Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The only local candidate...

A lot of what has been written, by both the mainstream media and the blogosphere, about the Stratford-on-Avon PPC selection is that CCHQ enforced a list of non local candidates on the association. Statements such as this from Stratford Online News are typical:

"Philip Seccombe, a chartered surveyor, Stratford district councillor and chairman of the local Conservative association, was the solitary local candidate."

Phillip Seccombe was the only local candidate of a short-list of six, there is no avoiding that, but he was the only local candidate for a very good reason. He is, to my knowledge, the only person living within the constituency who is on the approved candidates list. That is, he is the only local person who decided they wanted to become a member of parliament (not just, in an opportunistic fashion when their local seat was available), put them name forward, and then went through the process to be vetted by the Conservative Party and deemed capable and worthy of becoming a Member of Parliament for the party.

To suggest that CCHQ some how ignored five other local candidates is not just wrong but misleading. There were no other local candidates that they could have chosen from, the closest on the list, and someone who was on it, was  probably Lucy Allen who grew up on the family farm which is near Shipston, and only 12.9 miles from Stratford Town. I didn't see any of the press referring to her as a locally born girl though, after all, that just didn't fit the established narrative.

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