Tories desperate for candidates in South Norfolk ?

A friend of mine who lives in Hethersett, South Norfolk, received an interesting proposition through the door the other day from Conservative Party. They were asking him if he wanted to be a Conservative candidate in the forthcoming local elections.

This came as something of a shock to him as he is neither a Tory member, a Tory voter, or for that matter someone devoid of his own ideas, which seems to be the main qualification to become part of "Dave's" pale blue vision of the future.

A sign of desperation by South Norfolk Conservative's ?


Justin said...

All parties struggle to find council candidates (even in winnable seats). Whilst the Conservatives fielded candidates in 95% of seats contested in last year's local elections, the figure for the Lib Dems was an appalling 60%. Your point is?

Norfolk Blogger said...

My point ? This is an area with a Conservative MP and a council the Tories claim they are going to take control of. This is hardly the level of organisation you would therefore expect that just three months before the ecltion they are still to find a candidate and are openly asking non Conservatives.

Iain Dale said...

How are you getting on in North Norfolk filling all the LibDem slots? Last time I understand you did exactly the same thing!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Finding candidates has never been a great problem in North Norfolk for the Lib Dems.

We did upgrade three seats late on in 2003 from paperless candidates to full on winnable target campaigns because of excellent people coming forward late on. However, there is a clear difference between Lib Dem people approaching us to stand and the Tories openly touting for anyone, even non Tories to stand.

I have to add that I was agent for 8 candidates in 2003 and they were all selected by the end of January 2003.

Antony said...

On first reading this Nich I happened to agree with you. Then I went away for a few hours and mulled over a few issues and have come to a different conclusion.

Firstly it is vital that parties give people a choice by standing candidates ... if the Tories are struggling that is bad news but they are right to try and find candidates in any way possible. If I couldn't vote for a Tory at an election because the local association hadn't looked far and wide I'd be furious. As Justin rightly points out, the party that claims to be the "real opposition" actually stands least candidates of the 3 parties at local elections. I think, in some odd way, the S.Norfolk Tories should be congratulated for leaving no stone unturned in their fight to give everyone a right to have a Tory candidate.

Then cometh the second of my thoughts. Didn't South Norfolk Tories (along with others) advertise for candidates through the press? I think they did - and so this leaflet could be the extension of that policy?

On deeper refection this isn't half as awful as I first thought.

Norfolk Blogger said...

You might be surprised to hear that I agree with some of what you say. However, its the message it sends out to political people like me that I was interested in.

In areas where I have been and the local (Lib Dem) party is well organised, well financed, has a direction in which it is going, candidate selection, approval and the like is tackled much earlier than January. Indeed, in the very best areas, finding candidates is, on the whole, a question of chossing the best candidates from a range of possibles as opposed "well he will do", which can be the case in other areas.

I am surprised that an area like South Norfolk is struggling to fill its candidate list up with suitable people. From a "political geek" point of view, it tells me more about South Norfolk Tories than simply that they need a candidate in Hethersett.

Anonymous said...

It has got to be a better policy then letting candidates win elections just because nobody stands against them! what sort of democracy is that! In our district elections last time around, 4 candidates were 'elected' this way. But lets be honest, I think all parties must find it difficult to find candidates for every single seat! I am doing my bit though! Im going to be a candidate at the age of 21 in May, fingers crossed! Terry

Newmania said...

devoid of his own ideas, which seems to be the main qualification to become part of "Dave's" pale blue vision of the future.

Norfolk you spend an awful lot of time hanging around with these cerebrally challenged folk who also seem to be the only ones interested in your blog.I `m beginning to wonder of you aren’t just an ordinary Conservative who got into a bad crowd in the wild and heady days of his youth. Funnily enough it is exactly the intellectual vacuity of the Lib Dum position/s that I have found most off putting about the Party and I am yet to meet one who has the slightest ideas what his professed political philosophy consists of. In practice it operates as a vent for frustrations and a conglomeration of disconnected interests and regional loyalties. The only consistent strain I can spot is pacifism , otherwise known as appeasement , abroad.
What chiefly dismays me about Liberals who , here in Islington are the ruling group , just , is their utter want of Liberality and the frequent outbreaks of appalling rancour between themselves. Second on the list is the continued pretence that they are somehow above party politics, the opposite is true . Do you not grow weary of the endless parochial single issue delusion which , to any thinking man must come to seem childish ?
There are any number of reasons to support David Cameron but the single most important one is to stop Gordon Brown. These are the compromises a Party that wishes to win an election must make with eachother. It has occurred to me that with all the reasonableness winnowed out perhaps it is inevitable that Liberals appear to the others like untutored preteens pulling each others hair in the back of the car .We ask why but we do not expect any answer worth listening to. That is their nature.

( You out yet? )

Norfolk Blogger said...

The fact (newmania) that you admit that basically the Tories are doing ANYTHING just to get in to power is refreshingly honest.

The fact is though that we have a morally vacuous government at the moment. Why do we want to replace it with another ?

Unlike lots of people I know, including many liberals, I could see no reason to celebrate in May 1997 the Labour had won. I hated the Tories, yes, and it was good to see so many bloody useless Tory MP's beaten, but to be replaced by what ? I kept telling people at the time that what we had gained was an illusion, some sort of mirage, and that the closer we got to it, the more people would see through "new Labour". Same goes for the Tories.

As for the "coming out" bit, I thought you were being touted as a London Mayoral candidate ? Do mayoral candidates really;

1) Think it is a good insult to imply someone is gay.
2) Still think that being gay is something to be embarrassed by.

I've lots of gay friends, both in the Lib Dems and the Tories, and I think they'd rather hoped the world had moved on a bit since people went around saying "you're gay !"

Anonymous said...

A tory friend of mine told me they're really struggling to get anyone to stand. 20 years since they last won the district and I can't see them doing any better this time around!!!

Newmania said...

Ach don`t be such a Mary.I see Ming is not renewing Trident. ....nice

No not anyhting to win but clearly only a broad constituency can ever hope to have power.The two Party system works in a far more subtle way than you imply but I `m to busy with sordid trade to elaborate right now .

Anonymous said...

Well, Nich, the way Newmania behaves after a few to drinks led me to question his sexuality (he also like camp musicals!). For the record, Mr. N is actually married and they seem to have a delightful little boy, Elliot (they do, though, take him to wacky churches – the poor little lamb!).

Going back to you NB, I think you're a genuine liberal and would be better of with us Conservatives. Most Lib Dems I meet or hear call for the problems of the day to be solved by the State. They are tax and spend people. They believe in a utopia called "Europe" and want all things THEY dislike banned. Come on, Nich, join us. Shall I send you an application form? :-)

David Allen said...

Newmania, Justin, _ Nich has been moving in the highest Conservative circles for many years _ if they ddn't manage to persuade him , we 3 north London blogging nerds aren't about to!

John Fuller said...

Let's pin the tail on the donkey on this story.
I'm the Tory Leader in South Norfolk and the fact is that we've had two candidates in place in Hethersett for about six months.
So Nich's comments are pretty desparate.
The fact is that we ask people whether they'd like to help the party at Election Time... you know, deliver a few leaflets etc. And we've got County Council elections in 2 years time so it makes sense to ask people well in advance whether they'd like to be considered.
This story is a bit of a storm in a teacup I'm afraid.
Read MY blog for more info johnfuller.blogspot.com

Norfolk Blogger said...

You aldready hold the County seat that includes Hethersett so your need for a County Candidate there does not seem quite so urgent or important as you claim.

How very touchy you are about this issue.

I hope you note the "open" way I allow others to comment on my blog, even Tories. I hope you are as open with your own blog.