Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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I must be a swivel-eyed loon then!

Swivel-eyed: Tory leadership attacks own party members

Swivel-eyed: Tory leadership attacks own party members

When I heard on Saturday morning a “senior figure, who has strong social connections to the Prime Minister and close links to the party machine” had called me a swivel-eyed loon for still having the Thatcherite values of family, enterprise and aspiration, which attracted me to the Conservative Party in the first place, I was not surprised.

Since 2005, the Tory Toffs have recaptured the leadership of the Conservative Party, where they see their natural home and indeed they have led the Conservative Party for most of its history. It was only in 1975 the Toffs got pushed aside by a handbag waving grocer’s daughter called Margaret Thatcher, who then went on to win three General Elections in a row, not achieved by any of the Tory Toffs who led the Party before her. It demonstrates the vast achievements of Mrs Thatcher that she not only saved the country but ensured the Conservative Party attracted people into its ranks from all walks of life by her no nonsense rhetoric and straightforward leadership. Lord Lawson puts it well in his memoirs:

‘At a more down-to-earth level, Margaret [Thatcher] was unusual, for a Tory leader, in actually warming to the Conservative Party – that is to say, the party in the country rather than its Members of Parliament. Certainly, that had not occurred for many years. Harold Macmillan had a contempt for the party, Alec Home tolerated it, Ted Heath loathed it. Margaret genuinely liked it.’

However, in 1990, the Toffs had had enough and decided to take their Party back from the peasants swivel-eyed loons and knifed Mrs Thatcher in the front. Apart from the short interlude of John Major’s premiership, we are now, unfortunately, back in an era where the leadership has overt contempt for the ordinary party member and activist.

Chum: Conservative Co-Chairman Lord Feldman

Chum: Conservative Co-Chairman Lord Feldman

By 2005, the Toffs had not only taken their Party back (as they saw it) but had also wrestled back control of the leadership. The metropolitan liberal elite were back in charge. As with any elite, meritocracy is the first thing to go out of the window and instead in comes nepotism. Hence why David Cameron has stuffed his inner circle with fellow Etonians and Oxford men. Andrew Feldman was one of Mr Cameron’s chums and tennis partner at Oxford University so Dave made him Chairman of the Conservative Party when he became Prime Minister in 2010. And for good measure he made him a Lord too.

The unnamed senior figure close to the Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader who, when questioned by three journalists in a Westminster restaurant about the Party’s internal arguments over the Government’s gay marriage bill and Party’s perennial difficulties with the EU said:

“There’s really no problem. The MPs just have to do it because the associations tell them to, and the associations are all mad swivel-eyed loons.”

The three journalists – James Kirkup, Sam Coates and James Lyons – who spoke with the Conservative Party “senior figure” have Palace of Westminster Lobby passes, which means they can have little tête-à-têtes with MPs in Members’ only areas in the Houses of Parliament – but they cannot reveal their sources under “Lobby rules”. However, it has been alluded across the mainstream and social media the source of the damning quote was Lord Feldman. Lord Feldman has strenuously denied he made the comments and has threatened to sue the three journalists. At the present time, no writ has been issued.

Frankly, the suspicion the leadership detest ordinary party members and volunteers is not news. The evidence has been around for some time. Before the Coalition with the Yellow Peril was formed the high command tried to ban party members from a say in electing their leader, they imposed “enlightened” metropolitan liberal candidates on Tory Associations in the shires and market towns of England and for many years ordinary members have no say at Party Conference and are merely there as a “rent-a-crowd” for the TV pictures. Once David Cameron became Prime Minister he went further in his disdain for the values of true Tories by concentrating Government time on gay marriage and wind farms rather than fixing the crashed economy.

Even before the “swivel-eyed loon” comment the damage had been done. The first rule of party management is to lock in your base then branch out to people who would not normally support you. Without people to stuff envelopes, deliver leaflets and knock on doors, you don’t have a political party. David Cameron and his Eton and Oxford chums have done the complete opposite: offending the base and desperately trying to win over people who will never vote Tory. As a result, there will be severe consequences: by May 2015 the Conservative Party will lose a fifth General Election in a row, David Cameron will retreat to a consultancy in the Cotswolds and it will be left to the voluntary party (those that are left) to pick up the pieces. Aren’t our leaders just charming, eh?


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David Cameron is on the wrong side of the Conservative Party

gay marriage

Rejoice! Rejoice!

No, not because the UK Parliament voted for the gay marriage bill at its Second Reading in the House of Commons last night but because the majority of the Conservative Party did not. 127 Conservative MPs voted for the Bill; 136 voted against.

As readers know I am against legalising gay marriage for reasons I have outlined before. But I would like to add one other argument against gay marriage, which David Green in The Spectator wrote this morning:

What is the point of a Conservative party that does not see practical value, perhaps wisdom, in traditional institutions such as marriage? There are some less worthy reasons for preserving prevailing structures, such as sheer self-interest, but the overwhelming reason for valuing established institutions is intellectual modesty. We should be aware of our own intellectual and moral limitations and take seriously the possibility that there may be wisdom in institutions that have been valued by people who came before us. (my highlighting)

Gay couples in civil partnerships already have ALL the legal rights as married heterosexual couples. So why make gay marriage legal overturning an institution which has existed for thousands of years and is the bedrock of our society and the foundation of future generations. Marriage is a tried and tested institution for the procreation and nurture of children. It’s a real shame one has to spell this out but gay couples cannot conceive children. If this bill succeeds (and there is a long way to go yet) this government, which has no mandate for gay marriage, will cause irrevocable damage to our already fractured society by overhauling an institution which serves the common good.

Or as David Green puts its:

To throw it [marriage] away because of a political calculation that the Conservatives will gain the votes of LGBT activists and their sympathisers is unworthy of a serious political party. But what else is to be expected of leaders who treat politics as an exercise in deploying mass advertising techniques to manipulate public opinion? (my highlighting)

I believe those who defend this mad policy are not Conservatives. Thankfully, I am with the majority of the parliamentary Conservative Party who oppose the destruction of marriage and the traditional family. There is hope for our Party yet.

For a full list of how your MP voted last night please visit here.


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As the House of Commons is today voting on legislation to legalise gay marriage, I am reblogging this post I wrote in March last year.

Gavin Maclure's Musings

During my years in politics I have had great opportunities to experience different cultures and listen to different viewpoints in life. It has been a humbling experience so far. And many of the people I have met during the last decade have been gay. I am for promoting the rights of all people in society and I have never had a problem with people being homosexual and I truly can say I have never met anyone in the Conservative Party who was homophobic in their words and deeds. I’ve met some pretty hard right wingers in the Tory Party and one of them, a married man, said he really did not care if a person is gay or not and I very much agree. I couldn’t care less what consenting adults get up to in their bedrooms – I don’t necessarily want to know about it but then I don’t…

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