New Tory website claims that all its candidates are gay (not really)

The Brighton and Hove Conservatives have launched their new website, full of details about their candidates. The site is simple to navigate but a bit clunky when trying to see the different candidates in each ward. You can’t see all in one go and it takes two clicks to navigate from, for example, one Estate Agent in Goldsmid ward to another. But that said, it is a helpful site for those wanting to know who is standing where (and for a blogger wishing to have some sport).

The Tories have a number of bright young things standing in highly winnable seats, not least Michael Ireland who works for Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, as his parliamentary researcher. Keep an eye on Michael, he is destined to go far. In my dealings with him I have found him to be incredibly personable and very bright. He has a big future ahead of him. His one misjudgement is to be a Conservative! Michael is standing in Hangleton and Knoll, hoping to succeed the late David Smart who passed away just before Christmas.

Standing with him in H&K is Dawn Barnett, certain to be re-elected, and Tony Janio, Hove’s own Bruce Willis. Bruce writes “My main fear is that a return of another Labour/Green Administration will bring an end to the improvements we have seen.” His ‘main fear’? Surely a more worrying fear is a nuclear accident along the Channel, a global financial meltdown, or Eric Pickles becoming prime minister. And for the record, “another Labour/Green Administration …”? I have looked back but don’t think we have ever had one ….. yet.

No details are given for the candidates in Hanover and Elm Grove. A sign that the Tories can field paper candidates throughout the city but are unable to put up a fight everywhere?

In Hollingdean and Stanmer we have Momma Grizzly herself, Rachael Bates, another of Mike Weatherley’s bright young things. She provides more information than just about any candidate, including “I enjoy going to rock and metal nights. I frequently go to the Pav Tav (usually for Guerilla Rocks) and to Belushi’s Below for Abandoned.” I have commented before that this is alien territory for this confused blogger, but I am waiting for Grizzly to offer to take me out her town to sample Guerilla Rocks which I assume is some sort of rhythm and beat combo.

Fellow candidate Rob Labs is “a preacher and co-founder of a faith group, the light house parish of the redeemed Christian Church of God, based in Brighton. I am passionate about strong family values.” I guess we won’t be seeing Rob at Pride, with or without a ticket, this year.

More tomorrow

Rachael Bates, a right wing admirer of Daniel Hannan and of a former Labour leader

I’m not into the cult of personality, but today I just couldn’t resist posting a profile of one of the most determined, right wing  and youngest amongst the local Conservative ranks.  It is none other than Momma Grizzly herself, Rachael Bates.  Why her and why today? It is Rachael’s 22nd birthday.

Rachael’s political hero is Daniel Hannan MEP. Immediately you will get an insight to her right-wing views.  She describes Daniel thus: “He has great vision, is spot on about almost everything, is a fantastic orator and is just a lovely guy”.

Rachael graduated last year from that hot bed of Conservative activism, Sussex University, and immediately started working for the newly elected Conservative MP for Hove, Mike Weatherley, one of several bright young activists who support him.

Away from politics, Rachael loves going to the Pav Tav (usually for Guerilla Rocks) and to Belushi’s Below for their fantastic rock and metal night, Abandoned. (I have no idea what I have typed and whether it makes any sense to anyone else.  It certainly is alien to me).

Rachael is a Big Society kind of girl: “Charity is extremely important to me. I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Childreach International. The charity that I champion the most is Help for Heroes. I will never be seen without my Help for Heroes armband”. (Is a Help the Heroes armband essential dress for Belushi’s Below and Abandoned?).

This next view will not go down at all well with Labour activists at all. She says that the opposition politician she admires most “despite disagreeing with a lot of the decisions he made, it has to be Tony Blair.  His strength, determination and devotion to what he believed was right for the country are something I admire very much.”  Rachael, you must be one of the last two people in Britain who thinks what he did (Iraq, Afghanistan, George W Bush, etc) was right.  The other person is …. Tony Blair.

In May’s local elections Rachael is standing for election in Hollingdean and Stanmer. As a Conservative candidate she has absolutely no chance of winning (I know, that’s harsh, especially on her birthday, but it is the truth). But this does not stop Rachael Bates. She is clear about what her priorities would be if, IF, she was elected: “My main priority is to keep council tax low so that hard-working people can have more of their own money in their pockets. I am passionate about letting people run their own lives rather than the government dictating to them.”

She goes on: “Parking is an issue that I find is a massive problem that needs to be addressed, as is the issue of travellers.”  So not compassionate conservatism here.  A true follower of Daniel Hannan.  “I am keen to continue working closely with the two fantastic universities in Brighton and to encourage a good relationship with students and their neighbours.”

Her political ambition is to successfully represent the people of Hollingdean & Stanmer and to make Brighton & Hove’s council tax one of the lowest in the country.  How depressing.  Nothing about making Brighton and Hove a better, fairer place to live.  It is a good thing, then, that she won’t be elected.

But she has expressed one political ambition that I can’t fault her on, and that is to appear on the Brighton Politics Blog!  So, happy birthday, Rachael.  I am glad that I have been able to be part of fulfilling the only ambition that you will achieve this year.