Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogger Down!

I was genuinely disappointed to see that Rob Marchant, author of the Centre Left blog has pulled out of the Darlington PPC selection process at a relatively early stage.

Rob had pinned his hopes on winning the nomination of Darlington's Co-operative Party members, but this went instead to Dan Whittle. I hear that both Rob and Dan performed powerfully at the meeting.

Rob was the only candidate to date to use blogging as a way of engaging with members - though perhaps he was most successful in hearing from our '2 Ians' from Hurworth in another constituency entirely!

Rob was good enough to ring me at the start of the process to ask advice about starting up a blog here in Darlington as part of his push for candidature - I don't think I'm breaking any confidences when I tell you I explained that in my opinion, it wins very few votes indeed. Indeed, as you know, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading personally abusive comments from anonymous idiots.

In the longer term, however, I still think that blogging specifically and the internet in general can play a powerful role in communicating with residents about political issues big and small. I hope that whoever wins the nomination will take up Mike M's challenge issued to me and other councillors 3 years ago + to use the medium creatively.

I'm sure we'll hear abourt Rob again, but in the context of another seat, between now and the next General Election.


ianh said...

Hi Nick,
It was good to see a prospective candidate go on-line and at least attempt to engage locally, even if it was predominatley us "2ians"

In our "defence" i would say that what happens in the Darlington constituency actually has a far greater impact on Hurworth than the Sedgefield constituency of which we are part.

I therefore believe it to be quite correct for us to show a clear interest as to who is standing in Darlington.

For my part i believe that to have any chance of overcoming the low level of esteem in which all politicians are currently held, all parties should put forward local candidates who have a clear understanding of the town, its people, and issues affecting them.

Given the description of the winning co-op nomination as being,
"Dan Whittle is the Young Fabians Trade Union Liaison Officer. He is also the London representative on the Co-operative Youth Committee."

I would suggest that he fails on all counts!

In all honesty, what can he possibly have in common with the issues affecting communities in Darlington and surrounding areas?

I think the lib-dems have made a good selection in Mike Barker, the tories a huge mistake with their man (Lagard?).Now Labour have the chance to go either way, choose a party "name" that no one in the town knows and who doesnt know the town, or someone who has spent most of their life here and knows its people and their issues intimatley.

I know which i would choose!

james said...

Dan still has to be selected by the constituency Labour Party before he becomes the candidate, ianh - even so, I understand he grew up in the town and intends to move back here if selected. I doubt that many people vote for candidates on election day, anyway, they vote for parties. Sadly, fewer people vote at all. I didn't in the 2005 general election - I'm sure the prospect of a tory victory will have many reconsidering their views, as I have.

ianw said...

I understand he grew up in the town and intends to move back here if selected.

Thats terrible any candidate should live in the Darlington Area or surrounding local villages already to really know what is going on.

James your statement is like "I have won a free swim at the dolphin, "Oh I think I shall learn to swim".

Rob did not even know which school fiasco I was talking about in one post, anyone who lives in Darlington would not have needed to ask....

as for the "Nags head" bus stop the scene of untold violence and fear for many many Hurworth residents we have been told on Tuesday it will be looked but not until after at Christmas or presumably a death!

As those of power within (DBC) are to busy implementing its new cash cow ...sorry parking enforcement plans.

So DBC are setting up this cash cow while innocent members of the public have to endure the Christams period in fear of waitng for a bus at what some would say is the drinking high spot of the year.

It's clear to see DBC needs to change, quickly and for the better but an "outsider" is the way forward as for the young Fabian's I like many others if they were asked have no idea what they are!

I will say what no one else will there is only one hope for Labour to get an MP in sunny Darlo...sack the present leader and put forward....

Jenny Chapman!

Don't come posting on hear crying when the BNP get in through picking a nobody.

ianw said...

Sorry the last post should have read NOT the way forward

james said...

Ianw, you are confusing the role of councilors with the role of an MP. MPs can surely do little to change the decisions of councils because they are not elected to that body but to parliament.

Most people I know who vote, don't think of it as choosing the MP but choosing the government. Whoever is selected as Labour candidate I will vote for - simply because they are the Labour candidate and I don't want to see the Tories back in office at a national level (you only have to consider what they do at council level!)

ianw said...


I am most certainly NOT confusing the 2 whilst I hate the present NuLabour party as it is and agree it needs a complete change from the top down, the way to do it is to get MP's whith integrity and a local knowledge not just a tosser they have shipped in from afar!

To get MP's of this caliber we need to get someone with a proven track record and a true local person not "if I win I will move here" anyone committed enough would already live here. It is my and others belief that for this to happen in Darlington and keep other party's from winning especially the BNP through lack of faith in all other party's or appathy it needs to be a local.

Of course it is upto Labour who they pick all I am saying is don't moan when you loose because you parachuted in a total unknown.

Regardless of who I vote for it will be a local candidate on principal just to get things done in an area they know and are familliar with so in my eyes at present Mike Barker is looking favourite for Darlington.

james said...

Ian, my view is that New Labour's problem was that it wanted Labour to abandon movement politics (the kind of thing that gave Labour a significant electoral base and reputation, especially at a local level) for a focus on what big business wants (namely a two-party system that won't interfere with what they get up to). Just as a man cannot serve two masters, a party cannot serve two classes.

Seems odd that you would want to send a local candidate to work in London for most of the week, focusing on national politics not local politics?

Mike's sound but consider: the Liberals are going to be squeezed at the next election as it becomes a race between Labour and Tories to form the next government.

ianw said...

I still think is better to have someone who lives here and cares about the place, granted the winner will be in London a lot but hopefully will keep the passion for their hometown.