Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

The Guildford Conservative Association: proudly independent

Given recent developments, I think it's worth pointing out (as it has been pointed out to me) that the Guildford Conservative Association operates very much independently of Anne Milton's office.


And now, for no reason whatsoever, here are some of the individuals who posed as your average man or woman on the street, endorsing Anne Milton in her 2005 election literature...

Meet 'Jill' from Compton:

We are loving the Amme, we are!

Jill appeared in Anne Milton's April 2005 election pamphlet and said: "Let's have Anne as MP. Let's get Matrons back in charge - Anne's a voice of common sense."

Ah, yes... common sense. Common sense would dictate that - if you had a vested interest or a close association of any kind - you would be careful to declare it in such situations. Perhaps this is why Jill took the precaution of using exactly the same photo on the Guildford Conservative Association profile page; she wanted to make matters as 'obvious' as possible to the general public upon her appointment...

Jill Eyles

On the Guildford Conservative Association website she is currently listed as follows:
Jill Eyles - Deputy Chairman (Membership and Fundraising) of Guildford Conservatives

Jill is married with four children and has lived in the Guildford constituency for nearly ten years. She has been actively involved with the Conservative Party for most of her adult life and has campaigned in Streatham, the old constituency of S.W.Leicester, Brentford and Isleworth, when she also stood as a candidate for the local council and now Guildford. She has been involved in fundraising for many years mostly for Arthritis charities and most recently CHASE, the Childrens' Hospice based in Guildford which has now built 'Christopher's' at Artington where she also works as a volunteer. Jill also sits on Compton Parish Council where she is responsible for planning matters.

Needless to say, none of this background information appeared in the relevant election literature.

But we're not done yet, folks...

Appearing right next to Jill (and the lovely Dora) is 'Jonathon' from Blackheath:

We are loving the Amme, we are!

When appearing in Anne Milton's April 2005 election pamphlet Jonathon said: "Anne is great value. She'll be a great MP. She's done so much for local people."

Jonathon also appears on the Guildford Conservative Association profile page:

Jonathon Lord

On the Guildford Conservative Association website he is currently listed as follows:
Jonathan Lord - Chairman of Guildford Conservatives

Jonathan lives in Blackheath and, in addition to leading the Guildford Conservative Association as Chairman, he is also chairs the Wonersh and Blackheath Branch. His key aims for this year are to increase membership, to raise the income of the Association through successful events, and to prepare all the groundwork for successful borough-wide election campaigns in both Guildford and Waverley in May 2007. Prior to living in Bramley then Blackheath, Jonathan was based in central London, where he was a Councillor for the Ward of Little Venice and Deputy Leader of Westminster Council. Born in Oldham, he also stood as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Oldham West and Royton in 1997. Jonathan has over twenty years' of business experience in advertising, marketing communications and technology. As a Director of Saatchi & Saatchi, he ran campaigns for Hewlett-Packard across Europe and the Middle East. He is currently a Director of LastMile Communications Ltd.

Needless to say, none of this background information appeared in the relevant election literature.

But we're still not done, folks...

Meet 'Christine' from Stoughton:

We are also loving the Amme!

Christine appeared in Anne Milton's April/May 2005 election pamphlet (you can download a copy of this as a PDF file here) right next to the even-more-lovely Kathy.

When appearing in this pamphlet, Christine said: "Anne got straight on to the police about the problems with vandals round here."

Oh, how nice... and yes, you guessed it, Christine appears on the Guildford Conservative Association profile page, too... and - like Jill - she has taken the precaution of using exactly the same photo. I mean, we wouldn't want to go swanning about deliberately misleading the electorate, now would we?

Christine Stacy

On the Guildford Conservative Association website she is currently listed as follows:
Christine Stacy - Deputy Chairman (Political) of Guildford Conservatives

Christine is married and has lived in Stoughton for nearly 40 years. Following a successful career in communications including service and personnel management, including as Branch Secretary for some years in a moderate trade union, she took early retirement. She is heavily involved in the voluntary sector working with the frail and housebound and was also a Governor at Northmead School in Stoughton for 8 years, including for 2 years the Chairman of Governors. Christine has a keen interest in the health service and thoroughly enjoys helping a local branch of a pensioners' organisation. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, good health and chocolate in moderation! She recently stood Conservative Candidate in the Guildford North division (Stoughton & Stoke) at the County Council elections in May 2005..

Needless to say, none of this background information appeared in the relevant election literature.

So that's three out of four current members of the Guildford Conservative Association who - before their appointment to this association - appeared in Anne Milton's 2005 election literature endorsing Anne Milton without declaring their past or current affiliations to this candidate and/or the Conservative Party (the only exception being the Right and Truly Honourable Lord Howell of Guildford).

