Thursday, 15 April 2010


So we wait 50 years for a live election debate between the three main Party leaders and when it happens, I start to doze off!  Not once but twice. Maybe I am tired, maybe the comfort of the armchair after all that leafletting was just a tad too comfortable.

Or maybe, just maybe, I and others switched off or over because try as they might all the three parties did was remind us why our national politics are so boring and in such a mess in the first place.

David Brown, Nick Cameron and Gordon Clegg all took it turns to tell a studio audience how wonderful they were and suck up to to every voter i.e. "Before I start can I say how much I admire the work you do in our (schools. hospitals, armed forces) and what a great debt the country owes you blah blah blah.

So tiresome and cringeworthy were some of the answers that Daniel my eldest son (23) asked me at one stage "Isn't Songs of Praise on the other side dad?"

The pollsters say Nick Clegg won the debate? which will be tough news for the big two to take, but I think it reflects the the ease in which any body sounding at least part interested in political  change can sway an audience.

For what it's worth I thought Brown was most statesmanlike, Clegg the most relaxed and Cameron? well he looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights, unable to move out of the way of difficult questions that were coming straight at him. If this man is Prime Ministerial material then King Herod should open a Care Home for Young Children.

What the show did do though is strip away from the Tory and Labour Party all the gloss, take the shine of of their party posters and the power away from media moguls and expose them all to the stark clear light of normailty and let the public start to judge our politicians crowell style, Warts and All.

But it's the viewing figures not the voting figures I want to see, and I also want to see how many viewers switched off or over half way through the show.

Meanwhile earlier tonight we had our own first mini version of the big debate at the Sunley Management Centre with Northampton's Youth as the audience. With 11 politicians on the platform!!

2 Green 2 UKIP 2 Lib Dem 2 Tory 2 Independent and er......... 1 Labour! One of their candidates was missing, and I bet you can guess who.

It was in the main a light hearted and gentle opener to the hustings season, but one worrying aspect was the Lib Dem's Paul Varnsverry (he of no comments on my blog please, fame) who fired the first negative shot of the campaign by asking me to "withdraw your candiditure" (silly boy) after failing to read my leaflet correctly, or perhaps taking it too literally. Either way it was nice to see his feathers rattled.

I have a nasty feeling about young Paul's ability to last the distance, negative politics and silly gestures are never flattering to the electorate watching on and I hope he learns an early lesson.

The others? well the Greens were good and bad (one of each) I will let them decide which, but well, done Julie!

The Tories? so so, a bit all things to all people, UKIP? Barking mad, The Lib Dems? Andrew put up a decent fight, Paul over prepared and overstretched himself and Sally for Labour did as good a job as she could being a man down.

Meanwhile fellow Independent Malcolm Mildren standing in Northampton North respendent in his check jacket was a joy to be sat alongside, free from any party shackles he did what politicians should all be doing.

He told people what he really believed and what he really thought, and that alone was enough to make the night worthwile.


  1. So Spartacus2008 Varnsverry is at it again! Well I'm not surprised (I can't think why you would be Tony for that matter). He pulled the NBC constitution on you early at the Guildhall to try to gag you, so what did you expect? That individual will resort to any sort of deviousness to feather his own nest. He has nothing on his mind except, me, me and more me. He cares not a jot about anyone else. He will mislead (stronger words cannot be used on here) at the drop of a hat. He's terrified of failure and we all know his track record in business (chron & echo August 22nd 2008) and the promises he made to the people of Far Cotton over the infamous bund. Is that still there? Of course it is. Where does this individual get off with his righteousness? Let's see a profile Paul. Where were you for 15 - 18 years after you left school? What were you doing? Now there's a couple of questions! Cup of Rosie on the lawn anyone?

    Let's have the comments function turned ON Cllr. What are you afraid of?

  2. I had to smile when looking at Paul’s notes to editors “Paul was selected as Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South” what it fails to point out is the vote was so close that he was selected on the toss of a coin – known in the trade as a tosser?

