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london tory

I joined the Conservative Party 20 years ago but I feel like it is run by morons.

No sense of anything strategic here just a desperate game of grab-a-celebrity and get me out of here.

No focus on the fact that Lord Stevens was responsible, in many ways more responsible, for the same big increase in crime that has taken place under Ken Livingstone.

No focus on the fact that Nick Ferrari has no qualifications to be Mayor at all, and has no experience as a candidate whatsoever.

No focus at all on the fact that a former ambassador is hardly likely to drop everything and turn his life around because of a rather sad and desperate phone call.

Francis Maude has made our party look ridiculous because he can't be bothered to think through the consequences of his actions. David Cameron is also to blame for agreeing to this nonsense.

When will the Conservative Party win the London Mayoral election? When will they take the job or the election seriously would be a better question? What a disgrace.

James Hellyer

Lord Stevens may bring a dash of "hanging and flogging" populism to his tabloid columns, but as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, he more than anyone was responsible for the reduction in the number of beat officers. He has a little more credibility than Sir Ian Blair, but not much more.

Umbrella Man

Nick Ferrari is interviewed in today's Observer.

Richard

"Sir Mike Jackson"

Isn't he a Labour voter?

Martin Hoscik (MayorWatch)

London Tory comments 'When will the Conservative Party win the London Mayoral election? When will they take the job or the election seriously would be a better question?'

I think he has the sequence of events right, but from reading this and other sites and speaking to many of my Tory voting friends I worry he might be in a minority.

Regardless of how despised Ken is within Tory circles and on sites like ABK and Sod-u-Ken there's no sign of widespread discontent with his polices and administration within the wider public.

Secondly, you can't run a campaign in the hope of building up zero-profilem lightweight candidates 18 months before an election - this has to be done over a long period of 3-4 years.

In terms of mandate the Mayor's job is directly comparable with that of Prime Minister or First Minister, and all parties need to start treating it as such. This means offering serious, heavyweight candidates who looks like the elected representative of 7 million people.

If your party wants to unseat Ken it has to use the Assembly to build the profile of potential Mayoral candidates. The number one slot on the London List and/or the party's safest Assembly seat needs to be reserved for the candidate you'd want to run in the following Mayoral election.

That person then needs to be treated as a Mayor in waiting or, if you prefer, the leader of the official London Opposition. They then need to take every opportunity to be seen, overcoming the biggest problem which all parties in London currently face - the low profile of Assembly Members from all parties.

Although the mainstream media is guilty of all but ignoring the Assembly, the AMs themselves hardly help themselves.

Two months ago a press officer for the Tory AMs agreed to give an interview on behalf of an assembly member. Since the questions were emailed all reminders, chases and requests for updates have been ignored. That's an opportunity lost for the member in question and, let's face it, it's not like most AMs are beating off media bids.

This has to change if the London Assembly is ever to increase in profile and those who sit in it are to go on to challenge for the top job.

Where you should be more concerned is that it's not only AM's who do this. In the last 10 days we've emailed Victoria and Warwick asking them to set out to the wider population of London why they want to be Mayor. Neither has answered.

We also emailed Tory party HQ soliciting access and and greater insight into the selection process. That email has yet to be answered and Victoria has yet to even acknowledge a second email we sent her on Thursday:

http://www.mayorwatch.org.uk/news.php?article_id=360

If this sounds like sour grapes or sulking I assure you it's not, people and bodies have the right to engage with those outlets they choose. But, most hours of most days MayorWatch occupies Google's second place for the search term 'london politics' with the top slot taken by the BBC.

Two years out and with no exciting candidate yet declared the BBC are hardly running the Tory selection as an ongoing high profile story. Their coverage of Steve Norris' comments last weekend didn't even mention Warwick or Victoria: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5207260.stm

Nor did other outlets:

http://www.epolitix.com/EN/News/200607/08daf3e9-2303-4fc6-9f10f184234de927.htm

http://www.24dash.com/content/news/viewNews.php?navID=2&newsID=8418

It's frankly baffling that those who hope to stand against the biggest media whore aren't taking every opportunity to increase their profile and tell their message. That isn't the sign of a credible opposition candidate.

