Friday, February 08, 2013

If Richard III were to stand in the Eastleigh by-election...

It is axiomatic in British politics that a donkey wearing a blue rosette would win in Kensington & Chelsea; or anything wearing a red rosette would win in Livingston, Scotland. His Grace isn't sure whether non-human candidates have ever secured such victories in the UK (unless the monkey counts?) - and Eastleigh is not a constituency known for its blind tribal loyalty - but the by-election due to take place in a fortnight following the demise of Chris Huhne really is an opportunity to move beyond the myopic prism of the interminable social-democratic consensus that afflicts Parliament and the nation's politics.

Now we know that Nigel Farage is not standing ( - once again, no groundwork, no local commitment, no strategic thought - ), there is no-one else who could win this seat for UKIP. Sir Patrick Moore might have been in with a chance, but, alas, he is no longer with us. Labour are unable to find a candidate to fight this 'hopeless' seat; the Liberal Democrats are still pondering - with rumours of arch-secularist Dr Evan Harris about to throw his stethoscope into the ring (not likely: he's waiting for a safe seat). And the Conservatives have reverted to their A-lister Maria Hutchings, who failed to win the seat in 2010 (Chris Huhne actually increased his majority against her).

Since Eastleigh has been represented by the political corpse of Chris Huhne for more than a year, its voters really ought to consider Richard III as their parliamentary candidate. He's vogue, popular, attracts attention and inspires debate. A murdering, hunchbacked despot wearing a York rose(tte) could easily win against a LibDem has-been and and recycled Tory. Sure, he's dead. But the chronic non-attendance of their MP doesn't appear to have been a problem for the voters of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.


Blogger Di said...

Your condescending dismissal of Ukip is regrettable, especially given the widespread contempt in which Lib/Lab/Con are now held. Ukip offers the only realistic hope of escaping from the EU and regaining control of our borders, issues on which voters have very strong feelings. Ukip may just surprise you.

We certainly don't want another dubious character elected to Westminster. I suggest that the bones of Richard III should be shipped to The Hague where he can be given a fair trial - along with Tony Blair.

8 February 2013 at 09:55  
Blogger Allan D said...

Hutchings increased the Tory share of the vote for the third consecutive election and got the highest Tory vote since 1992 when Tories last held the seat. Huhne's majority increased largely due to squeezing the Labour vote and a 4.5% increase in turnout (the highest since 1997). Neither factor will operate in the bye-election.

Hutchings as both a local candidate and a woman is a perfect choice for the Tories. She is also a non-Toff (comes from Essex and educated at the LSE) and runs the local Job Club. If the Tories fail to capture the seat they cannot blame the candidate - any blame will fall squarely on the national leadership.

8 February 2013 at 10:09  
Blogger H said...

Dr. Harris is in for a long wait for a safe lib-dem seat.

8 February 2013 at 10:13  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...



UKIP know absolutely nothing about strategic campaigning: the LibDems have mastered the art. There is no enduring strategy to win in our fishing towns; no commitment to local politics with years of nurturing and caring. It beggars belief that Farage came third in Buckingham - beaten by a pro-EU Tory in an open field. UKIP thinks a quick flash will wow an electorate: democratic politics doesn't work like that.

If UKIP keep bleating on about sending 'an earthquake through British politics', you need a credible seismic force. Your geiger-counter is warped. It is not patronising to state this: it is a simple statement of fact.

8 February 2013 at 10:17  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Well YG if you're such an expert on politics and campaigning, why don't you stand yourself?
Nigel Farage lost in Buckingham because of the inbuilt reluctance of any voter to support a party that has not YET got a seat in Westminster. Until people stop being taken in by the "wasted vote" argument, ALL votes will be wasted. Every voter who does not dare to vote for an outsider party will vote for the identical LibLabCon. The Libdems have alienated their supporters by getting bed with the Tories. The Tories have alienated their supporters by introducing rubbish policies like votes for prisoners and same-sex "marriage" (fake marriage). Labour is the party that got us into this mess. Anyone who goes and reads the UKIP manifesto on the party's website will find that we are not just "bleating on".
May I add that it was in very bad taste indeed for the press to publish Chrish Huhne's private family messages. They may have had relevance to his conviction but to parade them outside the court is schadenfreude. As somebody who has suffered that kind of gutter journalism myself, (or should I say sewer journalism?) I deplore it even though I have no regret for Huhne's demise.

8 February 2013 at 10:36  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,
I take your point entirely about the fishing ports and I will raise that with Ukip. I confess to being a party member and activist, locally. Whilst you make at least one good point regarding strategy I do think that, as Ukip is the only genuine pro-British political show in town it should be encouraged and not just attacked. However constructive criticism is of course much appreciated. But it may be tough for Your Grace to face the unpalatable truth that the Tories have committed suicide and are very unlikely to recover, if ever, for generations. And we do not have
generations to escape from the Euro-beast, as it is working continuously to reduce us to a mere administrative zone. What's more important the freedom of the country or hoping against hope that the treacherous party that took us in will recant and revert to being a truly patriotic one again ? Ukip are a means to an end, a political device, not a religion or a country. As I see it they represent the only hope of escape, sanity and self determination.

8 February 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"...educated at the LSE"

Uh oh.

8 February 2013 at 12:51  
Blogger graham wood said...

Cranmer comments:
"UKIP know absolutely nothing about strategic campaigning: the LibDems have mastered the art. There is no enduring strategy to win in our fishing towns; no commitment to local politics with years of nurturing and caring. . . . & etc.

I could not agree more.
With the false promise of "repatriation of powers" from the EU, and the fiasco of Same-sex marriage by the Tories, UKIP have a mile-wide Tory open goal - and yet they still seem to be playing about in their own goalmouth.
Never in recent years have they had SUCH an opportunity to exploit the political vacuum which exists, combined with the utter disgust of vast swathes of Tory disaffected.

