Sunday, June 21, 2009

Iain Dale should apologise to April Pond

There is a bizarre post on Iain Dale's Diary at the moment.

In it, Iain reports the decision of Norwich North Liberal Democrats to adopt April Pond, currently PPC for the Broadlands constituency, as candidate for the forthcoming by-election.

He writes:

I always thought the LibDems could be a bit dim, but they've really gone and done it now. April Pond is their candidate for the new Norfolk seat of Broadland. Or she was. Today Norwich North LibDems have selected her as their candidate for the Norwich North by-election.

Let's make an assumption that she loses - after all, the LibDems have never really done anything in Norwich North in the past and always come third, so it's a reasonable assumption. What does she do then? Go crawling back to Broadland LibDems and beg for them to have her back? What on earth will Broadland voters make of her whoring herself across Norfolk?

As more than one of the commenter on the post points out, Broadlands is a constituency drawn up under the new Parliamentary boundaries and will be contested for the first time at the next general election. It contains wards that are in the current Norwich North. It is therefore entirely reasonable for April Pond to fight the by-election.

And even if Iain thinks that April should not fight the seat, what possible justification is there for describing her as "whoring herself across Norfolk"?

It is rude and sexist. Iain should withdraw it and apologise.

In an attempt at a defence, Iain writes elsewhere in the posting:
It's an unwritten rule in politics that once you are selected for a seat, you stick with it. Imagine in 2004 if I had abandoned North Norfolk to apply for the then vacant seat of Tunbridge Wells.
But there was no by-election in Tunbridge Wells, and Tunbridge Wells and North Norfolk have no wards in common. So the parallel is simply invalid.

And, given the result Iain achieved in Norfolk, I imagine many people would have been glad if he had gone off to Kent.

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Iain Dale said...

See how bizarre my post is when the local media have their say. It is frankly astonishing that a LibDem candidate in what was supposed to be their main target seat has left it without a candidate. Although no doubt she will wish to return when she loses in Norwich.

Oh, and there are two wards which are moving from Norwich North to Broadland at the next election. Two.

As you well know, the use of the word whoring was not meant in a sexual sense, but LibDem sanctimony wins again. What other word would you use then?

Anonymous said...

UK Polling report says that 6 wards from Norwich North will be moved over. Ian?

Jonathan Calder said...

I have already given you my advice unsolicited, Iain.

I think the whole posting was misconceived and you should withdraw the word "whoring" and apologise.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the phrase used by Iain was unfortunate - but this does not take away from the fact that the candidature of April Pond for Norwich North was opportunistic to say the least, not only on the part of Pond herself but on the part of some other powerful individuals in the North Norfolk Liberal establishment. Broadland Lib Dems are said to be gutted and feel let down. Clearly even inside the Lib Dems its a 'no holds barred' approach that dominates local party politics now - and already the smears have begin against some of the other candidates. There are also many who consider the selection procedure itself was 'a shoe in' for a personally favoured candidate.