'When will the Conservative Party win the London Mayoral election?' When they talk to Londoners for more than a few weeks every 4 years.

ustin Hinchcliffe

Martin Hoscik is spot on; that's why we need Steve Norris!

Westminster Tory

This is sad and pathetic.

Jeremy Clarkson would not touch elective politics with a barge pole and has said so on many occasions.

Andrew Neil has said that he voted Labour in 1997 and 2001. The Telegraph says that CCHQ has touted Sir Alan Sugar - a committed Labour supporter. Mike Jackson is a Labour favourite.

This is Mayoral Primary is turning into a PR disaster. The words "Maude", "party" and "brewery" spring to mind.

James Baxter

Steve Norris is a strong, savvy, smooth political operator. He knows how to communicate with this electorate. And unlike so many of the just clowns being talked about by the political pygmies at Central Office, he actually has the experience and qualifiactions for the job.

If he's still got any time for this utterly moronic process, Steve should run. Save us from Borwick, Boles and Lightfoot, Steve!

Matt Davis

Martin Hoscik is indeed spot on but that is exactly why we DON'T need Norris again I'm afraid Justin. After all last time around he ran a campaign that only lasted a few weeks, the precise point that Hoscik is actually making, and ignored large swathes of London whilst insulting others.He has had two goes at it and failed twice, it must now be time for an individual who appears to really want to be Mayor, something that Norris has never clearly demonstrated, especially when he refused to part company with Jarvis last time around even though that relationship poisoned him with many floating voters.

Jon White

James Baxter - if Norris is such a strong, savvy smooth political operator, how come he is a two time loser? (And would undoubtedly complete the hat-trick should he ever run again)

Denis Cooper

Must be pretty desperate, if Norris is the best available candidate.

Is there no-one among the Assembly Members who's steeped in London affairs, who's knowledgeable about Livingstone's mistakes and wise to his chicanery, who's built up a public reputation as a perceptive critic, and who could reasonably be presented to Londoners as a better alternative for the position of mayor?

If not, why not?

Westminster Tory

Are you kidding Denis? The Tory GLA members are an ineffective bunch of no-hopers.

James Baxter

Matt:

It's not about "wanting to be Mayor."

Victoria, Warwick and Nick Boles want to be Mayor. That is not enough. You have to be able to defeat Ken Livingstone and actually have the skills and experience to be Mayor.

Steve ran with a dud, unreconstructed party behind him. Now that we've sorted that out, let's not have our reformed and modern party dragging a dud of a candidate into this election. Those mentioned simply don't match Steve's skill and experience.

Jennifer Page

Sorry, Matt. But Martin thinks Steve is a great candidate, so your reasoning is purely your own, it would seem.

I can't believe people want to go into this election without a heavyweight Conservative candidate. Steve Norris has the name recognition and the political skill to get it done. The Tory Party didn't exactly make itself very user friendly previously. One candidate can hardly be expected to make up for all of that on their own.

I for one would like to Steve Norris run.

Martin Hoscik (MayorWatch)

Matt

Steve ran a long campaign in 2004 - certainly as long as the selectipn process allowed him.

He was selected on 17th Feb 2003 and by 8 May, 2003 was already getting in on coverage and issues:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3011999.stm

I should also clarify that my point isn't about individual candidates but party process. No sane party would run as potential Prime Minister a candidate who'd never sat in Parliament and who arrived on the scene just months before.

Equally with a population larger than a number of nations, London should no longer be presented with candidates who have never sat in the Assembly.

In 2000 and to some extent 2004 it wasn't possible to use the Assembly as a training ground but by 2008 and certainly by 2012 candidates are going to look increasingly less credible if they've no track record in London Government.

