Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two Senior LibDems Defect to the Conservatives

Richard Willis has news of two fairly significant LibDem defections to the Conservatives in London.
Chamali Fernando, a barrister from Finchley, was a contender to be the Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate in 2007 and her brother Chandila was a candidate for Lib Dem President. She had been a party member for 20 years. The loss of two such senior party activists will be a blow to the Lib Dems and a boost for Cameron’s Conservatives. The news follows the defection of Lib Dem PPC Norsheen Bhatti who was seen as a high flier within the party.

Seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment. I've lost count of the number of LibDem PPCs who have defected to the Tories over the last couple of years. It is well into double figures now, I think.

35 comments:

Christian May said...

But do we want them? Are they Conservatives, or are they just deserting a sinking ship in favour of one that is making god progress towards government? I'd like to hear them explain the conservative values that they now claim to support.

Newmania said...

I read Cicero songs ( jolly good blog ) .He is a classical Liberal and other than on Europe I often agree with him.
Contrastingly ,I attended a debate on Tom Paine the other day in Lewes ,where the Liberals were out in force .It was quite something to listen to how left wing they really are . The answer to absolutely everything no was “More government spending “
This is rather odd when Cleggy is trying got pretend Liberals are a low tax Party, heirs to Gladstonian principles and Laissez Faire .
It struck me that while Liberals are always saying Conservative have not changed in fact they have . Liberals on the other hand are still the same old |Liberals and its no surprise that a “Liberally minded ambitious people , would want to part company with pale pink parochial socialists.

Anonymous said...

Les to do with conviction / changing viewpoint methinks, than an unprincipled desire to grab power - and its perquisites - at any cost.

Whereas the LibDems looked like a good bet a few years ago, now they're also-rans.

The last dance said...

Well, that's the thing with these young careerists. The don't really mind which political party serves as the vehicle for their career.

So much for the Conservatives being a change for the better.

Looks like more of the same old, same old, bureaucratizing box tickers and big pension brigade.

Get rid of Blair and then get Blair marque II.

God help us.

Anonymous said...

This defection is for bitter personal reasons. My guess is it's not about Tory policy and more about not wanting to be part of a party that has humilatingly rejected them both.

no longer anonymous said...

Cue LibDem posts saying "doesn't bother us, move along etc".

Salmondnet said...

A triumph for Conservatism, or just an indicator that the party has been taken over by Liberals?

golden_balls said...

while they may be big political figures in the capital outside your london bubble this will be looked at as nothing special.

Come back to us if a labour/Lib dem mp defects now that would be news.

Anonymous said...

It must be said that this was expected; even within the Lib Dems.

Chamali lost a vote, and Chadila was hopelessly out-worked in the presidential campaign. In fact, I would hardly call him a 'contender'.

Neither are senior, though they desperately tried to be - so you are wrong there.

To be senior in the Lib Dems, you have to win an election, and they both failed.

All spin and no substance?

Should fit in with the Conservative Party very well.

Ruaraidh said...

You're welcome to Chandila...

Liberal Democrat Nazi said...

The whole Liberal Democrat Party seems to be collapsing at the moment!

I think many LD have realised they cannot win here!

Vince Cable and Nick Clegg seem to think they are doomed!

http://tinyurl.com/lp2oje

DominicJ said...

But why?
Have they suddenly realised that taxation makes people poor and keeps them poor?
Or have they realised they stand a better chance of election if they wear blue?

They're carpet baggers.
Nothing more.

James Higham said...

You'll have to speak to Nich about it - I believe you and he are doing a programme or an interview, aren't you, Iain?

Anonymous said...

This 'chicken run' will continue right up until the next election.

Don't rule out one or two Labour MPs trying to do the same thing..

Anonymous said...

Hardly Senior. And they left the Lib Dems 7 months ago.

trevorsden said...

Which wing of the libdems are they from? Mind you the libdems have so many 'wings' - does it matter?

Anonymous said...

Don't trust 'em.

They are following the money [I mean vote-rs]

Alex said...

Let me say this before anybody else:

"Though I never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando"

James Brougier said...

Sorry, but senior lib dems? One stood in an election anyone party member was free to stand in, and lost, and the other did the same. Other than bits of self promotion outside of these internal party elections, that's pretty much the sum total of their achievements.

Wasn't one or both of them a conservative party member previously anyway?

Keith Elliott said...

Is Edward McMillan-Scott not a 'senior Conservative' then?

No mention, as far as I'm aware of his defection...and he is an elected (ex) Conservative.

Whiffler said...

At first glance this seems good news.

