Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Another one bites the dust?

Darlington Tories' rather threadbare list of candidates has been further diminished in Cockerton East, it would seem.

The leaflet I was shown yesterday had the name of only 2 candidates on it - the third, listed on the local Tories' website as David Hammond, was absent. By my reckoning, that takes the Conservatives down to 30 announced candidates for next May. Only 23 to go...

Unusually, the leaflet gives only the telephone numbers of the candidates (Kimberley Summers and Alexandra Nicholson) and not the addresses. Could this be because one of the pair's residence is at Dalton-on-Tees, which isn't even in the Borough?

Remarkably, the leaflet was dated February 200. My well-thumbed copy of Gibbon says that Septimus Severus was Emperor at the time. It would appear the Tories are exchanging Roman for Victorian values. Or Charles Johnson's photocopier's on the blink...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obviously the candidate living in Dalton-on-Tees is eligible to stand!!! I suppose that Dalton is about the same distance from Cockerton as Heighington is from Haughton (Labour candidate Sandra Thorne Wallis local elections 2003). People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

miketually said...

So far, I only know for definite who one of the candidates for Haughton West is: Mr Jenkinson for the Conservative.

I'm assuming that yourself, David Lyonette and Andrew Scott are standing again, but there's no list of candidates on the Darlington Labour Party site (http://www.darlingtonclp.co.uk) and the list of councillors includes at least one person who I've heard isn't standing again.

There's no list that I can see on the Darlington Lib Dems site either.

Darlington Councillor said...

Hi anonymous.

I think it's Kimberley who lives in Dalton-on-Tees? She is eligible to stand only because she works in the Borough. Dalton is of course in North Yorkshire.

I mentioned it because it's unusual (unique?) for either of the major parties to stand a candidate in recent memory in (what was) a hotly contested seat who doesn't actually live within the Borough boundary. Sure Sandy has stood in Whessoe, but she is resident in the Borough, and in any case our expectations of pinching the seat off the Tories were rather low!

I think it says rather a lot about Tory expectations in Cockerton East this time round. In my experience, voters can find it difficult to swallow when a candidate lives at another end of the town, unless they're well known through having stood before. Trying to convince voters that someone who doesn't even live in the Borough can represent them adequately may be a tricky sell...

No news from anonymous as to what has happened to David Hammond, then.

As you will have gathered Mike, the Party isn't using the internet to promote our list of candidates at this stage, so I'm flying the flay via my blog. And yes, the 3 Labour candidates this time will be David Lyonette, Andy Scott and myself.

Anonymous said...

"In my experience, voters can find it difficult to swallow when a candidate lives at another end of the town, unless they're well known through having stood before. Trying to convince voters that someone who doesn't even live in the Borough can represent them adequately may be a tricky sell..."

I don't know Nick the voters in Darlington have been falling for it for years - we have an MP who needs sat nav to find his constituency.

I would say that the Tories just seem to getting on with the job of placing candidates.

I think any candidates that aren't new labour stand a very good chance in Cockerton East, other residents in Cockerton East who I have spoken to recently just want rid of Thistlewaite and co who have done very little to represent their ward.

Darlington Councillor said...

Ah well, the rules relating to councillors and MP's are very different (but that's another story).

I'm not sure how far the Tories are "getting on with the job of placing candidates" when you seem to have lost another one in Cockerton East. What's going on? It seems a bit shambolic this close to polling.

Brian, Paul and Don (who is standing down) can speak for themselves regarding their record in Cockerton East - I know from my Portfolio, however, that they have been three of the most dedicated councillors in the Borough, who work hard both on casework, but also on communication with residents.

I think you may be whistling in the wind, anonymous.

ian holme said...

personally i do think that any candidate should live either in, or very close proximity to, their ward.
How else can they understand or appreciate the concerns local to that ward, and experience them at first hand.

It is however rather funny to hear nick highlighting the number of tory candiadtes named so far, when labour have yet to release any list.Plus, even if the other parties do not/cannot fight every seat, is this any worse than labours policy of naming their spouses as candidates in wards where they feel they have no likelyhood of winning and therefore no intention of campaigning in?

If any party puts forward a candiate, they should be compelled to do at least a mininum number of local meetings or campaigning, otherwise it is little more than a cynical abuse of the system (as we saw by Councillor McEwans wife standing in Hurworth...she probably lives further from Hurworth than Dalton is too)

Incidentally, the rules about living in a constituency should apply equally to MPs, that may see a change in the way democracy is delivered at a local level.

Anonymous said...

Mike, Whilst you question the lack of Conservative nominations so far put forward, be very aware the BNP may strike with late nominations in wards the Conservatives may not contest. We all know what happened in Burnley when Tories did not stand. Beware !.

ian holme said...

mmmm, thats a thought i had not considered....better get all those wives and hubbies to stand after all!!

miketually said...

I remember friends at uni standing as Lib Dem candidates in the council elections in wards where Labour wouldn't otherwise have had any competition at all.

Perhaps the Tories can't get their wives to stand in this way, because they're all Labour members? ;)

miketually said...

If the BNP stand candidates in Haughton West, I think I'll join Labour and help campaign against them

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks everyone.

One of the strengths of the political landscape here in Darlington is the fact that all 3 political parties are united in their abhorrence of the BNP - elsewhere occasionally you see parties "playing games" and not offering a contest to the incumbent party which allows the BNP to build up their vote. We still need to be very watchful, however, as the BNP are making a push here in the North East.

Husbands and wives are a complex issue, Ian. Yes Labour sometimes stand spouses in "unwinnable" seats, although it's worth bearing in mind that those candidates may make formidable candidates themselves in other circumstances. The Tories do this too - Charles Johnson's wife is standing in Park East, where they won't win, and I'd mischievously suggest that ian Galletley's wife is doing soemthing similar in Harrowgate Hill...

Anonymous said...

Since the topic is candidates dropping out what brought the somewhat surprise retirement of Emma Vasey at Harrowgate Hill????

mike barker said...

Hmm. Methinks our Nick might sidestep that one!

Anonymous said...

Silence is golden!!

Darlington Councillor said...

The names of Labour's candidates were released to the Northern Echo, although not reprinted in full. I will put something on the blog over the next few days.

As for Emma - well sadly she stood down for personal reasons. Her replacement as candidate, mark Burton (who also lives in the ward) will also make a first class Labour Councillor if elected.

devils advocate said...

Nick I heard Emma stood down over an illegal act at work, are you saying thats not true?

Darlington Councillor said...

I can only tell you what I know, which is that sadly Emma is standing down for personal reasons.

There's nothing more I can say, although I'm aware of some scurrilous allegations on the Liar - any attempt to reproduce them here will result in swift deletion!

Best wishes,

Nick.