    Notes to Editors:
    1. Paul, a Borough Councillor since 2007, is Director of PVA Technical File Services Limited. Paul was selected as Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South in 2008 and became Deputy Leader of Northampton Borough Council in 2009.

  3. 1)'then King Herod should open a Care Home for Young Children.'
    If you go to the website of the King Herod Appreciation Society, a forum for the exchange of views on life, culture and politics run by liberal Jews in North-east London, you might reconsider your flippant and judgmental tone!

    2) The political scene in Waltham Forest becomes more surreal: the three senior Lib Dem Councillors having been suspended the day before nominations closed, due to what is surmised to be a Kashmiri coup within the party, they are standing as independents! This includes the leader, who remains leader although he is now running against three 'official' (for the moment) Lib Dems.Whether this is a good day for independents is a matter for discussion...

  4. Anonymous...

    I still cannot understand why you don't put your real name on here...
    Are you wanted by the police or something?
    Does your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/mother not let you sign up and take part in adult conversations?
    Are you one of Tony's opponents? (you're not BNP are you? Or worse still a Lib Dem?)

    Anyways, I am not commenting on your second point. And Tony's is big enough to fight his own battles, but; your first point...

    You HAVE to be joking? Tell me you are not serious? They don't really have a King Herod Appreciation Society surely? You are having a laugh right?

  5. Twitter Waffle

    Guess who got excited about the following announcement?

    "I am the first candidate (North and South) to be confirmed."

    Answer:- Paul Varnsverry of course. He is so hyper he can't even sleep. Message entered via txt on 13 April at 4.39am -SAD.

  6. There's so much I could say.
    But I just have to hold my tongue!!!

  7. Twitter Waffle

    Guess who said that "Northampton South is still wide open. The independent candidate thinks he is the only challenger to the sitting MP. How wrong he is!"

    You've guessed it. Paul Varnsverry to all of his 16 followers on Twitter Waffle on March 20th via web @ 11.11am. Oh yes, that's the web where the comment function is turned off.

    Cup of rosie on the lawn anyone?

  8. Had the election leaflet from Tony Clarke delivered today [Delapre] also one from Brian Binley and one from ‘Save Our Public Services’ that’s three of the runners – have the rest given up? – or is it all hands to the pump in the North?

  9. A little of both I think Northampton...
    Lib Dems are getting one out on Tuesday apparently.
    (Tony, watch your back...)

    Not had one from "Save Our Public Services" yet...

    And no one seems to have seen Labour round here.

    If anyone does, please take pictures!

    (Could that be something like that "Where's Woodsy" thingy Tony did on NIV site? We could have a "Where's Clyde" appeal ~ though might not be as closely followed)

  10. Talking of Clyde - it's not all fun and games in the ("Tony, watch your back...") camp either. Ask Cllrs John Macklin, Bob Carey and Bob Belam. All's not fair in the 'Waltham Forest'

  11. I would hope by now that the people in Northampton generally and Northampton South particularly know exactly what to expect from the Liberal Democrats. We must all remember vividly the promises made by that party when they wanted power in the Guildhall. Nothing was going to be too much, all was possible, everything in the garden was going to be rosie, unless that garden was Delapre.

    The truth of the intervening 3 years has been altogether very different. We have had the:-

    Free parking for Red Astra's debacle (and the costs of the enquiries)

    The loss of our much loved Balloon Festival

    Public Toilet closures

    Plastic Christmas Trees

    65% pay rises for Councillors

    Back holes of £7.2 million

    Cancelled fireworks

    DELAPRE (bans on tea drinking on lawns)

    Market Square squabble after squabble

    Neighbourhood Wardens reduced (shamefully)

    U - Turns on housing development

    Tow Centre stubbornness

    Sixfields prevention of progress

    THe list goes on and on. Please remember that these people (Liberal Democrats) say one thing and do the opposite. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. What they say in opposition is never ever going to come to fruition

  12. st john lady,
    1)There might be several good reasons why someone living in a borough led by a vindictive and corrupt gang who might just be back in power after the election might not want to be identified
    2) "The King Herod Appreciation Society
    is a blog for mildly subversive Jewish thought from the only religiously inclined organization that views Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' as a documentary. The opinions expressed here belong to the authors of each post, and needn't reflect a consensus with the KHAS as a whole or with anyone or anything else. And that's the way we like it."

