On 22 Nov 2014 at 9:07pm Lewes Local wrote:
For those of you that havent seen Norman Bakers recent letter in the 21/11/2014 Sussex Express. Enjoy!
Titled - PUTTING WORDS INTO MY MOUTH
I note with interest that my political opponents, both locally and nationally, have started ascribing views and positions to me which are not mine, and then criticising me for allegedly having them!
In last week’s paper, for example, there are two letters suggesting my reason for resigning my ministerial post is related to the potential outcome of the General Election contest here next May. This is despite your paper printing a full article from me the previous week setting out my reasons which did not include this.
There is an underlying assumption in these letters that resigning my ministerial post will somehow aid my re-election. Frankly, I am not sure that this is the case. To be clear, I resigned because I thought it was the right and honourable thing to do, given the circumstances I described. It is as simple as that.
As regards this constituency, I have always treated it as a Lib Dem/Tory marginal and will continue to do so. It would be arrogant to do otherwise, particularly when Tory central office has embarked on a massive spending spree to try to buy the seat and get rid of me.
Another incorrect view ascribed to me in your letters page is that I have advocated legalising cannabis. I have not. I have advocated making it more easily available for people with medical conditions who find it helpful, and more generally moving towards a Portugese model which still classifies drugs as illegal but treats users as having a health issue to be addressed rather than as criminals to be locked up.
Then I am told I do not get ministers down to see important matters locally. Last week the Energy secretary Ed Davey visited Lewes and Newhaven and shortly before that the Health Minister Norman Lamb visited Seaford and Polegate. I have also had the Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin down to support my campaign to reopen the Lewes-Uckfield railway line, something I have been pushing for for years.
I see your correspondent Michael Richards supports this policy, which is good, but I have to tell him that this is not actually the policy of the Tory candidate as he seems to think. Rather she has backed BML2, a scheme which would go straight from Uckfield to Brighton, bypassing Lewes (we will get a spur if we are lucky) but requiring a massive tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause.
Then the Labour candidate criticises me for allegedly not supporting extra council powers to regulate buses. He perhaps does not know that when his party was in government, I tabled amendments to achieve this but they were voted down by, you guessed it, Labour. And when I became a transport minister, I successfully argued, against Tory wishes, that the powers that do exist should be left on the statute book rather than repealed as the Tories wanted.
Is it too much to ask that my opponents either present a positive case of what they want to do, or, if they want to attack me, to do so on the basis of fact rather than fiction?
On 22 Nov 2014 at 11:05pm A Serious Scientist wrote:
Norm claimed that he resigned because he was getting a bit tired and wanted to spend more time with his family
Well he can hardly claim a nasty attack of principle when he supported cutting taxes for millionaires the Spare Bedroom Tax, and tuition fees.
Tuition fees, above all, was a jaw dropping act of cynicism. Norman went into the election with a cast iron pledge that the Lib Dems would oppose them, in a constituency packed with educational employees and students. You can either admire the hutzpah or pursue the villain with pitchforks.
If by-elections’ results are any guide its pitchforks all the way down. The Lib Dems scored a fantastic 349 votes this week .The Party has now lost its deposit 8 times since the general election in an unprecedented melt down.
True Norm can slap his majority on the table with some pride but then the Conservative Party have fielded a miserably unimpressive candidate. Jason Sugarnan’s status as a London Lawyer did not concern me so much as his inability to form what we sometimes call ”thoughts”, any way that was the old days.
A credible candidate should be able to knock drug crazed fiend Baker off his hallucinogenic high but given that at the Euro elections UKIP pulverised all comers here, could there be a Purple reign? For me in this unusual constituency it all comes down to the candidate. Who are the les bleus fielding and who shall wear the purple, anyone know?
On 22 Nov 2014 at 11:28pm Lewes Local wrote:
Candidates for 2015 General Election
Check it out here »
On 23 Nov 2014 at 12:11am Belladonna wrote:
Wasn't one of Norman Bakers 'selling points' that Labour couldn't win in Lewes and only a vote for the LibDems would keep the Tories out? Oh, the irony...
