Monday, 1 February 2010

#Kerryin

For the lucky amongst you who have not been bitten by the need to read blogs and bloggers which you find repugnant maybe I should fill you in with a bit of background.

(The lovely) Kerry McCarthy MP, Labour's 'Twitter Tsar' came under sustained attack from right wing bloggers (Tory Bear and everyones favourite non-prospective parliamentary candidate Iain Dale to mention two) over her expenses amongst other things, and this led to the #Kerryout hashtag on Twitter. Her Tory opponent in the seat set up a page on MyConservatives.com and began rapidly raising money (although not that much; not quite £2k) The Tory Bloggers crowed, could this be the first constituency won through the power of internet fundraising and online politics? Would this prove how revolutionary and how so very right they all were?

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm?

The terrible twosome of the opposition parties was completed when the usual Fib Dem fictional leaflets appeared, stated that "...only the Lib Dems can beat Labour here...". Usually they show graphs of door-knockings, European Election results, or something else as equally irrelevant to the General Election. This time however, they did not take into account the boundary adjustments that considerable changed the demographic of the seat; dropping them from second to a few thousand behind the Tories in third. But since when have the Lib Dems been concerned with the truth?

Well, Kerry's opponent was Adeela Shafi. The Mirror has a scoop on her today:
A key member of David Cameron's new generation of women MPs has had three county court judgments against her since 2007 - including one for almost £325,000.

And her husband Ijaz Shafi was declared bankrupt in 2000.

Muslim lecturer Adeela Shafi was hand-picked by Cameron to open for him at the 2008 Tory Conference.

He then endorsed her as a Parliamentary candidate and campaigned in her Bristol East constituency along with his shadow cabinet team.

The excellent Political Scrapbook explains the significance clearer and simpler than I ever could:

The Insolvency Act 1986 and Enterprise Act 2002 outlaw undischarged bankrupts from standing for Westminster and provide for bankrupt MPs to be turfed out. Application for a bankruptcy petition by creditors (her husband was declared insolvent in 2000) could leave the Tories without a candidate or, should Shafi pull off a shock win in Bristol East, a Member of Parliament. Scrapbook doubts this is the kind of gamble voters will plump for on May 6.

The bombshell leaves Shafi open to allegations of recklessness from fellow Tories and recalls the recent case of the SNP’s original candidate in the Glasgow North East by-election, who was forced to stand down within five days of selection after failing to declare serious financial problems.

This is the kind of campaign development that party staffers dread and the stuff of absolute nightmares for election agents. What’s that sound?

The wheels coming off one of the Tories’ most visible campaigns.

The rather pathetic right wing campaign comes to an end. Shafi's position must be untenable now. I guess she has already spent most of the money she raised too so thats all wasted on signs and posters with her name on it. Funnily enough there is very little mention of the campaign on the right-wingnuts blogs at the moment, and what is hilarious, is that on the #Kerryout website, the live Twitter stream shows nothing but crowing texts from Labour activists. Score one for the good guys.

Never mind Tory Bear* and Daley, better luck next time. #KERRYIN

*Tory Bear smells a rat by the sound of his rather bitter Tweeting recently!

ooh clever, tip off the mirror, coordinated blog and twitter attack and phone bank on the same day. Labour machine kicks in!
Diddums. Thats right. #GameOn

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