Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ashcroft's Millions

I've heard from a couple of sources (one very reliable) that Darlington's Tories are now in receipt of "Ashcroft money".

This is the crude attempt by the Tory peer to "buy" Conservative victories in key marginals by splurging their parties with cash, in a way that neither Labour nor the LibDems can afford to match. He pulled a similar stunt before the last General Election.

If the rumour's true, then the first fruit of His Lordship's largesse is now dropping through Darlington's letterboxes. It comes in the form of a "newsletter" from our old friend Captain LeGrand.

Edward is pictured on the front cover with the town clock in profile in front of the open market stalls. He's on his own (again) but at least the Pedestrian Heart looks fine.

Now that we don't do class politics any more, it's surely right that the biography on the back glosses over the fact that Edward is the second son of a Yorkshire baronet with a stately pile to go with it.

Of rather more concern is Edward's maths. He reports that "several weeks ago" he accompanied Gill and Mike Cartwright on their bus stunt from Whinfield. Err, well that was on 17th June, according to Gill's own blogsite, which was actually 26 weeks ago. Is 26 "a few" now? I guess that explicitly reporting news from the summer would make Edward and his band of Darlington Tories look, well, out of touch.

Similarly, "Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour" features a picture of Edward and Cllr. Alex Nicholson dated 18th June on the Tories' own website. Even Edward, however, has to admit that the Post Ofice story happened "several months ago". From information on Mike Barker's and Mike Cartwright's blogs, I reckon that picture was taken in February!

And a sad postscript - just what happens to defectors who sign up to the Tory cause? Certainly for the benefit of the media, at first they're lionized. So when Nigel Boddy joined the Tories from the LibDems in November 2007, there were messages of welcome from David Cameron and M'Lord Bates, no less. Michael Bates said "Nigel is a well-respected figure in North-East politics, and is very welcome to join our party, which is dedicated to taking the region forward."

Ah, how long ago that sounds now. Leafletting is probably the least glamorous political exercise, and to get a communication out town-wide means it's all hands to the pump. No-one thought to call poor Nigel, however, who was reduced to leaving a rather pathetic message on the Darlington Conservatives' site offering his help in future deliveries.

If that isn't a cry for attention, I don't know what is. For goodness sake, Heather and Charles, pick up the phone and talk to the man! It is Christmas after all.


nigelLOLboddy said...


Its also unfortunate that the use of apostrophes on that leaflet reflects poorly on it's writers schooling and that some sentences are so long that I nodded off before I reached the end of some of them such was their length and boredom inducing content and also I had a good chuckle when I saw M. Legrands use of brackets because he now tells us that he still opposes drinking in public, (but not outside town centre pubs), I think he's trying to wriggle out of it dont you Nick?

Anonymous said...

Is that "it's writers schooling" or "its writer's schooling"?

And indeed "Mr Legrands use" or "Mr Legrand's" use?

And dont or don't?

Anonymous said...

And if this post by Coun. Wallis isn't a sure sign that Labour are crapping themselves, then I don't know what is.

You've only got yourself to blame for the fact that your party is broke and can't match the Ashcroft money.

Labour always runs out of money in the end. You lot couldn't run a bath, never mind a balance sheet - as your Party and, sadly, the entire country, is now finding out.

Anonymous said...

Good effort Nick to try and detract from the news today that the number of people out of work in the UK rose by 137,000 to 1.86 million in the three months to October - the highest level since 1997.


BNP Volunteer said...

And even those figures are fiddled Gill. People who have made the decision to become "economically inactive" (ie going onto incapacity, etc..) through losing hope, laziness, being not much worse off with their feet up, allowing state benefits to supplement illegal earnings or for genuine reasons are not included in the unemployed figure. Neither are those on training schemes.

I include below a very interesting article on the current situation by an American current affairs writer. What happens in the USA usually has a bad habit of washing up on our shores before too long.

