Friday, 10 September 2010

Kelvin Mackenzie on Laura Sandys

My felllow Labour Thanet District Councillor Peter Campbell has kindly sent me this from Thursday's Sun (which he had sent to him by a friend).

It is the column from the former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie regarding a meeting between him and South Thanet's new MP Laura Sandys.

“I recently sat on a television panel with Laura Sandys, the new Tory MP for South Thanet and daughter of the old Conservative Defence Minister Duncan Sandys. What a complete waste of space she is. One more brain cell and she would be a keep left sign. If she is the quality of the 2010 Tory intake, God help Cameron and God help Democracy.”

I can't find the original article on the Sun's website to link to it.


  1. What a decidely ungentlemanly comment by Kelvin MacKenzie. If that is the level of his chivalry one can perhaps understand why he is an ex-editor.

    Laura Sandys has been the South Thanet MP for just four months so judgement of her performance is perhaps premature. Certainly she appears to be campaigning for things that matter to the isle and a couple of people I know, who have had cause to approach her over problems, have been happy with her prompt help.

    Real test is how she serves as a constituency MP to the people of South Thanet and it is far too early to judge her on that score. Simply repeating a rather, off the cuff, snide remark from an overly clever journalistic type proves nothing except, perhaps, a clutching at straws.
    It is a bit like quoting the views of Piers Morgan as evidence of anything.

  2. I cannot believe it was a friend that sent the 'Sun' to Peter, it must have been an enemy!

  3. Bluenote, your acquaintances are luckier than some as they were actually able to get hold of Laura Sandys. I've heard of people who've written or emailed on really important issues that affect them personally and they've heard absolutely nothing.

    Others have asked me how to get hold of her as, without internet access, it's impossible to find her contact details. Where's her consituency office? Anyone know? Her phone number or email details are on her website but no local address for anyone to call in to see her or her staff.

    Steve Ladyman's office location was well-known and publicised, fuuly-staffed Monday to Friday all day.

    Ms. Sandys' office? Westminster, only, perhaps?

    Oh, and by the way, her official Westminster page has the old Conservative Association office address, long abandoned.

  4. Digressing totally off subject for a moment, I opened up on line, clicked on 'One End of Kent' and found an article on Martin Wise. Promptly adding to the comments, I carried on browsing around then later tried to find my way back. Re-opening on the 'One End of Kent' blog there was no trace of the article and a blog search revealed it was from July 2009 yet I had commented just this morning. Just how did I open directly onto it earlier?

    The mysteries of ICT and all that but, the point I made therein is still valid now, why do our councillors of all hues spend so much time on political point scoring and picking trivial flaws in each other, like how many brains cells an MP has, rather than debating the real issues that effect us general public.

    Talking of brain cells, one would have to ask how many of the present honourable members, all parties, would qualify for membership of MENSA. Frankly, I really do not think it matters as long as they serve their constituents well and campaign for what is right for them and the country as a whole, rather than just promoting their respective parties.

  5. It's amazing what prompts turncoat gregory to come out of the woodwork and comment every so often. Sadly he doesn't have the wit to say anything worthwhile or amusing.

  6. I am not a fan of Kelvin mackenzie, his record on Hillsborough was disgraceful. More context would be welcome, but as Tory supporter his view is worth noting.
    Nobody every suggested that Stephen Ladyman as the previous MP was anything less than highly intelligent.
    Laura Sandys intelligence/judgment is suspect. In her election campaign she worked with people renowned for their dirty tricks. Not clever, not principled.

  7. Mark, still feel it is a bit non-PC to attack anybody on the basis of their mental ability. One would not do it on physical limitations and, as stated, the real test is in the service they provide. Furthermore, just who are these people renowned for dirty tricks she worked with in the election campaign. If you must smear how about some substance to back the allegation.

    As to Laura Sandys availability, it is my understanding that it takes a while after first being elected as an MP to put together, in some cases be allocated, the full resources of staff and office facility. Steve Ladyman employed his wife to run his constituency office, which was fine at the time, but I don't think you will see Laura Sandys going down that road after the expenses scandal.

    As to the King Street address in the older campaign literature, well that was the local Conservative Association office but it is not the constituency office of the sitting MP. I am sure that, in addition to the usual contact through the House Of Commons a constituency office and staff will be up and running shortly.

    Finally, it is worth remembering that M/s Sandys won in South Thanet by over 7,000 votes so she must have done something right in her campaign. Dr. Ladyman was, after all, a three term local MP who had done a decent job for his constituents. No push over and the local social grouping could not have changed that much since 2005.

    To be fair all round, we all live in the same place, all want decent service from our MP so let's give the current one a chance to get up and running and then judged her on her performance. Not on unfounded allegations about her intellect or principles.

