Thursday, April 15, 2010

Zac Goldsmith: "If any of those promises are broken I will trigger a by-election and allow people to penalise my party."

Like father, like son.

Zac Goldsmith appears to have inherited more than his father's fortune: there is an emerging genetic predisposition towards standing on points of principle. Perhaps Mr Goldsmith is indeed his father's political progeny.

He is battling to take the seat of Richmond Park for the Conservatives (from the Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer), and in a hustings meeting organised by the local Chamber of Commerce, which wss hosted the BBC's James Naughtie, Mr Goldsmith has promised to trigger a by-election if he is elected as part of a Conservative Government that subsequently breaks key election promises.

Let's face it. When you're worth £30 million, you don't need to be an MP. And when you're also an Old Etonian, there is nothing in David Cameron which is particuilarly intimidating.

But the word 'key' is important here. For Mr Goldsmith's 'key' may not be key to everyone else, and, as we all know, political keys have a habit of being lost, or even forced into locks for which they were never designed in an attempt to unlock all manner of untold, undeclared and unforeseen policies upon the poor, unsuspecting electorate.

But Mr Goldsmith has been helpful.

Not only has he said that he would not vote along party lines in the House of Commons if he felt any issue would have a negative impact on residents (indeed, he would tell parliamentary whips to 'stuff it'); he has specified some of these 'key' promises:

1) No Heathrow expansion under a Conservative Government

2) No charges for parking in Richmond Park

3) Kingston Hospital will be safe.

Now, Cranmer's Readers and Communicants might be persuaded on the 'key' merits of No.1, and even of No.3. But No.2 appears a bizarre point of principle.

In what sense can the introduction of parking charges constitute a breach which might justify a Member of Parliament triggering a by-election in order to 'allow people to penalise my party'.

Not least because decisions upon such matters are usually taken by local councils, and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is presently Liberal Democrat conrolled.

So if the Liberal Democrats conspire to impose parking charges in Richmond Park, their MP will trigger a by-election, thereby imperiling David Cameron's already- slender and precarious Commons majority.

That aside (for it has been pointed out that Royal Parks may be administered by Parliament), it is a delight to see such independence of mind among the Conservative ranks, and the prioritising of local concerns. There is a hint of a return to independent MPs being in Parliament primarily to represent their constituents rather than constituting 'lobby fodder' and a 'top-down' representation of the party to a supine, compliant electorate.

Perhaps the wheel has come full circle: the next Parliament might be more in the mould of that of the 18th century, when politics was exercised by independent MPs who grouped informally according to type or temperament. Political parties existed but they were better understood not by watching them in the House of Commons but in the country. There they were manifest – principally between the Tory landed gentry and support for the Established Church, and the Whig merchants and Non-Conformists. In Parliament, leaders and groups often changed so quickly that understanding what they were about was difficult.

It was only during the course of the 19th century that these social networks evolved into what may be considered political parties. Since then, they have become so disciplined and ‘whipped’ that a division in the House of Commons is now mostly a well-drilled affair.

The House of Commons needs more MPs like Zac Goldsmith.

Perhaps, like his father - the late, great, much-missed Sir James Goldsmith - he might even one day make the issue of European Union a 'key' issue upon which he might trigger a by-election.

One lives in hope.


Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Hope springs eternal.

15 April 2010 at 09:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that is ridiculous Cranmer.He hasn't even kept his promise to his wife. That is precisely the type of MP we don't want or need!

15 April 2010 at 09:42  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

First Cuckoo of the year! Well, Cuckooland anyways.

