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THAT Ed Fordham moment at conference

By Angela Harbutt
October 1st, 2009 at 2:58 pm | 3 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

Following a post I put up last week concerning a certain ex-Tory councillor, due to popular demand, here are the edited highlights from Radio 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire Show.

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

By Angela Harbutt
September 21st, 2009 at 5:38 pm | 9 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

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.”  

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