Friday, May 04, 2007 

Some free advice

1. Smears don't always work in politics, and even if they do bring you short term gains, they have a bad habit of coming back and biting you on the arse sooner or later.

2. Don't try to 'play' or manipulate the blogosphere through the use of anonymous accounts, websites and/or sock-puppets... especially if you're an amateur.

3. Never, ever make major updates or changes to your weblog when drunk or angry.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 03, 2007 

A short tale of Tory Tellers

I just got back from voting.

Outside the polling station were the usual Tory Tellers asking to see poll cards.

When asked what they needed it for, this was the reply:

"This is just to make sure that you don't get locked up... so we know you've voted."

Tellers must not give the impression that they are employed by the returning officer.

Rosette or not, 'jokes' aside, the comment was well out of order.

I went inside and reported it immediately. The Presiding Officer was not impressed. In fact, I got the distinct impression that it wasn't the first time he'd had to pop outside for a quiet word with these people.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007 


Just who in the hell does Dennis Paul thinks he's kidding?

Dennis Paul just published the following on his main website and on his weblog:

I have received an anonymous tip off that a leaflet attacking Lib Dem candidate in Onslow, Chris Ward, is to be circulated across this Ward after dusk this evening on car windscreens. The leaflet is understood to contain a number of points that a disgruntled student(s)? want to bring to the attention of the electorate. If this information is correct then it is a sad day for politics that some independent individual(s) has decided to resort to personal attacks. This is the politics of the gutter and I deplore it entirely. Having been the point of personal attacks myself, this kind of politics has no place in Guildford.

Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers are as thick as thieves.

Mike Chambers has been proved to be behind the anonymous smears published online, and Dennis Paul has played an active role in the promotion of those smears.

This pamphlet (should it exist) comes under the direct remit of the Electoral Commission from the moment it transfers from online to print.

Further, this 'innocent' online promotion of it only serves to lay a trail that will suddenly become a lot more interesting to a lot more people should Dennis somehow ride the Tory train to victory tomorrow... even if he later deletes the entry (which he no doubt will). The same goes for Chambers; he played this same game a few weeks too early on his website before deleting the relevant entry, and I have the records to prove it.

Finally, this smear can only reinforce what people of Guildford have already sensed from their antics this past month... that the local Tories will stop at nothing to gain power at any level.


UPDATE (3 May) - I figured as much. The text of the original entry has been replaced with the following:

It would appear that talk of leaflets going round Onslow making personal attacks on an election candidate was a hoax. Thankfully, it looks like the electorate will be judging policies rather than personalities.

So character doesn't come into it, then?

Those voting in the wards of Onslow and Worplesdon should be aware - before they vote on the individuals they will be trusting with the proper and impartial management of their funds and resources - that both Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers have been caught playing (very dirty) party politics using time and facilities paid for by the taxpayer.

Heaven knows what Dennis thinks he's achieved with this little stunt. Did he picture Lib Dem activists in a last-minute dash around Onslow? Was he attempting to goad me and others into a last-minute promotion of the smear in the hope that some off his mud would stick?

It doesn't matter. He's just implicated himself... again.

Even if you're not morally outraged by what Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers have been up to (and what Anne Milton and the Guildford Conservative Association have been tolerating) you have to admit that these two chuckle-heads are so confident in themselves and their policies that - when the chips are down - they feel they can't compete without baseless personal attacks.

Worthless. Gutless. The pair of them.

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 27, 2007 

Putting a thug in someone's ear

The following is yet another blistering editorial from the Surrey Advertiser. The local Conservatives are sure to continue their moaning about the newspaper being 'anti-Tory', but the Surrey Ad has been extremely even-handed over the years and what this stance really shows is how outrageous the recent Tory antics have been.

Whoever is in overall charge of the local campaign will want to watch their back next Friday... the knives will be out after the results come in.

Writes and wrongs of local elections

Surrey Advertiser - 27 April, 2007

Are you a regular reader of the letters page? Well it has not been quite as it seems when it comes to the background to some of the contributions to these pages in recent weeks.

The reason for this is quite simple - it's election time and people are coming out in their true colours (be they blue, red, yellow and so on).

Does anyone recall a letter from a Mrs Podmore published on April 6? As a pensioner with no axe to grind, Mrs Podmore's letter clearly touched a nerve or two.

This newspaper, in good faith, published two letters in response to Mrs Podmore's prose - one from Cllr Tony Rooth (Guildford Borough Council Executive member) and another from a gentleman called Tim Downing. Both sought to put Mrs Podmore straight on a few things although perhaps not done in a way that would be to everyone's taste.

