Thursday, October 16, 2008

November in Lansdowne Street

All sorts of Darlington-related polling news to tell you.

Firstly, as you may have seen from my colleague Mike Barker's site, three councillors have been 'evicted' from the "I'm a Councillor get me out of here" event.

It was good to see that lots of Darlington councillors applied to take part (including me) but only 6 could be successful. I understand that the remaining candidates have been inundated with questions and points from schoolchildren from around the Borough, so the initiative has certainly captured the imagination of children and young people. Unfortunately, access to the site as a guest is pretty temperamental.

Interestingly, young people have chosen to send for an early bath the two Tory councillors, fellow blogger Gill Cartwright and Kate Davies from Pierremont. Gill and Kate are two of the most aggressive younger councillors amongst the Tories' 2007 intake, so their rejection may not be good news for the Conservatives' long-term prospects in the town.

It leaves my Labour Cabinet colleagues Jenny Chapman and Chris McEwan up against LibDem Mike Barker. I wouldn't like to call it, but I note that with characteristic political skill, Mike is already lowering expectations over on his blog.

And if that weren't enough, the three main parties are hurriedly gearing up for a by-election in North Road ward, following the disqualification of independent councillor Steve Jones for non-attendance. Like my colleague Mark Burton, I liked Steve, and always found him to be a good ward activist, although (ahem) I did play my part in breaking the news that he had signed the BNP candidates' papers in the ward contest back in 2007.

The two frontrunners, the LibDems and Labour, are both standing candidates who were unsuccessful in Harrowgate Hill last time - Anne-Marie Curry for the LibDems, and seasoned former councillor John Vasey for Labour. I see from the comments on a previous thread that the LibDems are pretty cocky about victory in the seat.

With Labour picking up in the polls, and the LibDems crashing, I wouldn't be so sure. There's also going to be a surprise candidate to mix things up - I can honestly say the very last person I would have thought of as an entrant in the poll, but one who may cause Mike B et al just a few headaches....


Mike Barker said...

LOL. I love you sometimes Nick.
I don't think "I'm a Councillor" has anything at all to do with party politics. It barely enters into any discussions, chatrooms or questions. Indeed, I think I'm the only one of the six who put their party affiliation in my manifesto.
It's all been about the issues which are important to teens: school, bullying, "nothing to do, nowhere to go", sport, music, pets, favourite food (!)..." Party politics just hasn't entered into it.

The North Road by-election: now that could be fun, especially if the person not mentioned in your last sentence stands. He, or his wife, wouldn't have the cheek...would they?

Darlington Councillor said...

Well, possibly Mike (on your first point). As I indicated, I can't seem to get regular access to the site from my PC, but I did see on the first few days that there were quite a few questions to you about the North Road by-election, so there is more than a little awareness of the party politics of each candidate.

As for the 'mystery candidate' - I have been musing in idle moments as to how I would possibly draft my election material if I were him.

If he does have the nerve to stand, it will make fascinating reading.

Mike Barker said...

The questions on "I'm A Councillor" about the North Road by-election were from a certain Master Vasey!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Has the mystery candidate come out into the open and happen to be standing for the BNP?

Mellow Yellow said...

So up to now it is looking like it is going to be:-
Anne-Marie Curry, the Lib Dem Councillor elect.

John Vasey, Henpecked Harrowgate Hill reject who after an inevitable further backheeling by the voters of North Road will be stuck with the albatross of being a serial loser at the ballot box hung around his neck. This doesn't bode well for further elections after JV loses and he may well now be realising that he has took a drink from the poisoned chalice. However his popularity with his neighbours round by The Burns could ressurect Labours fortunes in this ward and sweep his party to an unlikely victory. (But I wouldn't hold my breath)

George Jenkinson, The Conservative candidate - Likable guy who loses no love with Wick Nallis, Campaigns on many good issues but is on a loser in North Road. Won't win but could push the Lack lustre Labour candidate into third place.
Will the North Road Conservative hardcore take to a Tory candidate lacking a silver spoon in the proverbial?

Tina Jones, BNP TBC, What is she thinking of? Apart from being too closely linked with her no show other half she will be further shackled by the BNP mantle. Despite standing in North Road on three other occasions the BNP vote has barely fluctuated from its poor amount recieved. It is an interesting question as to who damages whose vote here by their unholy association - Ms Jones or indeed the BNP. A poor sideshow again in a ward which will see them overshadowed by a massive effort from Lib Dem and Labour. I wouldn't flatter either of them with my attention or build them up bigger than what they are.

Anybody know of any other chancers in a political battle which is undoubtedly going to overshadow both the Glenrothes by-election and McCain Vs Obama?

