Anarchy on the South Coast – Is anyone actually running the Tory campaign in Eastleigh?

February 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Yesterday I noted that the Tory campaign in Eastleigh was in meltdown – but I’m starting to think that might have been an understatement. The whole Tory campaign on the south coast seems almost anarchic – as of no-one is really in charge at all.

Take Michael Fabricant. Yesterday he was tweeting about “suck jobs” rather than focussing on his work as Vice Chairman of the Tory Party with responsibility for election campaign (like…Eastleigh). So it was interesting this morning to see an almost contrite tweet from Fabricant saying that he had decided against going on Any Questions tonight and would be staying in Eastleigh. I asked him if he had decided personally – or whether it was a CCHQ decision (after yesterday, I wouldn’t have blamed them for pulling him from all media appearances – he clearly can’t be trusted). Yet Fabricant claimed that CCHQ had no idea he was meant to be on Any Questions.

To be clear – the Vice Chairman of the Tory Party says he was going to be doing a major media appearance less than a week before a key by-election, and Tory HQ had no idea. And this is the party of government.

And then this afternoon he was at it again – tweeting about “twanking” and sex. Not massively appropriate – but more than that, it doesn’t exactly look like he’s running the Eastleigh campaign. So who is?

Add to that the fact that Maria Hutchings – having been hidden away from a national radio debate yesterday, turned up to a local radio debate today fifteen minutes late, and the PM’s visit to the constituency became mired in a row with the BBC about an empty chair – even the basics are falling by the wayside.

If they win (and they should have done, easily – but it’s looking less likely every day) it will be in large part due to the shambolic campaign that they’re run. Omnishambles isn’t just a way of running a government it seems – it’s a way of running a by-election campaign too…

  • robertcp

    The worrying thing is that the Tories might still win if Labour does well. FPTP is such a wonderful system!

    • NT86

      According to a news report by the BBC, Diane James the UKIP candidate is picking up stream in her campaign. That could prove vital in keeping the Tories out.

      • JoeDM

        And pushing Labour into 4th place !!!

        • robertcp

          The problem with FPTP is that we do not know how much support the parties would have if people could just vote for who they like without worrying about tactical voting etc.

  • Monkey_Bach

    It’s a wig! Eeek.

    • rekrab

      On a whig! ouch!!!!!

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      He is odd, I think we probably all agree. It seems to be a defining characteristic of most politicians that they have an element of narcissism, and a politician wearing a wig would not appear to be in the small minority of those not narcissistic.

      Has anyone told him that he looks completely ridiculous, and that any story about him is going to concentrate on the wig?

  • AlanGiles

    For all those who remember “Round The Horne” Fabricant is rapidly turning it to the Conservative Party’s very own “J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock” (‘I am a dirty old man of MANY years standing…….and crouching looking through the keyhole”.
    I suppose he is the author and his account has not been hacked?. These seem extraordinary double entendres for a senior politician to be essaying.

  • AlanGiles

    For all those who remember “Round The Horne” Fabricant is rapidly turning it to the Conservative Party’s very own “J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock” (‘I am a dirty old man of MANY years standing…….and crouching looking through the keyhole”.
    I suppose he is the author and his account has not been hacked?. These seem extraordinary double entendres for a senior politician to be essaying.

    • postageincluded

      Wasn’t he a regular LL poster at one time? Gruntfuttock, I mean, not the dirty old man with the world’s most implausible wig.

  • AlanGiles
  • Quiet_Sceptic

    Well with the bookies and some of the papers predicting Labour will be coming in 4th behind UKIP perhaps we should be worrying about our own campaign.

    • Monkey_Bach

      Not exactly a massive surprise given the constituency.

      Here’s an example of the flip side of the same sort of phenomenon :

      “The Conservatives came fifth in Rotherham, after Labour, UKIP, the far-right BNP and the far-left Respect. The LibDems came an embarrassing eighth, behind a local clergyman running as an independent candidate.”

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/30/uk-britain-politics-ukip-idUKBRE8AT0D720121130

  • John Ruddy

    Maybe Grant Shapps thought Michael Green was doing it, and maybe Michael Green thought Grant Shapps was in charge?

  • TomFairfax

    Anybody else notice this mornings news that Lord Ashcroft has supposedly decided to refrain from providing financial support at the next general election for the shower of amateurish, daft, and plainly idle Tories, seemingly bereft of motivation or direction. You can hardly blame him. Sticking his dosh in the fire and burning it would be less of a waste.

  • TomFairfax

    Anybody else notice this mornings news that Lord Ashcroft has supposedly decided to refrain from providing financial support at the next general election for the shower of amateurish, daft, and plainly idle Tories, seemingly bereft of motivation or direction. You can hardly blame him. Sticking his dosh in the fire and burning it would be less of a waste.

Latest

  • Featured Miliband announces plans to scrap the Lords – and introduce an elected Senate of Nations and Regions

    Miliband announces plans to scrap the Lords – and introduce an elected Senate of Nations and Regions

    In a speech to Labour’s North West regional conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband will announce that a Labour government would abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected Senate. That has (broadly speaking) been Labour policy for some time. But there’s a twist. Miliband wants this new Senate to be a representative body made up of those from all of Britain’s Nations and Regions, as part of a new constitutional settlement to be decided by a constitutional […]

    Read more →
  • News Miliband speaks out on anti-semitic abuse targeted at Luciana Berger – and calls on social media companies to act

    Miliband speaks out on anti-semitic abuse targeted at Luciana Berger – and calls on social media companies to act

    As we reported last week, Labour MP and Shadow Minister Luciana Berger has been the victim of a sustained torrent of disgusting online anti-semtic abuse. Ed Miliband has hit out at Berger’s abusers today, calling on social media companies to be more proactive in tackling sustained, orchestrated abuse. He told Jewish News: “The anti-Semitic abuse that Luciana Berger has experienced over recent days is utterly appalling and has absolutely no place in our country. We must have no tolerance for this vile […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The debate about building ‘the homes we need’ has to go beyond numbers

    The debate about building ‘the homes we need’ has to go beyond numbers

    Big numbers abound in housing debates and rightly so. Two-hundred thousand new homes – the number the Labour frontbench has committed to building annually – is a response to the housing crisis that is starting to approach the scale we need. But the debate about building ‘the homes we need’ has to go beyond numbers. To make the point, look at the extreme case of ‘buy-to-leave’ homes that are bought off-plan as investors’ latest fancy and sit there empty in […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The mansion tax is a progressive tax and Labour in London should support it

    The mansion tax is a progressive tax and Labour in London should support it

    For those of us who believe in progressive taxation the last few weeks in London Labour have been pretty dismal. We seem to have an array of Labour MPs (mainly wannabe London mayoral candidates) and council leaders rushing to the press denouncing the proposed mansion tax as a’ tax on London’ (or if they were more honest a tax on the rich parts of London). Yes the promotion of the Mansion Tax has been inept and it would more accurate […]

    Read more →
  • Comment It’s time to put the Green Belt back on the table

    It’s time to put the Green Belt back on the table

    The UK’s housing crisis has finally been recognised across the political spectrum as an issue that needs urgent attention. Yet despite this consensus, political inertia on housebuilding has seen subsequent governments fail to create policies that address the issue coherently and strategically. Labour’s recent Lyons Review demonstrates a commitment to house-building, with a target of constructing 200,000 homes a year. Yet while the Review recognises that the housing crisis is not evenly spread, requiring different solutions in different places, there is […]

    Read more →