Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Elizabeth Truss should not be deselected

Elizabeth Truss, the newly selected Conservative PPC for South West Norfolk is facing potential deselection following the revelations that she had an affair with fellow Conservative (and MP for London & Westminster) Mark Field.


My response to this is W. T. F.

There are several aspects to this that are noteworthy:

  • There is no suggestion that Mark Field is going to be deselected. Why should it be that a woman is held to a higher standard than a man? Didn't it take both of them to have an affair?
  • It seems that the local Tories in Ms Truss' constituency are angry because she didn't bring it up. Why the hell should she? It's her own personal business and it's not like 5 minutes googling couldn't have discovered it anyway.
  • Why should the fact that anyone had an affair mean they should be deselected anyway? If that was the case we would have MPs being deselected all the time!
  • What sort of people do we want in politics? Bland automatons who have never done anything remotely exciting or interesting in their entire lives? I would rather have people who have lived a bit. If that means some people who have had affairs or done other things that might not be 100% perfect then all the better. We are supposed to have people representing us with all our character flaws. Not some unattainable ideal.

I sincerely hope that Elizabeth Truss is not deselected. I also hope the selection process is not opened up again as it would be unneccessary. The candidate has been selected under the existing system, that should be an end to it.

The world has moved on, thank God from the time when women who had affairs were shunned by "right thinking society". The Tories in South West Norfolk need to move on with them.

6 comments:

ColinP said...

The local Tories claim a possible de-selection is because she didn't tell them about the affair.

Bizarrely a voice of reason comes from 'Conservative HQ':
'a spokesman for Conservative HQ voiced incredulity that the SW Norfolk Tories did not know about Ms Truss's affair with Mark Field, the MP for the Cities of London and Westminster “when it can be easily found on Google”.'
http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/edp24/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=EDPOnline&tCategory=xDefault&itemid=NOED26%20Oct%202009%2020%3A43%3A57%3A210

Kalvis Jansons said...

Affairs are clearly equally bad for either sex, but they are bad.

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

Whilst I concur with your view, it might be said:-

1. Sanction or not against Mr Field is not a matter for the South West Norfolk party.

2. The affair itself is not so important as the lack of disclosure: such omission undermines trust which is something of an issue at present.

3. Entering into an affair is revealing of values and morals and it is not unreasonable that questions arise about those who opt to do so.

4. In truth people are very happy indeed with "Bland automatons who have never done anything remotely exciting or interesting in their entire lives" but they will not admit this, even perhaps to themselves. The alternatives scare people.

Alex said...

OT:

Just read your response to being Factchecked:

http://markreckons.blogspot.com/2009/10/ive-been-factchecked.html

Anyway, I was wondering if you'd thought of getting this concept looked at in a deeper way? For instance, there are a number of good "political scientist" bloggers out there (e.g. Nate Silver), who it might be useful to see if they'd be interested in looking at this "properly" (no offense to your analysis intended).

Dippyness. said...

In a word? AGREED.

Niklas said...

Re. Cardinal Richelieu's mole (!):

"2. The affair itself is not so important as the lack of disclosure: such omission undermines trust which is something of an issue at present."

I have a problem with expecting candidates to disclose things about their personal life without being asked a specific question: where are they meant to stop? Are they meant to detail their masturbatory habits? Or give blow-by-blow accounts of what they have got up to when drunk?

Candidates should be prepared to answer reasonable questions, but if no one thinks to ask a question that's their fault and not the candidate's. The secrecy around the shortlist was plain silly - why couldn't the association tell its members in advance who they were going to be voting on?