However, the Surrey Advertiser has been alerted to the fact that this was not the first time someone had tried to clarify a few things concerning her letter. At 4:53pm on the day it was published, Good Friday, she received a phone call from a man wishing to "put her right" regarding issues in her letter.

Understandably, Mrs Podmore, given the time of the call and the fact that the caller would have to had found her telephone number, found this slightly intimidating. This information is being made public to highlight what often goes on unseen or untold in the run-up to an election. But where does this leave voters? Possibly feeling disenfranchised with elections and politics but one thing is for sure - just like Mrs Podmore in using the democracy we live in to make her opinions known through these pages - anyone who can vote should vote on May 3.

For further insight into the repercussions of Mrs Podmore's letter log on to

1. The full article at can be found here (PDF). You will definitely want to read it to find out more about the mysterious Tim Downing, who poses as a concerned member of the public but actually appears to be working for the Tories in a professional capacity as a PR operative.

2. The use of ringers will, no doubt, ring a few bells.

3. So will the local Tory tactic of taking the case directly to anyone who dares to write a letter to the local newspaper that is critical of them. Regular readers may recall my mentioning back in 2005 that; ... the last person who dared to pen a letter in the local paper that was critical of Anne Milton ended up with a Tory rep on their doorstep wanting to 'discuss the matter'

In that instance, the person involved did not feel intimidated... but that's mainly because they are not a very easy person to intimidate. Tell me, how would you feel if someone turned up at your door out of the blue wanting to discuss a letter that you had written to your local newspaper?

Something to keep in mind when you vote next week.

Cheers all.


Friday, April 20, 2007 

Blimey! They're at it again!

Tories hijack another campaign

Here's an extract from the above Surrey Advertiser article:
Fury at Tories for 'cheap electoral trick'

The Conservatives have come under fire for their election tactics for a second week in a row after a Guildford residents' association accused them of hijacking its campaign.

Paul Kassell, from Stoughton Community Association (SCA) has claimed electioneers from Guildford Tories have jumped on the traffic issue.

He is livid as a picture he claims he took of cars mounting pavements along Grange Road has appeared on the pamphlet, along with the camapign acronym STAN - Stoughton Traffic Action Now.

The leaflets were put through house doors in the ward about two weeks ago.

"I am absolutely furious. Without talking to us, they have hijacked our campaign even down to the point where they used a photograph from our website," he said, "I have not seen any of the three candidates attend a meeting or stand on the street in protest. It's sudden interest and it is a cheap electoral trick.

"They know that everyone in Stoughton thinks this is the main issue. The thing that annoys me most is we have a Conservative-led county council, but they [Guildford Tories] are wondering where the money will come from."

Mr Kassell said the election leaflet could set back years his organisation's campaign, as it is asking for 'fixes', a stage the SCA was at in 2005.

"This could potentially set us back two years in out campaign. If the county council starts dealing with two different groups, they will use it as an excuse to do nothing."

"This will not have a neutral effect - it will do damage. It will slow us down. We have not seen any of them on the protests. It's anything for a vote."

The main website of the SCA can be found here and on the related weblog, Mr Kassell can be seen giving a guarded and ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek welcome to Tory support back in March.

You can see the photo the Tory candidates ripped off, and the SCA page they nicked it from, in the image below:

scan and screengrab

The relevant Tory candidates have responded with a joint statement that includes a number of pissweak justifications... and a claim that the SCA is "an apparent Liberal Democrat front organisation"!

They do like to jump up and down and scream "Lib Dem front!" when anyone catches them with their hands in the cookie jar, don't they?

(Meanwhile, other local Tories are busy building, renewing and promoting a series of anonymous websites where they pose as Labour supporters and make all sorts of misleading and/or unsubstantiated claims about the local Liberal Democrats. Amusingly, one of these Tory-run websites is now declaring that the admirably even-handed Surrey Advertiser has a secret anti-Tory agenda.)

Let me ask you this... if these Tories even so much as suspected that the SCA was a front for a competing party, do you really think they would lift material and attempt to hijack their campaign in this way?

I called Paul Kassell and asked him about the 'Lib-Dem front' claim. He responded by pointing out that local councillors are on the SCA committees, and yes, they happen to be Liberal Democrats. He said; "Should any of the local Tory candidates become local councillors, they will also be invited."

Of course, whether or not these Tories do anything constructive with that opportunity (if it arises) remains to be seen... but they've already made clear how much respect they have for Mr Kassell and his aims.


About me

    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.


    Save the Royal Surrey




Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates