I have to declare an interest here right away. I’m not well-disposed towards Tories, nor yet to the Tory philosophy (which as far as I can see boils down to “Sod you, Jack – I’m alright”). So the news that somebody well towards the top of the hierarchy of Leeds United is to seek the nomination for what is considered at the moment to be a safe Tory seat does not gladden my heart. Neither does it inspire me with any confidence in the man’s tendency to tell the truth and shame the Devil (who is currently occupied in litigation against Leeds United under the name K. Bates – bad cess to him).
Another slight niggle is that, if Haigh gets elected to Parliament – by no means a certainty if the Tories reprise their 1997 electoral meltdown – he intends to combine that role with his day-to-day running of Leeds United. That’s two proper, grown-up, full-time jobs of a very demanding nature – is the lad up to it? At 36 he is, after all, nobbut a bairn as we say hereabouts. It’s difficult to forecast Haigh’s chances at the 2015 election, even if he should secure the Tory nomination for the seat concerned, Northampton South. The majority of just over 6,000 at the last election would be a fairly slim buffer against the kind of swing opinion polls are currently suggesting. It may well be that in 2015, Haigh will be involved in two tussles in widely differing fields if Leeds are going for promotion at the same time their MD is aiming for a seat in the Commons. Under those circumstances, I’d be wishing him all the best in sport and all the very worst in politics. There’s nowt personal either way, all’s fair in football and politics.
It’s not as if Haigh would be the first Tory at the top of Leeds United, anyway. There’s always been a knot of reasonably successful businessmen running the club, from way back – and most of those lads didn’t get where they were by espousing a liberal or socialist agenda. It’s just that, politically, they tended to remain in the closet, as it were, and concentrate on applying their zero knowledge of the game to running a football club. So whilst it may not feel all that comfortable – not for someone of my rabidly anti-tory persuasion, anyway – to have a declared Conservative seeking to advance his political ambitions whilst involved in my beloved Leeds, it’s hardly anything all that new. As long as his deluded notion of what makes for good government doesn’t reflect badly on Leeds United, I’m fine for him to get on with it. Live and let live, and all that.
Meanwhile – all jokes and weak puns aside – we still really do need that right-winger. And in the interests of political and sporting balance, we could do with a chap on the left, too. So get weaving, David – forget all that political nonsense for now – concentrate on what’s really important and let the Tories get on with grinding the faces of the poor without you.