Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stuart Wheeler Deserves to be Expelled

The News of the World is reporting that Stuart Wheeler has written a cheque for £100,000 to UKIP. ConservativeHome is reporting this as a defection. It is not. Wheeler says he will vote Tory in the local elections and in the General Election. All he's actually doing is what he said he would do in September last year, as I reported HERE.

But the man is a menace. He needs a regular fix of publicity, as I said HERE. Wheeler is a walking advertisement for the benefits of state funding of political parties (to which I am opposed). He delights in popping up on the Today programme and spreading his unique brand of political mischief. he can't help himself. The media lap it up and revel in describing him as a major Tory donor, on the basis that nearly a decade ago he gave the party £5 million.

Tim Montgomerie describes it all as "disappointing news". I do not. It was inevitable, but the Party should now act to ensure he does no more damage in the future.

Stuart Wheeler could not complain if he was now expelled from the Party. He has, after all, committed an act of gross disloyalty - and it's not a first offence. You can't have people like him recommending people to vote for another party on 4 June, and then proceed to welcome him back on the 5th. If I now wrote a blogpost urging Tories to vote UKIP, do you have any doubt that I would be expelled? And I'd deserve to be.

Stuart Wheeler has had his three strikes. Now he should be kicked out.

63 comments:

Michael Heaver said...

Clearly the Tory party no longer represents those who are anti-EU, or even pro-serious transfer of powers. However Iain, the anti-EU coalition within the Tory party is quite close-knit - if the Cameroons kicked Wheeler out, I think there'd be merry hell.

I'm certainly extremely pleased that Mr. Wheeler has decided to donate money to UKIP. It is a true example of a man putting his money where his mouth is, and his country before tribal politics.

trevorsden said...

latest from ICM - Tories on 44 Lab 31 LD 17.

Plato said...

I saw this on Mr Fawkes comments an hour or so ago - I remain very sceptical.

At first I thought eh? The NOTW don't publish on a Saturday so googled this and couldn't find anything on UKIP or anywhere else.

Only when I read the last paras did it become clear that it's a trailer.

*yawn*

wv bless

JuliaM said...

"It is a true example of a man putting his money where his mouth is, and his country before tribal politics."

Indeed. Can't for the life of me see why anyone would need to be a member of a party anyway. Donate to them when you like theior policies, donate to someone else when you prefer theirs instead.

What does he need to be a member of the party for?

Anoneumouse said...

He has the courage of his conviction and is consistent. Remember Dave's Tory's don't do Europe.

Bird said...

Wheeler is an arrogant man who thinks donations give him a right to dictate policy.
I don't think he should be kicked out of the Tory party. Cameron should simply continue to ignore him.
Ashcroft is far more important, but I'm sure Cameron is not one to be intimidated.

Alan Douglas said...

Iain, I have a similar problem. Where my vote for UKIP actually MEANT something, IE PR EU elections, I have used it thus.

Where it would mean nothing, ie FPPTP in the UK, I vote Conservative.

That is because on present showing sadly the Tories do not represent me on the subject of EU control of every aspect of my life.

Nor does Labour, hence my UK vote.

I wish I had a clear signal from DC that he intends to regain powers from the EU, then UKIP would be an irrelevance.

Alan Douglas

Sentient WV : nondorsa - exactly where I stand !

wonkotsane said...

Stuart Wheeler has had his three strikes. Now he should be kicked out.

You won't get any complaints from UKIP if you do. He's the biggest donor to the Tory party in these last few years and the Tories' loss is UKIP's gain. Appointing an arch-eurofederalist to the shadow cabinet pissed off rank and file members and your party's biggest donor. Camoron was warned what would happen but he's a eurofederalist himself, committed to keeping the UK in the European Empire and for him the lure of a lucrative job in the imperial parliament in Brussels that awaits all good euro-traitors is more important than what is good for his party or this country.

