Sunday, June 01, 2008

Anyone know much about Stephen Kearney?

Now I'm not looking for scurrilous gossip, or any ammunition to cause electoral harm to the chances of Mr Stephen Kearney, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the imminent by-election in Henley. I'm just interested in what he used to do here in Montgomeryshire. I remember meeting him a couple of times in the 1990s - but I can't remember what sort of consultancy he was doing at the time. I seem to remember he worked for an organisation named Regenerate - or similar. He seemed a decent enough man to me. I also remember that he lived over the border in Shropshire.

I knew his partner, Julia rather better. She was much involved in local charities, and I recall her working with the Cae Post recycling centre, and the Montgomeryshire Toy Library, whose caravan of books I sometimes used to tow around with my Landrover. It raised money for local playgroups, I think. The last by-election, in Crewe and Nantwich, was more interesting because I knew a bit about Tamsin Dunwoody, the Labour candidate. The Henley By-Election will be more interesting for us in Wales, if I can report what one of the candidates used to do here in Montgomeryshire. So let us know. I promise not to publish anything remotely salacious!

But he seems a bit of an odd choice for Henley. Portcullis has a piece on him in today's Sunday Telegraph. It seems that the Liberal Democrats have 'ousted' a local Oxfordshire Councillor, Susan Cooper, in order to parachute Stephen Kearney in from Plymouth. Portcullis reports that when he was campaigning for the Party in Devon last year, Stephen claimed "I am settled in Plymouth and I love it". So how far is it from Plymouth to Henley again - not that it matters. Its just that the Lib Dems usually make such a song and dance about being the local candidate.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Glyn, what about that Cheeky Girl having a much coveted Westminster pass? And a Fly on the Wall documentary!! LO's political suicide or what?! Comments please......

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Personally, I cannot see anything wrong with an MP arranging a pass for his fiancee, though I don't know the standing orders about this.

But I wouldn't want to have anything to do with a 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary, or some of the other things that the Montgomeryshire MP does - but that is his style of doing the job. I'm not saying that its wrong, just that I don't like it and wouldn't want to do it. The serious point is whether this 'celebrity' stuff interferes with his ability to do the job. Thats something that the Montgomeryshire voters will decide on at the next General Election.

Anonymous said...

"Montgomeryshire Toy Library, whose caravan of books I sometimes used to tow around with my Landrover. It raised money for local playgroups, "

Fair play to you glyn!
Your heart is in the right place.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - pure self interest. Our children were attending Berriew playgroup, and we had a rota of parents who towed the Toy Library around. I happened to be one who had a towbar on my vehicle. The worst aspect of this was that the caravan really was the most garish thing ever to hit the highway.

rob's uncle said...

Kearney is now CEO of Regenerate, whose HQ is in Shrewsbury.

Cooper, the PPC for the next General Election, did not make the shortlist for the by-election candidacy [parties always start afresh for by-elections, as the standard required is much higher and the field much larger] because [I think] of her age [60]. The local party picked Kearney by secret ballot after a hustings, in its usual way: only a Tory columnist finds this odd.

Kearney does indeed hale from Plymouth, where he was until recently featured on the Lib Dem website. An awkward commute to Shrewsbury, methinks. However he has now moved to Henley and has become, instantly, a 'local'.

All Kearney has to do is achieve a respectable second place, preferably with an increase on our vote share [26 % last time]; then he can bugger off back to Plymouth and never be heard of again.

Henley ' . . ranks 627th out of the 641 seats in Britain on the index of premature mortality, poverty and avoidable deaths . . ' [Robert Waller: The Almanac of British Politics] so it's not exactly promising terrain for a Lib Dem gain now that the Tories are once again the flavour of the month.

Valleys Mam said...

I know Stephen K ,I thought he was labour.He often writes in New Start magazine. http://www.regeneratetrust.com
this is the charity he runs.A consultancy service that is designed to analyse current level of community engagement and develop an action plan for building sustainable communities.
I hear he and Julia are getting wed.

Glyn Davies said...

rob's uncle - Well I find this system of dumping the local candidate odd. I hope its not the same in my party. I'd be thoroughly miffed if our MP were to stand down, and I was dumped for the by-election.

Its hard to believe that an index of premature mortality, poverty and avoidable deaths can be a mechanism for assessing the likelihood of a Lib Dem victory. Learn something every day. Beauty of blogging I suppose.

VM - As a matter of fact, I also thought Stephen was Labour, but he was always non political in his contacts with me.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Perhaps this is another example of Lib-Dem double speak: "don't do as we do, but do as we say"; re: ageism.

Todd williams said...

"I'd be thoroughly miffed if our MP were to stand down, and I was dumped for the by-election"

Electability is what it is all about, and of course policies.
I would always favour a local Tory, but the powers that be always seem to have an agenda all of their own.

Anonymous said...

OK Glyn, I take you at your word that you are "not looking for scurrilous gossip", but maybe you should read the "getting hilarious by the minute" "bust up" "going on" at Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) following a recent RCT council meeting.

Karen Roberts of the Lib-Dems has just admitted in the “he said, she said” ongoing saga that her language "was indeed less than ladylike" - apparently Karen Roberts threatened to pull a man's nuts off in less than ladylike language.

So if anyone in RCT suddenly starts humming to Aled Jones Snowman hits in perfect pitch, we might know why!

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/south-wales-echo-letters/2008/06/03/yes-tell-both-sides-of-story-91466-21014435/

Glyn Davies said...

anon - don't suppose you've got a photograph of Karen.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah baby"

http://eburnham.org.uk/photos/22.html

Karen Roberts is in the middle - there's a rumour that Kevlar(TM) fronted male underwear is in high demand in the RCT area.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - and can anyone compose a form of words that adaquately describe the process of a Lib Dem lady councillor threatening to 'pull a man's nuts off' in a ladylike way?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Arlene Moss put it like this (direct quote from the Cardiff Echo): “As for Ms Roberts’ behaviour, does she really think it appropriate to accost a councillor at the end of the AGM and threaten to “rip his f*****g nuts off”.

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/south-wales-echo-letters/2008/05/28/let-s-hear-both-sides-of-story-91466-20984717/

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I'm just so happy that I was born in Cardiff, Wales.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Just a mere coincidence I’m sure, but out of the three ladies in the photograph Ms. Karen Roberts’ hands are not to hand so to speak. Did Brains of Thunderbirds fame ever meet Ms. Karen Roberts (Lib Dem Councillor in RCT)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2aRDacKANs

http://eburnham.org.uk/photos/22.html

“You couldn’t make this stuff up.”

Glyn Davies said...

anon and Christopher - It really is a bizzare story, but I have to admit that it amused me. I will probably go to one or two meetings of Powys County Council over the next few months. I really wouldn't mind witnessing a bit of Karen-like temper. Sounds as if she cares about something - even if she has an over-colourful turn of phrase.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> Perhaps the Lib-Dems should come up with a new logo based on the theme “Goodness Gracious Karen’s Great Balls of Fire”.

Anonymous said...

Anon would like to add something but he’s a bit busy right now holding onto his nuts, but he did suggest earlier that all men who expect to attend future RCT meetings should insure their nuts, both singly and as a pair.

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - was Jerry Lee Lewis (was it him?) a Lib Dem.

Anon - Its about this time of year that I put protection over our cob nuts to prevent the grey squirrels ripping them off.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Kearney is not new to parachuting. Prior to Henley on Thames, his regenerate road show parachuted into Wigan. After mopping up hundreds of thousands of puonds in funding , he set of for Henley on Thames, with heavy bags. If research is needed, turn your google search to wigan and see what community folk here think of Mr Kearney !