The Bickerstaffe Record

The world beyond West Lancashire

Car crash radio at its finest

06.23.09 | 2 Comments

Last night (Monday) I flicked on the radio about 10.45pm to find it was on Radio 5, with a talkshow hosted by Richard Bacon (listen from about 28 mins in). (Timing updated: thanks to Mike in comments below.)

On it were a Labour PPC, Alex Hilton, who sounded at least vaguely sane, a Libdem of that indeterminate variety you often get on radio talkshows, and a Conservative, Louise Bagshaw, whom I’ve now googled and discovered to be the Tory PPC for Corby and East Northants.

I listened idly as they talked about the new speaker, a matter which interests me less than very uninteresting things, until the point at which a Conservative supporter phoned in and had the temerity to say something along the lines that he didn’t agree with Ms Bagshawe about the election of a Mr Bercow being a very bad thing, that it was a democratic decision, and that she should get off his back.

At which point, the said Bagshawe crashed her car straight smack bang into the front door of Radioland buildings.

In an extrardinary outburst Ms Bagshawe proceeded to suggest that the caller, judging by his remarks, couldn’t possibly be a genuine Conservative supporter, and that he was in fact a set up from Labour HQ  ‘from the Derek Draper school’ sent on air to promote Bercow in some devilish plot to undermine the Conservatives’ quite legitimate desire to get rid of one of their own MPs that they don’t like very much (for reasons I can’t be bothered to find out about).

The caller was understandably utterly aghast at the accusation, but went on to make his point, after which Ms Bagshawe condescended, under quite a lot of pressure from the talkshow host, to agree that he might actually be genuine, having ‘convinced’ her towards the end.

Blimey! If she treats her party’s supporters like that, I fear for the people of Corby and East Northants in the run-up to the election.

This was extraordinary stuff, and I could hear the odd gasp of astonishment from both Alex Hilton and the host as she proceeded to dig her own massive hole with her own massive shovel,

But even better was to come.

The host asked her if she might bow like to apologise to the caller from Manchester for insulting him, and I swear, I swear, that I could actually hear the cogs whirring as she tried desperately to remember what the Tory PPC manual said you should do in these circumstances.

Apparently the manual says something like:

‘Never ever, under any circumstances, and however much of a prat you’ve made of yourself, apologise for anything’.

I almost admired her fortitude as she stuck to the party line to the bitter end, cogs whirring crazily in the manner of Wallace and Grommit invention, as she tried desperately to work out a form of words whereby she could accept that her alternative universe view of recent events might not be entirely shared by the millions of listeners, while not having to use the fateful words ‘I just messed up my career big time and I want the ground to swallow me whole’.

Intrigued, I proceeded to Ms Bagshawe’s website, which turns out to be a superb example of the work of an identikit Conservative candidate – lots of ‘look at me, I’m important now’ photos of her speaking importantly into an important looking microphone, gladhanding unsuspecting residents, and greeting other Tory apparatchniks in an important way. 

But my favourite bit is the ‘about Louise’ section, where she tells us proudly that her children go to local schools and nurseries.  Where were we supposed to think they go?  Kuala Lumpur? 

Then there’s  the fact that her youngest child is one gets a big exclamation mark, as this is in some way an unusual thing for a child to be at some point in their life.

All very entertaining, in a macabre ‘Gawd help us if this is the ‘new politics’ kind of way.

People of Corby and East Northants, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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