Who's been more disloyal to the Tory Party - Stuart Wheeler for making a principled stand in the best interests of the party and the country or Camoron for appointing a eurofederalist traitor to the shadow cabinet in the knowledge that it would mean losing their biggest donor?

Michael Heaver said...

I'd also just like to add - to all of those who have been badmouthing UKIP and predicting its downfall in June (including Iain) - I'm pretty certain you're not going to know what has hit you come result night. We have our best ever leader in Nigel Farage, a young, motivated top tier running things and the party's most professional campaign ever planned out.

I'll certainly be doing my bit to help. This EU issue cannot drift onwards. We need to decide whether we want to be in a federal European superstate or outside as a globally trading, independent, sovereign country. Hopefully many more principled eurosceptic Tories like Wheeler will lend us their votes on June the 4th, and, if they can afford to, donate money.

Iain Dale said...

Delusional.
Wonkotsane, Wheeler has not donated much money since 2000. He hasn't got a lot left to donate.
Michael Heaver, I admire your optimism. I am a bit of a fan of Farage. You will like my profile of him in next month's GQ, but to believe that UKIp is going to increase its seats is delusional IMHO. I reckon it will be lucky to retain 6.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Totally agree with you, Iain. I've just written an almost identical comment over at ConHome. It was written before I read your blog. Great minds etc!

Michael Heaver said...

Iain, thanks for a reasonable response. I can understand what you are saying and why you would say that - but to say that UKIP were going to go from 3 seats to 6, let alone 12, in March 2004 would have been far more of a delusional claim, and it happened.

Iain Dale said...

No, Michael - and I assume you were about 15 at the time :). UKIP were on a roll then. A series of circumstances combined to give them the Big Mo - remember Kilroy? I just dont think that will happen this time. In 2004 UKIP benefitted from the fact that the Tories were unpopular and they received the 'plague on all your houses' vote. I regret that the latter will probably go to the BNP this time. Which should horrify us all.

Bolivia Newton-John said...

We need to decide whether we want to be in a federal European superstate or outside as a globally trading, independent, sovereign country.

"Globally" trading? Our main trading partners have always been and will always be the countries of Western Europe. That is why the EU exists. There are many justified reservations about the EU's development, but we can only wield any power to stop the development that doesn't work for us as core members, which we have regrettably passed up so many opportunities to be. The idea that we could leave it and suddenly strike up tight enough links with Guatemala, Ghana and Guam to replace the vital role it plays in our trade relations is ludicrous. Distancing ourselves from Europe now of all times would be a devastating unmitigated disaster for our country, and as such I respectfully hope your party gets wiped out on June 4.

Tim Worstall said...

Tee Hee!

Iain Dale said...

Tim, I am pleased that your salary is now guaranteed :)

Michael Heaver said...

Yes I was indeed just a little wee lad at the time Iain, but I am going off of what long time party members have told me was going on comparibly last time round.

I think the calibre of people we have in positions running the party and campaign way off-sets the Kilroy effect. Farage vs. Roger Knapman running the show is simply a different league.

Okay, so Cameron is doing better than Howard in opinion polls - but he is also more europhile than Howard (fisheries policy etc.) so I expect there to be much more potential for Tory internal party fallout in the run up to the euro election, of the exact kind we are seeing stem from Wheeler.

The BNP scoring a big protest vote is a real danger, though I do think they will never score close to 2.6 million votes as UKIP did. Only a finite amount of voters will let anger and frusturation overcome the fact that they would be voting for a race-based party. I expect UKIP's campaign to blow the BNP out of the water. Our non-racist, pro-British, anti-EU ticket will totally outflank them.

Plato said...

OT - just seen this reply from Sir Michael White to the 300+ negative comments on his blog re Dan Hannan.

Doesn't this just sum them up.

Doesn't that just say it all.

troymolloy said...

Erm, Iain I would have a major problem if the party expelled you for such a reason, even if you wouldn't. Indeed I would probably resign my own membership in protest at such childish retaliation.

Simon Gardner said...

