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Saturday 2 May 2015

Catherine Shuttleworth - Reality

The Mail was in seventh heaven yesterday: “The woman who shredded Red Ed: How marketing company boss used laser-like precision to lead audience attack on Labour leader”. The story of how Catherine Shuttleworth had aggressively questioned Mil The Younger during Thursday’s Question Time special was manna from heaven for the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his retinue of grovelling hacks.
Look cheps, an undecided voter over thyah! Jolly good sheow!

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, all was not as it seemed, and Ms Shuttleworth later had to protestI'm not a Tory at all, it's absolute nonsense”. Well, her actions suggest otherwise - and the accuracy of some of her assertions is at best highly questionable. She had got into the audience as an “undecided” voter. She then, by mere coincidence, you understand, declared her support for the Tories.
Ms Shuttleworth may not be a party member, but she has indicated a preference for the Tories: two recent Retweets from her feed have been to tell the world that Harrogate’s Tory candidate is “coming across well” at his local hustings, and Karren Brady’s begging letter for small business signatories to the letter that appeared last week in the Telegraph. And, when it came to Question Time, there was more.
As the Tel’s Christopher Hope told, shegave a thumbs-up to George Osborne in the spin room”. Then there were the comments made during the programme. “What worries me is you are about to put Ed Balls back in as Chancellor and he called that letter a joke” she told Miliband. “Auguste” Balls has never been Chancellor of the Exchequer. And Liam Byrne’s “there is no money” letter was not meant to be taken seriously.
Ms Shuttleworth claimed “If he [Balls] worked in the corporate world he would have been fired and he wouldn't have been allowed back to that job”. Let’s look at a well-known precedent. In 1964, the Tories were defeated by Labour: outgoing Chancellor Reggie Maudling left his successor Jim Callaghan a note saying “Good luck, old cock.... Sorry to leave it in such a mess”. So did the corporate world shun him?

Far from it: the month after the Tories’ defeat, Maudling was offered, and accepted, a seat on the board of Kleinwort Benson. It gets worse: Ms Shuttleworth defends her business relationship with that Harrogate Tory candidate, Andrew Jones, by saying “When I set my business up nine years ago a number people helped me do different things and Andrew helped me do some of that. That was long before his political career started”.

And to that I call bullshit: Jones was, nine years ago, already a councillor in Harrogate - representing the Tories. Ms Shuttleworth asserted “If you come to Yorkshire … people will ask you questions, they will be fairly direct”. ‘Appen so, and as someone who hails from God’s Own County, I have to ask her how it feels to be rumbled - because she has been. Here we have someone who, to use the Yorkshire vernacular, is all wind and piss.

Ms Shuttleworth is voting Tory - because she is, and was, a Tory supporter. End of story.


Stephen said...

I didn't see the programme, but I'm from Leeds and I've always hated the way some people excuse rude and boorish behaviour on the basis of being from Yorkshire. It used to be that when people were asked to think of a Yorkshireman it would be someone like Jake Thackray they'd come up with; now it's Eric Pickles.

Shawlrat said...

Add to this that she's been interviewed several times on various BBC news programmes in her business capacity.

Something fishy going on.

Sean Blake said...

I did see the programme and I know Catherine Shuttleworth's remarks are still being quoted on-air and in the Tory press two days later. The perception that this was a political ingenue, a gutsy small business owner fighting against state profligacy has just been promoted on Radio 4's Today programme by Michael Heseltine who had obviously harmonised his line with CCHQ. (This line has been in evidence on sky news feeds to local & independent national radio stations up and down the country.)
Shirley Williams, who was in debate with him, obviously had no idea what had been going on - a reflection I fear of the overwhelming majority of the 5 million viewers who saw the programme.
Labour have been inexcusably slow to point out that there seem to have been at least two Conservative supporters declaring themselves as undecided or disinterested when they were anything but.