Norwich North Starting Line 31

This really sounds interesting. According to tonight’s Norwich Evening News, my friend Rupert Read could be the Green candidate while fellow blogger “Norfolk Blogger” Nick Starling could be the Lib Dem candidate. New Labour still have to pick someone to come last.

Based on recent results in the constituency young financial services executive Chloe Smith must start the bookies’ favourite to win it for the Tories.

Here is her website.

I think we can win this one. A very high proportion of people seem to realise that just swapping New Labour for Tory isn’t going to make the changes this country needs.

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31 thoughts on “Norwich North Starting Line

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  • yassau nafti

    I see you guys splitting the vote….I wonder who the dark horse will be that will slip through the middle?

  • JimmyGiro

    “New Labour still have to pick someone to come last.”

    Tee hee… I think ZanuLabour are going to be the new ‘BNP’ bogeyman of the future.

    “Go to sleep Johnny, or the ZanuLabour man will steal your eyes”

  • JimmyGiro

    So, you have your integrity, as do the others; you will condemn ZanuLabour, as will the others. The question is what will your manifesto contain that will distinguish you from the competition?

    What do you plan to represent so as to win the interest of the locals? I doubt they will be interested in Uzbekistan as much as say… farming matters.

  • Stevie


    you are one of the most honourable, decent humans I have had the pleasure to have come across. I wish you every success in the campaign, which I am confident you can win. If people want to know more about you I could heartily suggest they read your book ‘Murder in Samarkand’ as a starting point. Good luck!

  • Abe Rene

    Chloe Smith from her website appears to be quite an activist in local issues, and has the obvious appeal of a good-looking enthusiastic young woman. I wouldn’t underestimate her. But since, as you say, friends of yours are going to be part of the competition, it looks to be a fair fight. Good luck.

  • ingo

    This looks like you are all going to split the vote, rather than finding a candidate that will stand up against the Tory block vote, a fact to be considered.

    Rupert should realise that the Greens have not had much support in Broadland,a part of the Norwich North constituency, hence they should support the stronger candidate.

    You’ll never convince Lib Dems to stand aside for you, they are just too full of themselves, so all three ‘friends’ will split the vote between themselves, making sure that the Conservatives will get in.

    As yet there is the chance of other parties jumping into the mela, further diluting the opposition to the Conservatives. Then there are the other groups who just love to get an ounce of publicity on the back of this important by election, I would sit down with a cold beer and go through the figures, cause the math does not add up, unless off course, your candidateship takes on an extraordinary format that speaks to the public.

    I am supportive, but I think a rainbow coalition with a united candidate has more chances to cause upset and guarantee and Independent candidates win.

    I doubt that the party dogmatix in this contest will be able to see that, otherwise they are merely presenting us with a show in this marginal seat.

    Again I ask, would you like some help with leafletting, actual footwork? Are you preparing a simply worded leaflet that is informative and says whats in the tin?

    Have you prepared some events locally that need publicising, let us know whats happening. good luck with it.

    Oh what an election we all had, sadly it was not to be and we all lost our deposits whilst the dark blue horse comes through from the middle.

    Now, whoever will persuade Ian Gibson to back him with fine words will win this election despite the bad taste he’s left in peoples mouth, so a lot is to be played for, still and the EDP is, by nature of their writing, well and truly in their favourite true blue corner.

  • ingo

    Another thing for Rupert to realise is internal democracy that cannot just be overthrown by ego tantrums. Adrian Holmes has not only stood in the seat twice, established a rapport with voters in Norwich North, he has also been selected by a meeting last year, just so you know.

    I personally would be more concerned standing against Adrian Holmes, he is the more down to earth candidate.

  • John D. Monkey


    Do pay attention at the back!

    Bloggers have been using “ZaNu Labour” for a year or more on various sites.

