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my Scottish property is a second home, and it's close to my family's roots.

You make it sound like that subterranean thing Marshall-Andrews has, or perhaps like Bilbo's 'Bag-End'

Something like that ;)


Well done Annabel for keeping your comments local - and I hope that CV gets itself a good winning candidate!
I can't claim to be an expert on this subject although I do keep in touch with what goes on in Yorkshire - but I must say how disgusted I am at the number of what I would call "classist" comments on this thread - we are worse than the Labour Party!! Just please take the inverted snobbery out of this debate for goodness sake!

Thanks for your information about the different aspects of Yorkshire, TomTom - the trouble is, the whole of the United Kingdom is divided into different interest groups, just as Yorkshire is - North, South and West.

So it is surely time that everyone who is whingeing on about the Leader not being from their own particular interest group or region should grow up, and preferably shut up. Sensible and constructive criticism: yes; moans about background and occupation: no.

So it is surely time that everyone who is whingeing on about the Leader not being from their own particular interest group or region should grow up,

Actually the point is simply to view each constituency as individual and those electors as needing representation. It is about candidates accountable locally being elected locally.

Keep your leadership matters out of local constituencies because in many it has no traction. Hague ran one of the most abysmal election campaigns in history plastering himself on every document - voters have enough local problems caused by national politics and want a local MP to deal with them

I also suspect that having a go at Cameron because of his background may underestimate the fair-mindedness of the average British voter. If he promises policies which are attractive and if it's thought that he can be trusted to deliver them then he'll be given a chance. If his policies don't resonate or if he's thought to be duplicitous then voters may well stick with the devil they know.

I was interested to read the most recent Yorkshire Post editorials -

Monday

"Tories reopen Europe wounds - Cameron must provide clear vision"

"It is simply not good enough for the Tory leader saying he is "sceptical" about Europe and then highlight, in the next sentence, the advantages of EU membership such as the pivotal role that Brussels can play in reducing future levels of carbon emissions. It was a contradiction that left voters none the wiser about Mr Cameron's intentions ..."

Tuesday

"Cameron and the true Tories - Leader must set out a clear narrative"

"For, more than a year after he became leader, there's still no narrative to his underlying philosophy. Last year, he proclaimed that he was the "natural heir" to Tony Blair. Now, after growing criticism that Mr Cameron is a clone of the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron says that he is a "true Tory" and loyal Thatcherite. He cannot have it both ways."

"The electorate simply does not know what David Cameron means when he declares: "I am a true Tory." Is it a continuation of the Blairite agenda – or a return to the polices espoused by Margaret Thatcher?"

Wednesday

"Boom or bust for Mr Brown - Chancellor's reputation on the line"

"GORDON Brown's stock answer to anyone questioning the Government's stewardship of the economy – or policy shortcomings – is to point to the stability witnessed during the past decade. The Chancellor has a point. A key reason New Labour has won three successive General Elections is that the party convinced voters that it would be more economically competent than the Conservative's "boom or bust" approach."

I also think that it's not as clever as it might seem to say one thing in one part of the country and the opposite thing in another part of the country, because it will picked up more quickly than in the past and it undermines trust.

The Colne Valley and Calder Valley selections are running late.

There is a strong rumour that CCHQ, following an application from the association, refused to allow a local Colne Valley activist to be considered for the nomination.

Annabel should be worried that Colne Valley will be forced into selecting a non-local A lister by CCHQ.

Preferring local candidates to the "A" list and objecting to Cameron and his acolytes no more makes you an inverted snob than the reverse makes you a snob.

ESBONIO- I think you're half right. Preferring well-qualified and popular local candidates who might not be poshos doesn't make you an inverted snob (after all surely there are some local candidates in the North etc who also happen to be upper middle class, privately educated, Oxbridge etc etc etc). But there is some support for the apparent metropolitan elite in the A list which is based purely on the prejudice of snobbery.

The experience on Tyneside suggests that the party does well when it promotes itself as radically different from an incumbent Socialist regime. One needs to remember that we have lived under the Socialist yolk for a very long time up here.

When I first started campaigning for the party in the 1970's we held Newcastle North (no longer with us), Tynemouth (with a healthy majority), Stockton (South), Langbaurgh, Scarbrough and Whitby etc.

The middle ground does not suit lower paid workers who aspire to something better in life, they look for independence, a liberating tax regime, and a vibrant private enterprise economy locally. They also look for tougher regimes in their more basic issues, security, defence, policing, crime, and immigration.

As an issue, Europe is neither here nor there to them. Additionally it has been found that a local Tory figure does better than a CCHQ imported candidate.

In short, to achieve the big swings and retake some seats up here, the party needs to take a more radical (if local) right wing stance, it is no good appearing as 'light blue' Labour!

It is important not to talk about Yorkshire in the whole. ALthough we have very strong similarities and a very strong culture of our own, we also have some very distinct differences thanks to our large geographical size.

This thread is primarily about the West Riding and we need to remember that many of the issues in the West Riding are not issues in the East Riding or North Yorkshire. Local election results and the 2005 general election results all point to a strong recovery in the North and East Ridings. The West Riding is a different story and should be approached cautiously as it is not yet clear what the answer is.

What is clear however from this thread, is that so many people have not a clue about the political history, geography and culture of Yorkshire. That in itself is probably one of the reasons the party is so weak up here. Butt out southerners and sto ppatronising us all with your nonesense. Especially this nonesense that the poll results are a result of the actions of the selected candidates, most of whom were selected in the past few weeks. 47 constituencies in Yorks and the Humber, we have just 5 or 6 candidates selected so I think their ability to impact upon this poll is rather limited!

I really think you don’t get it. In oh-so-many ways I should shadow DC – public school, Oxford, Tory background through and through, I've even got digs in Notting Hill, for godssake. But even for me DC’s “background” is a problem. But it’s a problem only because he seems to have absolutely no idea at all that his preoccupations are utterly irrelevant to the world as I experience it day to day. It really is as if he belongs on another planet. And the shorthand way to explain that is “Eton, Oxford, Notting Hill.”

Ultimately, it’s not the background, it’s the policies.

Or is it just ‘cos I’s Yorkshire?

Well said, Michael. To describe his detractors
as they often are here as chippy inverted snobs is a gross distortion.

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