Saturday, December 11, 2010

On one hand... on the other

First read this from Lobbydog last week.
a group of the new Tory intake have been selected as right-wing ‘buffers’.

They’ve been sanctioned by the Tory leadership to discuss certain issues in the media which have been deemed too politically sensitive for the leadership to talk openly about.

Their purpose is to make sure right-wing party members and associations see that their issues are not being ignored in Westminster.

But obviously it also offers the opportunity for the leadership to co-opt a potentially troublesome element of the parliamentary party.
Ok, that sort of makes sense, people like Dan Hannan and Dougie Carswell give the party a sheen of Eurosceptic, localist sheen. This keeps enough of the old fashioned, small state, patriotic Tories on board as they can see elected conservatives doing and saying what they believe in. The problem is of course that the party will not listen to them and they will achieve nothing.

Which makes reading this extremely interesting.
MPs angry about being ignored on Europe and other issues of concern to traditionalists were apparently gearing up to take their revenge.
Many were furious that the Coalition leadership was bending over backwards to accommodate Lib Dem MPs, giving them the right to abstain, while Tory backbenchers have been repeatedly ordered to vote for legislation they do not like, or indeed detest.
The ceding of a series of major powers to Europe, the increasing of international aid, the decision to have a referendum on voting reform, the redrawing of constituency boundaries – all had been eating away at Tory backbenchers for months. Worse than that, their concerns had been repeatedly brushed aside by Mr Cameron.
Forced into the division lobbies to back a European foreign ministry and increased EU budget, they felt enough was enough.
Tensions boiled over at a tumultuous session of the 1922 committee of backbenchers on Wednesday during which MPs exploded in anger at Sir George Young, Leader of the House.
Which is all well and good, but then Ms Kite goes on to say,
The most vociferous critics of the Coalition were new intake MPs, young, ambitious men and women in their 30s and 40s.
Mr Cameron had perhaps assumed that these high flyers would be prepared to toe the line for the sake of future advancement, but far from being keen as mustard, they were in a state of severe disillusionment.
Which if it is true could mean the end of the coalition, as it will be constantly having to deal with splits and rebellions which will sap it of power, energy and direction, culminating in some god awful mess. It will fall over something small.

But I am not convinced, and this is why, if this is the case,
"We came to this place to try to achieve something, to have a voice, and we find that we have no say," was how one new backbencher put it. "We are sick of being taken for granted."
Then the reasons given for not rebelling seem frankly pathetic,
The mood of rebellion was made worse by changes to the expenses system which have seen the new intake pilloried in their local newspapers in recent weeks for items in their first claim forms, just published.
"They just went beserk," said one MP present. "They couldn't take any more. They want Cameron to listen to them and they are getting desperate enough to do anything to make him listen.
"In the end, the infantry does not mutiny over the reasons for the war, or the tactics, but over their conditions."
This newspaper understands that more than a dozen Tory MPs told the whips before the tuition fees vote on Thursday that they might vote against the legislation purely in protest at how they had been treated.
Even some MPs on record as supporting fees threatened to join the "no" lobby in order to teach Cameron a lesson.
At one stage, Tory whips were so desperate they called in potential rebels and told them that if they voted against the government, they would not get any help to find a new constituency when the proposed boundary changes went through.
"In other words, "vote against us, and we will turf you out of your seat".
C'mon guys, don't use the expenses system for stuff that you cannot justify to your mother, and for pities sake, with the spread of open primaries, and the fact that you will; be publicly doing something to save your countries do you not have the confidence that you will get selected? And for that matter, if you are so craven you are cowed by those threats, then why should the country care about you anyway, you are still part of the problem.

My guess is Lobbydog is closer to the truth, any rebellions will be part licensed. After all what punishments have indeed been meted out? The ones mentioned are so far in the future that they are near meaningless, by the time of the next selection process the likelihood will be that there will be a different set of priorities.There are those who walk a fine line and have not been blown out of the water. Why not?

 Because, in my view they are necessary to keep one side of the big tent from blowing down.


Xopher said...

'We live in hope'.
Do any politicians have the b*lls to stand firm behind their beliefs?
If their party will not stand up for their personal beliefs they'd better find a party that will.
We need them to make every effort sort out the country not their party.

Witterings from Witney said...

Saw this Gawain and was going to post, but you beat me to it as I have been out all day and working on a rather long post which has a connection to yours.

Anyway, nicely said!