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My best moment at conference so far……….THAT Ed Fordham moment!

September 21st, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

ed-fordhamThis has been the highlight of my stay in Bournemouth so far – NO DOUBT.

BACKGROUND : Victoria Derbyshire Show hosted a show from Bournemouth this morning with 200 guests from all walks of life and all political persuasions.

So what happened?

PART 1 : Nick Clegg arrives (around 41minutes into the programme on BBC iPlayer ). Victoria asks Nick to explain the new Lib Dem “Mansion Tax” policy and then takes questions from the audience…. “Mike” introduces himself as an unemployed local resident who lives in a house that is worth over £1million.  He explains that he is looking to be able to find a “few little bits of part time employment ” that means he could earn a few £thousand a year. He asks Nick why he should bother to find a job if the few thousand he earns is going straight into the tax coffers. Nick explains that as he is also proposing to take out of the tax system anyone earning under £10,000 he will not be penalised by the “mansion” tax. Quite a lengthy discussion ensues with “Mike” accusing Nick of trying to sneak in a wealth tax.  You’ll have to listen to the rest of it on iPlayer to get the full picture.

Part 2: About 20 minutes later. Nick has gone but…luckily..Ed Fordham has by now joined Sarah Teather and Steve Webb on the panel. We have moved onto the issue of “honesty” . A question “Mike” (yes the same unemployed guy from earlier). He asks the panel to explain a training document published by the Lib Dem Cllrs “a few years ago” which talks about how to operate in their area . It is from a document written by some 11 years ago and is not something any Lib Dem would be proud of (listen to it here on BBC iPlayer around 1.17 minutes into the programme).

Ed Fordham reveals

1. “Mike” is actually Mike Greene an ex-Tory Councillor from London

2. “Mike” doesn’t just have a £1million+ house in Bournemouth but another rather nice house in Fitzjohn’s Rd, London NW3.

3. “Mike’s” wife is actually a sitting Tory Coucillor in Bournemouth. And not just any old Councillor but one that sits in the cabinet.


Here we are facing the most serious economic crisis this country has seen since the WW2; we have soldiers dying in Afghanistan and Iraq: people are struggling to keep house and home together and here we have a (ex)Conservative politician playing petty politics.  And grinning like a cheshire cat when he was exposed.

Ex Tory Councillor Mike Greene might think its funny. I dont. There were a lot of people in that room who did not get a chance to ask Nick or the other Lib Dem spokespeople a genuine question.  Their opportunities were deprived by some selfish man wanting to derail a serious debate in order to play some silly game.

David Cameron might make good soundbites on TV, but this proves to me – if ever it needed proving – that swathes of Mr Cameron’s Tory party still don’t get it.    

Luckily the electorate are not so dumb either. I stayed late after the show to chat to some of the audience. They all said that they took away many positives about the Lib Dem Party though not all were yet totally persuaded and some definately unpersaudable. Fair enough. There was however universal condemnation of the tactics of the Conservatives. And as one floating voter who thought she was leaning to David Cameron said ” Oh it looks like the Tories have not changed their spots afterall.”  

9 Responses to “My best moment at conference so far……….THAT Ed Fordham moment!”

  1. Ollie Cromwell Says:

    Angela, what utter nonsense, yes it certainly sounds like the guy is a stupid immature prat, he sounds like a Tory version of Alex Hilton. But how on earth can you claim that his behaviour is proof that “that swathes of Mr Cameron’s Tory party still don’t get it.”

    How is the behaviour of one idiot proof of any such thing? Please explain because it does not seem to me that we should defame 40%+ of the electorate based on the childish antics of one man. It just does not seem wise to insult 40% of the voting population whilst trying at the same time to win them over.

    I also am astonished that this is the “best moment” from the conference so far. What a bloody awful event it must be if that is true.

    I understand that it is a strategic shift to turn fire on the Tories as Labour are already dead but if you are going to do that try not to use a pop gun. They will just laugh at you.

    If one of the LDs more colourful characters acts as stupidly at the Tory or Labour conference would that prove “vast swathes” of Lib Dem’s don’t get it? No it will prove that another nutter got into another conference.

  2. STB2 Says:

    I look forward to the extensive coverage this shameful incident will receive over at ConservativeHome and Iain Dale’s blog. Well done to Mr. Fordham for exposing it. Alas, the LibDems are not wholly innocent of such tactics, but we can look forward to a particularly nasty time from the Tories now they have the scent of power.

  3. Updates on an awkward question « Freethinking Economist Says:

    […] Liberal Vision tell the story much better. To cut it short, the guy was some kind of set up – a Tory councillor from Bournemouth, with TWO houses worth millions, and in no way unable to pay what for him would have been a trifling bill., […]

  4. Ziggy Says:

    Reading that made me luagh out loud

    Good on Ed

    Though I don’t think Vince’s mansion tax has been misreported by the media or is in fact a bit foolish

  5. Matthew Huntbach Says:

    Well, here we go. Someone interrupts a debate and gets a lot of coverage by saying the sort of populist things which go down well with simple people and which also go down VERY well with the wealthy, who are the principal beneficiaries of that person’s arguments. And that person doesn’t reveal who he really is, indeed pretends to be something else.

    As I’ve said previously, how very easy it is to get coverage, articles in newspapers, interviews on the radio and television, if you’re saying the sort of things the people who run this country like to hear.

  6. Julian Harris Says:

    Yes Matthew, those right-wing disciples of the wealthy at the BBC are so clearly biased towards the views you so despise.

    Cruel, cruel world.

  7. Matthew Huntbach Says:

    Julian, the BBC takes its cue from what appears in the rest of the press, so if the rest of the press has a right-wing bias, it tends to pick up on that. From what is reported in these columns, it certainly seems very keen to give air to the views of your right-wing fringe group, I do not recall it being so eager to get people from left-wing fringe elements of the party to commentate on its proceedings.

    You might note that I have expressed some sympathy for the party leadership’s view on tuition fees, I have not been one of those jumping up and down and saying this is a commitment which should never be dropped or even postponed. From this you might see that my position is not the simplistic “tax and spend” one I suspect you suppose it to be.

  8. Ziggy Says:

    ‘the BBC takes its cue from what appears in the rest of the press’

    No thr BBC is a state propaganda machine

  9. Liberal Vision » Blog Archive » THAT Ed Fordham moment at conference Says:

    […] a post I put up last week concerning a certain ex-Tory councillor, due to popular demand, here are the […]