Change You Won't Believe

By James Howard Kunstler for ClusterFuck Nation

The peak oil story has not been nullified by the scramble to unload every asset for cash -- including whomping gobs of oil contracts -- during this desperate season of bank liquidation. The main implication of the peak oil story is that we won't be able to generate the kind of economic growth that defined our way of life for decades because the primary energy resources needed for it will be contracting.

Just as global oil production peaked, our economy evolved into a morbid hypertrophy, and the chief manifestation of it was the suburban sprawl-building fiesta that has now climaxed in the real estate bust. By the early 21st century, when so much American manufacturing had been swapped out to Asia, there was no business left except sprawl-building -- a manifold tragedy which wrecked the banks that financed it, and left the ordinary people mortgaged to it with ruinous liabilities.

That economy is now in its death throes. The "normality" it represents to so many Americans is gone and can't be brought back, no matter how wistfully we watch it recede. Even so, it was obviously not good for the country. The terrain of North America has been left scarred by unlovable objects and baleful futureless vistas that, from now on, will shed whatever pecuniary value they once had. It represents the physical counterpart to the financial mess that has been left to the young generations to clean up -- and the job will take a very long time.

We have to, so to speak, get to place mentally where we can face the kinds of change that are now necessary and unavoidable. We're not there yet. It's not clear whether the elected new national leadership knows just how severe the required changes will really be. Surely the public would be shocked to grasp what's in store. Probably the worst thing we can do now would be to mount a campaign to stay where we are, lost in raptures of happy motoring and blue-light-special shopping.

The economy we're evolving into will be un-global, necessarily local and regional, and austere. It won't support even our current population. This being the case, the political fallout is also liable to be severe. For one thing, we'll have to put aside our sentimental fantasies about immigration. This is almost impossible to imagine, since that narrative is especially potent among the Democratic Party members who are coming in to run things. A tough immigration policy is exactly the kind of difficult change we have to face. This is no longer the 19th century. The narrative has to change.

The new narrative has to be about a managed contraction -- and by "managed" I mean a way that does not produce civil violence, starvation, and public health disasters. One of the telltale signs to look for will be whether the Obama administration bandies around the word "growth." If you hear them use it, it will indicate that they don't understand the kind of change we face.

It is hugely ironic that the US automobile industry is collapsing at this very moment, and the ongoing debate about whether to "rescue" it or not is an obvious kabuki theater exercise because this industry is hopeless. It is headed into bankruptcy with one hundred percent certainty. The only thing in question is whether the news of its death will spoil the Christmas of those who draw a paycheck from it, or those whose hopes for an easy retirement are vested in it. But American political-economy being very Santa Claus oriented for recent generations, the gesture will be made. A single leaky little lifeboat will be lowered and the chiefs of the Big Three will be invited to go for a brief little row, and then they will sink, glug, glug, glug, while the rusty old Titanic of the car industry slides diagonally into the deep behind them, against a sickening greenish-orange sunset backdrop of the morbid economy.

A key concept of the economy to come is that size matters -- everything organized at the giant scale will suffer dysfunction and failure. Giant companies, giant governments, giant institutions will all get into trouble. This, unfortunately, doesn't bode so well for the Obama team and it is salient reason why they must not mount a campaign to keep things the way they are and support enterprises that have to be let go, including many of the government's own operations. The best thing Mr. Obama can do is act as a wise counselor companion-in-chief to a people who now have to leave a lot behind in order to move forward into a plausible future. He seems well-suited to this task in sensibility and intelligence. The task will surely include a degree of pretense that he is holding some familiar things together and propping up some touchstones of the comfortable life. But the truth is we are all going to the same unfamiliar new territory.

The economy we're moving into will have to be one of real work, producing real things of value, at a scale consistent with energy resource reality. I'm convinced that farming will come much closer to the center of economic life, as the death of petro-agribusiness makes food production a matter of life and death in America -- as opposed to the disaster of metabolic entertainment it is now. Reorganizing the landscape itself for this finer-scaled new type of farming is a task fraught with political peril (land ownership questions being historically one of the main reasons that societies fall into revolution). The public is completely unprepared for this kind of change. We still think that "the path to success" is based on getting a college degree certifying people for a lifetime of sitting in an office cubicle. This is so far from the approaching reality that it will be eventually viewed as a sick joke -- like those old 1912 lithographs of mega-cities with Zeppelins plying the air between Everest-size skyscrapers.