“The media lap it up and revel in describing him as a major Tory donor, on the basis that nearly a decade ago he gave the party £5 million.”

Sounds pretty damn ‘major’ to me. If you find a minor £5 million then by all means bung it in this direction.

But you are of course correct. Publicly advocating people vote for another party at an election must mean expulsion.

Unless the Conservative Party operates under a whole lot of other rules to the rest?

I guess there’s a grey area on Independents, though (eg Ken’s first mayoral campaign).

wonkotsane said...

The early polls are putting UKIP support higher than the same period before the last EU election. The YouGov one was excellent news for all right-thinking EUsceptics.

Nobody is taken in by the LibLabCon propaganda that UKIP has collapsed and that it has no support. Support for UKIP is higher than it was in the run-up to the last EU election and now even Tories are throwing money at us.

troymolloy said...

"Our main trading partners have always been and will always be the countries of Western Europe. That is why the EU exists."

Hahahahahaha....Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. HAAAAA ha ha ha ha.

Sorry, that's just nonsense.

Daniel1979 said...

If Stuart Wheeler is "Kicked Out" it is not just UKIP that will be laughing, it will be Labour & the LibDems as well.

If Mr Wheeler finds his position better represented by UKIP than the Conservatives (as it seems) he will probably leave anyway. The question could be posed why he hasn’t left yet given the circumstances?

I do not know Mr. Wheeler, you suggest he is an attention seeker, but is it not the case that it is the issue of the EU that he is trying to highlight, rather than personal celebrity? He is not the only Conservative that wants the Conservative Party to take an anti-EU stance.

I am not a member of any party, but what appeals to me about the Conservatives is that they can allow a broader range of opinions under the one party umbrella. In fact in the Conservatives were stronger in their opposition to the EU I might have joined them.

Kicking out Mr Wheeler for taking action to try and prompt publicity to the Conservatives position on the EU may have a knock on effect to already sceptic Tories. UKIP already say that the Conservatives are not a EU-Sceptic party, where will future conservative-minded, EU sceptic voters go?

andtherewasmethinking said...

I may be wrong, but I could have sworn I just heard the nice lady on Sky News say that Gordon/The Tax Payer is gonna cough up another 60(insert illion here)to save another bank. And I wonder why he was hoping for riots today.
http://andtherewasmethinking.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr/

Conand said...

wonkotsane@6:06 said:

'the imperial parliament in Brussels that awaits all good euro-traitors is more important than what is good for his party or this country.'

The only legislature which could remove the UK from the EU is in Westminster. Why do UKIP have MEPs? Why do UKIP have councillors?
All you did in my local area at the last General Election was help the despicable Labour MP get re-elected.
Why do UKIP desperately want Britain in an EU superstate?
You helped Labour get back in! You're still helping them.
Why do UKIP desperately want a Labour government?

JoshONyons said...

One thing you can be sure of is that self-made millionaires don't get to be millionaires by backing losers. Well done Stuart I also will be backing UKIP !

ukipwebmaster said...

Now that's not a very nice thing to say about a man who has given you millions of pounds is it?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Iain,

"Wheeler is a waking [sic] advertisement for the benefits of state funding of political parties (to which I am opposed)."

Erm... Why is he such an advertisement, Iain? He is putting his money into a party whose objectives he believes in: why is that an advertisement for state funding?

And if you are opposed to state funding of political parties -- if it is so damned important to you -- then why are you still in a party that supports it?

You claim to be opposed to the EU -- why are you still a member of a party that supports it?

You claim to be a free-trader -- why are you a member of a party that has never supported free trade?

In short, Iain, why are you a member of a party whose major policies you do not support?

What would the Tories have to do for you to resign from the party? Would you even resign if they started opening death camps?

What, Iain, would Cameron and co. have to do, eh?

DK

Iain Dale said...

DK, OK let's take these one by one...

"Erm... Why is he such an advertisement, Iain? He is putting his money into a party whose objectives he believes in: why is that an advertisement for state funding?"

