Monday, November 16, 2009

Liz Truss and my sneaking sympathy for the Turnip Taliban

News has just come through that Liz Truss's selection has been confirmed this evening by a substantial majority. But I find myself with a sneaking sympathy for the Turnip Taliban in South-West Norfolk, if only because the very name is redolent of metropolitan contempt for the provinces.

What appears to have happened is that Liz Truss was presented to the local party as a model Cameroon candidate. Only after she had been selected did the locals learn that she had a) conducted a widely publicised affair with a married Conservative b) is a former Liberal Democrat activist who used to write articles attacking the Royal Family.

I imagine that b) was more damning than a), but it is quite possible not to approve of adultery without being a prude.

Yes, it is easy to laugh at South-West Norfolk Tories - I myself RT'd a tweet saying something like "Don't they have the Google in Norfolk?" - but imagine it it was you. Wouldn't you feel a little used by Central Office?

We Liberal Democrats are vocal about our local candidates for local people, and localism was one of the more attractive aspects of Mark 1 Cameronism. So I don't feel too guilty about my sneaking sympathy for the Turnip Taliban.


Nich Starling said...

I have written about this before, but the issue was not the affair. It was that CCO and Liz Truss appeared not to trust the local party with the knowledge and then there was a campaign to attack those people locally who dared to speak up.

The Tory slurs against local people in Norfolk will come back to haunt them.

crewegwyn said...

I find this whole "Turnip Taliban" business deeply, deeply offensive. It is metrocentric arrogance writ large. It sends a clear message that anybody outside the London political bubble is marginal, irrelevant, and probably wears a smock and sucks straw.

After all, nobody intelligent, sophisticated or bright has ever emerged from Norfolk .....

Frank Little said...

Ch 4 News reported that Norfolk South-West party representatives actually asked Central Office if there were any skeletons in Ms Truss's cupboard, and were told "no". We know of course that she had not held anything back from CO when she was put on the "A" list.