Willy Waving

The Huhne and Campbell camps are having a pissing contest at the moment over who has the most council leaders supporting them. Anyone with more time on their hands than me want to work out who has the most according to population size?

Clearly, the fact that they are spending all their time on such important matters explains why neither of them has thus far made any response to the Reflecting Britain campaign. Good sense of priorities, guys. Real leadership qualities shining through.


  1. If another website leads on an inaccurate statement disparaging the other two campaigns, then I think it would be remiss for the Campbell campaign webteam not to post a correction. We didn’t start the argment. We just set the facts straight.


  2. Actually seeing as Simon has the Leader of Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Chesterfield and Swansea and the groups leaders of London, Manchester and Doncaster . It’s really no contest.

    All of which these far bigger that Mings biggest population held Leader’s in Portsmouth and Durham. Whereas Chris’s are mostly rural with the notable exceptions of Lambeth and Sutton.

  3. Martin

    I guess I would agree that errors need to be corrected. But there is still a valid point here about the Reflecting Britain campaign and
    (in my opinion) getting to grips with the real issues of the campaign namely what qualifys the candidates to lead the party and if they were
    elected in which direction would they wish to lead us. As you will see on my blog http://ballotsballsandbikes.blogspot.com/ I can’t see
    any distinguishing campaign as yet and am completely undecided as to who to vote for. If the campaign continues as at present I
    will be hard pushed to vote at all


  4. Is Reflecting Britain going to say where the campaign itself stands on the detail of the questions they are asking the leadership candidates? I think I’d back a campaign that had a clear plan to attract more good, able and hard-working women and ethnic minority candidates with appropriate support structures. I’m less convinced by some of the ideas implicit in those questions though.

  5. It’s not a contest. One candidate’s team posted an incorrect fact as the lead story on the front page of their website. Another candidate’s team pointed out in their blog that the story was factually wrong.

    Personally, I’m amazed that the Huhne campaign posted it in the first place. Simon’s website had already called out seven council leaders a few days ago. The story could only have been true if Ming’s campaign had absolutely no council group leaders backing it at all. And as it turned out, we had ten.

    By the way Stephen, I think you missed Somerset County Council from your comparison vs Ming (check the size at http://www.constructaregion.org.uk) – bigger than Newcastle City Council, Milton Keynes Council and Manchester City Council – even bigger than Wiltshire County Council (which you also inexplicably missed out). You also omitted the group leaders of Sheffield, Cheshire, Shropshire, and Leicestershire from your comparisons.

    And Graham Tope is the leader of the Lib Dem group on the London Assembly – and he’s backing Chris – so I don’t know what you mean by Simon having the group leader for London.


  6. Andy,

    The position of Reflecting Britain is quite clear. The goal of the campaign is precisely that as outlined in the statement that the three candidates have been asked to sign. The questions are there to enable the candidates to go into a bit more detail about their position – it’s then up to individual members to judge.

  7. Quite right Martin it is not a contest in who has the greatest population and anyway as the figures show it is more or less level anyway. I appear to have got LGA and GLA mixed up though. I blame that on too much leafletting to the North of the Forth. 😉

    And I was just going by the list you Blogged as a rebuttal.

    I’m off to bed now to try and sleep.

  8. This statement: I think needs tightening up
    1. Ensure that both the Gender Balance Task Force and the Ethnic Minority Election Task Force receive the neccessary political support and financial resources in order to carry out their work in mentoring, training and supporting new parliamentary candidates;
    2. Support the specific goals of at least 1 new black or minority ethnic MP and at least 40% of new MPs and 25% of the Parliamentary Party overall being female after the next General Election;
    3. Wherever possible, personally support initiatives to ensure that the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Parties are more reflective of British society.

    Point 3 is motherhood and apple-pie, although I sincerely hope you mean the best of British society, as it stands it comes across a little as regarding quantity more important than quality, which isn’t going to help attract good candidates.

    On point 2 how would the leader of the party meet this target when they don’t control local selection?

    On point 1 why do we need two sperately funded task-forces if both are in the same business of giving extra candidate support and our national policy on equality bodies is to merge them into one Equalities Commission. Would it not be better, more consistent and more likely to succeed to expand the remit and funding of the GBTF rather than push for two seperate quangos?

  9. Stephen,

    Don’t let me do anything to reduce your energy and output north of the Forth…

    And thanks for working out the populations.

    (And I did mention Somerset – promise).


  10. Andy,

    YAWN! Okay, okay, I get the fact you won’t be signing, you don’t have to drown me in pedantry. But in brief…

    Why two task forces and not one? Because they both specialise in different things. We have individuals who are motivated and specialise in supporting and mentoring women candidates and we have individuals who are motivated and specialise in supporting and mentoring BME candidates. Yes, there is a great deal of cross-over, and the two work closely together. But the two require distinct approaches.

    And if you think the Equalities Commission is just going to bundle the two issues together in the way you suggest, you clearly haven’t been paying attention.

    The goals (except for the BME one) are already party policy. The way in which the leader will help achieve them will be by lending their political support for the GBTF and EMETF. He can help by giving leadership on the issue, which is their job after all.

    Ultimately, we’ve demonstrated that this approach works and gets results; what it has lacked in recent years is financial and political support. There isn’t an awful lot of time for debate with target seat selections already well underway. The time to pick holes was September.

  11. We do have a serious problem with branding.
    Our party is perceived by a large percentage of the electorate as a white, intellectual middle class entity.
    Now is the time for the contenders and the party to take on the BME issue otherwise we will lose out to the other parties in a big way.

    If you had read the posting on Allan Beddow’s Blog ‘Reflecting Britain – I knew this would provoke some comment’, you would understand why BME candidates don’t get selected.
    In most cases, it has nothing to do with their capabilities but the make up of the membership

  12. No-one seems to have noticed that all three leadership candidates belong to ethnic minorities: 1 Scottish, 1 Welsh and 1 German.

    I’m not being facetious here, I am merely pointing to the difficulty of defining terms like “ethnic minority” and deciding which of these is more deserving that another.

  13. Really we are talking about what some people term visual ethnic minorities but I don’t like to use that term. My family think it is insulting.

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