I suppose I should expand on my previous entry…
The Tories came third in both seats (and there’s some lovely live-blogging of those results here if you’re interested).
If you hear any bulldust* about gains today, those figures are a 0.2% gain in Sedgefield and a 0.9% gain in Ealing Southall.
(*The above statement from Grant Shapps comes to us via Iain Dale, who’s just a wee bit late with a show of candour… and is clutching at straws himself with that ‘LibDem failure’ nonsense. Until yesterday, the Tories thought they had second place in the bag and a shot at the top in Ealing Southall. After all, the figures leaked or invented in this little affair had Labour and the Tories neck-and-neck at 33% of the vote each, with the Libs trailing at 26%)
For the sake of that 0.9% gain in Ealing Southall….
Iain Dale, their shining light of the blogging world, sacrificed a truckload of credibility, most notably when his readers saw the sudden shift in gear between this event and this one (in fact, it’s well worth your time to read the comments on the latter link).
Grant Shapps, their campaign master, pissed away any credibility he had with the online audience he is officially charged with reaching by claiming that he wasn’t reduced to personally sock-puppeting the opposition, but he had in fact been hacked by some miscreant who had guessed his password… 1234!
Jonathon Isaby, one of their most faithful journalists, was dumped right in it when a strategic leak caught him on the wrong side of electoral law.
Tony Lit, their glossy candidate, gave up a job (that he’ll probably get back) for a few weeks of hell… but should count himself lucky that Labour and the Liberal Democrats aren’t anywhere near as nasty that his Tory campaign team have been claiming.
The bottom line is that the Tories got the result they deserved. Screaming ‘dirty tricks’ while playing dirty tricks got them nowhere (sorry, not true; it earned them a gain… of 0.9%).
At the same time it was
revealed leaked that no-one will be charged (or shot) over the cash-for-honours affair. (And at this point I should point out that – charges or not – something still stinks to high heaven about this. In fact, what’s so rotten about it is easily summed up by repeating the following: These people came offering donations, but were instead asked for loans. Were it not for this scandal, how many of them do you think would be prepared to simply write off the loan after a suitable period?)
The Tories banked heavily on cash-for-honours… it was a potentially lethal blow to Labour’s already-tarnished image, and it allowed them to attack the government’s credibility without mentioning a certain minor incident they played no small part in… and you really have to spare a thought for poor old Paul Staines, who spent months setting himself up as unofficial-investigator-in-chief, declared live on Newsnight that Lord Levy would stand trial and even wasted many, many man-hours on a book with the working title; “The Trial of Lord Levy”… the man should count himself lucky if he doesn’t get sued over this (more).
I could go on and on and on and on… but I won’t. This by-election nonsense culminating in yesterday’s sick ‘suicide rumour’ stunt already has me dancing dangerously close to a whole lot of crap I’d rather leave behind.
So… instead… now that yours truly (and almost everyone else) has had their share of schadenfreude, I’m going to declare the rest of today to be Hug a Tory Day
HUG A TORY DAY: 20 July 2007
– Find a Tory weblog
– Leave a *hug* under ‘comments’
– Spread the love by repeating this message on your weblog… and include a link to your hug
I personally have chosen to hug Praguetory.
Have a nice day, folks.