It simply is not enough to engage in a frenzied leaflet attack on a by-election location a few weeks before the event.

There needs to be a well thought out strategy to get UKIP's overall message across in the media, amongst the political class, and above all to penetrate the public in the way that Lib Dems perfected to an art from.
Will it be the story of yet more wasted opportuities? A tragedy in the making.

8 February 2013 at 12:54  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Who needs UKIP when there is the Monster Raving Loony Party.

8 February 2013 at 13:04  
Blogger Pedant said...

Years of nurturing and caring yet the affliction of the interminable social democratic consensus.
Strategic processing trumps the affirmation of substance.
Cranmer's political thinking is as incoherent as his theological's.

8 February 2013 at 13:33  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Richard III was no despot just a medieval king - he may (or may not) be responsible for the death of the two princes, but Henry VII also put to death his nephew (by marriage) the Earl of Warick for no other reason than he was close to the throne, and nobody bats an eyelid. Apart from that, Richard III is a so-many-times great uncle of mine, and family is family!

8 February 2013 at 16:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Richard III is staying in Leicester!

8 February 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Steady on Archbishop !

Richard III, or Richard of Gloucester as we call him down here, is a much maligned figure who deserves admiration. He was a notable administrator, and if he was around now he would take us OUT of the EU and would certainly have no truck with gay marriage. Would have taken the advocates to the block no less, including Cameron.

Anyway, now to Eastleigh. One is informed by friends in Cheltenham, not a great distance away from there and a Lib-Dem place too, that support for the party is melting away. And that after more than thirty years of solid year on year growth. They grabbed the seat after central office imposed the black man, now the disgraced Lord Taylor as the Tory candidate.

Eastleigh may go through a similar transformation. How would you feel if you were a Lib-Dem voter there, having assisted in getting elected a bare faced lying criminal like Huhne ??? And they expect you to vote for his replacement !!!

Hah !

8 February 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

One small reason Huhne won last time was my vote for UKIP, as Eastleigh is my constituency. I am a natural conservative, which is why I could not vote for Cameron's Blue Labour. This time my wife is so disgusted over SSSCM she's voting UKIP too.

8 February 2013 at 18:26  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Your Grace.

Must say, I'm glad your pic' is the portrait --rather than the model the mods. have come up with. He doesn't look that bad, in the original; and I say the digger-uppers have re-made Richard in their own image: feminised, fat, flabby, soft, characterless ... rather like Cameron, really.

But would someone really have looked like that, when his life was scarred by civil wars, the machinations of very nasty kinsmen, and the pains of untreatable scoliosis? If he had a withered arm, then the spinal problems possibly extended above the level of the curvature, too.

I mean - if Richard was anything his enemies (and Your Grace) suggested, he had a lot more reason to be so than the purblind hypocrites who blaze the power trail today.


Interesting, Inspector --- Richard's brother was the immoral Edward IV; his sister was Margaret of Burgundy (m. Charles the Bold) --- all very 'europhiliac,' like Caxton, whom they sponsored. Richard was different?

8 February 2013 at 19:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Well mouse, on obtaining the royal dukedom of Gloucester, he did a lot for the town. He really was / is held in great esteem here – not bad for a hunchback whose disability would have been seen by many as God’s (...justified ?...) blight upon him...

8 February 2013 at 19:50  
Blogger Gawain Towler said...

Of course in this particular seat UKIP scored only 3% in the 2010 elections, but in the next Council elections hey stood in every ward and moved up to 11%. This I think is what you are talking about, slow steady growth on the ground with effcetive local activists. The polls now put us pre campaign at 13%. It is happening even if those in ivory cloisters haven't noticed it yet.

8 February 2013 at 19:52  
Blogger non mouse said...

Well I'm glad he did that, Inspector. He was also wise, I expect ... Gloucester being close enough to Welsh Wales, and all that Tudor stuff!

Perchance they all paid a bit more attention to the locals, in those Plantagenet days. Richard may have spoken English rather than Welsh, and he needed them to fight in the battles, after all--

Having put an end to physical warfare, I guess the mods don't need us any more. That being sorted, we're so stupid in comparison to marxists, they have nothing to worry about .....

His Grace may have a few Essex readers hereabouts, though.

8 February 2013 at 23:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Essex .... did someone mention Essex, my home in exile?

8 February 2013 at 23:24  
Blogger Alison Judith Bailey said...

His Grace, sticks rightly with Shakespeare's version of Richard III, since his portrait, at least physically, has been upheld. There were audible Ricardian gasps about the scoliosis. Can't someone eat a tiny sliver of humble pie for branding William, for years, a liar and/or brazen Tudor propagandist? Shakespeare loathed flatterers and liars. The everliving poet-cum-historian should surely stand in Eastleigh. It is his week.

8 February 2013 at 23:32  
Blogger Ian G said...

Ms. Bailey is misrepresenting the facts. The scoliosis was sideways. He was NOT a 'hunchback' as exaggerated by the Tudor propagandist and sycophant Shakespeare. He did NOT have a withered arm. He was NOT the mis-shapen creature and, obviously, bitter, twisted and wicked monster of your imagination.

Richard III was a good king, loved and respected by all who knew him and his rule over them before he was a king. No-one, not even lying Tudor jocks, can take away from him his bravery in battle. Dictators are rarely brave.They do not have sufficient virtue to face the test.

9 February 2013 at 01:26  
Blogger bluedog said...

non mouse @ 23.00, observant, astute and correct!

9 February 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Mr. bluedog (10:45).

9 February 2013 at 16:06  

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