Fine, well he can bugger off out of the Tory Party then! he's an advert for state funding because he thinks his money can dictate policy.


"And if you are opposed to state funding of political parties -- if it is so damned important to you -- then why are you still in a party that supports it?"

I am not. Cameron told me in the interview I did for TP that he no longer believes state funding is tenable in the current economic circumstances.


"You claim to be opposed to the EU -- why are you still a member of a party that supports it?"

I am not opposed to the EU. I am opposed to its excesses, its anti democratic nature and its bureaucracy. It may be necessary to consider more drastic measures, like withdrawal, but those who advocate that have yet to make a cast iron case.


"You claim to be a free-trader -- why are you a member of a party that has never supported free trade?"

That is just patent rubbish.


"In short, Iain, why are you a member of a party whose major policies you do not support?"

All political parties are coalitions. I support 85-95% of the party's platform. That's why I support them.


"What would the Tories have to do for you to resign from the party? Would you even resign if they started opening death camps?"

hardly worth responding to that. You read my blog. You know I am quite open about the occasions when I dont support what they are doing. We all have our breaking points. But I have never come close to reaching mine.

What, Iain, would Cameron and co. have to do, eh?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Very well, Iain: I have misunderstood your positions -- my bad.

But first Cameron publically says that he supports state-funding of parties and then, in your magazine, he says that he doesn't.

First one opinion, then another. Does the man believe in anything? And can we believe a single word that he says? No.

One could say that he supported state-funding only because he hadn't thought about the issue properly: well, that's not exactly encouraging is it?

And as for his speeches on the economy... Lordy. When one compares his speeches to those of Gordon Brown, there is o substantial difference at present: both of them are wibbling on about "markets with a heart" and both of them are morons.

DK

thespecialone said...

I am anti-EU and I am also a Tory supporter. Unless Brown steamrollers us into the utopian EU superstate just before he is kicked out, Cameron should come out and say that as soon as possible after the election, there WILL be a referendum on Europe. He should also come out and say that the UK will take back all of its powers and state that the EU is too corrupt for the UK to be in.

Conand said...

DK

Cameron wants to radically change the society and the state. He also wants to radically change the relationship between them. He wants to free individuals and groups from all the regressive and inefficient nonsense.
Essentially he wants all the same funky stuff as you want and I want. Let him at least have a go.
Saying he's the same as the psychotic tyrant isn't at all fair. :(

jon dee said...

I fully agree with your piece.

Wheeler and his very public contributions, whether words or money,may do wonders for his ego but they give many the impression that Party control and favours are part of the deal he expects.

Steve Fowler's Blog. said...

Iain, with all due respect why should we trust a party that signed the first three EU treaties and did not tell us what was in the treaties or even if they did not tell us this is where the EU is going!.

Even Ted Heath admitted a few years ago that he lied to us by siging the first treaty.

So how can we the public back a party that hasn't told the truth about the EU from the start??.

Sorry Iain but i find the three main parties all talk the same and offer no solutions to our future in Europe at all, and aslong as they play the Britain will suffer if we end EU membership card which i know is rubbish i will never touch them ever.

I put will always put Britain's interests first and i find UKIP to be doing just the thing right now.

Doctor Feelgood said...

Iain is plain wrong.

I wonder if Iain would expell Tory members who vote for other parties as a protest vote? Has Mr Wheeler actively encouraged voters to vote for UKIP?

It none of the Tory parties business what Mr Wheeler does with his own money.

Lady Finchley said...

Stuart Wheeler is a twisted little man and the king of the Euro-bores.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

I can hardly be alone in intending to vote Conservative in council, Scottish and UK elections, but UKIP in EU ones, thanks in part to FPTP. Voting for a UKIP MP would, in almost any constituency, be futile; voting for a Conservative MEP would be worse.

Given a straight choice, I would prefer to have a UKIP MP to a Conservative one, but the present system denies me that option. (My constituency has been an SNP-Conservative contest since 1997, with Labour now being challenged for third place by the Lib Dems.)

