Friday, September 11, 2009

The Black Candidate

What a thoughtful piece. The oddly named Quaequam blog on the "Black Farmer" and prospective Chippenham Tory candidate, Wilfred Emmanuel Jones (good Welsh name, that).

He wonders if the good voters of Chippenham are going to cause another 'racist' storm if they don't do the decent thing and vote him in as a Tory there. I think qq himself must be a Liberal.

The worry is that an unthinking media, steeped in churnalism, is going to end up being complicit in branding a blameless Lib Dem MP a racist for years to come simply for committing the heinous crime of doing a better job.
Everyone blamed 'Tory racism' when the Tories selected John Taylor (a black guy) as Cheltenham candidate - a relatively safe seat - and he was beaten by the Lib Dem. I've never worked out why that in itself made the Tories racist - their voters maybe, but not necessarily the party. The disappointed candidate was given a peerage - and I may be being unfair to him, but the only time I've heard of him since is when he's wheeled out by the BBC to opine on the exact degree of racism in the Tory party that week. With friends like that ...

There's also the factor of the local guy vs the outsider - particularly a high-profile outsider. Country folk aren't so keen on that kind of thing, safe seat or no. Labour can parachute in a Shaun Woodward to St Helens or a Mandelson to Hartlepool and their voters dutifully vote accordingly. Not so in the sticks. W E-J, a decent, patrician and beautifully spoken old-school Tory type, had better not assume it's a shoo-in.