  13. Blimey Anonymous...

    I don't even know where to start on answering this!

    I can't find any answer for your second point on the KHAS ~ other than you can never have too many freaks and weirdo's at election time can you? (And before anyone gets mad there, I totally include myself in that comment)

    On your first point, I can sort of see the point; but we do still (although maybe not as much as we'd like) have freedom of speech.

    As such you should be able to state your case, put your point across and leave your name without fear of being attacked for having such a view.

    If you are a Lib Dem (supporter or councillor) then say so, put your point across and your view etc; more people would (in my opinion) think more of that than this "anonymous" stuff.

    I might not always get things right and I know that sometimes I say the wrong things etc. I don't always agree with Tony, and I don't always agree with the party I belong to...

    BUT: and here's the point, I am not about to hide behind "anonymous" because I (even if it is at the time) believe in what I say. I hope that I have the courage and backbone to stand behind my words and actions; and if I am wrong about them; then so be it and I shall admit it when I am wrong.

    I don't claim to know everything or that my views are the right ones, I am here to learn and understand why this or that happens etc.

    (If any of that made sense I am impressed, I should never be allowed to write anything at 5 O'Clock in the morning!)

    The other reasons I wish "anonymous" posters should have their names up is, which anonymous is which? When you have three or more "anonymous" posters; then are you still speaking to the one person or are you all different?

    It's a little hard to have any type of conversation with anyone when you don't actually know who is who and how many of them there are!

  14. the stjohnlady1 handle is I presume a pseudonym, so pot, kettle and black spring to mind.

    It's not always simple to put one's moniker on comments for a plethora of reasons and like everything else, when it's not compulsory to so do - that's called choice. If we were all the same it would be a poor state of affairs.

    PS I would urge you however not to be fooled by the smooth and slick tongue of the Liberal Democrat machine. What a terrible waste of a vote.

    The content of the various comments is distinct, in my humble opinion and unless it gets to the point where it is not interesting anymore, let's have it. The alternative is people saying nothing. As long as you put your official mark on your ballot paper in your desired box, that's fine by me. I may not like your choice but that's called democracy - in it's wisdom.

  15. Sorry, the PS got rearranged in the preview. Apologies.

  16. The Cobblers Pollster19 April 2010 at 11:22

    Exciting stuff - Sky News are now looking at all seats and showing the latest 'poll of polls' on a constituency level.

    Fir N'pton South they also take into account 'local strong independent / former MP influence'

    Northampton South (notional Labour maj)

    Predicting a Conservative victory for incumbent Brian Binley.

    Lib Dem vote growing much more than expected - large number of weak Conservative and weak Labour votes.

    These 'weak' votes tradtionally go to incumbent or independents.

    Conservative victory, reduced Labour vote in second, Lib Dem closing gap to come close third. Independent fourth with increased vote.


  17. No worries about the PS thingy anonymous.

    My handle is who I am; most people will know me as that; but for the record my name is Nicky Sarti.

    Tony himself will tell you that I have no problem whatsoever in putting my name to anything that either supports him (and others) or challenges him about something I disagree with.

    As my own blog will show; it is on Tony's following list, please feel free to go check it out. I accept comments ~ unlike Mr. Paul Varnsverry, and am more than happy to stand by my views.

    Also, on a side note; I know where my vote will be going ~ I guess it was already a pre given... but I needed to find that out for myself.