I would be delighted to see the Tories adopting a policy on Europe which I could support, but that is hardly likely any time soon: they won't even make continued funding conditional on the accounts being signed off by the auditors, let alone restore EU diktats to their proper place as subordinate to all domestic legislation!

As for the "devastating unmitigated disaster", nobody is suggesting that we break off or restrict trade, merely that we restict or revoke the EU's interference in legislative matters. Given the balance of trade, it would be the EU which should fear any impediment to trade with the UK!

Salmondnet said...

By all means expel him from the Tory party Iain. It will not hurt him and it won't hurt UKIP. It will almost certainly hurt the Tories, because many eurorealist electors who have been giving Cameron the benefit of (considerable) doubt will no longer do so.

But not to worry, no doubt you will get more satisfaction from disfiguring the face than pain from cutting of the nose.

ukipwebmaster said...

We've touched a nerve......

Simon Gardner said...

Daniel1979 said... “He is not the only Conservative that wants the Conservative Party to take an anti-EU stance.”

Going bananas over the EU (as per the wishes of nuttier parts of the Tory base - so well represented here) is exactly what made the Tories continuously unelectable.

One has sensed that since becoming Tory leader. Cameron has been desperate not to talk about Europe any more. Else he ends up again with the Tories obsessively talking to themselves and to nobody else.

So I doubt very much any such stances from the Conservative front bench either now or after the next General Election.

Really. Has the Tory party learned nothing from its Euro-barminess of the previous decade or more? I’m damn sure Cameron has.

Does he care about the Euro-elections beyond how they might affect the next General Election? Does he buggery.

RobertEve said...

Stuart Wheeler is on the right track.

strapworld said...

So the conservative party you believe in is a slave to the EU!

A man/woman cannot do whatever they wish with their own money!

You cannot have a contrary view to pparty policy! Rather communistic?

A Patriot who wishes his country out of the EU cannot support the Conservative Party nor any other 'mainstream'party.

The nonsense being put out by William Hague (but NEVER) by Cameron is proof positive that Hannan is so right when he said, on Newsnight, "People are being taken for granted, ripped off, lied to and ignored"

I am sorry to see that you, Iain, who up till this evening I viewed as a reasonable man have proved to be a zealot.

Not many people could support YOUR Conservative Party.

Now Cameron should offer the 55% and more of the British People a true alternative to all the other mainstream parties and promise a referendum on IN OR OUT of the EU.

That, would require true leadership. I wont hold my breath!

Ray Finch said...

The position of the pro-EU "Cameron Conservatives" to say that talking about the EU is divisive means that they feel they have won the internal argument. Would they say the same if there was a pro-Secession leader? Obviously they haven't won the argument because virtually every Conservative Party member I speak to is pro-secession. They have merely captured the leadership of the party. The defection of Mr. Wheeler will give the pro-secessionist Conservatives food for thought.

acadman said...

Iain - you say that those who want to leave Europe have yet to make a watertight case.

Lets leave aside the interference, the corruption, the moral abomination of the CAP - perhaps the worst thing Europe has impacted upon Africa since slavery - and the cost...I'll give you a watertight case:

Any organisation which is utterly contemptuous of the peoples democratic wishes, where you can hold as many referenda as you want but only one result is ever accepted, is not in any circumstances an organisation a democracy should join or remain a member of.

There you are. I'd be interested to hear your answer.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Conand,

"Cameron wants to radically change the society and the state. He also wants to radically change the relationship between them."

Really? How do you know that? Not from Cam's pronouncements, that's for sure.

What he has said is that he wants to put more power into the hands of the Third Sector. Well, many people will know how I feel about that...

DK

mr bean said...

"Stuart Wheeler Deserves to be Expelled"

From the look of him, his next appointment is with The Grim Reaper anyway, so why bother?

Gnostic said...

By all means expel Mr. Wheeler but if you don't want the man then you don't want his five million pounds either. Do the honourable thing and give the man his money back.

