Saturday, May 20, 2006

Testing times for Dishy Dave

The death of Eric Forth this week provides the first challenge for the new Cameroonies.

His seat in Bromley & Chislehurst is very safe, offering a 13,000 majority, so it will take a superhuman effort from any party to steal it, but then Dunfermline and Fife West saw the Liberal Democrats to come from as far behind to take the seat from Labour, so all bets are off once their dreaded by-election war machine lumbers over the horizon and besieges a seat.

In all probability, the Tories will hold on to the seat, but the first test will be to see if one of the Blessed A List will get their sticky fingers on the nomination. Perhaps Mr Rickitt will be the lucky lad to represent the good people of Bromley? Some suggest that Howard Flight, dumped from his safe seat at the last minute before last year's election, could be in with a shout of returning to the Commons as a result.

It would be a bit of a turn-round for that constituency, as their deceased member was known for his rather old-fashioned views. Naturally, the press are full of tributes to his skills as a parliamentarian, but I've always considered him to be something of a Tory dinosaur and disliked him for his love of using the arcane methods of parliament to wreck legislation. Many private members' bills have foundered in their final stages because of Mr Forth and his belief that parliament legislated too much. His other views were, to say the least, from the Tebbit side of the party.
'All this sucking up to minorities is ridiculous. There are millions of people in this country who are white, Anglo-Saxon and bigoted and they need to be represented.'
To quote further from the Guardian obituary:
After reaching Westminster in 1983, he quickly established himself as a Tebbit-in-waiting by calling for the restoration of hanging and the denationalisation of coal, rail, post and electricity. In his maiden speech he opposed the sex equality bill. He opposed imposing anti-racist regulations on the police. Having backed the Rugby Union tour of South Africa, he was invited there by its government. He was one of 16 Tory MPs who defied the whip to vote against an increased contribution to the EU budget. He opposed spending vast sums on combating Aids, which was largely "self-inflicted."

Forth was also renowned for not doing constituency surgeries, considering himself to be elected to be a parliamentarian and not a glorified social worker. Despite that, he managed to incresae his majority solidly in a safe seat. So, while I largely hold to the convention of not speaking ill of the dead, I'm not going to mourn Mr Forth's particular brand of Toryism.

Elsewhere, the parliamentary simian and Bob Piper are getting the champagne on ice for when Thatch finally turns up her toes.
Rodney told the audience of assembled Marxists, Socialists and students, “I was contacted recently by the BBC and asked to say a piece to camera to be used on the day Margaret Thatcher dies - and I told them it would be my greatest pleasure to do so”.
Bob added the lovely comment:

Rodney has been saying for 20 years, when Thatcher first referred to ‘the stakehoder society’…. “you hold her down, I’ll hold the stake”.

I'm uneasy about quite so much celebration of the death of another human being, even the She-Devil herself, but I understand the anger that many people still feel about the excesses of the Thatcherite years - I lived through them too. Even sixteen years after she left power, she still casts long shadows over all sides of the British political scene.


Praguetory said...

Non-issue. Allow the local party to select. Easy. What should be fascinating is who comes second. Any predictions?

PoliticalHack said...

Cameron has no option but to let the party select their candidate - he can't enforce the A List other than by influence. While it is a thumpingly good majority, it isn't invulnerable. The seat is close enough to London for the Lib Dem by-election machine - the best in the business by a long way - to exert maximum force, so a small wager on them to win the seat could be a nice little earner.

Gary Sambrook said...

You lot make me sick - even comsidering to celebrate at another human beings death is sickening!! If a very influential socialist was to die then you lot would cause uproar if anyone was to celebrate. You all preach equality, just like I, but when it comes to it your just as discriminative as the BNP!!!
Gary Sambrook, Kingstanding