Saturday, 16 January 2010

Cameron in Reading

Others have posted about the event itself, and as I was not there and have not been contacted by anyone who was or says they were, I shall confine myself to looking at how the event was treated and reported. Inote by the way that this event, rescheduled from last week, was actually held in Reading West and not in Reading East as the previously scheduled one had been planned to be: perhaps some local political intelligence told Cameron's people that imitating the Salter technique of stalking Reading East was not the best message to give.

His Master's Voice (Reading Evening Post) did not have much to say about it, ending their report like this:

Audience members included Gurkha rights campaigner Peter Beckinsale, Royals chairman Sir John Madejski, Reading East MP Rob Wilson, Conservative prospective Parliamentary candidate for Reading West Alok Sharma and Age Concern members.

Labour Party supporters were outside the meeting before it started, handing out flyers, saying they had not been allowed into the event

I have no idea what Cameron's people's policy was on who got invited, various theories have been suggested, in their place I would have given Nasty Naz pride of place, however I do note the comment on the story from senior councillor Peter Ruhemann, who is clearly distancing himself from those outside the event who said they had not been invited:

I don't know who Alex M is or how he knows who was invited to this Conservative Party meeting, but he is misleading your readers. I did apply, I was invited, but I was unable to go as I have been off sick with a viral infection. I advised the organisers of this but they refused my attempt to pass on my invitation to another Labour Party member who I knew wanted to go. To call this my "deciding not to go" is pure spin and misrepresentation.
Pete Ruhemann 15/01/2010 at 12:50
Two "Labour party supporters" are indeed pictured outside the venue, you can see them on Anneliese Dodds' website, looking rather embarrassed, with placards they don't seem to want the public to see.
I would just wonder why Anneliese agreed to go there, her cast-iron excuse is that it is in Reading West. The utter crassness of two Labour parliamentary candidates picketing an opposition event while there is a Labour government aside, did either of these people actually apply to attend? They have not said they did. I think we should be told.

Anneliese Dodds and Naz Sarkar, Labour Parliamentary candidates for Reading East and West, respectively, tonight challenged David Cameron to a “real debate” in Reading.

This followed a so-called ‘Cameron Direct’ meeting at Reading’s Madjeski Stadium. Both Anneliese and Naz were prevented from entering the event, with the audience comprising a handpicked group of local residents.

Anneliese and Naz had prepared a set of questions for Cameron to respond to (see below)- but they were banned from the event.

Naz said: “It was disappointing not to be able to attend this event to ask David Cameron the questions he needs to answer”.

Anneliese said: “This event would have been better named ‘Cameron select’ than ‘Cameron direct’, given the control exercised over attendees by the organisers.

well, I just reproduce what the two of them have said publicly, for what it is worth.


howard thomas said...

I applied to attend , but I didn't even get a response to my e-mail...
.......Can't think why!

Paul said...

I am aware that the Labour Candidates for Reading West and East claimed to have been barred from the event, but neither applied for tickets to this event, so this claim to have been barred seems ill judged.

dreamingspire said...

Good picture of a cheerful you. But the text formatting in this post has gone awry - is that a test for the readers?
Cameron's message still seems empty, and Osborne has been silent for weeks (until this last few days). A pity we have not heard details of the message given at the meeting, so can you help with some pointers?