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.