Virtually everyone I know in Lewes voted for him on that basis. Well, not now. Chutzpah inded.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 12:13am Belladonna wrote:
Oh - and a message to Norman - yes it is 'too much to ask' when you have played the political game, lied, cheated and betrayed the people who voted for you
On 23 Nov 2014 at 12:51am Pixie wrote:
If he had advocated legalising cannabis he'd have my vote which is probably pretty shallow after the whole Lib Dem failure to keep their promise on tuition fees that is likely to cost me over £50k.
But after shelling out that much I desperately need a spliff
On 23 Nov 2014 at 1:02am Pixie wrote:
In fairness, locally I'd rather have Norm than a Tory/Ukipper any day if he can sort out the local issues like parking and Alex Salmond
On 23 Nov 2014 at 1:11am Normans Wisdon wrote:
Shame on you ,you ungrateful morons.You are not worthy to pick the snot from Norman`s enormous honk.You are beneath contempt you sub species ,you cretins you molluscs,you bacteria,you voters of this dump of a town.If you don`t vote for Norman the devil will eat you children you pustules.The tTories will make porridge out of your eyeballs ,you ungratefull toads.Yo don't deserve him.You tossers!The Greens wll sell your grannies into slavery.Labour will boil your cats.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 3:10am Local Bod wrote:
The man is a deluded idiot, who used to refuse to help constituents having a problem with his fellow Lib Dems on the Council in a cosy deal with Anne De Vecchi. Which is why we got that lacklustre bunch. He has convinced himself that colluding with Tories is the same as keeping them out (he should have tackled that one by going independent or keeping well away) and then insulted us all by promoting a crappy ego driven Kinks rip off, instead of tackling a local issue or two. He has no clue about the parking scheme, because he has left residents to it. Why the home office is any worse this month than last is a complete mystery with only a few months to go , before an election...oh...hang on a sec...I think that may have something to do with it. Does he really think the Lewes electorate are that stupid. It is bad enough to be insulted once, there was no need to rub our noses in it. I understand he is currently schmoozing rich Lewesians in an attempt to pay for a hard election campaign to rescue his job. Obviously pleb money is not good enough for him. I am prepared to take the risk and have anyone else just to clear the way for a decent Lib Dem candidate, or emerging alternative in the election after this. He is as embarrassing as his silly conspiracy book, alleged belief in UFO's and his embarrassing cliché ridden song. Art does mirror life.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 8:00am unreality wrote:
Is it realisitic to expect any party to abide by their election promises if they end up in a coalition which by definition will involve trading one policy for another in order to work together. It would be more sensible to ask the electorate whether they are willing to accept a coalition or if not rerun an election.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 8:52am normans wisdom wrote:
Fantastic letter from Norman. Absolutely spot on and totally truthful. And you utter fools on here criticise the bloke. Priceless.
Just wait until you get a Tory mp next year. Then you will see some lies. But you won't see your mp. He will become invisible.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 9:05am Lewes Local wrote:
Whatever people think of Norman Baker, the people of Lewes deserve far better. Preferably someone younger with a better understanding of the local issues that challenge the youngsters of our town and their future.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 9:15am normans wisdom wrote:
Local bod; you talk of deluded. Well having read your post I advise you have a look in the mirror to see someone in that state.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 9:18am normans wisdom wrote:
And belladonna. What are you on?