    But it’s true that the joke is wearing thin…

  • Sophia Pangloss

    Sitting in far-away Leith, I know nothing of local things, but surely you all want a big impact from this. Not a Tory win (yawn), nor a LibDem one (incontinent yawn). And not a bag of Norfolk ferrets in a frackin sack!

    From here Craig I have to say it looks Green. Following the Euro vote in the area it’s easily acheivable, and would make a big bang for being their first, more of a threat to more MPs than an independent, however worthy.

    As an independent you can only fight one seat. Better to fight against someone who represents the midden by the Thames, use your resources wisely.

    Lang may yer lum reek onyway! x

  • eddie

    ..not only is the “joke” wearing thin but it represents the kind of vile moral equivalence that both characterises and discredits the far left and its hangers on. And then you wonder why people vote for the bnp.

  • eddie

    Craig “I think we can win this one” – are you turning into Quenn Victoria? We are not amused. Who is we exactly? I thought you were not standing for a party.

  • Strategist

    “Who is we exactly?”

    This is an interesting question. In my view “we” is/should be a broad collective of all the candidates in the fray that are not New Labour or Tory.

    I think some people may have got the dynamic of this sort of “insurgency” by-election campaign wrong. I don’t think it’s necessarily about Craig standing down to give the Greens a free run at it, or vice-versa, or ditto with the LibDems, it’s about all these candidates working in tandem to get a simple message across: sure, you’ve had it with NuLabour. But if you think the Tories are on your side, and have the first idea on how to address any of the world’s problems that are making you feel insecure, then it’s about time you bloody well woke up.

    The electorate of this seat must have enough bloody mindedness to keep re-electing a Campaign Group MP in the middle of Tory East Anglia, and that’s promising material to work with.

    In a way, the more (serious) candidates there are out there pushing this message, the better. The objective to make the local electorate realise that a by-election is a special environment, where they are allowed – encouraged – to make a special one-off statement.

    If the electors get hold of this idea, then it will quickly become obvious which of the group has got the best bandwagon rolling, whether it be the funky Greens, or po-faced LibDems posing next to street dog dirt, or Craig, with whatever outrageous stunts he has up his sleeve.

    Labour, if they were intelligent, would for once put up a genuine maverick. But they aren’t, so they’ll probably field a local apparatchik (probably female), and re-run their nasty & crap Crewe campaign. They’ll do well to come fourth.

    So the key task is to put the Tories’ claim to be the change we need under relentless withering scrutiny. Unluckily Chloe looks rather squeakily clean, unless her past in a Big Four accountancy involved auditing Enron or something.

    Even if not Enron, perhaps she’s vulnerable on that front. The Tories are a one trick pony – they have only one policy, to privatise anything & everything, with the object of that exercise being to take your money and give it to their mates. The Chloes of the world’s business is to organise that.

  • Stuart

    Dont worry Strategist Chloe is a pretty girl but not Craigs type although given Craigs charm and good looks will Chloe fall in love with Craig???? 🙂

  • John D. Monkey


    I hear what you say but let’s not get too pompous about this.

    Jokes are jokes, and whether we like it or not they stand outside “vile moral equivalence”. Humanity needs humour to get by!

    And context is all: Whether we find a joke funny depends on individual choice and who is making / receiving it. An African-American can make jokes using the N* word and it can be both funny and acceptable, whereas from a European person would be considered outrageous. Some topics are by general consensus never OK (paedophilia, some sexual acts, etc.), but even this changes over time.

    British people making jokes about the policies and practices of the Labour Party is OK. ZaNuLabour is a good pun and I can (just) get the comparison with Mugabe, but it definitely stales with repetition.

  • rullko

    The Greens came first in Norwich on Thursday. Do you still insist they have no chance of winning the by-election?

  • Richard

    ‘Young financial services executive’ – no, please, really – do tell me more for I am eager and yearning to hear of her wisdom, her sagacity and passion, of the message of redemption that has so far been absent from my menial life of servitude and toil. To be within her grace and magnificence, her bountious insight and determination shall complete the vapours of fragile mortality err… sod this, i’ve got more work to avoid.

