Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Walter Mitty Society

There was a time when I enjoyed browsing the UK Polling Report website, particularly the constituency commentary section. I would often wonder how the contributors had such detailed inside information. Then one day I saw a local lapsed member, whose knowledge of campaigning could be written on the head of a match, and who was so useless that we wouldn't have trusted him to pin on his own rosette, commenting in great detail about our 2010 GE strategy. Needless to say, his post was a work of fiction. I then realised that probably most of the people who post were just like him; Armchair Generals who believe elections are won from a laptop.

I revisited UK Polling Report tonight to see if it had changed, only to find the following gem posted on the Tonbridge & Malling page:

This is living proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!  As far as I know, two of those listed are no longer on the Candidates' List, the third has defected to UKIP (sadly missed by all who never worked with her) and the fourth, if she is interested, is not known to me or (as yet) shown any interest.

I wonder why anyone would post complete poppycock on a political forum without at least trying to establish to accuracy of what is being posted?  If it is done to make themselves look more knowledgeable than they are, then I am afraid it fails.   "Obviously CCHQ are delaying the process to parachute in their favourites" he adds. Really?  Where did that gem come from? The timetable for the selection was put forward by the local Association, agreed by CCHQ and has never changed.  And what about the "parachuting in".  More nonsense. The Association Officers indicated that they wanted to see the CVs of every applicant, and this was agreed without hesitation.

Moral of story - take every comment you read on UK Polling Report with a pinch of salt!

NB: I am grateful to Cllr Neil Baker for pointing out that in my original post I had referred to the website Political Betting when I should have referenced UK Polling Report. I have corrected the error in the above text, but wish to acknowledge the mistake and thank Neil for the correction.


  1. Your perfectly moderate and accurate post appears to have upset the commentariat over on PB, Andrew. They are outraged that you should have attacked one of them. It is very amusing. Someone has suggested that you should have posted what you know on PB rather than being critical on your blog. Worth taking a look, for a laugh if nothing else.

  2. Thank you Anon. Yes, v amusing, though I perhaps should be grateful as the more they talk about it, the more traffic they drive to my blog! I was amused by Matt posting "if Andrew Kennedy has information he could have shared it on here." Excuse me? What arrogance (or ignorance) makes someone think that I would even consider posting private and confidential work related information on a public discussion site? I suppose I could equally argue that, "If Matt wanted to know if his comments were accurate, he could have emailed me to ask before posting them in public." I find them all quite tedious.

  3. PS - it appears that a few of them are upset at my post! If any of them would like to email and highlight what I posted was technically inaccurate or wrong, I would be happy to correct it.