Sunday, 10 July 2016

Tory leadership contest reminds me of Nixon 1972 presidential election dirty tricks

Our electoral politics is increasingly a poor copy of the worst features of US elections. Look at the Oxbridge Spads who were given scholarships or soft jobs to participate in US campaigns and learn the dark arts from the masters, Mrs Cooper Balls for one. You get a flavour of it from comparing the US House of Cards to its more understated British original of 20 years earlier both avaiable as box sets.

In the US 72 election the challenger Nixon feared most was Ted Kennedy but he was damaged goods followng the Mary Jo Kopechnie

Mary Jo Kopechne was an American teacher, secretary, and political campaign specialist who died in a car accident at Chappaquiddick Island on July 18, 1969, while a passenger in a car being driven by longtime U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. 

Mary Jo Kopechne.jpg

The next most feared Democrat was Edmund Muskie. Here is what happened to him.

 Muskie's momentum collapsed just prior to the New Hampshire primary, when the so-called "Canuck letter" was published in theManchester Union-Leader. The letter, actually a forgery from Nixon's "dirty tricks" unit, claimed that Muskie had made disparaging remarks about French-Canadians– a remark likely to injure Muskie's support among the French-American population in northern New England. Subsequently, the paper published an attack on the character of Muskie's wife Jane, reporting that she drank and used off-color language during the campaign. Muskie made an emotional defense of his wife in a speech outside the newspaper's offices during a snowstorm. Though Muskie later stated that what had appeared to the press as tears were actually melted snowflakes, the press reported that Muskie broke down and cried, shattering the candidate's image as calm and reasoned.[7

Click below to read the full story:,_1972#Primary_results

The Tory establishment is now pursuing the same strategy.  The main danger to head girl T May, John Major in a skirt,  was BoJo who would have won hands down if his name had gone to the members. The establishment rapidly mounted an anyone but Boris campaign and managed to persuade BoJo's main supporter Gove to defect 5 mins before BoJo was dues to announce his candidacy. BoJo stood down. I thought he should hace stuck it out and called Gove a Macbeth.

Gove who had previously saiid many times he was not fit to be PM took BoJos place and was as planned wiped out by T May.

Liam Fox, Glasgow council house working class background and Glasgow Medical School was a very credible candidate. He was rubbished and the non-entity Steven Crabb pushed as a working class Tory,

Despite his low profile, Mr Crabb still won the support of 34 MPs in the first ballot, a performance that emphasised his standing as a 'rising star'.  Now how did that happen? Obviously a whipping operation to elimnate Fox.

Crabb was duely  knocked out the threat of a sextexting scandal.

Married Tory high-flier Stephen Crabb goes in to 'total lockdown' after sexting scandal 

  • Stephen Crabb, 43, sent sexually charged messages to a young woman
  • He pulled out of the Tory leadership contest last week after coming fourth
  • Mr Crabb was revealed to have engaged in a series of flirtatious messages
  • A close friend said that married Mr Crabb has gone in to 'total lockdown'

The full steamy details can be read on this link headlined:


Obviously he had a touch of Lady Chatterley's  Mellors.

So that left Mrs Leadsom. She is an honest woman who spent the first 25 years of her working life outside politics. She is being attacked over an interview she gave to a journalist.

A row has erupted after Conservative leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom was accused of suggesting that having children made her a better choice to be prime minister.
The Times quoted the mother of three as saying having children meant she had "a very real stake" in Britain's future.
She later said she was "disgusted" with the interview's presentation.
Times journalist Rachel Sylvester defended her article, saying she was "baffled" by Mrs Leadsom's reaction.
The Times headlined its front-page lead story: "Being a mother gives me edge on May - Leadsom." Mrs May has no children.
I remember my wife being asked at her interview for a Paediatric Hospital Consultant post, "Don't you think having no children makes you unsuitable for this post, asked of course by a woman on the interview panel.
I understand Mrs Leadsom's comment entitirely. We now have two children and having a child for whom you will be responsible until you die changes your outlook on life totally. It does not matter how many nieces or nephewsyou have they are not your children.

PS a new tweet at 6:30 pm Sunday from Louise Mensch

The Times are now admitting that on unreleased audio, says that motherhood has no bearing on Tory leadership contest.

The Tory Establishment will stop at nothing to smear and destroy Ms Leadsom's reputation. They are very scared of her.

Note the similarity to what happened to Nixon's  carefully selected run off opponent McGovern, the one they knew they could beat most easily.

On April 25, 1972 George McGovern won the Massachusetts primary. Two days later, journalist Robert Novak quoted a "Democratic senator" later revealed to be Thomas Eagleton as saying: "The people don't know McGovern is for amnesty, abortion, and legalization of pot. Once middle America – Catholic middle America, in particular – finds this out, he's dead." The label stuck and McGovern became known as the candidate of "amnesty, abortion, and acid." It became Humphrey's battle cry to stop McGovern — especially in the Nebraska primary

Note also how the party hierachy reacted

In the end, McGovern won the nomination by winning primaries through grassroots support in spite of establishment opposition. McGovern had led a commission to re-design the Democratic nomination system after the divisive nomination struggle and convention of 1968. The fundamental principle of the McGovern Commission—that the Democratic primaries should determine the winner of the Democratic nomination—have lasted throughout every subsequent nomination contest. However, the new rules angered many prominent Democrats whose influence was marginalized, and those politicians refused to support McGovern's campaign (some even supporting Nixon instead), leaving the McGovern campaign at a significant disadvantage in funding compared to Nixon.

This smearing of Leadsom is about power and control. The establishment set up, and carefully leaked Clarke Rifkind supposedly private conversation on C4. They know they can control May but they can't control Leadsome.

Vote Leadsom

No comments: