted Labour, yet every seat was won by the Tories.


Craving visibility and attention is very different from being accessible to constituents and doing their casework - just look at Boris Johnson ! A noble Tory tradition - all mouth and no trousers. Anyway, anyone wearing the sole red jacket like that in an Army platoon would be the first to get the sniper's bullet.

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But the fact remains, red jacket or no red jacket, she won, she's there, and that's what really gets up your noses isn't it? As indeed did every other Conservative parliamentary candidate in Surrey -does it hurt? Does it?

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Is that all you've got? "She won, so there!"...?

You'll have to do much better than that, Patsy.

You can start by proving that Milton used her actual residence on her application form. Or maybe you could make a grand moral defence for the racist pamphlets or the misleading MRSA ads.

(Waits for Patsy to insist that Milton won, so none of that matters, and/or that I should 'stop dwelling on the past'.)

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As a matter of fact, the Parliamentary establishment can come down very hard indeed on attention-seekers or those who (even inadvertently) step out of line. Sue experienced this when - for urgent constituency reasons - she had to ask an Oral Question before making her Maiden Speech. She got the Oral Answer she wanted - the Government Minister was fine about it - but the Speaker's Office went ballistic and actually wrote her a Threatening Letter ("Mr Speaker has a long memory for those who transgress Parliamentary Procedures") Seriously, if Dipstick is going to act Princess Pushy, there are all sorts of invisible trip-wires attached to large mines(and for once I write this with a tiny twinge of sympathy for Dipstick as a new MP.)

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I'm shuddering at the thought of Boris Johnson without trousers.

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errrr hate to disappoint - she did, didn't she? Feel free to correct me if I'm wong. But I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not ..............

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If I get Patsy's tortuous drift, yes Dipstick did win, but it's still not too late for the result to be disqualified either by reason of non-compliance with the electoral rules or else downright malpractice on the postal votes (and believe me, checks are being run.)

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If there is one election all you political hack types ought to remember (especially those with a keen interest in Conservative / Lib Dem marginals) it is Winchester 1997. Yes go check those postals, hell, we're all tempted, but have a re-run as sore losers, you are having a laugh aren't you?

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I think Patsy is having a divorce from reality - she cites as her key example Winchester 1997 which the Lib Dem initially won by 2 votes. Tory 'Sore Losers' took the result to Court, there was a resultant by-election,which the Lib Dem then won by a four-figure majority, which he has subsequently maintained. Can't see how this really helps Patsy's case.....

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Well you seem to have very carefully described exactly my point. Sore losers challenged the result in the court, got a re-run, totally obliterated in the by-election, Winchester Oaten's forever. My point is, sore losers, this time Lib Dems, challenge Guildford postal votes, secure a re-run, Ms Milton MP forever. Get it?

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Not so sure - 24000 postal ballot papers were issued, and disallowing only 10% of them would reduce Anne's majority to minus 1700. Also any Court would be influenced by the postal-vote electoral fraud conviction of Guildford Tory Cllr Anthony Bays in 2004 (the offences took place in 2003.) Gets a bit close to home, doesn't it ?

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Tim: Is that all you've got? "She won, so there!"...?

Patsy: errrr hate to disappoint - she did, didn't she?

Ah, so that *is* all you've got.

No answer to questions of impropriety or legality, then - just an assurance from you that we shouldn't look too closely at the result or challenge it.

OK, gotcha. Thanks for the biased 'input'.

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Just a practical example for you all to draw on. Not biased at all, in fact, to dredge up stunning Tory failure in Winchester. Whatever the number of postal ballots issued, whatever the previous "history", the Winchester case demonstrated that challenging a result in the courts does not get the result overturned and the one the challenger wants instead, it gets you a re-run. Which in Winchester did not prove exactly helpful.

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Sorry Patsy - the more recent Tory councillor Bays electoral fraud case in Guildford is the more relevant (especially as it too involved postal-vote hanky-panky.) "Challenge" of the vote in the criminal (Crown) court (not the High Court)did indeed get the result overturned and a by-election called, which was duly won by the Lib Dems. Which is of course precisely the opposite of the point you seek to make. However, it is by far the better precedent. It also took no less than four weeks after the election for the Bays affair to emerge into the public domain. Worried ? I would be.

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Worried? No. I'm not going to be one of the muppets out pounding the streets of Guildford if anything emerges from this. Interesting article page 10 of yesterday's Times - Guildford not mentioned.

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Democracy is a great thing - every person has a vote and the best person wins; well done Anne.

Now onto the delivery phase. What is she going to deliver and when ? I think we should be told !

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Found this on her website:

- Saving Milford Hospital and supporting the new Cranleigh Village Hospital.
- Reducing MRSA superbugs at Royal Surrey.
- Putting 60 more police on Guildford’s streets.
- Ending town centre binge drinking and cracking down on anti-social behaviour.
- Helping people who work hard and save hard in their retirement.
- Keeping council tax low – a new 50% reduction for households over 65.
- Scrapping tuition fees for university students.
- Halting closure of Special Schools – and defending faith schools.
- Allowing heads to expel disruptive pupils.

Lets see Anne deliver on this !!

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A PRIZE to be offered for the first photo of Dipstick smoking her favourite brand of fags - she was seen doing this on election night, but none of us had our cameras out. Nurse, Mother, Smoker - Milton Passive Smoking Kills.

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As I understand it the Borough Council election in 2003 involved the dishonesty of a candidate (bound to create a backlash amongst the electorate) whereas Winchester did not. So unless somebody is suggesting that Milton fiddled the election results in Guildford personally, Patsy is right that the Winchester election is a good example of what might happen when 'sore losers' challenge a result, even with a smidgen of a good reason.

And to those Men of the Left who can't quite grasp the fact that Tory Guildford has elected a Tory, I have this word of advice. Don't get mad, get even. There's another parliamentary election in four or five years. Start working for the result you want now. I am.

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    Hi. I'm Tim. I live in Guildford. I've built a few political weblogs here and there. If you're wondering why I decided to start this particular blog, click here.


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