Meanwhile, Conservative activists closely associated with Anne Milton continue with false claims that this weblog is the work of Liberal Democrats (and much worse besides) and when I choose to complain to the Guildford Conservative Association about this kind of thing, for some strange reason the only reply I get is from Anne Milton's office. Now why do you think that is?

[Note for the record: After receiving no reply from the Guildford Conservative Association about recent smears, I finally managed to call - and get through to - Jonathan Lord on Friday. He was kind enough to put me on speaker-phone. Make of that what you will.]

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

Kathy Lyons loses by-election - locals don't trust 'local people'

Caroline Anne Reeves, the Liberal Democrat candidate, has been elected as the new councillor for Friary & St Nicolas ward in the recent by-election (conducted 24 Nov 2005). The results were as follows:

Caroline Reeves (Liberal Democrats) - 1123
Kathy Lyons (Conservative Party) - 602
Susan Gomm (Labour Party) - 74
Thomas May (Independent) - 43

That's damn near a 2-to-1 result there. Perhaps folks in the Friary & St Nicolas ward sensed something 'off' about this hot piece of totty.

Could it be because this was the same Kathy they saw promoting Anne Milton as a 'local person' in this pamphlet, this pamphlet and this pamphlet?

If so, it would be a mistake to punish her for this, even if at the time she happened to be registered to vote under the same address as Richard M Halderthay (the promoter of all of these pamphlets).

You see, we cannot confirm career-driven duplicity here. After all, this pop at a proper position may not have been a reward for pamphlet pluggage and rent-a-crowd service at public appearances. It may simply be the case that Kathy was so inspired by Anne Milton's leadership that she decided to go into politics herself.

I, for one, am prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt on this.

But I would question her judgement...

In this, the pamphlet that first got me digging for 'local faces' Kathy says that; "As a mother of 4 Anne has real experience of juggling work and family. She'll be great for Guildford."

Can you spot the mistake Kathy made here? Yes, she forgot to factor in distance.

Anne doesn't live in Guildford, she lives in Reigate. So she has to juggle work and family and distance... and public appearances (see: work).

(Now, you may be tempted to ask; "Are all these public appearances are really necessary?"... but they seemed awfully necessary before the election. Not so much now.)


Wednesday, July 27, 2005 

Another ringer - Richard Gates

Well, well, well... look what I happened upon when I was directed to a pamphlet containing surgery details that went out to selected members of the constituency. Here's a picture of Anne's 'Bramley Conservative Action Team'... featuring Councillor Richard Gates:

The Bramley Dream Team

Now take a look at this pre-election pamphlet which has a large page headed; Why local people think Anne Milton will be Guildford’s next MP

Not only do we see the lovely Katherine, we also see... Councillor Richard Gates!

Hello, Richard!

Of course, he's not billed as 'Councillor Richard Gates', just 'Richard'... but at least they gave voters a sporting chance of spotting a ringer by using the same picture this time.

It also needs to be noted that:

1. Being a councillor does not stop one from being local
2. They were right; she *did* become Guildford’s next MP

Of course, in the mind of Miltonites, this completely negates the significance of this little deception.


Thursday, June 09, 2005 

Oi! Milton! Clean up your act!

It has now been well over a month since 29.9% of the electorate expressed their belief that Anne Milton was a woman of action. But some of Milton's 'vote for me' signs are still in place. Perhaps she's hoping for some last-minute votes to boost her 0.7% majority. I've included pictures and locations of two signs to get her started on a belated clean-up:

But this is just the window-dressing. The important question - and one you should expect to hear often - is; what real and positive action has Milton taken since being elected (apart from shooting her mouth off over council tax)?

"She's only been in a month, give her a chance!" I hear you scream... but Milton assured us that she was taking action long before May 5th 2005.

Let's take the following as just one small but typical example...

The spectacular fire-engine crash on 4 December 2004 highlighted a notorious accident black-spot on the curve and bridge on the A281 in Shalford. The Surrey Advertiser responded by describing it as 'carnage corner' in a front-page report on Friday December 10th.

By the 15th, Surrey County Council issued this press release: Surrey County Council's (SCC's) Guildford Local Committee has taken action to improve road safety at Tillingbourne Bridge in Shalford in the light of recent collisions there by coming up with the funding for two vehicle activated speed signs. SCC's Guildford Local Transportation Service has already introduced signs and road markings reminding drivers to slow down and alerting them to both the hump-backed bridge and the bend. Street lighting has been improved and vegetation has been cut back but despite this drivers are still approaching too fast. The two signs, one on each side of the bridge, will illuminate when the vehicles approach the bridge too fast, drawing the driver's attention to the hazard and the need to slow down. The total cost of the signs, including installation and electrical connection, will be £12,000.