    TCP ~ are you kidding me? "reduced Labour vote in second?" Seriously now, come on!

    Not only have I not had a leaflet through my door, or seen hide nor hare of Clyde; but to put "the man with no face" before the Independent AND the Lib Dems, is just bizarre!

    I think you are either Clyde himself... (are you?) Or a fellow Lib Dem support ~ very poor form if so!

    Labour won't win here, let alone come second.
    You might be right about the Conservative vote though... It'll be the fight between second and third place.

    In my humble opinion anyways!

  18. The Cobblers Pollster20 April 2010 at 11:57

    thestjohnlady - I'm not making this stuff up! It comes from the Sky News website and they have been spot on for the last three elections on a constituency level give or take 100 votes.

    Please tell me you don't really believe that people vote based on whether they get a leaflet or meet the candidate? You don't believe that do you?

    I accept they are your opinions but my previous blog was based on the latest research.

    No I'm not Clyde. I'm the Cobblers Pollster.

  19. Cobblers Pollster, I think the Poll of Polls you refer to is the national one. There is as far as I can see no Constituency based poll, only the chance to enter your post code to get a profile of your seat.

    There are Constituency Profiles for each seat which ironicly don't mention anyone other than Tory Lab and Lib Dem!! for Northampton South

    Ladbrokes (who lose money if they get it wrong!) still have the Tories as favourites with myself in Second, Labour Third and the Lib Dem way out at 101/1

    My theory on how people choose their vote is as follows: 1% are members of one of the three parties, and a further 30% are strong supporters of the same three so that leaves 69% to play for 30% of these will choose based on the Candidate and on some form of knowledge of party policy or personal pledge which leaves about 40% who will probably be swayed mostly by the national media, but a proportion of these will not vote. With turn out expected at around 75%-80% at least half of those if not two thirds will be determined by party support or local identity.

    Its very confusing but it means there is always something to play for. In this election most MP's (as in others) there will be a lot of MP's elected on little more than 30% of the votes cast and less than 25% of the total electorate!

  20. This is to the St Johns lady, is this the same self lady who for most of her life has sponged of the state, who whenever the word work gets mentioned gets headaches, but can sit on a computor all night, you ae nothing but a lazy feckless waste of space and if you are voting for the Libs then there is no hope for is the likes of you that have led this country into the mess it is....get a job you lazy bizzum and stop sponging on the rest of us who have had to work for what we have.your opinions are worthless you have not contributed to society only sponged of it...............

  21. Hi TCP; sorry it's taken me so long to reply.
    Shocked that Sky News have Labour in 2nd place; but hey anything is possible I guess.

    I don't believe that (all) people are that shallow that they choose their votes on something so minor, my point was that without leaflets in the door; without the candidates knocking on the door and without knowing what the party (those with a party of course) nationally stand for ~ how can anyone make an informed choice as to who to vote for?

    It would be much akin to voting a certain way, "just because" your whole family have; I've done that myself when young and in truth it was not what I felt deep down... it was just what I thought was the "right thing" to do.

    Though having said all that, I actually DID get a Labour leaflet through my door a few days ago... wouldn't have made any difference to be honest, but ya know...

    Anonymous... WOW.
    Firstly; you know NOTHING of me, my life OR my circumstances. Don't pretend like you do, because IF you knew me that well; you would know that NONE of what you have just written was true.

    Secondly; not that I should NEED to tell you how I voted, but I never voted for Paul... (Sorry if you are reading Paul ~ but I will next time)

    Thirdly; it is people like YOU who have given this country a bad name and got it into the mess it is, because it is YOU who is hiding behind the "anonymous" handle...

    If you had any balls/guts, you would stand up for what you believe and stand behind EVERYTHING you say... of course you won't because I could then take you to court for slander.

    Also on a side note, if you want a sensible debate; then put you name up and stand by what you feel and say. If you cannot do that, then you are not worth my time or effort.




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