Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Blessings in Disguise

Not an ideal blogging platform
There can't be many worse places to 'pen' a blog entry from than a crowded carriage on a Silverlink train service, sitting next to a Lock-Knee sufferer, but frankly I don't really have a lot else to do other than look at the scenery that wasn't all that inspiring the first of the thousand time I saw it. Apologies for the spelling!

I had to leave home before I got to see any of the firestorm that Quentin Davies, MP for Grantham and Stamford, crossing the floor from the Conservatives to NuLab will have ignited on most of the blogs I read.

As it happens I don't really care all that much. One less Davies/Davis in the ranks of Conservative MPs should make life a bit less confusing and the loss of a Quentin can only be a good thing for their modernisation.

I don't think much of his rationale for the move will really strike that much a chord with the people of Grantham, or the nation as a whole. He appears dissatisfied with Cameron's EU policy, by which I presume he means the call for a referendum on the 'Amending Treaty'; if so he, if polls are to believed, is setting himself at odds with well over 80% of the population. I always hoped that Cameron would allow individual Conservatives to stand on a pro-Treaty platform, but had also hoped that most Tory MPs, in some ways especially the more visionary side of the pro-EU element, would see the need to take this issue to the people to lance the festering boil of the UK's attitude to Europe.

I suppose there is an outside chance that he is driven by seeing 'representative' democracy as some kind of Shibboleth to be worshipped despite the damage it will almost certainly inflict on his own cause in the long term, so I guess you could have this one down as a bizarre point of principle. This cannot be said of one of his other justifications, that the Conservatives are now too media and PR obsessed, an assertion that can only make him look ridiculous. For Christ's sake man, you are joining NuLab who have surpassed even themselves in these arts over the last couple of weeks. Now the Lib Dems, the argument might have held water in their case as they seem to have lost the plot entirely in these regards, but NuLab? Nah.

As it happens I do have some sympathy for Mr Davies' position against an immediate inquiry into the conduct of the Iraq war, but even that's evaporated having seen the childish ad hominem nature of his attacks on Cameron in the late edition I've just picked up. They are not the words of someone suffering a late life crisis of conscience, but of an embittered man being bettered by a younger generation and seeking a more old-style paternalistic, authoritarian home. Quite what his new friends will make of his attitude to gay rights, ID cards, anti-terrorism laws and the hunting ban, I really wouldn't like to guess, as Mr Davies conscience, as evidenced by his voting record, appears to lead him in very different directions to themselves.

I know all the arguments against an MP resigning upon changing party but, like most people I suspect, I don't buy them, regardless of the nature of the political metamorphosis. Some people vote for the man, I'm pretty sure many, many more vote for the party. It's the old representative democracy thing again. It's a fine concept, but one that people will only have faith in as long as they have trust in the promised basic tenets which will underpin the way the member performs his duty as representative. Sorry Mr Davies, for most people that comes down to party and manifesto.

I'm actually glad leading Conservatives didn't engage in this particular debate as it would have seemed weak and churlish, but at some less heated moment we need to consider a new convention to govern such situations if faith in the political system is to be maintained.

I won't be as unkind as doubtless others will have been this evening, though I do hope Mr Davies does prove the adage of political careers always ending in failure, and that anyone considering him for cosy jobs on some board or quango has some thought for the merits of honesty and loyalty. He may consider himself to be acting out of principle, but he is deceiving even himself if so, he' s just another self-serving piece of shit.

I don't even feel that sorry for the Conservative party, they are well off without him, the only sympathy I can feel is for those will have inevitably worked so hard at a local level with the man, believing that they were striving for the victory of a man of integrity; one they could trust. The feeling of betrayal must be overwhelming.

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