This post will probably raise a few eyebrows, but I’d just like to draw the attention of readers who live in the Aldridge-Brownhills constituency to the fact that the person very likely to be their next MP is currently being selected by the local Conservative Party as Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for the 2015 general election.
This is happening because our current MP, Richard Shepherd, is stepping down at the next election. Shepherd was returned last time with a majority of over 15,000, which is pretty much unassailable, and even with UKIP circling around like flies around a fresh cowpat, it’s hard to envisage our next parliamentary representative being anything other than a Tory. Particularly since their candidate seems to be the first living survivor of a charm bypass operation.
With that in mind, I noted this post on the Tory Pravda ConservativeHome yesterday. This risible bit of ‘journalism’ which searches far an wide for it’s description of candidates and their ‘hobbies’ (well, as far as Twitter biographies) points out the Tory shortlist is now down to four: three outsiders, and one local. The local is Councillor Marco Longhi, currently a serving Walsall Councillor, living in and representing Pelsall (which is in the Aldridge-Brownhills constituency).
The comments on the Conservative Home post are telling: we, as a constituency don’t need or want a local; a local could barely tie their own shoelaces. An observer who thinks a man who knows the area would be most suited to the role is accused of not being a real Tory.
These people – and from what I’m hearing, the central party – want to foist on us a candidate who doesn’t know the area. We’ve had one of those for the last 35 years – Richard Shepherd. Richard has always made it clear whom he serves, and I really would like to see someone who knows and cares about the constituency represent us for a change.
Marco Longhi is a eurosceptic Tory. I personally wouldn’t vote for him, and am diametrically opposed to him politically. But I know, deep down, a Tory is most likely to win here, and although I’m holding my nose, if I were to choose the next Tory candidate, I’d prefer it was him. Marco is open to debate, passionate about serving the public, doesn’t run away when challenged on social media and has the decency to face down those who disagree with him. I have challenged him many times and he’s always had the decency to debate with me.
Marco knows the area and his kids are at school here, and he doesn’t need an A-Z to find Brownhills. Although a Tory, I believe him to be a decent chap – with whom I’m politically at odds, but nonetheless, I respect him. He works hard for Pelsall and I believe he’s more likely to do that for Aldridge-Brownhills than any of the other three careerist opportunists.
From the comment on the ConservativeHome post, it’s clear that the lumpen Tory party don’t share my view. Perhaps local Tories who’re selecting their candidate this Saturday would reflect on this: what matters most – the careers of outsiders and party conniving, or local representation for local people?
Selection is not a public matter and we don’t get a vote or say. But I do get to voice an opinion publicly, and this is it. I want the next MP here to be Labour. I will vote Labour. But if we’re to end up with a Tory MP, I’d rather it was Marco Longhi, because frankly, he gives a shit – and I’ve seen enough of the slimy, insincere parachute candidates in other Walsall seats already. It’s going to be a long, long time until May.
Of course, one of the side effects of Marco becoming MP would be Pelsall’s crowing would reach almost unbearable levels. Those people really need to understand they really only exist to stop Brownhills and Blakenall meeting…
Thankfully, the hapless Dr. Teck Khong doesn’t seem to have made the shortlist. Can’t think why…
I’m off for a lie down, I’ve come over all peculiar.
Excellent Bob, many thanks for keeping up all to date on what is going on.
Totally with you on this.
I’m a strong believer in voting for the most genuine person what ever party they may come from (within reason!)
If people are stupid enough to vote Tory regardless of who the Candidate is then more fool them.
Come the revolution…..
I’m highly depressed by the comments on consverativehome that actually thing Richard Shepherd was a good MP.
Brilliant piece of writing, you talk such sense! well done for information straight forward and easy to grasp….. now if only the politicians would take note!
My eyebrows are hurting now, Can I put them back down yet? …………………….
Keep up the good work
Totally agree with you on this one. I too am diametrically opposed to all that Marco’s party stands for but as A/B is a safe Tory seat then they could at least do us the service of selecting a local person who actually cares about the constituency and even lives in it! I hope Marco gets it but I have a feeling he will not, which is a pity. The others are wannabe MPs who don’t give a toss for the area and shouldn’t pretend that they do
I really wonder what planet the twerps on Con Home are living. “Poor salary”, forsooth! Not much more than twice the average wage. Mind you, prior to 79, A/B was a Labour seat, held by Geoff Edge. I presume that the Tory vote must come mainly from the Aldridge end????
Eek! Can’t believe I’ve just looked at tory website. I’m off to dip myself in disinfectant. Alan H is right – Aldridge half of constituency would vote for a donkey if it was dressed up in a blue suit. As an old fashioned leftie living in Aldridge it’s been very depressing seeing Sir Rich (otherwise known as the invisible man) returned time after time. Come on Labour supporters – dont chuck your vote away on UKIP!
‘Nuff said. Cheers Bob, keep up the good work.
I’ve always believed the constituency is wrong as the affluent Aldridge types vote Conservatives outnumbering the Labour voting Brownhills folk. The former’s policies would rarely represent Brownhills as is evident in the current state of the central area.
I agree Longhi would be the best choice on a local level, but your comment on the continual delusions of grandeur certain groups of Pelsall people suffer from beggars belief. It’s a village as much as Australia is an island – they really need to get over themselves.
I presume by “The Central Area” you mean Ravenscourt Precinct?
Damn format error – your comment is bang on!! It’s the Pelsall types who beggar belief. Dug myself out of that hole…!
Oi, there’s no beggars in Pelsall….
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You know you’ve got a mention on ConHome today, right Bob? 🙂 http://www.conservativehome.com/majority_conservatism/2014/12/aldridge-brownhills-selection-final-pulled-at-short-notice.html
Heh – yes, thanks.
Amused by the comments. Who knew wanting a local MP was so Marxist? The vituperative natter of the attacks on anyone who does is most puzzling.
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