Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Losers Declare For Ken

After a long period when Ken's declared support among MPs has remained stuck on 12, he's decided to widen the net.

So this morning sees support for Clarke from 30 nearly-MPs- Tory PPCs who were defeated in the last election. They include Sheila Gunn, John Major's former press secretary, and they say:

'As candidates in this year's general election, we represented constituencies that our party must win if it is to defeat Labour at the next election. The electorate is telling us that the Conservative Party would be mad not to elect Ken Clarke to lead it.'

The only problem of course is that...well, ahem...they're all losers.

And also, I happen to know the constituency for which Sheila herself stood- Slough- because I grew up there. Lovely place of course. But certainly not a constituency "that our party must win if it is to defeat Labour at the next election". In fact, throughout the last millenium it was solidly Labour, only ever falling into our hands once (1964-66), and then only because Labour got so cocky they put up a pacifist octogenarian. (Strangely, the Tory who temporarily took the seat was Sir Anthony Meyer, who much later found fame as the front half of a pantomime stalking horse).

What's more, when we talk about what the people want, we should remember Sheila's entry into the Slough race was imposed on the good people of the "Safety Town" by the apparatchiks at CCO. The local party had selected a strong local candidate- Adrian Hilton- but CCO took exception to a Spectator article he had written. Their response was to grab the controls: the local party was put in "supported status" - which meant that its officers were suspended and all decisions are made on its behalf by a representative from Conservative Central Office, which then imposed Sheila Gunn.

The Times quoted Hilton as saying:

"There are people at Central Office behaving like little dictators and, seemingly, people who are ordinary members are being treated with contempt.

I am simply appalled at the way the Slough Association has been treated. These are people who have been working their backsides off since 1997 to get an MP for Slough who is Conservative once again. Now they have been disbanded and they haven't even been told officially that they have been disbanded."

Sound familiar at all?

At least the latest anti-democratic power grab by these jokers looks like heading for defeat.

Hurrah.
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