Thursday, 8 April 2010

Leave it, it's not worth it

One of my earliest stories on this blog was about South Thanet Conservative candidate Laura Sandys not knowing the law. Reader Claire from Eastcliff writes with details of another incident of Laura’s arrogant approach towards life in Thanet.
Last week Claire was meeting a friend at Ramsgate station and Laura Sandys was leafleting passengers as they returned home to Ramsgate with two helpers; an older man and woman. They were approached by a man in a suit who took a leaflet. He walked a short distance away read the leaflet, and then returned to talk to Laura. He politely asked her to stop leafleting in the main hall by the entrance to the platforms.

Laura responded that she did not need permission as it was a public place. The man advised her
that it was private property. Interrupting him Laura said it was not. The man respondd that he was advising her because he was the station manager.

Laura blushed and went silent. He then advised her that he would give a minute or two for her to get her things together, but she must then leave if she wanted to continue leafleting.

Laura and her helpers then went outside the station under the canopy, continuing to hand out leaflets. The man helping her was worked up and unhappy about the situation. He started to head back into the station appearing to want to sort things out. As he walked in Laura called out no, no and ran into the station asking her helper to leave putting her hand on his shoulder and saying “leave it, it’s not worth it”.

The thing that struck Claire most was the way Laura Sandys attitude changed. When she thought the station manager was just a man in a suit, she was most insistent that she was right and the man did not know what he was talking about. When the truth dawned upon her she changed her approach.

The other thing Claire noticed throughout this time was that two young women dressed in jeans and t-shirts who were also waiting at the station for some time, were not offered leaflets and were deliberately ignored. Claire got the impression the two women did not look like the right kind of people to Laura and her helpers.


  1. Typical of the arrogance of the Tories who think they own the world. It reminds me of a story told me by someone who owned a sub-post office. Back in 1997 Jonathan Aitken went into the sub-post office and started canvassing the customers. A very mild-mannered man went up to Aitken and asked him to leave as he was harassing the customers. Aitken, typically arrogant, asked who he was to speak to him like that. 'I own this business and I'm asking you to go as this is private property.' Aitken did reluctantly go. Plus ca change...

  2. This is very similar to the previous Sandys stunt that involved illegal posters on the highways into Thanet. Anything is apparently OK if one can get away with it. She is a true Tory!

  3. Same old, same old. This is the candidate whose leaflets have gone into the wrong wards but denies it. Perhaps she can explain why some residents of Dane Valley ward think she is their candidate so unless Roger Gale gets his election communications out pronto they'll still be confused.

  4. In 1997 Aitken had a gang of Hooray Henries in blue blousons standing outside schools harassing parents for their vote. It back-fired spectacularly as many parents said that their actions had hardened the parents' resolve to vote against Aitken.

  5. mark, Laura was in the centre of Ramsgate on Tuesday, my wife, early thirties, smartly dressed, child in pram, was ignored by Laura and her cronies on the 4 times she walked passed.

    Her impression was that only smartly dressed older people were being leafletted.

    Something for your and the good Dr to know.

  6. I never get ignored, but then it may have something to do with the cucumber in my trousers.

  7. Mark,

    True story.

    Attractive, large house in good neighbourhood. Immaculately maintained. Lovely garden.

    Doorbell rings. Householder finds Tory-boy and Laura Sandys on doorstep expecting a warm welcome. Householder tells both that all the occupants vote Labour.

    'Oh, but you look like one of us', retorts Tory-boy, clearly shocked that anyone living in a good neighbourhood and in what is clearly a valuable property could be a Labour voter.

    Both Laura Sandys and Tory-boy walk away looking most confused at their reception.

    Moral of the story? Never judge anyone simply by their appearance.

  8. I was returning from work on the train last Thursday and saw Laura Sandys handing out leaflets, as I was waiting for the bus I witnessed a minor altercation between and her and an older male gentlemen after a guy had had words with her about leafleting! He saved me from being given a tory leaflet! I did see the Tory canvassers only passing leaflets to smartly dressed individuals not people like myself who had been on a building site all day!

  9. In my experience people on building sites tend to be mostly right wing! So she missed out there.

  10. Handing out leaflets like this isn't a very cost-effective way of contacting potential voters, surely.? Hand-delivering to houses is much better as at least then the leaflet targets residents and the literature gets read on the way from the front door to the recycling bin.

    Perhaps the Tories are short of manpower to deliver door-to-door or can't fund the Royal Mail delivering them.

  11. I disagree 7:43; getting leaflets direct from the candidate is far more effective than just getting something in the letter box along with pizza delivery leaflets & the Extra - especially for someone as charismatic as Laura.

  12. It isnt hard to guess who the elderly gentleman (if you can call him that?) was who was up for a fight, i know several in her campaign team with pasts that include a bad temper! Especially if they don't get what they want! It is only the beginning of the campaign and Laura is already having to reign them in! Good luck to her!

  13. Perhaps the 'charismatic Laura' can make sure her supporters get their boundaries right so that there are no more advertisements for her going up in the wrong areas. Technically, such hoardings are 'advertisements' and need planning permission.

  14. Whatever. None of them have convinced me that they're worth voting for with their childish non-stories. I'm looking forward to their "straight answers" to ECR's questions though!

  15. I wonder if the jobsworth station manager would have done the same if Smiling Steve was handing out leaflets.

    As far as targeting recipients is concerned, it's called the 80:20 rule.

  16. It's not just S. Thanet Tories who are unaware of where the respective boundaries are with at least three large hoardings placed strategically in N. Thanet but Roger Gale whose leaflets are going into Cliftonville, now S. Thanet.

    Perhaps a large map with clear boundaries drawn would help both groups?

  17. Thank you for all your comments as to the identity of the angry man Claire has had a look at the Conservative councillors photos on Thanet´s website it appears to not be one of them.

    It would be good to hear of an apology for this regrettable incident.

  18. Had a very patrician-looking Conservative pop another Sandys' promotional flyer through my door yesterday and took great delight in nipping out to return to said gentleman.

    'Thank you, but we won't be voting for your candidate'.

    To say he looked taken aback is an understatement. Not used to being rejected, I suspect. I now have Labour posters up so don't expect any more leaflets from her.

    Didn't recognise any of the four who were out delivering so can't help Claire with her identity question re. the station incident.