Sunday, 15 March 2009

Where things stand.

Having slept on it, it is clear to see just how damaging this election will be to Liberal Youth. The briefing and counter briefing, leaks and bitchiness has not only been directed at the candidates but at the Liberal Democrat party in general. The party machine at Cowley Street has taken a particularly brutal kicking. Both candidates have called for the organisation to be closed down, either publically or privately, and Tory Bear wouldn't be surprised if the re-open nominations box has got a lot of ticks once the votes have been counted.

The Downfall video that appeared anonymously, and then disappeared, caused a fair amount of controversy. Sadly due to one libellous line the argument moved away from the organisational tactics and people skills of the current Chairman Elaine Bagshaw, and instead focussed on the laughable suggestion she might be the Lib Dems Lewinsky. Tory Bear understands Bagshaw has been summonded to Cleggs office for a bollocking first thing Monday morning.

Well luckily TB has got hold of a copy of the video, and with some slight editing, has brought it back for your viewing pleasure:

If there is one person who knows their stuff on youth elections, it's the strange yet distinctly fascinating John Moorcraft. He has been keeping an eye on this election and offers comment over at the

Liberal Youth Forums
about where it ranks in relation to past bitter youth battles. He is a bit of an expert on this sort of thing, and TB couldn't have put it better himself:

"Having given your post some considerable thought.....It is my pleasure (I think...) to inform you that this most recent interesting and explosive outburst has propelled you [Liberal Youth] well inside the top 10 (not quite podium yet though I'm afraid). This is one of the most explicit calls by a candidate for an overhaul of a youth organisation officially affiliated to a mainstream political party ever. (I have investigated most youth “elections” since 1906...) Rarely has the issue of organisational reform been associated with all main chairperson candidates. Referring to Central Command (in this case Cowley Street) in such disparaging terms (“sheer corporate incompetence”) is not unique, but it does up the ante further. Apologising for apologising (over heckling) is my personal favourite bit and quite remarkable and extremely novel. Only on a handful of occasions has this happened (usually people stick to a decision they have made in youth elections). Another leak to Tory Bear (the resignation letter) is good stuff – it shows a conservative blogger is still considered the wrestling ring of choice (I'm with Stronty and echo calls for mud wrestling).
In a nutshell, you're moving up the ladder of shame fast. Given the stiff competition, this is quite some achievement!! This election has been extremely controversial, very bitchy, mega personal, an utter disgrace, totally ridiculous and a complete embarrassment. I hope ordinary members condemn all involved as openly and vociferously as the rival camps have each other. In all seriousness, RON must now be the only option.

Leaving seriousness aside and getting back to taking the p**s...To be challenging the big boys at the top of the leaderboard (some of the old Young Labour elections...FCS in the 1980's, YC late 80's and the odd CF election) we need some of the following...

More leaks to Tory Bear.
More leaks to me
More leaks to any other non-Lib Dem
Lots more Facebook bitching
Mass party resignations in protest
RON to win
For the election to be so bad the party decides to reform or abolish you
For the election to be so bad the party launches an internal investigation into what went wrong
For mediators to be called into the first exec meeting (Edit – i see this may happen!)
Allegations of email, blog and website hacking from the rival camp
Fake websites appearing declaring the other candidate to be evil/Thatcher in disguise/a liar
Suggestions Cowley Street are fixing he election
Proof to emerge that Cowley Street are fixing the electon
A punch up between rival camps (this would put you right up there)
Catchy, but really personal, election slogans
Another youtube video to reappear slamming one of the candidates
Videoblogs showing one candidate personally bagging the other
Claims to emerge that one of the candodates has thrown the towell in
Claims to emerge about the other ones sex life (preferable suggestions they have been doinking Tory Bear). In fact, can I start this one now and say I heard a rumour that TB has been caught in a compromising position with RON)
The exec to refuse to serve under the new chairman
A candidate to be expelled from the party
For the election to attract condemnation from a Lib Dem politician
For the mainstream media to cover it
For a big boy blogger to cover it (Guido must be considering it...)

That list should get you started. If you are really committed to holding the worst youth election ever, you better get cracking!!!"

There are still two weeks of voting to go so who know what else is going to happen.


Anonymous said...

Ah - see you managed to slip the libel back in anyway. I was about to say thanks for putting it back up.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint, but in conversation with Elaine Bagshaw this afternoon she confirmed she isn't meeting Nick Clegg tomorrow morning, she will in fact still be traveling back from Scotland. I would say that counts as libel too..

Anonymous said...

Not what I heard.

Might not be Monday morning but she's definatly going in at some point to be yelled at.

Anonymous said...

Confirmed - I'm hearing that too.

Who's leaking all this info from Liberal Youth?

I think it's going to turn out just like that Agatha Christie book, 'Murder on the Orient Express'. There are 15 suspects of a brutal murder, each with their own motives, and they all have water-tight alibis that support one another. It later turns out that they ALL did it: each one stabbed the victim once as part of a ritualized revenge killing, and they all provided each other with an alibi.

John M Ward

Not a comment on the article itself; but isn't it interesting that all the previous comments have been "anonymous". Why are they so afraid of coming out into the open? Some (most?) of us have no problem with doing so; but perhaps that is because we are open and honest at all times.

It's just a thought, triggered by reading all these "anons".

Anonymous said...

There are LY members who support Sara or RON joining Elaine's Facebook group because they are scared their branch will get passed over for help in the election if Elaine wins and they are not seen to be 'on side'. Who knows if there's any basis to that but it just shows how much trust there is of her. Oh and it looks like that resignation counter is ticking up daily with rumblings ongoing. Might yet hit the mythical 18!

Anonymous said...

anon@15 March 2009 18:59 is right.

Elaine never forgets, and I know one branch chair who is backing both horses because he wants a change from her, but is terrified she'll cut them off from all resources if she wins.

Elaine's iron grip drove people away - now it's coming back to bite!

Anonymous said...

There is so much mis-information and rumour around, that the blogosphere is no longer helping (of course it never was, but that is besides the point).

I find no "fear" of Elaine, there is no "Iron Grip", and her supporters are perfectly capable of making a judgement on the election, and Elaine's record which isn't bad at all - whether it was good would be a more fascinating debate.

It would be worrying if everyone supported Elaine, they do not, and at least LY are having elections. I hear CF are not being allowed democracy this year.

Anonymous said...

having 17 people resign from your committee can not in any way be seen as good record. And you could be a bit more subtle in your elaine stoogery, seems like your a fully signed up sycophant. tb claimed something about cf having a loose consititution allowing them to delay elections so they can fully focus on the general. Good spin.

Anonymous said...


Sadly, I was expecting such an attack, but perhaps not so immediately.

Please do not label me as a sycophant - it is simply not a fair judgement to assume that if you support Elaine, you are a sycophant.

On the lack of CF election: Too right, it was good spin, but not exactly good democracy! :-)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 18:31,

Actually, have you considered the possibility that the only survivor might be the Returning Officer?

Anonymous said...

You think that was bad... The OUCA elections was remarkably corrupt and more acrimonious, the only difference is that the shadowy cabal got away with it. Well thats my opinion, though the gossip against candidates and the candidates shouting at people and handing out slate material seems depressing. But who would have thought a conservative association based in Oxford university would be domiayted by a small elite of rich thatcherites?

Anonymous said...

The shit-stirring continues...

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