  8. Bluenote

    The ex coalminer and myself who approached Kent Police with breached security warnings ahead of the 1989 bombing of Deal Royal Marines Barracks. Modesty would usually preclude this announcement but both of us have MENSA level (and tested) IQs. Unlike the Detective Inspector case officer who "Failed all his hexams at skule so had to becum a police cadet"

    The ex coalminer gave a statement detailing, amongst other matters, approaches trying to obtain Betteshanger Colliery explosives by an adult leader of Kent Adventure Training Corps who was also a Thanet tory cllr.

    One of the subjects Laura is remiss in acknowledging correspondence about. Could she not simply ask tory Cllr Hayton what he said on oath as High Court evidence for Cllr Maison (an adult leader of Kent Adventure Training Corps) in 1998 ?

  9. Bluenote,

    Four months is surely long enough to set up an office, after all, she was advertising some time ago for an intern to work for no pay dealing with constituents' problems?

    I understand the reason her office is kept a deadly secret(assuming she has one in Thanet) is concern over security but when she does home visits, as I'm told she does,surely that is as insecure as it gets?

    Your average constituent without internet access has no way of finding out how to contact their M.P.and, as a result, more work is coming the way of local councillors and the voluntary sector.

    The King Street address was on her election material even although by that time the office had relocated to Grange Road so why does the official Westminster website list her contact details as c/o 7-9 Kings Street (note the incorrect spelling).

    Perhaps instead of constantly getting involved with this initiative and that one, she could get down to the business of dealing with her electorate's problems as she seems very tardy at replying to correspondence and emails.

  10. Retired

    As I have suggested to you before, if you really have evidence relating to the Deal bombing I am sure there would be authorities you could go to. After all, a cover up and for what purpose I cannot think, would involve far too many people for it to remain a secret. Furthermore, you cannot simply go around accusing people by name.

    If you think everyone from the Chief Constable downwards is involved, why not go to one of the national papers. They love a story and will print most things or do you simply prefer making you accusations around the blog sites.

    Frankly I am surprised any reputable blogger publishes such rubbish.

  11. Does anyone know what's happened to all those initiatives Laura Sandys set up prior to the election? They all seem to have disappeared without a trace. When I wrote to ask about them I got told 'I'm working hard behind the scenes' but since then, nothing in the press about any of them.I've read about her nominating a restaurant for an award but nothing about the Historical Heritage scheme, for example.

  12. Anon 20:11

    I would agree with you that constituents do need to be able to access their MP though, as I am sure you will agree, no more than their GP does, a 24/7 service is impossible.

    I do understand that both a landline telephone number and mobile are now published and, if those are not available, I am sure a message could be relayed through the office you mention in Grange Road.

    I am afraid I am not privvy to her plans for a local constituency office but will punt around and see if I can find out. For a situation I had myself, I wrote to the House of Commons address and received a reply within the week. Hence, I can only speak as I find.

  13. A reply within a week? Wow, lucky old you. I've heard of people still waiting for any kind of acknowledgement six or more weeks after making contact. If you email, being a speedy way of communicating, you get a reply asking for your full name, address, phone number etc. then, nothing.

    Bluenote surely knows one reason why the Tory majority was 7000 was the boundary changes bringing in Cliftonville to the constituency.

    Perhaps Bluenote's name is better known to the MP than that of the most needy seeking help.

    No one expects a 24/7 service but contact details more readily available than via the internet is surely possible. Why not something in the local press on a weekly basis as a start?

  14. Anon 08:41

    Whilst agreeing that boundary changes played a part in the election result, I think the size of the Conservative majority was a surpise even to them. Even if the whole of Cliftonville East had voted Tory, which is most unlikely, it would not explain that. Be that as it may, though, whoever is our MP should be contactable but, as I said before, I can only judge from my own experience.

    As to your comment about me being better known such is not the case but, possibly, I was one of the first and beat the subsequent rush.

    Mind you, no one is perfect, and a couple of years back I wrote to Stephen Ladyman over an issue of my daughter being denied treatment under the NHS. He responded explaining how much better the NHS was than previously under the Tories and regretted if my experience did not match that reality. He enclosed a booklet outlining three hundred things Labour had done since coming to office.

    What he neglected to do was advise me of my right of appeal and, when I found out subsequently from a relative in Oxford who had a similar experience, my appeal was negated because private treatment had already ready started by then. Not much to thank Dr. Ladyman for in my case. I got a reply but it missed the most important piece of information because it was too slanted to defending Labour's record.

    That I think sums up why folk get fed up with politicians. They play politics and forget to be people.