Shameless Audacity said...

I can't believe the two faced cheek of insincere (too closely linked)Labour duo Nick Thorne Wallis and diminutive little Mark Burton.
After playing a critical part in spitefully ruining Mr Jones political career just over a year ago, NTW is now shedding crocodile tears about what a good man he was and how he is going to be missed.

If you held him in as high an esteem as you claim Nick and didn't want to see him go then you shouldn't have stuck the knife in his back last April. Can you remember how cruelly you tortured this pleasant and inoffensive man by posting blogs about bombs going off under campaigns? Gleefully saying you were going to name him in a few days time for a wrongdoing. These nasty blogs still remain on your site. All done to try and smear him and elect one more grubby Labour councillor as a consequence. As you know your desired outcome never happened and Labour got hammered in this ward as your vote collapsed even further in North Road ward. This good mans downfall is a matter for you and your concience to deal with. You could have just had a quiet word with him about what he had done wrong, but no instead you chose to invite the worlds media to hound and savage one of the friendliest, genuine and most hard working community councillors Darlington has ever known. Shame on you Wallis and don't cry crocodile tears to me. It doesn't wash.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't Wallis who signed a BNP candidate's nomination paper, it was Jones. Wallis merely reported the fact - already widely known, including, presumably, to his Lib Dem colleagues - to a wider audience. It was Jones who ruined his own political career. Don't shoot the messenger.
And since he was such a hard-working councillor, no doubt he will be relected next month - despite picking up £3500 while not attending any meetings for 6 months.

BNP Volunteer said...

Hmmm, so you think that The British National Party is contesting the North Road by-election do you and you think that Tina is our candidate?
Well all will be revealed at noon tomorrow.

As for the comment that "I wouldn't flatter them with your attention" I would say please do.
I want as many Anti Nazi league leaflets out as possible by ANaL. I want The Northern Echo breaking the Independent code of their best Editor ever Harry Evans by telling the electorate that they must vote to keep us out and I want all political parties to proclaim that they are all against everything which we stand for.

The reason for this?
Because tonight we stood in Cockton Hill ward in Bishop Auckland and got quite a boring result. Not good, not bad just a standard 7% first time out vote. We have never stood there before, thus are quite unknown and have a low profile. The campaign was indifferent with no big campaigns against us like what we saw in Aycliffe recently. In Aycliffe we were catapulted into household prominence and we were built up like it looked like we could actually win by the oppo. Awareness that we were standing was also helped by the massive free publicity we were given by Wilson & Co and his leafleting rats.

As for the celebs on the leaflets and the Northern Echo telling people who they should and shouldn't vote for gets right up voters bugles and again has the opposite effect.

I also want to see the other parties showing voters that they are all the same in opposing the BNP giving the impression that they are all identical to each other and that only the BNP are different to the LIb,Lab,Con Alliance.

So please get out there with as much anti BNP propaganda as you can.

Anonymous said...

Nick Thorne

Theres a name from the Lib Dem past is this the same man...Yes this is how the illusion went...

Nick Thorne (got married)

Nick Thorne Wallis (sounded to posh)

Nick Wallis

Now on the up for Brussels its Nicholas Wallis.

History lesson over what name does his good lady go under?

As for the Get me out of here website I have never been able to get on it as you need a stupid code and it won't let you on as a guest!

Darlington Councillor said...

Lots of stuff here to respond to.

Firstly, 'Shameless audacity', remember that at the time he signed the BNP nomination papers, Steve Jones was the Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the Council. As a later anonymous poster has indicated, it was well known at the time that Steve had done so - and there was certainly nothing I could have done to turn the situation around.

Don't you think that the North Road voters had a right to know what the LibDem leader in the town had done?

Steve understood that, and never seemed to bear me any ill-will afterwards - he was very helpful in the anti-mayor campaign in September 07's referendum, for example. I have a thorough respect for people who can separate the personal from the political, and Steve is one of those people. Maybe at the end of the day, he was just glad to be out of the LibDems...?

I don't know whether Steve will be putting his name forward or Tina - I can't believe she will have signed up with a bunch of toe-rags like the BNP, but we shall see. I have heard apparently authoritative rumours setting out both scenarios.

As for BNP Volunteer - well, I think he doth protest too much. The people who have bravely stood out against the BNP and their malign influences aren't minor 'celebs', but people with real standing in the community like the Bishop of Durham. As one of the Church of England's most senior clerics, he speaks with real moral force.

And what's the alternative - turn a blind eye whilst a party packed with racists, many of whom deny the Holocaust took place, for example, makes progress? That's not for me, which is why I will continue to highlight the BNP's poisonous platform on this blog.