Sunday, January 17, 2010

Niggling Nigel

Nigel Hastilow popped up on The Politics Show as a blogger who has opposed Birmingham's bid to be UK City of Culture in 2013 - he thinks that it is a waste of money to spend a few thousand pounds on a bid that could provide a positive image of our City across the country, bring hundreds of thousands of visitors and their money into our City and would further energise an already successful local cultural scene.

Nigel, seasoned observers will recall, hit the headlines a couple of years back when his views on Enoch Powell were regarded by many as rather radical and out of step with reality, his party and the modern world. As Nigel put it - in scenes now deleted from his shiny new blog - but remembered by others,
Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 'rivers of blood' speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right.
After that, Mr Hastilow had to step down as a Tory candidate in Halesowen and Rowley Regis. Prior to that, at the time of the 2001 election, he had inadvertently praised the state of the Labour-run economy while he was the Tory candidate for Edgbaston and this was thrown back at William Hague by the Prime Minister during questions in the House.
Yesterday, Mr. Hastilow said: For many voters and most of the media, the Conservative Party is a lost cause. On the economy, Mr. Hastilow--should we call him Nigel?--provided the answer to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) when he said that we've never had it so good . . . people are prospering, unemployment is falling, interest rates are low. There's nothing much to worry about. Mr. Hastilow provides a rather more accurate summary of the
economy than does the Leader of the Opposition

So, Nigel is a bit of a loose cannon.

However, his observations have again proved interesting.

He's still on the hunt for a winnable Conservative seat, but the party hierarchy have decided that in a tight campaign, they don't want this particular piece of weaponry rolling around the gundeck during close-quarter battles, so Eric Pickles and John Maples both rolled up to meet South Staffordshire's Conservative committee this week - the seat falls vacant as Patrick Cormack will retire at the next election - to ensure that Nigel wasn't put through for the selection meeting. Nigel doesn't think this is fair and gives us a blow-by-blow account of the meeting. Eric Pickles summarises Nigel's career to date
You don’t want him. He has embarrassed the party twice, once in 2001 and then again in 2007. You can’t have him.

Nigel isn't happy.
If David Cameron’s “localism” policy does not apply to his own constituency parties, how can we have any faith in its wider application under a Conservative Government? ...If the party’s own members can’t trust its leaders to behave honourably and honestly, why should the voters?
Good questions, Nigel.

Anyone got any answers?

1 comment:

Fergus said...

"So, Nigel is a bit of a loose cannon."

"You don’t want him. He has embarrassed the party twice, once in 2001 and then again in 2007. You can’t have him."

Much though I like Nigel personally, I think the answer to your question lies in your own article.