Funding came from 3 primary sources:
Veronica Stiastny, County Councillor for Shalford (Conservative)
Tom Sharp, County Councillor for Guildford South (Lib-Dem)
The 'Safer Guildford' partnership

But a few days later, Stiastny teamed up with Milton to take all of the credit for 'instant Conservative action' in this pamphlet, tying it in with this October 2004 pamphlet/petition with the claim that; "In October Anne Milton, Guildford’s Conservative Prospective MP delivered her newsletter to 40,000 households in and around Guildford calling for action to be taken to slow traffic down. She asked residents to sign a petition calling for Vehicle Activated Signs to be installed on some of Guildford’s worst road’s including the A281."

Erm, no she didn't. The pamphlet/petition clearly calls for action at the following locations:
B2128 through Wonersh and Rowly
The B3000 through Compton
Lanes in Seale and Sands
Clay Lane, Burpham
Farnham Road, Guildford

The A281 isn't mentioned. None of these locations are anywhere near this stretch of it.

The put it bluntly, Anne Milton lied over a matter as serious as road safety in order to gain political advantage.

But let's get back to the bit where she and (since-deselected) Veronica Stiastny claimed it was All Their Own Work. Y'see, this accident black-spot happens to be a two-way street. If Milton wants to take the credit, she needs to be prepared to shoulder the blame.

6 months has passed since the Vehicle Activated Signs were promised and Milton took credit for instant action... when really no action had been taken yet. And guess what? Little to no action has been taken since!

Here's a picture of one of the poles that was installed sometime last year:

As you may note; it's still just a pole. 6 months down the line.

But, to be fair, in the last few weeks, I've finally seen some workmen on the job, digging up the pavement in order to lay cables to an even newer pole - that now boasts its very own sign! Here's a picture of the aftermath of some recent work that I saw going on last weekend:

Yes, that is a sign. The cable, we can assume, is for illumination. So it's an illuminated sign. But it's not a Vehicle Activated Sign. A Vehicle Activated Sign looks like this, and is set apart from other signs because it, erm, is activated by vehicles:

Anne Milton promised action and took credit for delivery, when nothing was actually delivered and - 6 months later - still nothing has been delivered. Had I taken part in her campaign for safer roads in Guildford, I would be livid. But somehow, I don't think we'll hear any complaints. Here's a picture of your typical resident from Anne's October 2004 pamphlet/petition:

Well, look who it is - it's Grant Griffiths! Former Deputy Chairman of Guildford Conservatives, Anne Milton's Campaign Director, and serial 'typical resident' ringer:

I find it interesting that Grant features on this profile page at guildfordconservatives.com and this profile page at Bluelist.org, but in both cases he is the only person without a photo. Given his position, his habit of posing as a 'typical resident', and the past activities of this weblog, I'm sure you can work out why.

But a final mystery remains...

Grant lives in Wonersh. Unless he's been living as a hermit for the past 30+ days, he would have to have passed that 2nd left-over 'Vote Anne Milton' sign (mentioned at the top of this post) at least a dozen times... but he has chosen to leave it untouched.


I hope you'll pardon me for this deeply personal attack, but I think it may have something to do with maintaining a sustained erection.

Thanks for listening, and do drive safely.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005 

One final outing

My, my, my... so many familiar and friendly faces!

Today at the short Conservative rally in Guildford High St, I saw three people from the now-infamous March pamphlet: Mike Chambers, Mandy Worrall, and Katherine Lyons (1, 2).

In this picture you can see Mandy and Katherine. I've blacked-out their eyes because - after offering to pose for a picture - Mandy realised who I was and insisted that I did not have permission to take photos of her. I've assumed that Katherine has similar objections to me taking photos of her. When there were half-a-dozen press photographers there doing exactly the same thing.

Mandy was a very nice lady. She insisted that I "should have my collar felt" and then - in front of an independent witness I would very interested in tracking down - accused me very loudly of "inciting people to undertake criminal acts."

I asked her exactly what she was referring to. Perhaps it was my suggestion that people put posters up in their own front yards. But she refused to talk to me any further following her accusation, so - if my witness comes forward - I may have to prompt her with a little legal action.

Anyway, I met three people from the now-infamous March pamphlet and...

No... wait... back up... better make that four. Because this chap was there, too. He was obviously part of the campaign team, as he spent a great deal of time placing our now-familiar 'average people on the street' at the front of the crowd. People like Mandy and Katherine. His name is Grant. And I know that because he also posed as 'your average man in the street' in this same pamphlet:

(So, running clockwise, that four people in a row who are directly connected to Anne's campaign. It's a pity there's only one day left, as I would have loved to have acquired the whole set.)

Grant is a downright friendly chap who really knows his job. He was even clever enough to 'accidentally' barge me and my camera out of the way as Anne Milton and Michael Howard made their way past. And Grant can't deny this because I have it - surprisingly enough - on camera.

