ToryBoy The Movie is the account of filmmaker John Walsh’s disillusionment with what he saw as the corruption, lies, hypocrisy and general incompetence of Blair’s Labour government, and his conversion to the Conservative (Tory) Party general election candidate for Middlesbrough in 2010.
Under his own steam and £15,000 of his own money, John found his opponent, Sir Stuart Bell, the serial incumbent Labour MP, invisible and unknown to his local constituents who nevertheless voted him back in every four or five years (albeit with an ever diminishing majority). Bell was too busy, it seemed, living in Paris, and employing his family not to answer phone calls at his parliamentary office. Worse, his son stole £8,000 worth of stuff from Bell’s parliamentary colleagues, eventually serving sixty days in prison for the privilege.
Despite this record of failure, Bell was duly elected again, with Walsh coming in third behind the newly Nick Clegg-revitalised Lib Dems.
Last year, I had my own attempt to counter what I (and many others) saw as corruption, lies, hypocrisy and general incompetence of our local elected councillors. Standing as independent candidates, me and my two friends came fourth in the safest Labour ward in Ealing. It was good fun campaigning, and I enjoyed the physical activity of walking almost every street in my ward dropping leaflets, and the social activity of actually talking to people in person. And we helped to reduce Labours vote share and majority (not that it makes any difference to the result).
Still, people voted in their thousands for two councillors who have been in post for twenty four years each, while the problems everyone complains about are the same but worse.
Ultimately, it was another failure to add to my CV.