Brighton Politics Blogger’s Political Awards 2010

Winston Churchill once said that an empty taxi cab pulled up outside 10 Downing Street and the Prime Minister (Clem Atlee) got out.  Churchill specialised in putting down his Labout opponent.  When someone said to Churchill that Atlee was a humble man, Churchill replied, “He’s got a lot to be humble about”.

‘Humble’ and ’empty’ could be used to describe the inconsequential, frankly irrelevant, Brighton Politics Blogger’s Political Awards 2010.  Last year the Awards failed to ignite any interest, so this year I am setting my sights somewhat lower.

Amongst the awards this year will be ‘Betrayal of the Year’ (no prizes for guessing the winner of this one, Norman); ‘Bust-up in a Telephone Box’ award; ‘Councillor of the Year’; and ‘Politician of the Year’,  one for each party, and then the overall winner to be announced on New Year’s eve (a bit like those receiving OBE’s and MBE’s).

But first, it is the ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’ award.  Last year it went to someone called Seaman Scott Digby, or Scott Seaman Digby, or Digby Seaman Scott, something like that, anyway.  He was the front-runner who was pipped at the post by Charlotte ‘Chuck’ Vere in the Open Primary to select the Conservative candidate for Brighton Pavilion. 

This year Chuck herself is in the running, having stopped making her regular run from Richmond down the M23 in her Mercedes.  She never did make a commitment to Brighton Pavilion.  It could have been a useful stepping stone in her Wonderful Career.  Chuck did made a big impression and I miss her.  I think she probably would have made an impressive Member of Parliament, even though she would have made a loyal hardliner in the Cameron/Clegg Tory Administration.  I am not sure whether she has been seen in Brighton since the General Election, but will no doubt return if she fails to secure a more winnable seat elsewhere.  Here today, gone tomorrow, back the week after next, perhaps?

Another contender is Chuck’s Labour opposite number, Nancy Platts who, having made a great thing about her local credentials having moved to Brighton when selected to fight Brighton Pavilion, proved to be as committed to the city as Chuck Vere by moving back to London following her defeat.  Talking to Labour Party members, it has been suggested that should she be selected to challenge Caroline Lucas next time she will once again become the committed local candidate by moving back.

Other than the inconsistent nature of this blog, Chuck and Nancy are the only two nominees for this award. And I am pleased to announce that the winner is … or the winner are …. Charlotte Vere and Nancy Platts.  Congratulations to you both.

The Tories remain the party of the rich, in the view of the voters and in reality

Don’t you really hate people who are proved to be right, who say “I told you so”, and then return weeks after the event to make sure that everyone knows just how right they were?  I hate people like that, so it is surprising that I say to you, “I told you so”, “I was right”.  A poll in today’s Independent says that voters think that the Tory Party is a party for the rich, with 52% agreeing that “a Conservative Government would mainly represent the inetersts of the well-off rather than ordinary people”.

Well you heard it here first.  Back on November 12th, I wrote “All new Tory Party: only investment bankers, Lloyds brokers, and management consultants need apply”. On November 30th I posted a blog entitled “Double barrelled problems for rich, non dom Tories”. On December 12th I wrote “Today’s Tory Party remains remains anti-environment, anti-Europe, anti-gay, pro-rich, pro-bankers, and pro-toff” .  In each I highlighted the class-bias of David Cameron’s ‘New’ Conservative Party.

What the Indi’s poll confirms is that the Tories cannot shake off their image of being the party of “rich toffs”.  My November 12th post included the paragraph “Clearly the Tory’s polling must suggest that the party is seen as Tory toffs: Eton, Bullingham Club, double barreled names. Earlier in the week I posted how the Tories were advising their candidates to drop double barreled names.  So Brighton Kemptown candidate, Simon Radford-Kirby is no plain Simon Kirby, failed candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Digby Seaman-Scott, presented himself  as plain Digby Scott”.

Cameron, and for that matter Radford-Kirby and Charlotte Vere, should be worried.  The “playing fields of Eton” line worked well, and the Tories attempts to ‘class-down’ their true credentials is, and will continue to haunt them.  The alternative is no less damaging, being identified as the pro-rich Party, while trying to justify the tax arrangements of ex-non-doms.

Cameron Squirming on that 4 letter word – Eton

I have just sat through an excruitiating interview with David Cameron on the BBC Politics Show,  Where he looked most ill at ease was when Jon Soppel asked him why, on the Conservative Party website, did it mention the schools attended by all Shadow Cabinet members when they attended state schools, but when an individual had attended a private school, the school was not mentioned.

Cameron first did not answer the question, then he said he did not understand it. He finally said that the website would be fixed.  Throughout he said there was no secret as to where he was educated. But even then he did not mention the 4 letter word, E-T-O-N.  (I suspect that when ‘fixing’ the Tory website, the comprehensive schools attended by Hague, Fox, et al will be removed rather than Eton being added). 

Clearly the Tory’s polling must suggest that the party is seen as Tory toffs: Eton, Bullingham Club, double barreled names. Earlier in the week I posted how the Tories were advising their candidates to drop double barreled names.  So Brighton Kemptown candidate, Simon Radford-Kirby is no plain Simon Kirby, failed candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Digby Seaman-Scott, presented himself  as plain Digby Scott.

Brighton Pavilion candidate, Chuck Vere, responded by saying she is simple Charlotte Vere.  (I detect she does not appreciate being constantly referred to by this blog as ‘Chuck’ – I am just trying to help her and the Tories look ordinary, everyday folk). I can confirm that Chuck Vere is not the Vere-Seaman-Digby-Weale-Chirnside-Firth IV of the Royal London Borough of Uppity Class, referred to in an earlier post!  Nor did she go to Eton.  I am sure her impressive website will give a full biography in due course.