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This young turk of the new Tories has something in common with this blogger:  We are both published writers.  While Louise Bagshawe is published (a number of novels!) and my novel is yet unpublished, I do have several scholarly and legal practice related articles.  When it comes to royalties, there’s no comparison!  This is her literary web site:

Louise Bagshawe is a writer of so-called “chick-lit” (their term not mine) novels.  She has been compared to Jackie Collins in style.  She joined the Conservative Youth at 14 but admitted to a flirtation with Tony Blair for a short time.  She explained her apostasy here:

I got suckered by Tony Blair – he talked about low taxes, Tory spending levels, and he paid tribute to Thatcher, while our party was dissolving in in-fighting and flirting with the Euro via the ERM. But millions of Tory voters were similarly deceived – and we can’t demonise the mistake of the very people we want to win back.

I guess it worked:  She was appointed to run for Parliament as a Tory.  She went to Oxford (Here’s a hint:  If you want to be an MP, it helps to go to Oxford or Cambridge) and studied Early English (think Beowulf) and at the age of 22 was a published novelist (I think I feel a midlife crisis coming on!) as Bagshawe explains in the Times:

I sent my sample chapter to 13 agents, signed with the best one, and on my 22nd birthday I got a book deal with Orion. There was no way you could write novels and take two flights a day, so I quit Sony. For a 22-year-old girl, sharing a dingy flat in Swiss Cottage with holes in the plaster, my new contract seemed like a hell of a lot of money. My first book, Career Girls, was a bestseller, as were the following seven, including the latest, Sparkles. I have now sold more than 2m books. All of them feature strong women.

She was angry with the Conservative Party for a reason I agree with:  They sacked her heroine Margaret Thatcher.  Even during her dalliance with Tony Blair, she kept a postcard of her beau ideal pinned to the side of her monitor with Blu-Tac.  “I never stopped being a conservative; but I thought Blair was one too.” 

But Tony Blair let Louise down.  History may report this as one of his greatest blunders!  She explains:

Blair was a Eurofanatic. He soon exhibited the anti-civil liberties streak that is now out of control. He let Gordon Brown raid the country’s pensions so that now we’ll all have to work longer; he instituted chaos instead of a fair immigration system.

I couldn’t have said it better myself; that is probably why Bagshawe is published and I am not!  But gradually Bagshawe became a practicing Catholic (she calls herself a Christian as well) and decided she could not do racy scenes anymore.  (Hurrah!) 

Eventually, I realised that my personal moral code meant that I could not write any more passionate scenes. But conventional wisdom says they sell novels. I didn’t know how my publishers would take it; I remember having a stiff drink and then ringing them up. But they were very supportive, and my sales actually jumped.

Praise God!  Taking a stand for principle!  (What’s she doing in politics?)  Bagshawe is now a writer and regular colummist (The Tories are clever to play to the strengths of their supporters!) for a website:  ConservativeHome (

Bagshawe is pro-life (a position much more courageous in the UK than in the US) and takes an interesting position on civil unions:

 I support civil unions as conferring valuable civil rights, but I would advocate extending civil unions to those not in a romantic relationship, such as, for example, elderly relatives living together who wanted to buy a house. I believe marriage should have a specific and uniquely privileged place in British society.

Perhaps a review of why older persons will not marry (it’s taxation and pensions) might be an issue for the new MP.  But it is vaguely libertarian and clever.  She also supports foxhunting, is against the death penalty but believes that a life term should mean life not “five years” as she put it (Thanks to former governor George Allen for abolishing parole in that former UK colony Virginia!) and if it takes more prisons, so be it!

On education Bagshawe is mildly innovative and well-meaning:

 It would be my job as an MP to help fix the mess Labour has made of our schools so that other parents do not face such a choice. I am a school governor, and the daughter of a grammar school girl from the East End who went to Oxford and wound up Chairman of her County Council (as well as bringing in the lowest council tax in the country, well done Mum!). The dumbing-down of Britain and the loss of discipline in our schools is endemic. Urgent reform of the syllabus, teaching, and expulsion powers is called for. The recent education reform bill is a (very) small step in the right direction, but we need to go much further.

I’d say, fix the Labour mess with vouchers!  But her position as she puts it is a “(very) small step in the right direction” but the Tories need to go much further!

Bagshawe is a Euroskeptic:

I support an EU that is a free trade area, not a slow shift towards a U.S.E. I would certainly favour repatriating some powers, including judicial and fishing/agricultural, but I think you must negotiate in good faith. Threats at the outset is not the way to go. David Cameron is, I believe, pragmatic as well as a true Conservative, and the public responds to that. The contrast to Tony Blair is stark – the man never met a Euro initiative he didn’t like. He surrendered our rebate without so much as a whimper.

She writes in the ConservativeHome on the day Britain lost its sovereignty:

Tomorrow, in full defiance of his manifesto promise, Gordon Brown will sign the European Constitution. Spitting on the voters, whom polls show demand their promised referendum, Brown breaches the latest and most important of New Labour’s promises. His strategy is clear; he hopes that the Conservatives will shrink from the fight, rather than expose old divisions over Europe; that the sham debate in Parliament (irrelevant once the Constitution is signed) will bore the voters to death, and that Murdoch, the Sun and the Mail and Telegraph will wave the white flag.

Is there something about the Left that hates the people’s will?  It’s because the Left seldom can win an election on the facts.  Let us hope her new Leader does not jilt her much as Tony Blair did. 

Louise Bagshawe’s position on George Bush 43 is similar to mine:

I strongly supported George Bush in the last election, and I must confess I am now hugely disappointed with him. No reform of the tax code, no WMDs, no plan to win the Iraq peace.

Rah for her!  that’s why I am for Ron Paul.  On taxes, the novelist writes the story well:

George Osborne has talked about the power of Ireland’s cuts in business taxation, and I imagine the party’s policy groups will be looking very hard at the Irish miracle. The Telegraph helpfully listed 80 of Brown’s tax rises, and the country clearly needs tax relief. Brown’s reputation for fiscal prudence is fiction – and I know fiction! We have false levels of high employment because the public sector is bloated under Brown. It is a question not of “if” but “when” the time will be right – as it was for Mrs. Thatcher, my own political heroine.

I am glad Mrs. Thatcher lived to see that she inspired a generation to follow in her political footsteps.  Go for it, Louise!  I’ll leave you with her new rock band, now that the new MP has small kids:

In my house today Top of the Pops is the Wiggles, the ace Aussie band for the under-fives. 

Amen!  I had to proof this blog twice!  I can’t have a fellow writer too criticial of my efforts.  Maybe she’ll recommend me to her publisher!  I’ll be curious to see what Cabinet post Bagshawe has someday, probably in the Government of my next young turk:  Rory Stewart.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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