Who's afraid to discuss the issues in Norwich North ?

The EDP reports on the Tory candidate's unwillingness to take part on live debates and hints that the BBC East debate which the Tories signed up for and which has been plugged by the BBC for the last fortnight may have to be pulled because Tory candidate Chloe Smith is being "wrapped in cotton wool" and kept from debating issues.

This is interesting because the Tories do seem to think that debates are a good idea, most of the time.

When Blair refused to debate with Michael Howard at the last General Election he accused Blair of "Running Scared".

Tory Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague has said about debates before

"I believe in other democracies there should be televised debates at election time."

And David Cameron was reported in the press to say "
The Tory leader proposed the debates as part of a series of measures to improve the tarnished image of politics, including finding a consensus on reform for MPs' allowances and expenses."

So, for once, I agree with these senior Tories. Debate is important. So why is the Tory candidate in Norwich afraid to debate the issues and "improve the tarnished image of politics" ?


John said...

Because she's thick

Psephologue said...

Chloƫ Smith is the 1/20 favourite. She has nothing to gain from participating in such a debate.

Conversely, she has everything to lose. It is therefore up to the other candidates and/or the media to hold an event where the risk to her of not participating would be higher than if she joined in.

Any other interpretation is quite frankly fluff.

If intelligence were the measure of success in a Question Time debate then I guess Rupert Read would be the net beneficiary. This is not what either the Tories or the Lib Dems would want.

Linders said...

She turned up to the first hustings. Three people turned up. One can hardly blame Ms Smith for (rightly) deciding that she'd be able to debate with a lot more local residents by actually knocking on doors in the constituency...

Norfolk Blogger said...

Linders, you are not keeping up are you.

She was not going to turn up to the first debate but sudenly had a change of mind when it was known that Reuters and the Mail on Sunday would be there.

What about the BBC debate. I think more than 3 people will be there don't you ?

I know the reasons why she is not going, its just that it contradicts eerything the Tory paryt have to say on TV debates.