That's not why this picture is so blurry, though. This picture is blurry because Anne didn't want me to shake Michael Howard's hand:

I did get to inform him that Anne was a dipstick, though.

I also talked - at some length - to a nice chap about what goes into this blog and what doesn't. He knows of at least one 'in the know' person that I talked to about a matter that I've covered here.... up to a certain limit. Now - hopefully - he should also know why I'm not repeating it here, because there *is* a limit. (And here I should point out, Everybody Else Who Isn't This Guy, that I'm not hinting at some great scandal. As I said; it's been covered.)

Back soon with a final post.

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Sunday, May 01, 2005 

Ooooh, get her!

The Times - Battle of the Guildford gals: It's a Tory-Lib Dem marginal and the top two candidates don't get along. Believe me, these babes hate each other. "Have you seen the website?" Doughty, who is defending the seat, had asked me gleefully over a plate of pate in the bland corporate dining area of the nearby Holiday Inn. Yes, I've seen it. Doughty is referring to a local blogger's site entitled Anne Milton: Nurse, Mother, Dipstick. An entire website dedicated to trashing - with spite, nastiness and some acuity - Milton's campaign to return Guildford to the Tory embrace which, these past four years apart, has held it tight for most of a century. Not the most cruel allegation on the site is that Milton resembles the popular entertainer Julian Clary. Worse, it is revealed that almost all of the local people photographed in Tory leaflets praising Milton are, actually, Conservative activists. "The picture of 'Andrew from Christchurch', for example, is in fact Andrew from Christchurch, the Tory deputy leader of the council," says Doughty, smothering a snigger. And the blogger has reproduced fairly risible leaflet pictures of Milton "taking action on the environment" (picking up some litter), "taking action on families" (talking to a lady with a pushchair), "taking action on immigration" (hitting a black person with a claw hammer). Actually, I made the last one up. There are no black people in Guildford, or almost none. To her credit, Milton takes it all in good heart, even if she suspects the Liberal Democrats of having some clandestine involvement (which they deny).

Clandestine? Try overt. There's Sue herself letting me know via a national newspaper about yet another ringer in this pamphlet (PDF). Damn it, she was supposed to deliver this message via coded entries in the *crossword*. Maybe if we keep quiet about it, no-one will notice.

Anyway, let's get to the meat of this article, which is the journalist (Rod Liddle) being just a *little* bit sexist. And a bigger bitch than he paints Sue or Anne to be in the process.

Get close to any hard-fought campaign and you'll see the same level of personal/emotional conflict; it doesn't matter if the candidates are male, female, or a little bit of both (insert needlessly cruel comment about the Conservative candidate's Adam's apple here).

Oh, go deeper into the article and you will happen across a 'nail on the head' moment. Sue Doughty is praised for being "a fine and principled politician with a pretty impressive CV from within the public and private sector."

While the best that can be said of Milton is that she's feisty and has the common touch. Arguably good qualities for winning votes, but not for doing the actual job. And substance is what it's about, folks.

So far, this blog has revealed racism, deception and outright lies at the heart of Anne Milton's campaign. And what is quite possibly a serious breach of electoral guidelines. In the space of about four weeks. One can only wonder what she'll get up to over the space of four years if given the opportunity to 'serve' as an MP.


Thursday, April 14, 2005 

Journey to the core of nothing

Congratulations to Dennis Paul, who - since this post was published - has attracted an added 92 visitors to his website. Well, perhaps not... if you look at his published stats (on the bottom left of the front page) you'll note that all you have to do is click 'refresh' to bump the number up another digit. It counts visits, not visitors. So that's 327 visits to the front page on the 22nd of March and 419 today:

This weblog has been live for just under a month. In that time, it has attracted 4,936 visits from 2,588 unique visitors. 720 of these visitors have returned for more.

This is the bit where I remind you of Guildford's voting history. Nicholas St Aubyn inherited a theoretical majority of 13,404... he then saw it reduced to 4,791 in 1997 and lost the seat by 538 votes in 2001. I'm sensing a pattern here, and by my reckoning Anne will have a bit of a hill to climb this time around.

I mention those stats not as some kind of 'how high can my wee-wee go' competition, but to help Dennis and Anne out with a small problem they seem to share - that of denial (habitual liars tend to start deluding themselves after a while).

The purpose of this weblog is as follows: to focus a microscope on Anne Milton's campaign in an effort to find something - anything - of substance.

And it's here that I need to draw attention to the wider picture.

Blogs usually do not work well as pure campaigning tools, and there's a reason for that. This technology aids networking, but it doesn't create a network out of thin air. You either need an established network to start with or you need to get out there and do stuff and build your network. The more stuff you do, the more familiar people become with your name and/or that of your website. If the result/reception has been largely positive, you'll find people are more likely to promote you or help you do more stuff. (Please note that the last two 'outings' of Dipstick Ringers have resulted from people who have begun to network with this weblog.)

