Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Freedom of speech - not under the Tories

Well, maybe I am being a bit sensationalist.

We already know that they don't like their own candidates to have too much of an independent voice, as Howard Flight found out.

Of course, if that voice is telling lies about asylum seekers, hypocritically trying to convince white voters that you are anti-immigration and then reminding Asian voters how helpful you have been over visas or pandering to the 'send them back' school of thought, that's OK. It's also fine to attack the education policies of one of your own councils.

If however, you are a redundant employee of the party (a growing constituency of voters, one suspects), then the price of free speech is around £10,000.

It's as if the Human Rights Act never happened. Rumours that Old Queen Street are looking at Brian Sedgemore have been denied. (Hey - the LDs get Sedgemore, we get a former Tory council candidate in Coventry, who denounces their policies in ringing tones as 'a bit dodgy.')

One bright glimmer of hope for fairness in the Tory party - their Cumbrian council leader has admitted that their asylum-seeker press advertisements were misleading and the Notting Hill Tories don't seem to like the new direction of their party either.
The grandees are rumbling in the jungle. Over the weekend, Michael Portillo criticised the Tories' "Victor Meldrew" manifesto, Ken Clarke said the public had "had enough of immigration" and Cecil Parkinson insisted that the Conservatives "cannot be a one-issue party".
Another bright glimmer of hope is that Howard seems to have given up.

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