Steve Norris of course does have experience, he is a former Minister for Transport in London.

And let's be brutally honest, the decision by party members in 2000 to elect a man subsequently arrested and convicted for serious crimes and then forcing Norris to run a second selection process when it should have gone on its' knees to him didn't exactly help his chances.

Graeme Archer

We do need to find someone that both the grass roots (us!) and the people can see as a genuine Londoner and know will make London better. Hating Livingstone's agenda is necessary, but not sufficient. I haven't seen from anyone yet with the "ahh" factor that would make me want to campaign for them and (of course this next bit is a guess) make Londoners imagine him/her as a real alternative to Livingstone. I also haven't seen anything like a coherent vision (note: not policy lists) about why a Tory-supported London Mayor would be an improvement. Still - there's a week left till nominations close.

Jane Swift

"We do need to find someone that both the grass roots (us!) and the people can see as a genuine Londoner and know will make London better."

Graeme hits the nail on the head of the difficult task involved in this.

I think that some candidates are entering this fray rather thoughtlessly without reflecting on their own abilities in this and other departments.

Steve Norris can do this. Borewick, Lightfoot and Boles cannot. QED.

Tory Bunny

With the deadline approaching I'm seriously hoping nominations have gone in that we've not heard about yet. Neither of the two candidates named so far seem to have the 'x factor' and to go through a primary process and end up with Norris again wouldn't be exactly the publicty the party were looking for from the process.

Among 7 million people surely there has to be a dynamic young Conservative with ideas for London.

Jane Swift

For better or for worse (I think better) it's not up to the party members who the candidate is any more.

I think Londoners would choose Steve Norris over the 3 who are so far in the race.

aristeides

Why not David Cameron?

Kate Tindale

I would like Francis Maude to come on this site and tell us that officials from Central Office have not been wasting our money and time by calling?

(A) Jeremy Clarkson
(B) Carol Thatcher

A personal view

I still believe that Boris Johnson is by far the best candidate for the job.

He has a big personality, great public appeal and if he thinks about it, this could well be the biggest political post he will ever hold. His repeated inability to prepare for important shadow ministerial appearances, multiple jobs, sexual shenanigans etc., would make it very hard for a Tory PM to appoint him to the Cabinet (or for him to hold down a Cabinet job if he was given one).

By contrast, however, he would quite simply be a shoo-in for London Mayor and would probably do the job very well.

Jane Swift

I think Londoners would choose Steve Norris over the 6 who are so far in the race.

Bromley Boy

How about Bob Neill? He must be looking for another job to add to his portfolio ...

eugene

Can we get rid of the whingers or more probably, the Labour supporting trolls on this site...charge for posting as I have suggested before- 12 pounds anual membership and the money goes to marginal seats. If Labour HQ wants to pay 12 pounds , good for them!

Why do I make this allegation? Because on every thread, there is negativity and damned if the Conservatives do and damend if they do not.

The Conservatives can EASILY win the mayoral election- indeed, it is the probable case. Labour narrowly won last time out when we were behind in the polls; we are now ahead; London has been our main growth area; we had the highest proportion of our gains in London at the GE; we won the most London Councils; We have 300 + more foot soldiers to campaign; Labour has 300 + less; Ken has annoyed several cultural religious constituencies; A Conservative (Coe) had a major role in bringing the Olypics to London; Red Ken has ASKED Andrew Pelling (elected to Westminster) NOT to stand down as that will be a costly by-election (in other words , he knows Labour have no chance of capturing Croydon which used to be their seat!) etc. etc.

So where does all this DOOM on this site come from that the Tories cannot win the Mayor election? Straight from Labour HQ is the answer.

interested party

Just a quick plug for Simon Fawthrop, cosmopolitain enough, plain enough and boring enough to win. His Communities First plan is a winner.


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