Your arrogant petulance, Mr. Dale, is rather shabby don't you think? I believe Mr Wheeler has every right to donate hard cash to the party he feels best supports his political views. That is his democratic right. Patently, the Tories do not support his views on the EU. They do not support mine either which is why Cameron will not be receiving the benefit of my vote in June. That is my democratic right.

Come the next general election I fully expect Mr. Cameron to replace the dire Comrade Brown but it will be by default only. Right now, as far as many seriously disaffected Tory voters are concerned (and I know a lot of them), the only thing Mr. Cameron has going for him is the fact he isn't Gordon Brown. That's a poor show by any standards.

Mr. Cameron needs to find the strength and the courage to drag the EU monster from beneath his bed and look it straight in the eye. While he remains cowering in his comfort zone under his duvet he is effectively disenfranchising a sizeable percentage of the electorate. Pardon my language, Mr. Dale, but we're bloody sick of being treated like we don't exist or that we're too stupid to understand what is supposedly for our own good.

This is our country and no political party has been given a mandate to hand it over to the faceless junta in Brussels. We want a referendum on the EU. We want our say. If Mr. Cameron can't or won't deliver on that one crucial issue then people will vote for someone who will.

It's hardly rocket science, is it...

davidc said...

but we all know that when push comes to shove, cameron will rat !

Gnostic said...

Which is precisely why I will be doing a LOT of soul searching before I put my X on that general election ballot paper in 2010...

Alan Douglas said...

Simon Gardner said :
"Going bananas over the EU (as per the wishes of nuttier parts of the Tory base - so well represented here) is exactly what made the Tories continuously unelectable."

There is "going bananas" and there is serious concern about the non- or even anti-democratic activities of the NON-elected (and hence NON-removable) clique that has usurped our national powers of decision-making, by deceit.

☛How many years of budgets not being signed off ? 14 ?
☛CAP well-rehearsed elsewhere
☛CFP creating an environmental disaster in the North Sea, as well as many tonnes of wasted fish value
☛Pretensions to armed forces which we will have no control over, but will be THE major contributors to
☛Institutionalised hatred of the USA (Galileo being one example)
☛Sneaky law-making such as working time (which has UK opt-out) now reintroduced as Elf'n'Safety, where we have no opt-out.

I could go on, but my main point is that the EU is a serial control-freak, and I do not want to be controlled by people I cannot control in return (via elections)

Thus it seems quite NON-bananas to vote UKIP in Euro-elections where I have a chance to influence, while being mostly quite happily Tory in the UK.

There IS a dichotomy and SOME UK party will have to address it at some point. That point had better be before questioning the EU becomes a hate-crime ! (Slight hyperbole)

Alan Douglas

Sentient WV : unican. Oh yeah ?

BrianSJ said...

UKIP in European elections and Tory in Westminster elections seems a perfectly honourable and consistent position. Cameron has decided to ignore Europe. Lots of people haven't. Cameron's loss. He certainly hasn't 'sealed the deal'.
Plus wot DK said.

Simon Gardner said...

BrianSJ said... “UKIP in European elections and Tory in Westminster elections seems a perfectly honourable and consistent position.”

For you very possibly, but publicly advocating it is clearly inconsistent with continued party membership.

Iain is quite correct.

DespairingLiberal said...

Isn't he also a rasther obvious example of the futility behind the hope that concentrating wealth in a few hands will lead to a better society, with noble and wise rich people guiding the rest?

Twig said...

If only the Tories had more like Daniel Hannan

WV: facelis (as in bureaucrats) no really!

bgprior said...

Is Dan Hannan standing again in the Euro elections? Presumably, if Stuart Wheeler and many posters on here get their way, he will be kicked out.

On second thoughts, that's not a bad idea. Then we can get Theresa May de-selected in Maidenhead and get Dan to come and represent us at the next election.

Simon Gardner said...

Maidenhead is pretty marginal. The Tories held it last time because of a local personal vote for Theresa May.

Be careful what you wish for.

Conand said...