The crucial element in the transformation underway will be emotion. The American experience for a few generations has produced an adult population with very childish instincts, increasingly worse each decade. For instance, the desperate power fantasies among the younger tattooed lumpenproles -- those with next-to-zero real economic power -- suggest a certain unappetizing playing-out of resource competition when the supply of Cheez Doodles and Pepsi starts to dwindle. But even the heretofore gainfully employed middle classes are pretty lost in fantasies at least of comfort an convenience. For years now, I have wondered how their sense of grievance and resentment will be expressed when the supermarket shelves run bare and the cardboard signs get taped over the local gas pump and the cable TV gets cut off for non-payment. You wonder, to put it bluntly, how far gone we really are.

BNP Volunteer said...

BNP political philosopher and thinker of complex thoughts Paul Thompson puts it like this -

You can always tell a delusional idiot, for them reality is less important than ideology.

The primary example of this is immigration.

The credit crunch has destroyed totally the entire basis for immigration - and in fact has now led to the point where we must begin deporting economic migrants voluntarily or by enforced means.

Peak Oil will also ensure the same process must begin - but the idiot politicians are so tied up by political correctness that they are unable to articulate this simple economic, social and political reality.

Only the BNP will save this country - only the BNP will save our people - as only the BNP will begin the process of immigration reversal VOLUNTARILY without the crisis point being reached if nothing is done.

If the crisis point is reached then social and civil unrest will erupt that will make the Greek riots look tame in comparison.

Rome has fallen - the elite may still be in denial in their ivory towers, but out on the streets the revolution has already begun.

Anonymous said...

Both Labour and the Tories' PPC for Darlington have at least one thing in common - neither of them could find the place without the aid of SatNav.
For fun, we should drop them both in the centre of town and first one to get to, say, Red Hall Community Centre, gets to be MP. We'd still be here in 2020.

Anonymous said...

God I love the internet……….

Cllr Wally having a pop at the Tory for being a toff, you could only get that from him! The same man who dropped his double barrel name to appear more “working class” and thus more appealing to Labour voters. The same man who sends his children to private schools outside Darlington yet still claims Darlington schools are good enough for others children. The same man who was born with a rather large silver spoon in his mouth and benefitted from large inheritances that means his “job” is little more than a hobby. The same man who lives in a very large house in a village outside the town and is setting himself up as a gentleman farmer.

Nicholas, stop with the smearing and tell the truth for once, your blog is amusing but your staring to believe your own spin, Le Grande may well be a toff but so are you!

Anonymous said...

Please can you add the above blog to your "Others" list of blogs.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

I actually think you have lost the plot.

Your party is destroying democracy in this country and turning it into the Country identified by the film V for Vengeance on the tv last night - maybe we need a V figure to take you all down, starting with you.........

Anonymous said...

Another solider has been killed in Afganistan tonight. It's time to impeach Blair, Brown and all the rest of your rotten corrupt party for treason. It's not your sons and daughters who are dying its the sons and daughters of the people.

People hate New Labour and will get their revenge at the next election. Bring it on Mr. Legard we will vote for you.

Chris Close said...

just dropped in to wish a happy christmas.............

not surprised to see however that people have sussed you out!!!!!


labour certainly isnt working!!!

Darlington Councillor said...

That's the lovely thing about Christmas, isn't - when old friends drop by unexpectedly!

So a very Happy Christmas to you too, Chris.

As for some of the anonymous commenters - well, Sadie at Sadie's Tavern has lampooned the 'ZaNuLiarBore' approach adopted by a lot of the blogging right far better than I, so I'll only suggest you all head over to Guido, where you'll meet plenty of like-minded friends.