Now, we know this system also works in real life, because it's been in operation since the first tribe was formed.

But if you take a look at Anne Milton and all the stuff she has 'taken action' on in the past, what do you see?

Her March pamphlet proclaimed her to be 'The Talk Of The Town', but she is far from that. The few people I've met in Guildford who have heard of her don't think much of her (but I'll get onto that in a moment).

For all she's done, she cannot find as few as a dozen people willing to thank her by endorsing her publicly. She falls so far short of critical mass that she appears to be completely reliant on Tory activists, councillors, their daughters and their wives.

Posters for Anne are turning up in properties across the constituency, but this - again - is part of the Tory machine, not part of the Anne Milton machine.

Now we get back to those people I've met (not via this weblog) who have become aware of her, but don't think much of her. By and large, their negative opinions result from Anne's cack-handed attempts to paint herself as a popular woman of action when she is nothing of the sort. They think she's full of crap.

In short; Anne's campaign of faking popular support is losing her support.

Have you got that last bit, Anne? Are you paying attention?

Have you realised that I'm one of these people and therefore merely a symptom of a problem that you yourself have created?

I hope so. Because ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. And on that note, here is a copy of the email I sent last week that you chose to ignore:

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Ireland
To: Anne Milton
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 9:23 AM
Subject: march and april pamphlets

Dear Anne,

It has been alleged that the 'Katherine' that appears in both of your most recent pamphlets is one Katherine Lyons, and shown on the electoral roll to be at the same address as Richard M Halderthay, who is the promoter behind this same pamphlet.

Given the common address and differing names, I would take a guess that Katherine is the married daughter of Richard.

Would you care to confirm, deny or clarify this?

Tim Ireland

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It gets uglier every day

Following the publication of a scan of the April pamphlet on this weblog, comments by StevieP have led us to yet another Dipstick Ringer.

Here's Dora saying; "Bright, spirited and intelligent, Anne's a winner."

I'll get on to who Dora is in a moment. First I'd like to remind you of Dennis Paul stirring up fear of foreigners and draw your attention to a comment on this post from shalfordian: This is beginning to get SERIOUS (and I don't use upper case lightly.) Last night (12 April) at the Amnesty public meeting with all five Guildford candidates, the subject of racism in local leaflets came up and Dipstick claimed not to know anything about it - until Sue slapped one in front of her (Dennis Paul's) saying "But it's got your face all over it" No response from Dipstick, who rather looked as if she wished the earth would swallow her.

There's more, but I'll get on to Anne's status as nurse, ex-nurse or non-nurse at a later date. What I want to focus on right now is how close Anne Milton is to Dennis Paul. If she wishes to put some distance between herself and Dennis (and/or his grubby little leaflets), she has one major problem... and that's Dora the Supporter.

Dora is Dennis Paul's wife.

You can check this out for yourself in the March pamphlet (PDF). I've included a partial scan of relevant page below:

Or you can see it with your own eyes via Dennis Paul's own website where you will find this (very large) portrait of his family (I've included an enhanced version below).

So there you have it folks. Anne Milton and Dennis Paul. Thick as thieves.

(Cheers to StevieP and shalfordian for their input.)

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Thursday, April 07, 2005 

Initial reactions to the April pamphlet

Anne latest pamphlet is out, and it looks like this weblog has had an impact. As this scan of the back of her latest pamphlet shows (small version below), she's dropped all pretence that these opinions come from your average man in the street.

But there's still someone familiar that catches my eye and takes me back to the March pamphlet. Looking inside this (the April pamphlet, available here in PDF format) we see a woman and child appearing twice. Her face is largely obscured in both photos but that ugly, ugly overcoat is a dead giveaway - it's Katherine, who appeared on the front and back pages of the March pamphlet.

Now, some unkind things have been said about Anne Milton and her propensity to eat small children, but I previously dismissed such claims as facetious nonsense. However, it now appears that Anne has only been able to dig up *one* local citizen willing to bring their child within reach of her mighty jaws. Smoke and fire, people... smoke and fire.

Let's move along to the text, because it contains an interesting development...

For quite some time now, a spirited battle has taken place on the Letters page of our local newspaper between the developer Michel Harper and those who oppose his plans to build a casino. Our MP, Sue Doughty, has been quite vocal about this and has written many letters herself. But has Little Ms Action had anything to say about it one way or the other? No, she has not.

Until now...

Anne Milton's latest pamphlet declares that:

"ANNE takes ACTION on stopping a Casino in Guildford from going ahead"

But to date she's taken no such action. It's taken her this long just to form an *opinion*!