However, a brother & sister combination moving simultaneously suggests that you might realistically treatthemasone.

And there is track record of certain cultures moving as it becomes obvious where future pay will lay - even having recently espoused another cause.

Not a criticism of those concerned, more a suggestion to you that you oughtn't too much crow over each & every convert.

I Albion said...

Iain dearest,I think it just proves how wishy washy the Conservatives have become!

Anonymous said...

First off, it's clear that you must regard today as a 'slow news' day, Iain.

These two nobodies can switch between whichever parties they like. It won't make the slightest difference to the average voter, who will never have heard of these 'senior figures'. I would reserve such a term for characters such as Vince Cable. Now that would be a notable and welcome defection! I don't blame you for reporting this story, since it has been published online. At least it's not a waste of paper.

On the Lib Dems themselves, I have nothing against the party as such. I would, however, feel more comfortable were they explicitly designated as a pressure group, rather than just seen as one in all material aspects. Lib Dems have valuable input with regard to several issues but I can't feel that they could exert influence in other ways, rather than clogging up the Palace of Westminster by taking up seats.

To me, the thing which best demonstrates why the party can't possibly be taken seriously is Clegg's 'stance' on public spending. He stands there and says that both the major parties are lying and should be honest with the public. True. But he loses all credibility when he comes up with no policy of his own. You can't just say 'vote for us, because we're not one of them'. Only minor/fringe parties would adopt such a tactic. Ah, wait...

Mirtha Tidville said...

Senior Lim Dems?????????...sorry this is yawn yawn..

john miller said...

It's more a professional politician's move from these sort of people.

They have no principles or morals, they are just sailing with the prevailing wind.

Which may be all it really is, wind...

Glyn H said...

You either believe in Socialist values (drag down the hand that feeds you - as in Fred Kite - or the posh version; the little peoples taxes will provide an NHS for the world/guilt for the empire) or you believe in Capitalism; that will float everyones boat + nobless obligee. As QD and SW are twats in Gordo land we do not need or want those who do not cleave to Conservative values - that includes the likes of Bercow - so eloquently summed up by the slurping noise made by a certain female MP to Keth Vaz on Alan J's first outing as H/Sec in the HOC.

Violet said...

I have seen quite a few defections in my time, both in Westminster and in local govt.

With very, VERY, few exceptions, they are caused by the defectors' failure to be recognised/promoted, or to win a senior and lucrative position.

I can think of only one local councillor who defected honourably - he came to the conclusion that Labour was going down the wrong road, resigned the whip (and a lucrative post) and spent the last year of the cycle as an Independent. He was out in the cold for the following 4 years, then spent time working for the Conservatives before he was judged suitable for candidate selection.

Norfolk Blogger said...

One of them left the Lib Dems many months ago.

Personal grievances seem to be the issue here.

Will 883 said...

Good news for Lib Dems - that guy's Party President campaign was a joke. He wanted to be a voice of the people stirring up the political machine, but in truth he just came across as the voice of the political machine stirring up people. People like me.

I seriously do question the values of anybody who quits their party after losing an internal election. I have seen it happen at a local level and it usually comes down to nothing more than self-pity.

A question to consider in this case is - would this pair still have quit the party if they were now London Mayor and Party President respectively? I think not.

Will 883 said...

Oh, and I recall that Norsheen Bhatti was such a high flyer that she secured about 12 votes in total (no exaggeration) when she tried to secure her name on the Lib Dem list for a London Assembly place.

Anonymous said...

The Tories will take anybody these days!

What a bunch of opportunists.

No political conviction, so they have finally joined the right party!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the classic Lib Dem defector Emma "I'm not a toff" Nicholson will think of this?

BeenThereAndDunnit said...

"Senior" and "LibDems" that's not something you read very often! Presumably even less now?

Manfarang said...

Newmania
"Liberals were out in force"
I bet a Lewes pound they were Social Democrats.

neil craig said...

While there is some difference betwwe so high you "lost count" & "a couple of dozen" but the party really have screwed up. If Charley was still there they would be well ahead of Labour & possibly of the Conservatives since Cameron isn't really impressing anybody, indeed if they had had real liberal policies, or even something sane, I'm think it would be the Conservatives who were in trouble - as things stand real liberals have to vote Conservative or UKIP. Normally they do relatively well when Labour are doing badly yet on their present polls they look like losing the large majority of MPs which must give any ambitious members pause.

They not only deserve to be thrashed but, because they are committed to destroying the country's energy supply & thus economy it is very much in the national interest that they go. Who, in the national interest, ought to win, is a different question. I wish Sarah Palin or Lee Kuan Yew was stamding.