Many bloggers on the right of the blogosphere will remember the time when Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome was considered influential. To see how far Montgomerie has fallen, subsumed into the rent chasing claque in his desperate effort to be a ‘pundit’, just witness his piece in the online version of the Barclay Brother Beano this evening.
Whereas many people once considered Montgomerie to be a free thinker, genuine Eurosceptic and voice of the conservative leaning grassroots, he has sacrificed all in the interests of tribal party loyalty. The Conservatives are in trouble, so Montgomerie has been drafted to write a distraction piece that poses such heavyweight political questions as ‘Is George Osborne actually running things at Number 10?’ and ‘Will Steve Hilton go?’
And to think CCHQ was once allegedly worried that Montgomerie’s grassroots focus was a threat to the party. How wrong they were.
For when push came to shove, the Tory membership had accepted the Faustian deal to go along with Cameron’s new social democratic autocracy and, safely inside Downing Street, Cast Iron Dave was tearing up the few conservative principles that still remained, Montgomerie was shown to be nowhere. Indeed, far from being the siren voice of the centre right determined to keep Cameron honest, Montgomerie is now CCHQ’s useful idiot, running interference to keep people outside the Westminster bubble watching the birdie and focusing attention on matters of little consequence or zero substance. In return Montgomerie gets a national profile and repeated media opportunities with Downing Street’s blessing.
Thankfully at least one of the early commenters has failed to be taken in and has hit the nail squarely on the head with this incisive observation:
On these matters of substance Montgomerie is all but silent. It is the best rated comment already, and it may well remain so as those who have not abandoned their convictions rail against those like Montgomerie who have sold out and therefore condemned themselves for a meteoric fall and increasing irrelevance. When Cameron is finished there will be no way back for Montgomerie. Having jumped the fence he will find attempts to jump back will be too much even for political editors to stomach.