So I think it's worth taking a closer look at her other claims of action, so we can see how they stand up. Please keep in mind that I'm approaching this not as an activist or a representative of the Lib-Dems, I'm just a concerned citizen with a low tolerance for bullshit. If you'd care to add anything under Comments, the floor is open:

ANNE takes ACTION on Recycling and caring for our environment
Why, so she does. Here she is recycling something and here she is picking up litter. Compare these two photo opportunities with this:
Sue Doughty backs doorstep recycling in the commons.
But... let's be fair and allow Labour to claim credit, too. As far as I can tell, every candidate claims to back recycling and other environmentally-friendly initiatives. Unless Anne has actually taken exceptional action that sets her apart, all I see here is 'more of the same'.

ANNE takes ACTION on Protecting green fields
As what? A scarecrow? I direct your attention to the recent Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence and this input from Sue Doughty.

ANNE takes ACTION on Stopping regional house building targets
Oh, I see. You want to stop building houses in the area, even though it's quite obvious that scrounging illegal immigrants are snapping up all available housing in the area. Makes perfect sense to me

ANNE takes ACTION on Stopping unwanted mobile phone masts
So does Sue Doughty. Another 'Me too!' moment from Anne Milton, ladies and gentlemen.

ANNE takes ACTION on Supporting the new hospital
Yes. She used to a nurse, you know. Next...

ANNE takes ACTION on Preventing the closure of Milford Hospital
Same issue, isn't it? Support new ones, don't close old ones. Let's see what Sue Doughty thinks.

ANNE takes ACTION on Preventing more Post Office Closures
Hmm. You know, this looks like action to me, too:
Post Office Branch Closures Unacceptable says Sue Doughty
Sue Doughty meets with post office for urgent talks on closure

ANNE takes ACTION on Better enforcement of speed limits
Better enforcement? As in more police? I thought they were supposed to be busy eyeballing yobs. Perhaps it's more speed cameras Anne wants. Or moody loners with robot cars.

ANNE takes ACTION on Stopping anti-social behaviour
Ah, yes. The yobs. And quite possibly the only actual action I've seen from Anne Milton so far. Thanks to Tory-bod Mike Chambers we know that Anne Milton helped get a camera in an underpass.

ANNE takes ACTION on Safer streets, safer town, safer villages
See above.

ANNE takes ACTION on Cleaner streets
See above. No, up. Up further. Right at the top. There you go.

ANNE takes ACTION on Saying no to the Guildford Casino
See even further above. Also, what the hell does this mean? Anne Milton takes action on saying no. Not "Anne Milton takes action" or "Anne Milton takes action *by* saying 'no'"... but "Anne Milton takes action *on* saying no". I think it means that she has taken action on saying no by - after months of saying nothing - printing that she says 'no' in this pamphlet. So the sentence that claims she takes action refers to the action taken by printing the sentence itself. Clear?

ANNE takes ACTION on A fairer and lower Council tax
Another victory for Anne 'Me too!' Milton... Sue Doughty - We Need a Fairer Council Tax

ANNE takes ACTION on A better, prompter train service
Yes. To correct the crappy, late services caused by the Tory-led privatisation of rail.

ANNE takes ACTION on Building the new Civic Hall in Guildford
Would that be the Civic Hall in Guildford designed to replace the one that Tory councillors closed despite protests from Lib-Dems?
Lib Dems target council leader over Civic Hall 'fiasco'

ANNE takes ACTION on Saying no to incineration
This, I assume, refers to her opposition to plans for a Guildford incinerator. That originated from the Tory-run Council. Here's Sue again, opposing the last Tory candidate who supported the incinerator... and lost. A jolly good plan of Anne's, then, to come out against it. Even though it was her lot that backed it.

All in all, I'm seeing a lot of bluster, a lot of bull and very little action. But that's nothing new, really.

Still, I was inspired enough to take a little action myself. Anne's past naughtiness with pamphlets left us in a position where we didn't actually know what local people thought of her... so I popped into uk.local.surrey and asked.

What *do* local people think of Anne Milton? Well, from my small online sample, all I have so far is this:

"I think I can honestly say I've never thought of Anne Milton...."


"To be honest - I don't give a toss about Anne Milton or any of her ilk... I'm no New Labour supporter but after 18 years of Tory tripe of ruining our country and turning us into materialistic, money is everything, house price obsessed, damn the disadvantaged nation we appear to have become, I'm sure ain't going to vote the like of Ann Milton into Parliament."

"I might if she's got big tits."

Hm. She happens a great big tit herself. I'm wondering if that counts...