It's just a shame you don't have one brain cell to rub between you. How TB and GB should be impeached for treason over Afghanistan escapes me, and electing that nice Captain Legard will hardly make a difference because the Tories have consistently backed the Government's policy towards that country in general.

As for 'V for Vendetta' - well, you're absolutely right, and we need armed insurrection to bring down the Council and indeed the Government. After all, it's not as if we can be voted out, is it??

No need to dissect the anonymous contributor who commented on our respective antecedents - dwelling on this kind of thing would inevitably end up in a poor parody of the Cleese/Barker/Corbett sketch from the 60's. You're wrong in several important respects, however.

And finally...

Thanks to NigeLOLBoddy, for bringing me back to Edward's leaflet, and a very curious call he makes. Edward says "As a starting point the Council should consider a ban on alcohol for all ages in public open areas such as parks (not licensed town centre premises)."

Now I don't know who suggested banning alcohol from town centre pubs, but I can well imagine it would be an unpopular, not to say impossible thing to undertake. I haven't the faintest idea what Edward is saying here, so as always, answers on a postcard....

Anonymous said...

Poor Nicholas, are you so upset that people who don’t share your own slanted view of the world are branded as idiots, surely the great debater (or is that master debater) Cllr Thorne Wallis can do better than that! Perhaps this is you showing your true colours, that of a bigoted hypocrite unable to consider let alone respect someone else’s point of view. No wonder you consider yourself the successor to Cllr Williams, you certainly have the same instincts for personal attacks when the going gets tough!

Have a good look at yourself in the mirror next time you shave Cllr Wally, being an intellectual bully doesn’t make you anything other than a bully and this little outburst shows your true colours. Have a good Christmas and for god’s sake diet man, stress and your size will lead to a heart attack, the Town wouldn’t miss you but I’m sure your family might!

Darlington Councillor said...

Posts were deleted because a third party was offended as a result of a comment from an anonymous poster.

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, it amazes me that you still allow unmoderated comments on your blog. You must have the hide of a rhino!

I read a lot of political blogs and have never seen the level of personal abuse that you put up with on anyone else's blog.

I know that at least one of your blogging colleagues in your town now moderates all comments, in order to filter out the abusive and unpleasant comments that he receives.

It seems there are a number of unpleasant individuals in Darlington who take great delight in posting abusive and nasty personal comments on other people's blogs. With a wife and two kids who could read this stuff, why do you allow it?

Anonymous said...

The last anonymous poster is quite correct, but as a mere interested observer in local matters I believe the abusive comments are borne of frustration.
There does appear to be a group of people who will rant and rave that Labour councillors sit in a bunker, stroking white cats and plotting the destruction of Darlington.
And they will always insist that things are about to change because the people demand it - i.e. Labour was going to lose control at the last election; there was going to be an elected mayor, etc.
Most of these pronouncements are usually followed by "mark my words".
To me, however, it seems the vast majority are happy and have welcomed new levels of investment and improved services. Things aren't perfect (the eastern transport corridor overspend was a disgrace, for example) but to me Darlington seems a town on the up.

BNP Volunteer said...

No matter what you may think of Nick or his politics he must be respected on his approach to free speech.

On the subject of moderating unkind comments. In my opinion as long as they are in the boundaries of a political discussion then that is fine. If they are just plain abusive and personal then they should be edited out.

Nick obviously is happy to take a robust comment as well as give one out without sulking off, which has to be admired.

Over moderating would lead to a dull blog. The open discussion is probably a reason for this blogs popularity.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Chris Close said...

Happy New Year to you all.

We at Cleveland Hall are looking forward to our new year providing an Advocacy service which is actually paid for by the people of Darlington by the people of Darlington despite the best efforts of the highly paid Council imported officers to destroy us to hide their own wrongdoing.

I do not blame Nick for any of this, he has been as misled as the rest of you.


Nathalie Uy said...

We're just trying to find some color in this black and white world.
Keep on making inspiring article :)