The EDP has been stalking Tory selection processes for as long as can be remember and one man, political editor Chris Fisher, has almost made a career of it. In today's column he talks about how positive and open the recent spate of Tory selections has been - after a few jitters, both Mid Norfolk and Great Yarmouth Tories have been open and democractic in their selection procedures including inviting non-Tory members to contribute. Mr Fisher compares this to the secretive world of the Norwich South LibDems where one day, bish-bang-bong, Simon Wright appears as their PPC. The LibDems then have the nerve to complain that the Tories have got loads of coverage and their man got very, very little. Mr Fisher says they would have reported on it if the LibDems had told the press that they were selecting! Maybe Chris had ought to read my blog which had been predicting this for months? Anyway, Chris Fisher then blasts the LibDems for keeping their selections quiet and praises the openness of the Conservatives. Nice to be praised for a change.
However, I can't help this feeling that the reason that the Norwich South LibDems kept their selection contest a secret was because of the man that they were about to select. Simon Wright is not a hard working local campaigner, nor a national 'A' Lister, but a full time LibDem politican in the paid employ of the party. He quit work as a teacher in order to fulfill his political ambitions. He represents Fakenham whilst living in Eaton and has some very fruity political opinions to boot. He is interested in getting elected as an MP rather than serving a community as their MP.
The Tories are open about their selections because our candidates are good, strong, campaigners with positive track records.
The LibDems stay silent about their selections because they are embarrassed about their candidates, their pasts and political motives.