Curious creatures these defecting Tories

Very interesting to read in the Telegraph today that Conservative activists have begun defecting to the UK Independence Party in protest at the Tory leadership’s ‘arrogant and insulting’ attitude towards grassroots members.

So let’s get this straight.

  • These Tory activists have stayed part of the Cameronista through broken promises over a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the craven failure to repeal the Human Rights Act and a raft of conservative principles being torn up.
  • They have seen the selection of candidate short lists taken out of their hands.
  • They have seen candidates they have voted to select in European elections passed over in favour of women who received far fewer member votes.
  • They have hung in there as a raft of EU budgetary demands have been paid in full.  They have sat tight as more and more law-making power has been thrown over the fence to Brussels.
  • They have remained in the blue corner as public borrowing and debt has escalated to shocking levels.
  • They have put up with Liberal Democrats derailing implementation of fairer parliamentary constituency boundaries.
  • They kept up their membership as wasteful and inefficient wind turbines are being imposed on communities against their wishes and reliable power stations are shut down.

And despite these and numerous other instances of the party leadership treating them with contempt and eroding their autonomy, only now are some choosing to defect to UKIP, apparently because someone in Cameron’s circle is alleged to have described party members as swivel-eyed loons.

While UKIP may be celebrating these additions to its membership, one has to ask if that party really needs to take on people who compromised their political principles for years by staying in the Conservative Party, only leaving when they perceived they had been insulted.  You’ve got to wonder about people that willingly tolerated such a sustained and overt assault on what they claim to stand for, yet leave on the basis of an as-yet unsubstantiated rumour.

Regardless, if it weakens the conservative-in-name-only Tories, then long may the defections continue.

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15 Responses to “Curious creatures these defecting Tories”


  1. 1 tallbloke 20/05/2013 at 1:29 pm

    From the Telegraph link: “Richard Hilton, who has been acting chairman of the local Conservative association, said he would join Ukip because the insult was “the final straw””

    Referring to them as “Curious creatures” seems a bit unfair to me. People don’t abandon organisations they’ve been part of for many years lightly.
    Having already been called “swivel-eyed loons” I suggest UKIP offer them a warm welcome.

  2. 2 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 20/05/2013 at 1:32 pm

    A post I can agree with!

    UKIP have thrown off the ‘conservatives in exile’ label – really need to be sure that it goesn’t get reattached.

    It can be a single straw that break a camels back – but need to be sure these camels are well and truly broken from their old ways!!

  3. 3 Odeston 20/05/2013 at 1:48 pm

    Until now they had nowhere to go. Whilst Nigel Farage has been prominent as a potential force for a long time, he had no good level headed cogent support. Now he has, and is rapidly gaining more.
    It is clear to all that Cameron is an oleaginous liar and can never be trusted and that goes for most of his antidemocratic inner clique also; swivel-eyed europhiles every one of them!
    Let us all support UKIP because his is the only honest party with the object of a self-governing Great Britain regaining its place in the worldwide marketplace.

  4. 4 tallbloke 20/05/2013 at 1:48 pm

    UKIP isn’t rejoining the Conservatives. Ex-Cons are joining us. Difference!
    However I hope UKIP will take note of the strong swing from Labour to UKIP in the north and balance the lists accordingly.

  5. 6 Clarence 20/05/2013 at 2:03 pm

    So stones (countless europhile actions performed by Cameron) won’t break their bones, but words will harm them? Hmm.

  6. 7 Autonomous Mind 20/05/2013 at 2:22 pm

    Referring to them as “Curious creatures” seems a bit unfair to me. People don’t abandon organisations they’ve been part of for many years lightly.
    Having already been called “swivel-eyed loons” I suggest UKIP offer them a warm welcome.

    I don’t think it’s unfair Rog. How could they possibly consider themselves conservative and stomach all those anti-conservative things, only to leave after an alleged piece of namecalling by someone many of them have never heard of?

    In truth the defections have been going on a long time, it’s just that now the media has chosen to notice and report it. Tory membership is in freefall, although most of the defections have been to no other party. Cameron thinks he can get by with corporate backers, but he’s eviscerating that party and will leave it with no campaign base and difficulty in finding candidates in many areas.

    Watching Cameron’s fall will be a popcorn and smiley face moment. May it be long and painful.

  7. 8 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 20/05/2013 at 2:57 pm

    Odeston: “he had no good level headed cogent support. Now he has, and is rapidly gaining more.”

    So thats what you think of existing supporters… Cheers…

  8. 9 Steve 20/05/2013 at 3:31 pm

    In complete agreement with your follow-up to Rog, but at variance with your initial premise.

    The current back-breaking issue for the Tories is ‘gay marriage’, which is why there is flight to UKIP. If it was just a brainless insult from a party high-heejun, they’d brush it off and move on.

    So these Conservatives are fleeing to the last-bastion of anti-marriage quality bigotry – UKIP.

  9. 10 tallbloke 20/05/2013 at 5:11 pm

    “How could they possibly consider themselves conservative and stomach all those anti-conservative things, only to leave after an alleged piece of namecalling”

    I think that might be because they could be persuaded to believe those policies were a necessary political strategy and so give the benefit of the doubt, but there’s no mistaking the contempt with which they’ve just been treated.

  10. 11 james higham 20/05/2013 at 6:16 pm

    Phew – for a moment I thought there was an “a” between the “c” and “t” in the second last word in the title.

  11. 12 james higham 20/05/2013 at 6:51 pm

    More seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been more nauseated than this joining Labour tonight. Cameron has tried to destroy that party since 2007. He’s driven you away, driven me, driven how many from the party?

    It’s quite clear he wants a conservative free party and if it retains the name Conservative after it, then it is one of the greatest travesties in the political history of this nation.

  12. 13 Autonomous Mind 20/05/2013 at 7:52 pm

    As I keep reminding people, Cameron is a conservative in name only.

    He feels more at home with his Lib Dem and Labour fellow travellers than people with conservative principles. He’s a political carpetbagger and there are thousands of former Conservatives who bitterly regret electing him leader.

  13. 14 Halinof 21/05/2013 at 4:04 am

    Come off it AM, you know how hard people try to fool themselves, staying in a relationship that has long seen its best. Encouragement to new pastures, in this instance, does no harm.

  14. 15 Brian H 14/06/2013 at 11:09 am

    By repeatedly imagining they are appealing to the majority by elevating “moderates” to leadership roles, conservatives repeatedly deliver themselves into the hands of left-corrupted organizers and organizations.


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