A sense of loss

A number of Conservative results have arrived since our last update, and in particular over the weekend, a number of which have been spotted by my friends at ConservativeHome. They are:-

Bedfordshire Jas Parmar has been chosen as the candidate after a postal ballot of party members. Commiserations to Bernard Rix.

Cumbria – The Chair of Cumbria Probation Trust, Richard Rhodes, has been selected.

Gloucestershire -Barrister Victoria Atkins has been chosen as the candidate.

Hertfordshire David Lloyd, current chair of the Police Authority, has been selected. Rachel Frosh second.

Lancashire Fylde Borough Councillor and County Councillor Tim Ashton was chosen as the candidate at a meeting in Blackpool on 14 July, where I was the runner-up.

Staffordshire – County Councillor Matthew Ellis has been selected, ahead of Ronnie Marshall and Mohamed Haroon. He's hoping to give officers iPads, meaning that pretty soon I'll be the only person in the UK to have paid for my own iPad.

Surrey Julie Iles has been selected. Commiserations go to Howard Jones.

Sussex Katy Bourne has been selected. Commiserations to Peter Jones, who had Google adverts for his candidacy for several months (but never responded to TopOfTheCops) and to retired Colonel Anthony Kimber.

West Midlands Matt Bennett had the most votes at the open hustings and so has been selected. Commiserations to Joe Tildesley.

Those of you who read this in detail will see that my bid for the Lancashire nomination has been unsuccessful, and I should take this opportunity to thank all my readers/followers for their many messages of sympathy, some public, some private, and from a range of professions, parties and independents. It is much appreciated.

That, however, is not the sense of loss I am referring to in today's title. It is rarely appreciated, but most politics is about losing. In most elections there are more than two contestants for only one post, and where parties are involved this is multiplied when selection processes are taken into account. Most who try will fail, and along the way in this election at least there are many people who have contributed helpfully to the debate, but whose contribution is never officially recognised.

On various websites and blogs we read their contributions, and follow their comments on Twitter. Some we may meet in person, but when they take the hit of not getting the selection or the nomination, sometimes the election suffers from their subsequent lack of involvement. And at other times they carry on.

I'm thinking in particular of people like Peter Walker, who didn't get the Conservative nomination in North Yorkshire, Joe Tildesley who had a similar experience in the West Midlands, of both Paul Biddle and Alison Hernandez, similarly deprived in Devon and Cornwall, Jan Berry in Kent, Bernard Rix in Bedfordshire and, lest you think I'm partisan, of people like Paul Richards, rejected by Labour in Sussex, Keith Hunter, unsuccessful in Labour's Humberside ballot, and Jon Harvey, who missed Labour's Thames Valley nomination by a whisker. Apologies if I have missed you – I know there are others, and the sheer numbers of good candidates who are not getting through is the only thing congesting my memory and preventing me from extending the list. If these people stop contributing to the process then we really will have lost something important. It also behoves those who have been selected to do what they can for the election to make at least the quality and quantity of contributions as their less fortunate colleagues.

Personally, I will blog on. Sure, 'risking it all' has meant that I may now need to give some time and attention to the question of how all my many kids will continue to eat but, for me, stopping this project half way would be a real loss too.


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6 Responses to A sense of loss

  1. Exactly – surely this is just the beginning of your campaign … as an independent-minded Independent!

    I think deep down you know that this policy is doomed if political parties manage to get control of the police – they obviously can’t even get their candidate selection processes right. Didn’t I read a poll somewhere that confidence in politicians to do this job properly is 6%?! (And don’t forget that poll result could even translate into 0% under SV.)

    If you really want the policy to succeed in Lancs you should take a principled stand and do something about it …

    Yours mischievously etc.

  2. thebadger says:

    Looks like County Councillor Matthew Ellis has been selected for the Conservatives in Staffordshire.

  3. darren jaundrill says:

    Interesting thoughts. I personally think local parties need to do more to engage the engaged before disenchantment sets in. Certainly there are those out there wh despite ambitions at the forefront can be just as effective if they work with the successful candidate.

    Alternatively the route of independent running is always there to those who have the funding and infrastructure in place.

    • samchapman says:

      Didn’t you promise to tell us which you were?

      • Hi Sam

        I did announce it but I think it got lost amongst the activities of the area. I have decided that running an an independent is not viable either financially or structurally. I have offered to support the local party but alas to no avail or response. With that said, I would offer my services to any candidate for the greater good.

        I have to admit I have been somewhat disenchanted and despite wanting to be involved, get the distinct impression either people don’t want me involved or are not ready to have me involved.

      • samchapman says:

        That’s a shame. Your effort and enthusiasm were appreciated here at least.

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