Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lembit - take it on the chin like a man.

In the General Election of May 2010 in Montgomeryshire, I managed to inflict defeat upon the wannabe Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London - Mr Lembit Opik. Seems that Lembit does not think that I actually had anything whatsoever to do with it. And neither does Peter Black AM who thinks defeat was due to his self-obsessive and flamboyant behaviour, loss of perspective, free cruises, and his daft response to the expenses scandal - and a whole lot of others I talk to at Westminster take the same sort of line. Personally, I did not see much difference in Lembit's behaviour to that before previous elections. Whatever it seems that I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and be the fortunate beneficiary.

Lembit, in his personal manifesto, seeking nomination as candidate is putting the blame for his defeat on Mick Bates, who served as AM for Montgomeryshire, alongside Lembit for 11 years. I really do find this to be utterly nauseating. OK, so Mick's assault on a paramedic after a night on the booze might have had a marginal impact, but I worked with Mick for many years and he was a hard working AM, who I never heard make a negative comment about Lembit.

One of the things I like least about politics is the failure to take responsibility for what they say and do. The truth is that Lembit Opik went into the 2010 General Election with a lead over the Conservatives of 7000 votes (16,000 against 9,000). He came out of it with defeat by 1,200 votes - the biggest swing from Lib Dem to Conservative in the UK - and at a time when the Lib Dems were going into the Election on a roll. At Westminster it's seen as the biggest shock since Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston. My advice to Lembit is to act like a man, take it on the chin, and accept responsibility - and send a written apology to Mick Bates. And as for me, I just say "Look at the scores on the doors" and remember Gary Player who said "the harder you try the luckier you get". Think it was Samuel Goldwyn who originally coined the phrase though.


Jon Bamborough said...

I think you'll find that Lembit didn't actually say this and has totally disassociated himself from this paragraph, retracted it and apologised wholeheartedly!

sheeptrousers said...

Loving "take it on the chin."

I am a Labour man through and through, but was pleased to see you beat lembit.

Looking at the disgraceful way he is treating someone who stood by him in Montgomeryshire, I stand by the pint I raised to you last year.

Anonymous said...

well said Glyn the mans an idiot , a womaniser and a wannabe. He gives politicans a bad name. He is best out of it.
Mick Bates a really nice man who made a mistake while drunk. Good constituency guy and hard working , not a publicity seeker like LO
Peter Black - who is he to judge.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

I'll merely repeat the comments I made on this subject on a thread on the Guardian website:

"Opik's loss in the general election had been predicted for a few years and well before Mick Bates assaulted the paramedic. The common view amongst many both in Montgomeryshire itself and predicting was that Opik's personal life, especially the treatment of his fiancée, and clowning about had caused a massive backlash in the constituency. It was also notable that many Lib Dems were increasingly sick of Opik and gave the impression that if he were drowning they would throw him an anchor.

The Lib Dems were down badly across Wales in the Assembly election but in Montgomeryshire they held up better than in next door Brecon & Radnorshire, the party leader's own seat. And if the Lib Dems in Montgomeryshire were only losing a net 500 votes because of the coalition then Opik's personal negative vote is quite sizeable.

I am only aware of two people in the media who attribute the Lib Dem loss in Montgomeryshire solely to Bates's actions - one is Opik himself and the other is the promoter of Lembit4London, Ed Joyce."


"It is highly selective to compare Westminster and Assembly results directly when there are growing signs that voters are used to the idea of splitting the ticket, resulting in different landscapes at different levels. If we compare like with like - i.e. the most recent election with its predecessor - we get the following swings in the three seats in the region that were Lib Dem held:

Brecon & Radnorshire +10.6%
Ceredigion -0.3%
Montgomeryshire -13.2%

Brecon & Radnorshire -4.5%
Ceredigion +3.5%
Montgomeryshire -9.5%

Or if we just focus on the % change for the Lib Dems

Brecon & Radnorshire +1.3%
Ceredigion +13.5%
Montgomeryshire -12.5%

Brecon & Radnorshire -9.2%
Ceredigion -0.9%
Montgomeryshire -5.4%

The biggest single drop in the Lib Dem share and biggest swing against the party was with Opik as the candidate."

Anonymous said...

As i said on my blog, it was his celebrity status seeking antics that lost him his seat, that and a popular opponent!

Anonymous said...

Lembit Opik is known as Grope-It Opik locally. Now what does that tell you? He is a deluded saddo with no moral code whatsoever. You are the opposite. To this day he does not get it. His shenanigans and lifestyle problems and the fact YOU were the opposition cost him what should be one of the safest Lib seats in the land