'Is Dan Hannan standing again in the Euro elections?'

Yep. He's #1 on the party list for the South East of England. Therefore ,on past voting patterns, he is practically guaranteed to be returned as an MEP.

I think we will all just rejoice at that news and congratulate our hero .. Rejoice

IWAR IWAR IWAR IWAR IWAR IWAR

Pactio Olisipiensis censenda est

Gnostic said...

I second that. Daniel Hannan seems to be everything David Cameron isn't. At the very least he understands the definition of opposition and isn't afraid to say what needs to be said. He's wasted in Europe.

Simon Gardner said...

From the BBC website:

Tory donor is expelled from party

“Mr Wheeler is unhappy with the Conservatives' European policy
The Conservative party says it has expelled a multi-millionaire donor who gave £100,000 to UKIP.

“Spread-betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler said he was giving the money to UKIP in protest at the Tories' reluctance to talk about the EU.

“Mr Wheeler, an outspoken Euro-sceptic, gave £5m to the Conservatives in 2001.

“He said that he would vote UKIP in European elections in June but that he intended to remain a member of the Conservative party.

“Mr Wheeler had told the News of the World newspaper that "the European Union is doing so much damage to our economy and our way of life that I can no longer vote Conservative at the European elections".

“UKIP leader Nigel Farrage said he was delighted with Mr Wheeler's donation.

“However, a spokesman for the Conservatives had previously said that Mr Wheeler's decision would have no effect on party policy.”

Gnostic said...

I guess Mr. Wheeler touched a very tender nerve. At least he's disspelled the myth that Mr. Cameron is a Eurosceptic. I should thank him for helping to clarify that previously impenetrable Tory fudge.

bgprior said...

Simon, Theresa is a nice lady, but what I wish for is not whatever Tory can get elected, but someone with the gumption to work out what is wrong, what needs to be done, and to express it clearly and effectively. Not someone who thinks her party shouldn't attack the Government too aggressively or people will think they are "nasty" (might not have been a bad idea if the Tories had been a bit "nastier" in opposing the Government's debt binge in the last few years), nor someone who can come out with the supremely banal yet false statement to their party's conference: "it's not about big government or small government, it's about good government".

(I had the misfortune to be recovering from an Achilles operation at the same time as the Tory conference three years ago, and so got to hear more of the speeches than is wise for one's sanity. It's all pretty bland, but my God does she take the biscuit for having nothing to say and saying it at length. I know from personal experience that, when it comes to dealing with economic issues rather than opening fetes, there's not much substance above the leopard-skin shoes. And I'm not the only one. Did you read Fraser Nelson's comments in the Spectator about what it said about Tory intentions on Work and Pensions when Cameron replaced Grayling with her?)

And do you really think, after the recent response, that Dan Hannan wouldn't get at least as many votes as her? I can tell you round here there are a lot of people who haven't seen much point voting Tory who would vote for him. Academic anyway, if he's standing for Europe again. A mistake, I'd say, if he could get selected for a winnable seat in the UK elections.

Simon Gardner said...

bgprior said... “And do you really think, after the recent response, that Dan Hannan wouldn't get at least as many votes as her?”

I am reasonably familiar with Maidenhead constituency.

So OK, say there’s a swing from Lab to Tory at the next GE. Trouble is, Maidenhead is a Lib Dem/Tory marginal with the Labour vote having been squeezed to within an inch of its life over time.

There was an appreciable personal vote for Theresa May last time - purely as a local MP and nothing to do with party.

Now Maidenhead is also fairly naice - which is a contra-indicator for Hannon who is indubitably not.

If Theresa May were to be dumped in favour of the ‘let’s adopt the Icelandic banking system’ head-banger, then yes, the Tories would be running a severe risk of losing the seat against a well known local Lib Dem (assuming she runs again).

I’m not calling it but if the Tories keep Theresa May, then they will doubtless retain Maidenhead; if they were to dump her for this MEP, then - at the very least - they risk the seat.