There's also this interesting observation:

"Well, I was in the same room as her once, is that good enough? Seriously, I am fascinated by this complete change in campaigning style. We have been inundated with leaflets and flyers all featuring the smiling and local campaigning Anne Milton and I opened the door the other day to be confronted by a bright young confident gentleman who brightly asked if I was going to vote Conservative. No doubt this is not the last visit. I just find it interesting that Anne Milton seems to be conducting a local campaign that is more Lib-Dem in style than the Lib-Dems do themselves. It also feels like a local council election rather than preparing for a national election and I think that this is unhealthy; a national general election is surely about national policies and what is good for the country rather than the fact that the Conservative candidate tried to save our local Post Office and picks up litter in Gomshall or wherever."

I'd agree with that up to a point (I do like an MP who actually spends time serving their constituents, and MPs that do so deserve credit for that work). The Tories appear to be relying on their recent Council wins while hammering Anne Milton into something that could pass as a rough facsimile of our current MP.

(And they'd probably stand some chance of success if the challenge were set in a room full of mentally-challenged rhesus monkeys. Wait... strike that. Best make it; ' a *darkened* room full of mentally-challenged rhesus monkeys'....)

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Monday, April 04, 2005 

Another cat escapes the bag!

Thanks to comments made following the outing of Mike Chambers, we now know that another 'average local person' in Anne Milton's 'Talk of the Town' pamphlet is closely tied to her party and/or campaign.

(BTW - Yes, that is Howard Flight pictured between Anne Milton and Mike Chambers in that post. As far as I know, Anne has expressed no opinion about the recent unpleasantness, but she *is* becoming famous for waiting to hear what the majority thinks before forming her 'own' opinion.)

Meet Mandy. She thinks; "Anne really understands our worries about crime and anti-social behaviour. She'll be a really effective MP."

1. Note that word 'worries'... this suggests - once again - that the local Tory campaign in based not on reality, but a perception of it.
2. I doubt very much that Anne will be an effective MP, but I'll get onto that shortly.
3. The womanly 'man in the street' Mandy is in fact Councillor Mandy Worrall of Ash Parish Council (bottom right).

Now, here I seek to remind you that the original investigation into Mike Chambers was very much the result of random selection. I started with one face, hit pay-dirt, and then stopped there.

I then did Anne the courtesy of asking her straight out if my suspicions were correct and allowing her to respond.

And what was the result?

A promise that she would get back to me.

Did she keep this promise?

No, she did not.

In much the same way that she didn't keep her promise to get back to me about the mysterious call centre that she knew all along was directly connected to her party.

Now we get back to my judgement as to whether she'll be a good MP...

Let's begin with this comment on Guido's blog from lambethlad: re Anne Milton - her own side don't like her either. And this was also true when she was a Reigate councillor. Great promises, but no action.

I couldn't possibly comment about what was or wasn't delivered in Reigate (or if Anne was or wasn't the most popular girl in class), but I *do* know that I've had direct contact with Anne Milton twice now - and on both occasions she has promised to take action and failed to deliver.

So, previously when I saw her claiming to be Little Ms Action when it came to mobile phone masts when I knew that Sue Doughty had been taking reaction on behalf of residents (and was certainly better-placed to do so, being our MP and all) I was willing to give Anne the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps she also had taken action on behalf of residents.

But I don't think like that any more... because I know she's all mouth and no trousers.

When I read in her pamphlet that she would oppose any plans to build an incinerator in Guildford when I knew that plans for an incinerator originated from the Tory-run Council, I was willing to believe that perhaps Anne simply had a different view to her Tory counterparts on local Councils.

But I don't think like that any more... because I know she's all mouth and no trousers.

I once thought that if/when Anne *finally* expressed an opinion on the hot issue of a local casino, I would be willing to listen to that opinion and take it at face value.

But I don't think like that any more... because I know she's all mouth and no trousers.

And finally... now Anne's pamphlet assures me that she's the 'Talk Of The Town' and not one but *two* of the locals featured in this pamphlet (who have [a] heard of her and [b] think highly of her) turn out to be closely associated with her party or campaign, I'm now inclined to think that ALL of the locals featured in this same pamphlet are closely associated with her party or campaign. Every last one.

Because I know she's all mouth and no trousers.

But... Anne has a chance to tell me otherwise, prove me wrong and/or earn back the benefit of the doubt.

All she has to do is fulfil her promise to get back to me about the other vox-pops in this pamphlet and tell me how many of them are sourced from people closely associated with her party and/or her campaign.

And she has a clear choice here...

She can some clean and tell us what the story is (i.e. elaborate on "So what?" and tell us how many of these 'average people in the street' work for her or the Tories) or I can start digging in earnest.

Hell, I can even spend time focusing on other issues and just sit back and wait for further revelations regarding this pamphlet - and others - to come in via readers... one after the other... over the next 4 weeks.

Your call, Anne. Come clean or get hosed.

UPDATE - Here you go, folks... here's a scan of the back page of Anne's March 2005 pamphlet (there's also a PDF version available on this page of her website). Let me know if you recognise anyone.


