It is often said the BBC’s favourite news subject is itself. The same is true of Conservative politicians and their bag men. The love being the centre of attention because it takes the focus away from their multitude of broken promises and their rank incompetence.
This weekend we have no less than two articles online that put the 2010 intake of new Tory MPs front and centre. While the articles hail from different viewpoints, both underline the self referential Westminster bubble’s desire to talk about issues of fascination to itself rather than subjects that matter to the long suffering British public.
First up we have Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome, taking time out from ‘running interference’ for David Cameron in the Sunday Fail, to try and convince readers that he and the Conservative Party are still right of centre, by arguing that the new intake of (supposedly centre right) Tory MPs are pushing David Cameron towards a more robust, more appealing Conservatism.
Any independently minded observer reading Montgomerie’s piece would either be reduced to tears of laughter at the notion of the autocratic Cameron being forced into any position he doesn’t want to adopt, or moved to hurling invective at their screen in response to the sheer vacuous idiocy of his claim.
Which brings us smoothly on to the second piece about the aggressively self serving Tory newbies… for in the Mail on Sunday we have an anonymous piece, written by a person who indicates they are a longer serving Conservative MP, which explains that while he/she thought the new intake of Tories would clean up politics, the cruel hounding of Mark Pritchard shows they were wrong.
As this anonymous person reminds those who had forgotten the origin of these Parliamentary candidates before they were elected, top of the list were the friends or former schoolmates of Cameron and George Osborne, or those who moved in the same social circle. The candidates lists in many constituencies were cynically manipulated to ensure those who Cameron and Osborne could rely upon to be ‘on message’ were the ones who were selected. Alongside these, the anonymous writer reminds us:
were the ambitious sycophants and plain old careerists who would sell their own grandmother for a pat on the back or a wink from a whip
So how does this insight square with Montgomerie’s article, which one could argue is nothing more than another Cameron-protecting puff piece designed to keep the angered Tory grass roots from turning their back on the left sliding party for good? How does Montgomerie’s piece square with his own support of the ‘Better Off Out’ campaign to see Britain leave the EU, when he witters on about this new intake, amounting to two thirds of Tory backbenchers, supposedly pulling Cameron towards more Thatcherite positions, and the old Right towards greater pragmatism?
Perhaps Montgomerie’s stomach for principle has now completely evaporated, easily pleased at seeing nothing more a Conservative in name only in Downing Street due to his tribal party loyalty, to be replaced by the coward’s approach – consensus politics and so called pragmatism which maintains the anti democratic nature of politics in this country – which prevents the change we so desperately need.