In 1997 the Newport West Tory candidate was Peter Clarke. I was sorry to hear today from the Times newspaper that he had died. Tomorrow they will include some of the blog below in their account of his fascinating life.
A few days after he was adopted I raised a point or Order in the Commons about an article he had written in the Scottish Edition of The Sunday Times,
“It is many years since anyone was called to the Bar of the House, but Erskine May makes clear your powers to summons here those who besmirch the good names of members. Have you read, Madam Speaker, the attack on the Secretary of State for Wales (William Hague) in which he was unfairly described as ‘deluded’ and ‘simple’ , for his fine work in bringing 6,000 Korean jobs to Wales he was accused of ‘pimping for Britain.’
Will you now call to the bar of the House and insist on an apology from the Conservative candidate for Newport West. ?”
There were better things to come from the colourful Mr Clarke. He had been a candidate before and amazed party and public.
Peterclarke Standing in East Lothian in 1987 he advocated, declaring war on South Africa, the privatisation of police and fire brigades, lowering the school leaving age to twelve, ending all dole or social security payments, the abolition of all local councils, a tax on golf, and the demolition of all un-sold council houses. He said ‘General Pinochet must be our inspiration’ and that ‘Enoch Powell is the greatest Welshman of all time’. He described Mrs Thatcher’s conduct on the Anglo Irish Agreement as ‘treacherous and foolish’ and threatened to stand as an Orangeman’s candidate in East Lothian. He also volunteered to serve in the American Cavalry but he was rejected.
There was only one public debate at St Mark’s Church in the heart of Newport in the 1997 election. Arthur Scargill was one of speakers as a candidate in Newport East. Arthur’s plan to double pensions next Thursday seemed measured and reasonable compared with Clarke novel remedy.
His answer to pensioner poverty was to ship all the pensioners to Eritrea. The audience were white faced with shock. He did not spend enough time explaining the advantages to the elderly. On a British state pension someone in Eritrea could afford the best mud hut in the village or the finest meal of locusts that money could buy.
Davies moaned that life was unbearable in the Conservative Party office surrounded by octogenarian ladies reminiscing about when they were canvassing for Stanley Baldwin.
In Wales on Sunday on the April 27th, four days before polling day, Peter Clarke complained that he had been the victim of menacing phone calls. They were the latest in a series of incidents since ‘he helped fund a manifesto produced by Scottish Conservative Students that advocated a relaxation of the incest laws.’
Wales on Sunday quoted him saying ‘Malicious and unfounded allegations that I am a paedophile have followed me around ever since. The reason I am standing in Newport is that I am barred from standing in Scotland, where I am from, because of these malicious allegations.’ On Sundays the Labour Campaign in Newport West meet to discuss the week’s strategy. After reading the Wales on Sunday on April 27th many of our team decamped to the marginal seat of Monmouth.
The Labour majority doubled in Newport West to a record 14,800. Monmouth was gained for Labour from Tory Roger Evans. Thanks, Peter.
Will ye no come back again?