Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tory MP Doesn't Go to Conference Shocker

Jon Craig tells us on the new Boulton & Co blog that John Bercow isn't attending the Tory conference. Nor is Patrick Mercer. Nor are at least a dozen other Tory MPs of my acquaintance. Jon Craig draws the inference that John Bercow may be defecting next week. I'm not sure the logic quite fits that just because you're not going to conference you're about to jump ship, but in today's febrile climate, who knows? I have to admit that there is a lot of chatter about two possible Tory defections being announced at the weekend. I'm not going to indulge in speculation on who it might be as I reckon that it's fairly libellous if it isn't true.

One thing I do want to pick Jon up on is his final sentence...
In a further sign of turmoil and panic in the Conservative Party, Shadow Home Secretary and defeated leadership candidate David Davis has cancelled all his appearances at fringe meetings in Blackpool.
I don't think I am breaking a confidence if I tell you that DD told me some time ago he wouldn't be speaking at any fringe events at this conference. So far from cancelling "all his appearances", he had never accepted any in the first place.

31 comments:

Yak40 said...

Why would Bercow & Mercer attend, they'd rightly be walking the plank off the pier if they did.

JJB said...

Why no praise for Dave Whelan?

Anonymous said...

why is it that tory MPs are tempted to join labour? why none the other way round? it can't simply be that all the tory mps invovled are "wrong 'uns". i'd be genuinely interested in reading your explanation for the fact that, with an election on the horizon, any tory mps might be tempted to defect.

RedBox said...

By why isn't DD going to speak? That's the real question. Surely its a great time to be out coralling the troops and getting the big guns to lead into the autumn election.

Steve said...

Davis is speaking at the Conf but not at fringe events.

Madasafish said...

Lets face it.

Judging by the ability of most Conservative MPs to oppose an incompetent Government ..

if none of the Shadow Cabinet turned up, would you miss them? Would you know if they went?

Of course not.

They are the biggest bunch of ineffectual lazy non- active Shadow Ministers any Government has had to face.

And if DD did not speak, I'd miss him.. like a hole in the head.

Chris said...

Foolish to jump now if a General Election is imminent. Why jump now and immediately lose your seat in parliament, surely you'd hang around get re-elected and then screw your constituents over?

Anonymous said...

The Mail on Sunday are sniffing around this - they're calling MP's offices asking if they're going to conference or not.

Praguetory said...

I enjoyed DD at last year's fringe - it was a breakfast event. He seemed to have fun too. Lots of Tory MPs don't go to conference. For example, I can't see Richard Shepherd defecting and I don't believe he's making the trip. Similarly, I'm not going this year. I doubt you'll find me defecting, either.

Anonymous said...

http://hobycartoons.blogspot.com/2007/09/looking-at-no-one-in-particular.html

Paul Linford said...

It's still a very interesting story though Iain even if DD decided this "some time ago." It certainly begs the question why the Conservative Party's consistently most effective frontbench operator is hiding his light under a bushel in this way at a time when, as redbox says, the big guns would normally be expected to be out there and firing.

Chris Paul said...

Sky Blog have changed their story.

Anonymous said...

bercow won't defect - he's gone to a lot of trouble defending his decision to help the government. only in the last few days, he has written to buckingham members explaining his decision. he also praises cameron in this letter. why would he go to this trouble if he was about to defect? if there's a defection it won't be bercow.

verity said...

Redbox - Maybe DD is out back sharpening his knife.

One thing that puzzles me about British political conferences is, why do they call it "conference", and not "the conference".

It is so pretentious. When you go to the dentist, do you go for appointment, or do you put an article in front of it.

When you attend a meeting, unless you're a Quaker, do you go to "meeting" or "a meeting"? When you enquire about the results of a meeting, do you say, "How was meeting" or "How was the meeting?"

Why no definite article? I've always thought this is so self-important and ignorant.

Man in a Shed said...

Both Bercow and Mercer have effectively given up the Conservative whip. They now serve the leader of another party, in a way that undermines their former party and damages the democratic system of the country.

I'm just not sure why the party hasn't formally withdrawn the whip from such traitors.

David Lindsay said...

Time was when any Labour MP who became an "adviser" to the Tories would have had the Whip withdrawn on the spot, and been expelled from the Labour Party very soon thereafter.

