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.