  • KevinB

    John D. Monkey,


    “Some topics are by general consensus never OK (paedophilia, some sexual acts, etc.), but even this changes over time.”

    You’re right there.

    50 years ago when I was in primary school, homosexuality was illegal. In fact I can remember one of the questions and answers in my Catholic Cathechism:


    What are the sins that cry out to heaven for vengance?


    1) Wilful murder

    2) The sin of Sodom.

    3) Depriving the labourer of his wages.

    Anti-Paedophobia legislation, here we come.

  • Tom Kennedy

    What’s obvious is how difficult it is to enter parliament without the support of a particular party. It means that, by definition, politicians are those who have already demonstrated that they will *not* speak their mind once elected. That’s a sorry state of affairs.

    Are there any students of history who could educate me on the origins of political parties please? Did they operate in Athens or are they a later invention? And where did the party whip originate?

  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    Make sure you get a bit of fitness in because pounding the pavement takes it out of you.

    Plenty of Street work to get the profile up.

    And feed and water the workers doing the leafleting.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • Craig


    I don’t know what is wrong with you Greens. Yes, they won in Norwich as a whole. They took South Norwich by miles. But in Norwich North, which includes quite a lot of countryside and the less prosperous areas, they got beaten, badly, into fourth place.

    The Greens seem to think that arithmetic can be wished into the state they wish it could be.

  • Craig

    I am getting very bored with all the “greens doing well in Norwich” rubbish.

    It is like saying the Tories can win Tower Hamlets because they won Kensington and Chelsea. The Greens are not doing well in Norwich North.

  • Leonard Fletcher

    I have done some rough calculations: I don’t know where people are getting this ‘The Greens are 4th in Norwich North’ stuff from.

    If you calculate rough percentages based on the County elections the other day (tricky to do, because you have to divide certain wards, and not all parties stood in all wards – so you have to project a figure for where they didn’t stand), then they come out like this:

    Tories 40%

    Labour, LibDems, Greens TIED on 17%.

    If you calculate very rough percentages based on the Euro-elections the other day (even trickier to do in a mneaningful way, because we only have ‘global’ figures for Norwich and for Broadland), then it looks like the Greens pull clearly ahead of Labour and the LibDems – though UKIP also start to look as though they are pretty strong potentially, and they too are apparently intending to stand in the byelection.

  • Craig


    When I did it myself I made the Greens third rather than fourth, but I took the word of Nick Starling who has more intimate experience of the wards than I. I certainly couldn’t make them come 2nd on any calculation.

    Anyway, the isea they are poised o win is plainly nonsense.

    On UKIP, I very much hope they do stand because they will split the Tory vote to some extent.

    It is however essential to realise that it is nonsense to attempt to apply the rationale of the political activist to the way the vots split. I will take as many potential Tory votes as I take potential Green votes. UKIP will bu no means just take from Tories etc etc.

    In fact between UKIP, Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, Green and I, anyone who can reach 25% will have a good chance of winning. For the Greens to presume my standing damages thier chances is simplistic.

  • ingo

    Craig, as someone who once has been the press officer for Norfolk Green party and press officer to Adrian Holmes in a European election some time back, I bhave experience in this ward and know how it changed from Tory to noLabour, it was always a marginal seat with the Tories in Broadland.

    Thing is to get in there early. It looks like the Greens are going back on their decision taken at a Norfolk Green Party meeting in Dereham. That meeting voted on candidates in the next general election and Adrian Holmes was the chosen one for Norwich North.

    What is imperative in setting a sign to the Government, as you rightly say, is, that you actually get in.

    As it looks like it will be a six horse race/split with Lib Dems UKIP Conservatives Greens and your very selve, interesting.

    My offer stands, should you need some help locally, I’m up for it.

    I have some serious ideas that need bouncing to you but not via an open list as such.

    If you send me a private email I shall send you some policy ideas over current issues that are bothering Broadland voters especially.

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