But now that Tory and Lib Dem MPs are "advisers" to Gordon Brown, why doesn't David Cameron use his Party Conference to announce his own "advisers" from among the more dedicated Brown-haters on the Labour benches? What could Brown possibly say or do?

And what could Ming Campbell possibly say or do, having allowed Matthew Taylor to "advise" Brown, if Cameron conferred such positions on, most obviously, Nick Clegg and David Laws?

Not that this will happen, of course. Last year's Tory Conference never discussed a single policy (not one, all week), and I doubt that this year's will discuss so much as a single political machination. In fact, is anyone even going to turn up? If so, why?

Oscar Miller said...

why is it that tory MPs are tempted to join labour? why none the other way round?

I'd say because Labour are on the case 24/7 - with the likes of Quentin Davis giving it his all (he said as much on the Daily Politics). Labour are out there tempting the weak and disaffected with bribes. This is what Brownites do - somewhat satanic.

Cicero said...

Hi Iain, I never understood the Conservative liking for going to Blackpool. I imagine that any number of Conservatives might choose to give the place a miss. Mind you kind of amusing to that things are so bad that even obviously paranoid nonsense still gets an airing. If you are going, I wish you a jolly conference, but you would have had more fun in Brighton...

abandon said...

The naked panic of the Conservative Party this week is just making it more likely that the conference will be the disaster everyone suspects.

David Davis obviously wants to avoid being questioned in fringe meetings, and will probably just do an unexceptional (boring) speech on crime, so that he can go as unnoticed as possible. He knows he can't tell the truth about Cameron, so he is distancing himself.

The party's over.

Johnny Norfolk said...

As Long as someone like Cameron is Leader the party is doomed.

He was picked to fight Blair, but Brown has turned out to be far more popular with the country than anyone thought. The Tory party needs a substantial leader not a light weight leader with a guilty conscience about his wealth.

simon caller said...

I am sick of being invited to meetings in Blackpool to talk about where we are going wrong. Why can't we stop defining everything we do against Brown, and make a clear case for positive Conservative government?

This 11 point lead is, in my view, not about people liking what Brown does, it's because they aren't sure what we can do to stop him!

tapestry said...

if Bercow defects (he's been a serial disloyalist as was Portillo), the number of europhiles left in the party as MPs will be reducing to a tiny number - Cormack, Curry, Clarke spring to mind - plus Bob the Blob at Bromley.

When all europiles have defected, that are going to, couldn't the remaining rump be deselected and the Conservative Party can get behind Cameron's pitch for the ref on the con 100%?

If Frances Maude's A List pushed in a new 5th column of europiles as at battersea, Jane Ellison? surely they too should be moved on before they can make trouble for Cameron.

As for Bercow, he's welcome to go any time, but why did nhis Constituenst not deselect him years ago?

Anonymous said...

Oh my god! David Davis is going to defect!

Madasafish said...

No posts for hours = bad blogging.

u said...

Perhaps your next book should be "The Forgotten Art of Blogging".

chatterbox said...

Iain, I read an article about Bercow in the press a few weeks ago which made it clear he was not attended the conference this year.
I have just seen Jon Craig's rather graceless, and dare I say it snotty update following a correction from David Davis.
He did not do his homework, and should have at least checked out his facts with Davis before spinning this story, I use the word spinning because that is exactly what it is!
You must make a point of watching his reports on sky, they are a sight to behold and extremely partisan. I think he gets his briefings from Labour daily then builds his whole story around the fact that if it came from a Labour minster it must true!

Gary Elsby said...

You're in denial, Iain.

It's more than just Bercow.

I'm being told that 5 are in for a possible switch.

Gary.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Iain is going to defect.....

OMG

Little Black Sambo said...

"Labour are out there tempting the weak and disaffected."
Just like Jehovah's Witnesses.

Bel said...

chatterbox, I agree with you about Jon Craig. I find his reports so partial to New Labour that I seriously wonder about his independence. Whenever I see him on the news, I change the channel. If I want Labour propaganda, I can go to the BBC or the Downing Street website.

Praguetory said...

David Lindsay

"Last year's Tory Conference never discussed a single policy (not one, all week)"

Absolute balderdash. Stop trotting out rubbish.