As far as the Croydon North by-election is concerned, even Conservatives now think that the Tories are toxic.
As Inside Croydon noted earlier this week, Gavin Barwell, the MP for Croydon Central who is “masterminding” (in the loosest sense) the campaign for Andy Stranack, has gone to great lengths to distance his candidate from the deeply unpopular Conservative party.
Unable to campaign on his government’s record on unemployment; the economy – rising inflation, rising borrowing; cuts to police numbers and closure of police stations; the NHS; riot recovery funds … or much else, Barwell has opted instead to “stake the house” on the calibre of his candidate, portraying Stranack as some sort of latterday Mother Teresa in a hoodie.
St Andrew of Stranack’s campaign has become so desperate to distance itself from the Conservative party that it is now running a video on YouTube which, in its full 2min 43sec run time, makes not a single mention of Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor Gideon Osborne, nor does it reference the work done by the Conservative-led government, there’s not a word about Tory policies, and no where in the video do the words “Conservative” or “Tory”, or the party’s logo appear.
Are Barwell and Stranack ashamed of the party they are supposed to be representing? Or are they trying to pass off Stranack as something which he is not?
The video may also be seen as deceiving in that no where does it identify any of the interviewees, all of whom attest to how wonderful and hard-working “Andy” is.
Who are these people? Andy’s mates who he’s just bought a pint for down his local pub in Forestdale? Members of his close family? Conservative party members? Paid actors? The video leaves its viewers – all 47 of them by mid-afternoon a day after its launch – none the wiser. You have to wonder why.
See for yourself here
Some political pundits have suggested that Barwell, an experienced campaign organiser when working for the noted tax avoider Lord Cashcroft, is using the Stranack campaign to test-run key lines for his own next election.
Problem is, in 2015, whether he makes the chicken run to Croydon South or not, could Barwell seriously portray himself as a “nice guy”? Our regular reader may not be surprised to learn that we don’t think not…
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