Monday, March 28, 2005 

That's Conservative *action*, folks!

Dear Anne,

It's been 11 days, 18 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds since you promised to get back to me about your latest pamphlet and how many 'men or women in the street' were actually Tory party activists and/or closely associated with your campaign.

Just how long does it take to formulate the reply; "All of them!"...?

I ask because I'd like to put this episode behind us and move on to some other questions such as:

Are you really claiming that you will oppose any plans to build an incinerator in Guildford? Isn't this a little strange, given that plans for an incinerator originated from the Tory-run Council?

You appear to be strangely silent on the subject of the rights and wrongs of a casino in Guildford. Do you actually have a view on this, or are you waiting to hear what other people think first?



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Wednesday, March 16, 2005 

Anne Milton's latest pamphlet

[SPECIAL UPDATE (Jan 2007) - Click here to find out what Michael Chambers has been up to since this first outing.]

There was something that caught my eye on the latest Anne Milton pamphlet to drop through my door. It all began with the back page featuring real-genuine-on-the-spot-people-on-the-street giving their opinions and showing that Anne Milton is the talk of the town and beloved by all. But the subject of one of these vox-pops also appears on the front page in a group shot of local Tory councillors.

They may very well have collared an ordinary member of the public on the street for a vox-pop and then coaxed her into the group shot. I admit that this is possible. But it was enough to make me curious about some other faces on the back page.

I began with 'Mike', who says: "Fun, enthusiastic and a real fighter for young and old. Anne's a winner."

The only problem is that 'Mike' bears an uncanny resemblance to Mike Chambers, who describes himself here as "Chairman of The Conservative Society" (for the University of Surrey, presumably) and a "Tory party activist"...

This isn't the only discussion board that Mike Chambers has been active on, BTW. Here's Mike Chambers singing the praises of Anne Milton and here he is slagging off Lib-Dem MP Sue Doughty.

Here he is getting a plug on the Guildford Conservatives website, and here he is again on a decision to "establish a Guildford branch of Conservative Future – the wing of the Conservative party for 18-30s" (this same page also announces an exciting future event - Comedy Night with Jim Davidson!)

The photo above was sourced from this photo gallery at the University of Surrey Conservative Society website, where you can see Mike Chambers meeting Anne Milton and meeting Jeffrey Archer.

If the two Mikes are one and the same, then:

1. Yes, he's local
2. Yes, he's welcome to his opinion
3. He's hardly your typical man on the street, now is he?

So, that's one. Before I dig any deeper, let's begin with that and ask Anne Milton straight out...

To: anne AT annemilton DOT com
From: Tim Ireland

Dear Anne,

I've just received a copy of your latest pamphlet. On the back are some vox-pops that appear to be from ordinary members of the public, but 'Mike' looks an awful lot like Mike Chambers, who is a self-proclaimed Tory party activist and - as far as I can tell - Chairman of The Conservative Society for the University of Surrey.

1. Are the two Mikes one and the same person?
2. Who else on this back page is closely tied to a Conservative organisation and/or your campaign?

Before you answer by promising to investigate, please remember that you promised to investigate an unpleasant call I received recently, but failed to reveal or 'discover' that the call came from a Tory Party call centre.

Tim Ireland

UPDATE (2:00pm) - I emailed Mike Chambers about it, too. At his Learning & Skills Council email address. And since then, someone using this Learning & Skills Council IP address has visited this page and refreshed it quite a few times. Perhaps Mike is waiting to see if there's an answer from Anne. But an answer from him would do just as well. Mike, I know you're probably reading this... would you care to confirm or deny?

UPDATE (5:30pm) - Well, this pretty much nails it for me... I popped into the Univeristy of Surrey discussion board linked above and asked some regulars if this was the same Mike they knew and loved. There was some confusion at first, because the Mike in Anne Milton's pamphlet does look like Mike Chambers... only much younger. But I'm now convinced that it is him. The clincher (apart from the responses on this board and two private confirmations by email) was the response from 'maxski', who not only knows Mike, but is involved in some of his Tory activities. His response wasn't 'yes' or 'no', but "Haven't you got anything better to do???"

(BTW, my answer to that question is; "304 days, 17 hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds"...)

UPDATE (7:00pm) - We now have confirmation direct from Anne Milton that it is Mike Chambers. Her position can easily be summed up as 'So what if it is?', as the pamphlet says "What do local people think about Anne Milton?" and being a Tory party activist does not stop someone from being a local person. Technically. I personally hold a different view. The pamphlet is designed to suggest that these are normal work-a-day people who have nice things to say about Anne as she is 'the talk of the town', when in reality, an unknown number of them are closely associated with her party and/or campaign. Anne has promised to get back to me with details of the other vox-pops. Updates to follow.

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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.


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