Thursday, 26 April 2012

Chucking Stones in Glass Houses

The Conservatives seem to be getting their knickers in a bit of a twist as the once sure footed Richard Willis [Are you sure? Ed] loses his grip on events.

In case anyone missed it, Rob Wilson made sure that Richard Willis's plea to Peppard residents to check the addresses of their candidates was not going to be ignored by retweeting it.

Anyone following official Reading East Conservative Association advice will, thanks to him, discover that the Tory former Labour supporting candidate, er, doesn't live in Peppard - she lives in Thames ward. Yep, instructing residents to check addresses was spectacularly dumb.

Now you might think that was as dumb as it could get but it seems that the rarefied air north of the river is seriously affecting our Reading East MP's judgement. Fresh from giving his boss a full vote of confidence (duh!) Rob Wilson then tweeted about the Tories' Thames ward candidate.

"local conservative"? Really? Ed Hopper so loves Thames ward that he has relocated to Park ward. You can't get more local than that! Well, apart from the Tory candidate who lives in Sonning.

Now there is nothing wrong with a candidate not living in the ward they represent, as whatever the politics involved it is impossible to say that Tony Page and Daisy Benson have not been effective ward councillors. The problem arises if you predicate your ward campaign on having a local candidate and they ain't. Local Tories must have a screw loose!

[However, no party compares to the "Common Sense" party who has put up a Arborfield resident as their candidate in Church ward. Now that really is disrespecting the electorate].

But this is just indicative of the local Tories own little omni-shambles.

The cancelling of the ward surgery Readibus was a particular giggle. The one remaining Tory in the now Independent Republic of Peppard presumably would have been severely embarrassed if it had gone ahead given his record of turning up for previous surgeries. Far better for it to be cancelled than have no Tory councillor present, eh?

And then there's the war breaking out about who did what and when. The remaining rump of Peppard Tories have now claimed credit for the "Budgen's Tidy Up" scandal. Except it's quite clear from reading the history of it on the various web sites that the people who actually did the work last May were the now independent councillors!

Of course, the current Tory fiasco is firmly the responsibility of Rob Wilson who is the prime mover behind the series of unfortunate events.

Interfering in the local election campaign might just be a welcome distraction for Rob to take his mind of events at Westminster. He's been trying to climb the greasy pole since first being elected but seems to have hitched his fortunes to a dead donkey.

The next question will be after one high profile casualty will he drop the dead donkey or try to stick it out.

This week Rob Wilson launched another jobs fair. What are the chances that he'll be a visitor next time?

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