Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Flight and Fight

The Tory campaign continues to be overshadowed by their internal difficulties.

Quite apart from Howard Flight's ongoing campaign to be the Tory candidate in Arundel (remember that this man has deep pockets, so can afford good legal representation), which is opposed by the local Tory agent, the Slough problems continue.

As detailed here, the party recently dropped their second candidate for his article in the Spectator which foresaw a

'Catholic Caesar presiding over the [British] Protestant monarch... The issue of European religious union is one that has been concealed even deeper than the plans for political union, but the ratchet towards a Catholic Europe is just as real... A Catholic EU will inevitably result in the subjugation of Britain's Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teaching.'

Adrian Hilton's fight apparently goes on - the local association has been suspended because they refused to follow instructions from Central Office to deselect him. He has told BBC Five Live that he has also taken legal advice and intends to be the Tory candidate in Slough. He is justifiably angered that the party apparently knew of his comments and writings when they were first published and doesn't understand what has changed.

That's simply answered. He instantly became persona non grata when the Catholic Herald told their readers not to vote for him.

Oddly, Howard has also just come out in favour of scrapping the 300 year old Act of Settlement that prohibits the monarch marrying or being Catholic. To be fair, this is a nonsensical and archaic piece of discriminatory legislation - future royals can marry Methodists or Jews or Muslims and still lay claim to the throne. Marry a Catholic, however, and they are out of the line of succession for good. But I can't help feeling that Howard's sudden profession of support for a legislative change is more to do with courting the Catholic vote than a sincere belief in ironing out a minor injustice.

Sacrificing candidates is easy, unless they choose to fight back. Michael Howard has made a disastrous error of judgment with this one.

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