Showing posts with label Edinburgh Rector. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edinburgh Rector. Show all posts

Monday, 28 December 2009

Archive - Exclusive "This isn't about George, or you, it's about the Labour Party"

TB had great fun covering the Rector election in his last term at Edinburgh. If anything just to be able to stick it to Labour and Lord George Foulkes on his patch every day. This one story gives the best background and most damaging intervention by the Scottish Labour party into what was essentially a student race. First published 30th January 2009:

Tory Bear has said it before and will say it again - the Labour Party from the very top, to the grassroots is in a pretty desperate state of affairs. Now you may have noticed that TB has been focusing somewhat on the Rectorial election at Edinburgh in the last few weeks and though some have suggested this isn't exactly high profile news, one campaign in particular has flagged up some fascinating insight into the inner workings of the Scottish Labour Party. Party elder Lord Foulkes has had a colourful career and is now looking to settle into a cosy retirement as a member of the Edinburgh establishment. However things aren't going exactly to plan.

Despite being the first candidate to declare, his campaign has got off to a rocky start and has only began clawing back, in terms of impact, in the last couple of days. The campaign team is dominated by members, past and present, of Labour Students but it seems that not all of them have been fully on board from the beginning. TB's sources tell him that it has taken some serious heavy handed techniques from the highest echelons of the party to whip Foulkes's team into shape. It has come to Tory Bear's attention from sources close to the top of the Foulkes campaign that a particular member of the Labour Students was taken aside in the Scottish Parliament and threatened not only by Foulkes but by Iain Gray, the chaotic leader of the Labour Party in Scotland.

TB understands that the individual in question, though a very active member of Labour Students was not happy to support Foulkes as he did not agree with his voting record or outlook on key issues. However Mr Gray can be quiet persuasive it seems: "It'd be a shame if you're career ended here" he apparently said, adding "George is very important in Scotland, and he has a long memory..." The individual in question, for the sake of their career, has now bitten the bullet and is signed up to the campaign under sufferance. No doubt "This isn't about George, or you, it's about the Labour Party" can be a forceful message when whispered in your ear by the Leader of the Party.

As one would expect Gray's not so charming gate keeper denied the story as "nonsense" but there was a slightly more chaotic and nervous reaction from Foulkes's office when TB put this story to them earlier today. (This is what happens when you employ students to run your office, as is seemingly the case with Foulkes's continued employment of Matt McPherson, his campaign manager. If that isn't the case then TB wonders what Mr McPherson is doing answering the phones in an MSPs office.) However both Gray's office and Foulke's henchmen refused go as far as to call TB's source a liar. McPherson stated "I can categorically assure you that no one from within George's Rectorial campaign team has ever issued a threat to anyone." but gave no comment on whether anyone above the level of student team, someone such as Mr Gray had been involved...

Foulkes expected to walk this election for Rector and now that things are not going his way he is calling in favours from his high powered colleagues. The quotes may be dismissed because they are anonymous but Tory Bear is protecting someone who, having been threatened before, isn't too keen on rocking the boat too much. TB is however willing to vouch for the authenticity of the source and has spent the last 24 hours checking out the story. For the leader of the Scottish Labour Party to be putting a bit of stick about, to be bullying members half his age and twice his integrity shows once again just how stale and tired and nasty the Labour Party has become.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Lunatic Left put up Galloway

Tory Bear got wind of the rumour this morning that George Galloway was planning on a bid for the Rector of Edinburgh University and now
(an Edinburgh student politics gossip blog run by a Labour PPC,) got the story first.

This could get interesting.

TB is looking forward to what will no doubt become a pitched campus battle...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Campus Tories choose to fight real election...

Edinburgh University Conservative Association
will not be fielding a candidate for this year's Rectorial Elections at Edinburgh University. Speaking to Tory Bear their Chairman Harry Cole said "EdConservatives have decided the best way they can help the students of Edinburgh University is to see a Conservative Member of Parliament elected in the Edinburgh South constituency. Our candidate Neil Hudson is a member of staff at the university and instead of wasting resources engaging in internal elections EdConservatives will focus on seeing Neil and the other local candidates returned to Westminster where they can represent our student population much more effectively than chairing the University Court"

Guess Boris won't be avenged after all! He hasn't done too badly since he lost three years ago though...

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Imitation is the highest form of flattery...

Having posted the previous story about Foulkes, TB decided to google the Rectorial candidate and found his newly

launched website
, complete with video:

Watching various students be asked questions about something they should know the answer to, such as what does their Rector do, TB was sure he had seen the excellent concept used very effectively before. He just couldn't think where... and then it came to him. In the last lot of Edinburgh University student elections a certain Tory
caused a bit of upset by suggesting no one knew what the union was, or what they did:

Once again Labour shamelessly ripping off the Tories. But the plot thickens...

The Foulkes campaign is being run by the university's Labour club and the site is
to one Matt McPherson. Lets have a look at Mr McPherson's Facebook page:

A gentle search led TB to discover that he has apparently been George Foulke's Parliamentary Assistant since February of this year, though strangely Foulkes doesn't mention this in his
declaration of interests
. Is McPherson being paid to be his researcher, or paid to run Foulkes's campaign? He is a first year student and therefore can't exactly be a full time assistant, so what exactly is McPherson doing other than securing Foulke's legacy?

Foulkes is standing down from Holyrood at the next election after a very long parliamentary career and what a greater position to retire into than the esteemed role of Rector of Edinburgh University, in the path of some of the country's best politicians and err Gordon Brown. Worth paying a young hack to make it happen?

TB wouldn't put it past him.

Bad news for Foulkes...

TB is never normally one to agree with anything that the SNP say but one of their bloggers asks an
interesting question
- what is the point of George Foulkes? Foulkes drains the taxpayer of thousands of pounds every year in rather
dubious circumstances
and in return all he seems to do is ask pretty pointless questions in Holyrood and make crap YouTube
. This doesn't bode well for his bid to take the esteemed position of Rector of Edinburgh University. TB can't remember anyone asking what the point of Churchill, Lloyd George or Gladstone was!

No other candidates are yet to declare in the race, but TB happens to know of one and will reveal their identity in the new year... Let's just say it's going to be an entertaining race.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Foulkes talks nonsense...

Edinburgh University Rector candidate Lord Foulkes put up an embarrassing performance on Radio 4
this morning.
It seems he had drawn the short straw and is the last man on earth defending his old friend the Speaker. Foulkes even dared to suggest this could have been a national security issue. David Davis destroys him with some great slap downs.

Would be very interesting if these two did end up running against each other for Rector. 

Foulkes: "We're being friendly to each other" 
DD: "Relatively so..."

Hustings would be fantastic.