On 23 Nov 2014 at 12:44pm Master Baker wrote:
is what we need not an old fart baker. How can ANY MP be local - you`ll have to settle for a DFL
On 23 Nov 2014 at 12:45pm Another Local Bod wrote:
fascinating to see the Lib Dems are so flustered by Local Bod's revealing that they are fundraising with posh people. If they had spent time over the past 4 years actually taking proper notice of us plebs, we might be interested now, and even spare a few bob. But we are not, and you can't blame us. This constituency is unusual in that many of us are not Lib Dem supporters, but were voting for Norman because he made an unusual election promise that by tactically voting for him, we would not get a Tory. We realise that he was not responsible for coalition, but the way he has handled himself since has been shocking and appalling. Lewes is supposed to be the home of dissentors and Non-conformists, not weak self-interested apologists. He has not acted as a Lib Dem who respects that he is only in power because non Lib Dem voters have supported him. Instead he has supported a range of appalling policies that many of us presumed he would not , based on his personal claims, not just manifesto pledges, and 6 months before an election he is simply thinking about himself and what he could do to keep his job. We know this is the case, because it is not a very well kept local secret that he is trying to raise a lot of money, because he knows that this time he has a fight on his hands. Well, whose fault is that? Just because Mr Baker thinks it is OK to chuck his integrity out the window, does not mean voters think the same.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 12:54pm Serious Scientist wrote:
Its interesting that so many of the Liberal voters who, for years told us that negotiated compromise such as PR might deliver ( in their dreams ) turns out to be something they hate in practice.
One might almost think that PR was only ever a Lib Dem thing because it would benefit them. Now they are relying on FPTP to keep any sort of profile and UKIP need PR.
Coincidentally it is ages since Polly Toynbee wrote us one of her lovely pieces about the justice of PR. Shame I do so love to hear from Tuscany.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 1:52pm Floating voter wrote:
The only convincing person I can find to vote for is Alfie Sterling. He's young, dynamic and exceedingly bright but I'm not a natural Green (have voted for both Labour and the Conservatives, but only for Norman since I've lived here) but their national policies seem sound and Caroline Lucas is intelligent, principled and trustworthy. My only concern is for the local Lewes Green Party... but I guess I'm not voting for them.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 2:15pm Southover Queen wrote:
I tend to agree, FV. The operative word is "principle", and I see precious little in the way of principles underlying anything the three "old" parties are saying. The tail (in the shape of the media) is definitely wagging the dog at the moment.
I might very well do the same.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 5:31pm Belladonna wrote:
The local UKIP candidate is a good friend of Norman Baker...
I will vote Green to keep the Coalition out.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 6:36pm Clifford wrote:
So Baker resigned on a matter of principle but was quite content to be a member of a government that took even bigger steps towards NHS privatisation? But that was quite some time before the general election. Things look different the closer it gets.
'Voted very strongly for reforming the NHS'
'Voted very strongly for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year'
'Voted strongly against slowing the rise in rail fares'
'Voted very strongly for selling England’s state owned forests'
... and so on and so on.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 6:57pm Whatsit all about wrote:
Alfie - will he do a sterling job
On 23 Nov 2014 at 7:37pm feline wrote:
Who is this Michael Richard's?
On 23 Nov 2014 at 9:08pm Southover Queen wrote:
Have UKIP selected a candidate then, Belladonna? I had a nose around on Google and couldn't see anything.
On 23 Nov 2014 at 11:25pm Border Control wrote:
Lewes Local showed a link saying Nigel Jones was Ukip Lewes candidate. Seems sensible enough for me ! See video......
Watch the video »
On 23 Nov 2014 at 11:35pm Border Control wrote:
Try again !! Nigel Jones UkIp Candidate Lewes
Watch the video »
On 23 Nov 2014 at 11:38pm Mrs BC ! wrote:
let me try ! Or look on You Tube yourself otherwise !
Watch the video »
On 24 Nov 2014 at 6:14am normans wisdom wrote:
Stick with Norman. You all know it makes sense.
On 24 Nov 2014 at 9:05am Voter wrote:
Sick with Norman does make sense.
On 24 Nov 2014 at 12:16pm sensible voter wrote:
I will stick with Norman. Much preferable to the potential replacements. I won't be led on an anti baker crusade like the rest of the sheep around here.
On 24 Nov 2014 at 5:04pm Voter wrote:
Um, I hope you are not suggesting I am not sensible. Crusade? I just looked at my MP's voting record rather than the PR, and what he claimed he would do, and what he has actually done. This sheep is led by fact not fantasy. Who I vote for instead, Lord help me.
On 25 Nov 2014 at 11:25am belladonna wrote:
Norman is on Question Time this Thursday.
On 30 Nov 2014 at 9:24pm Local wrote:
After Normans performance on QT, the anti-Baker brigade rests it's case.