Friday, September 07, 2007

Welcome to Gordon Brown's Big Tent

Only a few days ago, the Tories were frantically spinning the line that Johan Eliasch was standing down from a (merely honorary) post as party deputy treasurer and would remain a member of the party, despite his views that Cameron's recent leap to the right was a huge mistake.
A party spokesman said: "Johann [sic] Eliasch has stood down as a deputy treasurer to focus on climate change issues, however, his full and financial support for David Cameron's leadership continues
Some of that spin that he was only a bit-part player is given the lie by this interview in the Guardian from last year

He has always been Conservative - from 1979-82 he was chairman of the Young Conservatives in the only constituency in Sweden that had a Conservative majority; he started donating to the Conservative party in Britain in the early 1990s and increased his involvement after Labour came to power. He was a principal backer of Michael Howard, supporting his bid to replace Iain Duncan Smith as leader; Howard then brought him in as the party's deputy treasurer.

Mr Eliasch has been closely involved in recent Tory politics and served on the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice, Iain Duncan Smith’s think-tank

Now it seems that Johan has decided that Brown's Big Tent is the place to be and will join as a special advisor on climate change and the Amazonian rainforest. Coming after a week that has seen two Tory MPs and a Lib Dem also agree to serve their country aside from their political affiliations, this is another kick in the teeth for the Cameron Project. As there are rumours that Frank Field has been involved in this conversion to agnosticism, if not actual faith in Labour, then that should also put paid to suggestions that Frank, despite his antipathy to all things Gordon, is thinking of jumping the other way to join the Boy David. The wheels may not yet have come off the NuTory Project, but it is looking more unstable by the day. Gordon was flexing his political muscles while Ravey Davey C was smashing up restaurants in Oxford and other things that he'd rather not talk about these days. Dave, you are playing in the major leagues now and Gordon's miles better at this game than you are.

Oh - and Mr Eliasch would like his £2.6 million loan back as well.

This may be a bit of political circus entertainment, but Johan has decided that the future no longer lies with the clowns, but with working for the ringmaster.
While we're at it, Johan isn't the only one who thinks that David has made some errors in recent weeks as he desperately lunges for the reassuringly right-wing ground. Michael Portillo, once a bright star of the right himself, is now a pro-centrist Cameroonie, but he thinks that Dave has slipped up in recent weeks.

Michael Portillo, the former Conservative minister-turned-TV-personality, has accused Tory leader David Cameron of "losing his nerve" over the rebranding of the party after it faltered in opinion polls... He added that Cameron knows that he needs to change the party from the inside but that he had not "succeeded sufficiently". He said that Cameron is trying to attract a more diverse range of candidates to the party by introducing quotas: "To change, you need to change the people at the heart of the party. He is trying but it has not been as successful as he hoped."

Further doubts were expressed by Kulveer Ranger, a Conservative Party vice-chairman, who urged Mr Cameron to shake off his image as a modern-day toff. He said: "He must battle to establish who he is and what he is. A toff with a conscience? A modern day social/eco warrior?"
What with Ancram sniping from the right and this lot grumbling on the not-so-right, Dave must be looking forward to the conference season.
As one of the comments on the Cameron love-in that is Iain Dale's Diary noted, Dave must also be regretting his Boris-unleashing comment at last year's conference
'This is the Conservative Party. We are not New Labour, we don't mind if people go off message. we love it actually - just don't do it all the time'
William Hague said
'There is room for a maverick or an eccentric in politics and he is a maverick and he is an eccentric.... let's allow the odd eccentric to be in politics, let's not drive them all out of politics... it does not have to be a monolithic organisation.'
That was 2006. In 2007, the mood has shifted somewhat - according to the Sun yesterday (via Iain Dale).

I want all Conservatives to think carefully before they open their mouths. When you make changes you get blasts from the past who signify nothing. Political leadership is about taking a long-term approach. It's about ignoring voices off-stage...

1 comment:

George Calthorpe said...

LOL! That tent, not exactly protected from the elements is it? Great gaping holes just like something one would see at a music festival.

If the band is s**t you can leave quickly and go and see something else.

Quite the tent for Gordon don't you think? You can be enticed in when it starts raining, but when the sun emerges in the sky, you go outside to enjoy the weather.

The Labour Party... Carry on Camping!