Saturday, May 27, 2006
Cherie still doesn't get it
Following on from my earlier posts the row about Cherie Blair's hair has been reignited by the woman herself. In an interview she has tried to dismiss the affair as a "load of fuss about trivia" and "Who noticed, or who made a big fuss, that the Tory Party paid £3,500 for the leader of the Opposition's make-up?" The two cases are not remotely comparable - Michael Howard was leading the campaign and being put forward as a potential Prime Minister and whilst Cherie Blair is just a hanger on. But with Cherie's cavalier attitude it should comes as no surprise that The Little Red Book of New Labour Sleaze contains several Cherie stories detailing the way she has milked her non-position for financial gain. With Not So Very New Labour trying to introduce state funding for political parties does anyone want our taxes to be paying for pointlessly expensive hairdos for this hanger on?
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Still that doesn't excuse Michael Howard spending £3,500 on makeup!
As for potential Prime Minister, excuse me as I try and stiffle a snigger! ;)
More of a potential Prime Minister than some past Labour leaders! And to keep this current, Howard made a far more credible potential PM than Ming Campbell!
As for make-up, he had to do umpteen interviews throughout the election - indeed more than many a Leader of the Opposition does (not least because Letwin and Davis were more restricted than most of their counterparts) - and I feel it is an understandable, if high expense. But I wouldn't expect your taxes to finance it, whereas Labour seems to want me to finance Cherie's hair.
But I thought there was twenty plus in the shadow cabinet!
I know there are a lot of unknowns there but there is such a thing as delegating!
So nice to know that the Tories can cough up £3,500 on such trivalities. Those Conservative ladies must be working overtime in selling jam at local fetes, unless of course you have other forms of funding! ;)
Actually there were only sizteen others in the Shadow Cabinet at the time. Of them:
*David Davis, Oliver Letwin and Theresa May were all fiercely fighting off the Lib Dems in their own constituencies
*Tim Collins was only a big name in the eyes of Lib Dems trying to claim they had had a good night after the event
*John Redwood is not the most voter friendly of politicians
*The Shadow Leader of the Lords and Chief Whip are not exactly campaign posts so Tom Strathclyde and David Maclean were not viable either
*Liam Fox and Morris Saatchi were busy co-ordinating the campaign
*Michael Ancram and Nicholas Soames held portfolios that were not at the heart of the campaign
*David Cameron was very unknown at the time.
That leaves Andrew Lansley, Caroline Spelman, David Willets and Tim Yeo. All played their part in the campaign but it was necessary for Howard to shoulder the bulk of it.
As for the finances all parties have to fundraise as best they can - I believe Labour's also had donations. (We know the Lib Dems have - they'll be regretting that one for years to come!)
Tim Collins was a fairly well known name, so his loss was a bit of a coup for the Lib Dems. As for John Redwood, you don't say ;). Actually when I worked for Geraint, I took part in a discussion on Lords Reform at Portcullis House, involving MP's and Parliamentary Interns and Research assistants. John Redwood spoke after me and such is his sardonic demeanour I was a bit afriad of my argument being ripped to shreds, thankfully he ignored it! As for Tom Strathclyde and David Maclean, they have senior roles and are competent men, they could have been involved and Strathclyde didn't exactly have a constituency to nurse!
That said, I felt that the Conservatives fought their nastiest campaign since 1992 and was relieved that it didn't succeed in paying much dividends, although Hemel Hempstead going to Penning was a sad moment, particually when Penning is disliked by many (and for good reason) within the Labour Party!
As for finances, I think we can agree there that there is a sense of chickens coming home to roost for the Lib Dems!
Collins is well known amongst Doctor Who fans but not so well beyond it. And in any case given the way the Lib Dems were going on about their decapitation strategy Collins was hardly a substitute for the scalps Kennedy had been salivating about.
I've always found Redwood comes across a lot better in person - I remember well the way he outlined how he makes the case for the free market. But I wouldn't deploy him as a key campaigner in a general election.
We could go on all day but ultimately the campaign was headed by familiar faces. Nasty? I think the party finally worked out that it needs to throw away the kid gloves when dealing with Not So Very New Labour, and also with the Lib Dems (I remember the Lib Dems' shock when we turned up in Guildford to ask Charles Kennedy about his plans to end life sentences and give murderers the vote). Anyway with the latter there may not even be a Lib Dem party next time round - I seriously can't see many members voluntarily handing over cash on this and those forced to cough up aren't going to want to pay much again (especially as the general election wasn't that spectacular for them - for all the arguments, Tim Collins' sculp is not worht £2.4 million).
"Collins is well known amongst Doctor Who fans but not so well beyond it."
Ouch ;). That said I had heard of Collins, before I heard he had the excellent taste in Doctor Who that he has!
"We could go on all day but ultimately the campaign was headed by familiar faces. Nasty? I think the party finally worked out that it needs to throw away the kid gloves when dealing with Not So Very New Labour"
Oh the "Are You Thinking What We're Thinking!" camapign with it's occasional racial overtones! I am sorry Tim, criticism is one thing, as is harsh criticism, but that was vicious down and dirty. Believe it or not there are elements of the Conservative Party I respect, as one opponent to another in the old fashioned sense, that was definetly a gloves off moment and very unbecoming of your Party!
We can trade unsavoury campaigns - some of the Labour ones haven't been exactly nice (e.g. scaring pensioners into thinking their pensions would be abolished if the Conservatives won the election) but I agree that campaigns around immigration have got out of hand at times. Frankly I'd rather fight elections on public services and taxes. However it is an issue that I have often found coming up on the doorstep unprompted.
Aside from the pensioners bit (I don't know enough about that bit) I am pleased to say I agree with your last post :)
Actually I believe the issue was the LABOUR PARTY paid for her hair, not the tax-payer.
The point is that at a time when key members of your party are talking about introducing state funding of political parties, your party is also frittering it on hangers on. If state funding were brought in, we the taxpayer would be financing this.
Why can't Cherie pay for herself? She makes plenty - especialy what she rakes in just for being the PM's wife. (Is that the reason Tony is delaying his departure?)
Oh so if political parties were funded by the taxpayer, you wouldn't mind them financing Michael Howard's makeup?
We're not calling for state funding of parties. But I've answered the point on Howard's make-up before.
Just being facetious! ;)
i realise this argument is now old but i am bloody sick to death of people pretending that the taxpayer paid for her hair during the election. this is bollocks.
and the hypothetical 'well, if there was state funding' is equally bollocks as if there were then obviously spending would be decided upon differently.
i am sooooooo unbelievably sick of all the disgustingly sexist cherie-bashing as well.
if she wants to spend my membership fee on her hair then it's fine with me!
Maybe decisions on spending would be taken differently, but if key members of your party are going to advocate state funding (or restrictions on donations that make state funding inevitable) then your party should demonstrate spending wisely before getting its mits on taxes.
As for Cherie, a male prime ministerial spouse who did similar would come in for just as much criticism, although admitedly Denis Thatcher's head did not lend itself to such a large hair dressing bill. If a Conservative Prime Minister's spouse acted the way Cherie does Labour would be screaming from every angle about it.
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