A Small Norwich Mystery 48

When MPs’ expenses were finally published officially, they were redacted to the point of meaninglessness. The Tories are now practising some very curious redaction with the cv of their candidate, Chloe Smith, who is bidding to become the youngest member of the current parliament.

Chloe’s official c.v. begins when she moved to secondary school in Swaffham. Most people’s cvs begin by stating where they were born. Chloe’s doesn’t. That is not very strange. But what is strange is that the Tory party are refusing to say where she was born when journalists have asked. I am told they have been getting quite tetchy about it, even with a sympathetic journalist who was writing a puff piece about the glamorous young candidate.

Now that is a mystery. I genuinely don’t give a hoot if Chloe was born in Basingstoke or Ulan Bataar, and I can’t imagine the electorate care either. (I had a friend at school who was born on an aeroplane en route to a holiday in Malta, which I thought was dead impressive). But why would the Conservative Party not want people to know? Plainly Chloe is English enough even for the nutters of the BNP.

I can’t think of any logical reason for the Tory reticence, except that Chloe’s latest leaflet quotes her as saying “As a Norfolk girl through and through, I’m determined to be the strong voice the whole area needs.” Perhaps if she were born outside the county, they are worried about diluting her local credentials. But if they hadn’t made a mystery of it, I don’t suppose anyone would have noticed. (I am not saying she was born outside Norfolk, incidentally. I really don’t have a clue. I am just puzzled why they won’t say).

Anyway, a free copy of The Catholic Orangemen to anyone who knows either where Chloe was born, or why on earth it’s a secret!

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48 thoughts on “A Small Norwich Mystery

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  • MJ

    So that’s cleared that up then. I think paul @ 11.47am deserves his free copy of The Catholic Orangemen.

  • Derek

    So. The free copy of “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo” should go to Chloe Smith. I hope she enjoys it and finds it instructional.

    It will teach her the sort of real world experience people used to aquire before becoming MPs in the days before a couple of years out of University was considered enough experience to start running the country.

  • Abe Rene

    @ Paul

    Googling Chloe Smith’s parents was good thinking, but how did you work out that she was born in Ashford? Was it its being a center for rail communication, or being the largest district in Kent?

  • MJ

    Abe Rene:

    Alex T yesterday @ 2:33 PM did the groundwork. He paid for a search of the register of births for 1982 and narrowed it down to 8 possibilities. Sterling work. Worth a copy of the book too I feel.

  • Gerard Charmley

    Lloyd George was born in Manchester, and former Welsh Nationalist leader Dafydd Wigley was born in Derby. Andrew Bonar Law, Prime Minister 1922-3 was born in Canada, while current Welsh Secretary Peter Hain was born in Africa. Your point is?

  • Abe Rene

    @ MJ

    Yes, that’s very good deduction by paul on the basis of Alex T’s research. Because of the way the competition was set – the first person to know where Chloe was born – if there were only one winner I would give the prize to paul, but honorable mention to Alex T.

  • mary

    Do you mean transPEARancy as our Glorious Leader pronounces the most often used word in his vocabulary. I don’t know why hearing him say it makes me so annoyed.

  • Craig


    It wasn’t you getting tetchy, just your minders.

    OK, you get the prize.

  • Denim Justice

    So Craig says it doesn’t matter where Chloe was born but then writes a whole post attempting to question her credentials on that basis. If it didn’t matter to him, or if he didn’t think he could get some kind of political mileage out of it, he would never have written this post.

    So much for being “an honest man”, Craig. You’re trying to undermine your opponents whichever way you can, and it is sad that you have sunk to such depths. Many people respected you prior to this little vanity project you call an election campaign, but no more.

  • Craig

    Denim Justice.

    Yes I am. I gave away 72% of the company to Africans, of my own free will. I don’t take a salary or dividend. You really are a sad little man.

  • SJB

    Don’t feed the troll, Craig. He(?) has provided no evidence to support his claim that many people no longer respect you. More people will come to admire you for taking on the party machines.

    The first opinion poll for Norwich North has the Conservatives at just 34%. You must get across your past sucessful business experience to potential Tory voters because (a) that marks you out from those who merely advise and (b) reduces the risk of being seen by them as another Leftie who will want to spend more of their taxes.


  • SJB

    The Greens are already polling at 14%. Danger of a bandwagon effect here because they may pick up more disillusioned Labour voters, repeating what happened in the recent European Election. How solid is the LibDem support?

  • Veritas

    Despite Chloe’s protestations that there’s no mystery nor “bones” about her place of birth, there’s nothing on her website about her being born in Ashford, Kent. On the contrary the piece is written in such as way as to lead a reasonable reader to infer that she was born locally.

    That coupled with her minders tetchiness over the issue rather slam dunks the matter.

    I’m amused that she’s holding to the “Norfolk girl through and through”. If it were preceded by, “Despite being born in Asford, Kent…” it might have been more honest.

    I’m not sure I want any more of these careerist politicians, in any event. I think that’s where this culture of spinning everything comes from. They’ve done enough damage already.

    It’s about time we had some plain straight honest speakers for a change.

  • Veritas

    Just posted about this issue on Iain Dale’s blog, chiding him about being scooped by Craig even though Ian has a local interest himself.

    The post went onto the blog but I see he’s now removed it.

    Obviously the sanctimoniously cloying one doesn’t like too much truth, for all his protestations to decency.

    Anyway I’ve got a discussion going on it on Guido’s blog so it’ll get a bit more coverage.

    I’d just like to say to Iain, you are one very sad man.

  • paul

    Thanks MJ and Abe Rene. Craig promised the prize to whomever “knows” where Chloe Smith was born, so Chloe herself is the rightful winner.

    A cynic might suspect that Chloe’s newfound openness on the issue not to be entirely unrelated to having already been rumbled. An ardent proponent of political plaindealing might think it proper for Craig not to adopt a strict interpretation of the rules of his own competition. A reader who cherishes discretion might think these speculations overdone.

  • Chris

    “Not from these ‘ere parts, she ain’t” – you heat that tar up and I’ll get some feathers.

  • BW

    This was a superb suggestion by an earlier poster.

    “Perhaps a good question to put to Ms Smith is whether she agrees with Francis Maude’s assessment that spending £4 billion on management consultants is burning taxpayers’ money…”

    As someone who has made a living off Deloittes and working in Whitehall she is part of the problem – not the solution.

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