Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Samantha George will not be the next Maggie Thatcher

Apparently the Tory Deputy Leader of Merton Council Samantha George has been shortlisted as the Tory candidate in Maggie Thatcher's old stomping ground of Finchley. Could Samantha George soon be Finchley bound?

Anyway we will know later this week whether she has been successful or not and with Finchley being a key marginal, Merton will no doubt be seeing a lot less of her if she wins.

UPDATE 11/12/2006
Her quest to get selected in Finchley has ended in defeat, anyway better luck next time and it looks like she will not be the next Maggie Thatcher. Back to the grind of Merton!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Councillor George must have talent! Merton is lucky to have her as a councillor.

9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could say she's just another one of the many Merton Tories who see being a councillor as the first step to aiming for a winnable parliamentary seat . . .

8:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you, of course, have never put yourself forward as a parliamentary candidate! Nor has Leighton Veale. MP McDonagh was also, I believe, Councllor McDonagh in a previous life. But, of course, Labour Party members' motives are always that much more honourable than Tory ones!
(Another comment that won't get posted)

5:40 pm  
Blogger Martin Whelton said...

Yes I have stood as a Parliamentary candidate back in 2001 for South West Surrey before I was elected to Merton Council in 2002. Nothing is wrong with seeking selection as a candidate and I know from experience seeking selection is an arduous process and pretty time consuming.

In terms of Samantha George she has been assiduous in attending the panel meetings that I chair which covers her remit and no indication exists that she has gone missing or is not attending. I also did not comment on her recent selection contest in Coventry South where she did not get selected. I do wish her luck in her selection at Finchley.

However, Tariq Ahmad seems to have done a disappearing act in not attending a number of meetings and events connected to his position and it seems that his quest to get selected is taking precedent over his existing role. This is not I commenting on his absence, it has been commented on by his Tory colleagues and by Merton Park Resident councillor Krysia Williams in a memo to the O&S Commission. His absence may be for other reasons but it has been a growing trend of late and it is unlikely that both are unconnected.

While nothing is wrong with seeking selection it should not be at the expense of you role as an elected member or position as an office holder as is the case with Sam and Tariq, where you are getting paid a special responsibility allowance and have duties to perform.

10:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang on...just read what you have written. At first you admit that Samantha George has not gone missing neither is she not attending meetings but then you conclude by writing "While nothing is wrong with seeking selection it should not be at the expense of you role as an elected member or position as an office holder as is the case with Sam and Tariq, where you are getting paid a special responsibility allowance and have duties to perform." Presumably the 'Sam' you are impugning here is the same 'Samantha' you found no fault with earlier! Confused or what?

11:04 pm  
Blogger Martin Whelton said...

Office holder refers to the fact that both Samantha and Tariq are cabinet members and have extra duties to perform above their normal duties of a councillor. Yes Sam is the same as Samantha.

Expense in this case means that your are busy seeking selection and are unable to carry out your duties in full. Samantha seems at the moment to balance being both a cabinet member and seeking selection for a Parliamentary seat. Still with Finchley being a London seat it is a great deal easier then seeking selection in a place like Cheltenham like Tariq did.

Hope that clarifies matters.

12:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or contesting a parliamentary place in Wales as Labour councillor Leighton Veale did?

3:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roll on by-elections in Wimbledon Park and, er, Village, I say. Other parties would have at least a chance of unseating the Tories in one of those wards (and denting the majority in the other).
But of course, I don't actually expect that either councillor would resign their seat if they were selected to stand for parliament, meaning that they'll probably be neglecting one job of theirs . . .

7:48 pm  
Blogger Martin Whelton said...

Somehow I cannot see us winning Village ward in a by election

2:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you won't win in village, but I doubt you'd win in Wimbledon Park either.

2:38 pm  
Blogger Martin Whelton said...

Challenging to win but we did represent the old Durnsford ward between 1994 and 2002 which was absorbed into Wimbeldon Park(which now includes part of the old Village ward) and only came within 200 votes in 2002 of winning a seat in the ward. In a very good Labour year it could go potentially be winnable!

2:47 pm  

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