This is so unimportant that I wasn’t going to write about it. But yesterday at conference I was grabbed by a Sun journalist about it, hence my picture in the Sun today with a quote I did not make. Then this morning Martha Kearney from Radio 4 collared me for an interview, once again about defectors. The reality is that the journalists are vastly more interested in this than the party is. So I thought I would write a bit about it to explain why.
The Parliamentary Conservative party is not a homogeneous whole. It is a very broad church indeed. From the “traditional”, right wing, hang ’em and flog ’em brigade who inhabit the Monday Club and Cornerstone right through to the social democrat lefties in the Tory Reform Group, 2020 Group and 301 Group, with the Thatcherite Free Enterprise Group off to one side. So Conservatism is like a group of mini parties united in their aim to make everyone in Britain better off and to fight the many evils of the Labour Party and Trade Unions. This has its strengths in that there is a home within the party for everyone who is intelligent and educated. It has its weakness in that there is constant friction.
Politics is a team game, just like Formula 1 car racing. The MP is like the driver, visible and in the news, whilst behind him is a vast team of workers, paid and unpaid, grafting away. Delivering leaflets and canvassing from door to door hour after hour, day after day, in all weathers being just one of their duties.
Which brings us to Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless. These guys have been loose cannons in the Conservative Party for some time, the church was not broad enough for them and they were not team players. So obviously a big mistake was made when they were first selected. We should never have invested so much money, so much time and so much work into them. They have zero respect for the other members of the team who put them where they are.
So let’s analyse why they are utterly stupid:
- They have joined a nasty party with a long history of bigotry and with many policies that are opposed to their own often professed views. Do they really realise what an awful shambles they have joined?
- They have big egos, their leaving probably more an indication of lack of advancement than anything else. But there is only room for one ego in UKIP, as Neil Hamilton has already discovered.
- For anti Europeans there is only one sensible vote and that is Conservative. Because only David Cameron can and will deliver a referendum. Not only that, Cameron has said that he himself will vote to leave unless renegotiation of our membership are satisfactory.
- Both of these guys have resigned in a run up to a general election, incurring the taxpayer in substantial unnecessary costs. Obviously they have done it now, not earlier, to inflict the maximum possible damage on the Conservative party that has made their careers for them. This is vicious, spiteful and ungrateful. Many in the public will realise this and not like it.
- They will now face the full might of the Conservative election machine. Carswell has substantial local personal support so should win the by-election. The general election next year will be a bigger problem for him. Reckless has no such local popular support and is in very big danger of losing the by-election. If he holds on it will only be till next year, when he will definitely lose.
- At conference Reckless’ local party chairman said that they had a conversation on Friday during which Reckless said that he was not defecting, then the next day he did, which makes him a deceitful liar. So he should feel right at home in UKIP.
So, quite frankly, we are better off without them. And they will be a lot worse off without the Conservatives.
It is rumoured that another Conservative MP will defect this week. If so we are once again well rid, it will be another ungrateful loose cannon. And once again the action would be despicable, trying to do the maximum damage to the party that nurtured them.
To finish off lets look at the Sunday Mirror and their despicable attempt to trap several Conservative MPs in cyber sex stings. Leading to the resignation of Brooks Newmark. This is utterly disgusting, tabloids at their worst. If possible they should face criminal prosecution. As for Brooks Newmark, in France he would be promoted! It is about time Great Britain grew up and learned not to be titillated with prurient irrelevancies. What adults do in private is not public news.