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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
David Cameron by Spursfan on 30 September 2008 7:32am
The Tory Party Conference in Brum has reminded me that in 1997 David Cameron stood as the Conservative candidate in my constituency (Stafford) - a safe Tory seat. They had held it since the fifties (Sir Hugh Fraser 1950-1984, and after a by-election on HF's death Bill Cash (1984-97)).

The result?

The Labour candidate (David Kidney) won. leaving David Cameron runner up. DK went on to hold the seat in 2001 and 2005.


Re: David Cameron by geordiegirl on 30 September 2008 2:31pm
Yes, indeed, Anne, all political candidates get a no-hoper just to give them experience their first outing.

My dear friend Stephen Twigg stood in my own seat in 1997 to lose, but won instead (Were You Still Up for Portillo, you may remember.

In the end (he inevitably lost out 3rd time around) it's delayed his career, but he'll be back in parliament next time, for West Derby.And climbing the greasy pole again!
Re: David Cameron by Spursfan on 30 September 2008 8:09pm
I agree, Linda - however Stafford was still considered a safe seat for the Tories though Labour was odds on to win the election in 1997 (and what a fabulous night it as when they did).

We lived in Stone (not far from Stafford) for about 20 years which for a while was part of the Mid-Staffordshire constituency. This was also VERY strongly Tory. The MP from 1983 was John Heddle (famous for always being first in the queue on Budget Days) and I was very fond of him despite him being of the wrong political persuassion!! The husband and I were both on the local Festival Committee; and for a number of years I was Festival Secretary. At the time (and I suppose still) the Festival lasted 2 weeks, and the main day was the last Saturday (normally) and the MP was always invited - JH would literally run up to me with his arms wide and give me a big hug, a lovely man.

Back to the story - 1989 he sadly committed suicide, and Sylvia Heal, Labour, won the seat. It was a triumph tinged with sadness.

Unfortunately she lost the seat to Michael Fabricant two years later (I can still see him in a pillory at a medieval banquet the Festival had organised and somewhere I have photos hahaha - you may also remember him recently being stopped in Columbia having white powder (coffee whitener) that was thought to be cocaine). I was disgusted at the people of Stone and the rest of Mid Staffs.

Stone is still Tory - Bill Cash at the helm.

Sylvia Heal is now Deputy Speaker.

I've gone on a bit, aint I? ;(
Re: David Cameron by geordiegirl on 2 October 2008 2:43pm
No, Anne, you certainly haven't, I do like a friendly political chat!

Poor John Heddle.I certainly remember the name.

I am aware of Sylvia heal, too - a very good woman. I'm always up for middle-aged women coming through & winning.I hope she keeps her seat - nothing is that safe now.
I have this sneaking belief that, minus party affiliations, ALL constituency MPs are all-time Good Eggs. They work hard, involve themselves so much in their constituencies: I see this at first-hand, and it's admirable.Even my own wildly right-wing Tory MP is helpful when I need British gas sorting out, as I recently did: all sorts of things like that.

Michael Fabricant - Jeremy Paxman (though I still think him over-rated) codnducted some kind of poll about Michael F, and he came out ahead of everyone else (a very non-scientific survey) as an assiduous constituency MP. He'll do just anything for any charity, I believe- good on him.
Re: David Cameron by Spursfan on 2 October 2008 8:34pm
Thank you Linda! I was trying (rather clumsily) to make the point that although their politics may be flawed (ahem) they can be decent guys in 'real' life. Michael Fabricant was such a good sport - we really put him through it!!

I even wrote to the local paper when Sylvia Heal lost the election because she was such a hard worker. I met her on the campaign trail and she was like a breath of fresh air.

We have a labour MP at the moment, David Kidney who was a solicitor in the town. He is incredibly hard working on behalf of us all. I have written to him myself (I have campaigned to get the exemption list of illnesses for prescription payment changed as it is currently VERY unfair. Not only is my chronic illness not exempt, but also myathenia gravis and lupus amongst others. I have written to Tony Blair when he was PM and all his office did was send on my letter to the Health Dept who I had already written to. Their answer? A long letter about prepayment certs which I already do!! Anyway, DK did a bit of writing for me himself but nothing happened. Incidentally I had a great letter from the LIB Dem Health Secreatry supporting me and also from someone in the Welsh Assembly. Upwards and onwards in the battle!!)
Re: David Cameron by vlad all over on 3 October 2008 10:34am
The man's a bigger phoney than Blair.
Re: David Cameron by geordiegirl on 3 October 2008 5:28pm
I do sympathise about your prescription charges, Anne. No consolation to say they all disappear when you're 60. The UK situation is a bit of a mess, with N.Ireland announcing dropping them, likewise Wales & Scotland. This sort of thing can open a whole can of worms talking about English Parliaments (heard T. benn last night, great fan, he's an advocate of this.

Glad to hear your MPs did their best - they work SO hard, and as my friend frequently says to me, so often they really can't do anything. But then - people's expectations! Not really counting the madpeople. One constituent wanted my MP friend to get back money she'd paid to a Tarot card reader (they can do this over the phone now, I'm REALLY impressed at people's ability to be taken in)- he'd said her current relationship would be the marriage one & guess what? It finished 3 nights later. What can you do with them?

-But even the genuine hardship - people affected by the 10p tax-fiasco - he hard nothing much he could offer them in concrete terms. Only advice - they are ADVICE surgeries, I suppose, but folks want things done.

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