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!


48 thoughts on “A Small Norwich Mystery

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  • Gerard Mulholland

    Craig – Perhaps she was adopted and has no idea where she was born.

    Tories could get hung up about crap like that.

  • subrosa

    I put a comment on the last blog saying Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com had a good post about you Craig. Seems it didn’t register.

  • MJ

    “…a Norfolk girl through and through” rather than “a Norfolk girl born and bred”.

    Having some knowledge of local rivalries my guess is that she was born in (whisper it) Ipswich.

  • eddie

    Maybe her father is Michael Jackson (or not, if you believe The Sun – surrogacy would be even worse)

  • Alex T

    Out of curiosity I just paid for a quick search of the register of births for 1982, only 8 Chloe Smiths, none born in Norfolk. Camden, Enfield, Waltham, Exeter, Portsmouth, Newham, Ashford and Cardigan – perhaps they’re worried she might be Welsh?

  • Bert

    “Chloe is a Norfolk girl – she grew up in Stoke Ferry and is a governor of her old comprehensive in Swaffham. Chloe has worked for two East Anglian MPs for a number of years.”

    From the ‘About’ section at:

    http://www.tellchloe.com

  • Anonymous

    theyy’re just striving to cultivate an air of mystery around a bland functionary

  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    This is an easy matter to find out.

    You know her age, go look her up in Birth, Deaths and Marriages!

    Its free you walk and look up the register.

    You are fighting a war here and information is ammo.

    Get one of your FCO chums in London to do the Yago for you.

    This isn’t personal, its business.

    If a fib has been told then the Norfolk people should be told.

    Does that gem get me a copy?

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • the_leander

    I must admit I’ve found very little evidence to support her claims of being a local girl. The tories have done a wonderful job of spamming the “local girl through and through” line at every opportunity it would seem, nearest I’ve found is that she claims to have been raise, as Alex T mentioned – in Stoke Ferry. For a laugh I’ve emailed them and asked if they could find out if she was born there (with only 900 residents it’s fairly likely this information would be quick to gather). I’ll let you know if I hear back from them.

    That they are getting tetchy about this suggests to me that you’re probably on to something. Be a crying shame if it was shown that she was lying even over something as petty as this, not to mention a legitimate concern for those doing the voting.

  • Derek P

    Alex T,

    there seem to be some different opinions on her age – I take it you were going by Crick’s info of her current age being 27, though even that could mean she was born in ’81.

    From Dales’s info she could have been born in ’83 or ’84 (link below).

    I have not done such a search and do not know how the registration information is recorded and sorted, but it may be that registration could sometimes take place in the year following birth so possibly even the first few months of ’85 need to be considered.

    Good luck with the search.

    http://theyoungconservative.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/iain-dale-interviews-ppc-chloe-smith-25-2/

  • mary

    Who does she work for and are they Conservative party donors?

    From her blog

    Chloe now works for a leading international firm which advises private businesses, government departments and public bodies.

  • SJB

    Does anyone else think that her age may work against her? Thinking here about a possible backlash against those MPs who left university, became an MP’s researcher and before you knew it were sitting on the comfy green leather benches 🙂

  • MJ

    It’s not so much her age, more that she comes over as a wittering airhead with the gravitas of a plate of blancmange. Her proposals for education – “opening up the supply side” and opening up equality” – sound a particularly brain cell free zone. Surprised she didn’t join New Labour really.

  • Tom Kennedy

    You’re right MJ – she would have joined NuLab if they had a chance of power in the next election. It’s a case of “Do I want to be in the next government, or the one after that?”. Because that’s the unappetising choice voters have at the moment – the alternation of Labour/Tories with nothing to differentiate them other than trifling differences of opinion and personality.

    As for her anodyne answers in The Guardian’s questionnaire, I could have written that myself – it’s boilerplate political gossamer. She said nothing. God help us.

  • mary

    Ruth says Ms Smith works for Deloittes.

    Cameroon’s Director of Finance and Registered Treasurer is Ian McIsaac, a former partner at Deloittes.

    http://www.conservatives.com/People/Members_of_the_Board/McIsaac_Ian.aspx

    ‘Prior to his appointment, Ian had for many years been a partner in Deloitte. He initially specialised in Corporate Finance and Restructuring and was the Founder Chairman of the Society of Turnaround Professionals. In recent years he has held a number of senior management roles with the Deloitte global organisation.’

  • paul

    Two minutes googling reveal that there’s a Chloe Smith who is the daughter of Claire and David Smith of Stoke Ferry, and that there’s a David Smith in Stoke Ferry who moved there in 1985, having previously lived with his wife and children in Kent.

    My guess is that Chloe Smith was born in Ashford.

  • David Allen

    “After doing my degree in English Literature, I knew I wanted a career in management consultancy because you can make such a ….”

    …. big pile of dosh?

  • john gibson

    if the police know your name, date of birth, and where you were born, they can tell if you have a record.

  • Chloe Smith

    Hi Craig,

    There’s no mystery, and no one’s been getting tetchy.

    I haven’t been asked by any journalists, so I’m not sure where you got that idea from, but I’ve never made any bones about my place of birth. I was born in Ashford, Kent, but moved to Norfolk at the age of three. I lived here until I went to university, and my parents and grandparents still live in Stoke Ferry. Now I’ve got a flat of my own in Norwich. My first memories are of growing up in Norfolk; when I was at school, I set up a youth forum for young people across the county; and I was campaigning for the Conservatives in Norwich before I was selected as the Parliamentary Candidate here 18 months ago. That’s why I say I’m a Norfolk girl through and through.

    Best wishes,

    Chloe

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