15 April 2010 at 09:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace
Let us hope that Zac is like his father:

"We are here today for only one reason. We want the people of this land to be able to make the most important decision a country can face - whether or not it should continue as an independent nation.
We seek no power for ourselves. We are not politicians and do not want to become politicians. We are people drawn from every walk of life, from every region of the nation, and from every major political party, left, right and centre. Among us are doctors, teachers, businessmen, housewives, farmers, fishermen, and others.
We represent a broad diversity of views. But we are united in one unshakeable belief. We reject the idea that this country's destiny as a proud and sovereign nation can be brought to an end through the backroom dealings of politicians.
The sovereignty of this nation belongs to its people and not to a group of career politicians. It is the people and they alone who must decide, after a full debate and a public vote, whether Britain should remain an independent nation or whether her future will be better served as part of a new country - the single European super-state, also known as a federal Europe.
Our purpose is to fight to obtain that right to decide. And when the decision has been made, the Referendum Party will dissolve.
The issue that faces us is of such enormity that we all find it hard to grasp.
As we go about our daily lives in a normal way, how can any of us believe that our history as an independent nation is being quietly and surreptitiously brought to an end? And yet, that is what is happening.
Consider for a moment the qualities that define a sovereign nation - those that distinguish it from a vassal state or from a province of a larger nation or empire.
They are the right to pass laws in our own land, the right to run our economy for the benefit of our people, the right to determine our own foreign policy to organise our national security and to control our own borders.
Each of these fundamental national rights has either already been abandoned or is now under imminent threat.
When our political leaders assure us that they will never allow us to be part of a federal European state, alas, they are not telling us the truth.
Already they have signed treaties which have surrendered an indispensable part of our sovereignty. And they did so without explaining the facts to us and without our consent.
Already laws passed in Westminster are no longer supreme. As British judges have confirmed, the supreme law of this land is now European law.
Already we have signed away the right to run our economy for the benefit of our own people.
The Governor of Germany's Central Bank puts it concisely. Referring to economic and monetary union, he says and I quote, "it will lead to member nations transferring their sovereignty over financial and wage policies as well as in monetary affairs . ..."." It is an illusion to think," he adds, "that states can hold onto their autonomy over taxation policies".

Sir James Goldsmith at the 1996 Referendum Party Conference in Brighton

15 April 2010 at 10:05  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Anonymous (0.9:42)

How petty-minded and censorious! How do you know what went on between husband and wife? And why does marital discord disqualify him from political office or nullify his other talents?

Judge not lest ye be judged!

And at least have the courage to append your name to what you wish to make public - you're cowardly as well!

15 April 2010 at 10:14  
Blogger Ray said...

I agree with earlier writers when offering three examples of points he would step down for he has wasted the opportunity to make an impact, even now a few seconds later I cannot remember clearlt what no's 1 and 3 are but I can remember that a potential MP is going to step down over parking charges. He probably wonders why a lot of people don't take him seriously

15 April 2010 at 10:43  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Walling -- He did append his name: 'Marco'

Some people may not be as adept at using the comment facilities as others. 'Anonymous' is the most straightforward option.

15 April 2010 at 10:44  
Blogger James said...

Cameron's "already-slim majority"? You're a bit previous. As far as I can see Cameron is to 2010 what Kinnock was to 1992

15 April 2010 at 10:53  
Blogger TommiAquinas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 April 2010 at 10:53  
Blogger James said...

Cameron's "already-slim majority"? You're a bit previous. As far as I can see Cameron is to 2010 what Kinnock was to 1992

15 April 2010 at 10:53  
Blogger TommiAquinas said...

Perhaps I can direct Your Grace to the House of Lords debate of 10 March 2010?

As a Royal Park, car parking charges are determined differently than elsewhere.

15 April 2010 at 10:54  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Goldsmith (Zac, not Zach):

What are we to make of him?
Anti EU: good.
Pro AGW scam: bad.
Pro direct democracy: good.
Anti nuclear power: bad.

And how do we respond to someone who is elected on a party manifesto, but says he'll defy the whips? If that's Richard Shepherd or Douglas Carswell, it's good. But if it's Shaun Woodward or Quentin Davies, it's terrible.

I think Goldsmith's a loose cannon.

15 April 2010 at 10:55  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Dear Marco,

I apologise for my gibe about being anonymous, but not about being censorious.

15 April 2010 at 11:19  
Blogger Gnostic said...

If Goldsmith's party doesn't follow his demands he'll throw his dummy out of his pram? Diddums!

Goldsmith is a fanatical greenie and represents everything I've come to loathe about post modern conservatism. As far as I'm concerned he can go take a flying fornication. He can also shove his ridiculous Richmond Park demand where the sun doesn't shine. Sideways.

15 April 2010 at 11:47  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, in late antiquity Constantinople there were two political parties, the Blues and the Greens. They took their colours from the principal chariot racing teams. Is this a useful precedent for the Palace of Westminster? One can imagine the possibilities; Chelsea vs Fulham, Liverpool vs Everton, and that enduring favourite, Rangers vs Celtic. Public interest in politics would soar if the political parties were based on football teams.

Ask Zac what he thinks.

15 April 2010 at 12:03  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Nice try, Cranny. But no cigar. You missed one out near the end:

'The House of Commons needs more MPs like Zach Goldsmith.'

15 April 2010 at 12:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Zac Goldsmith has not signed the 2010 Declaration. A question mark hangs over him!

15 April 2010 at 12:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anabapist,

If His Grace were trying to redact surreptitiously, he would have deleted your corrections.

15 April 2010 at 12:42  
Anonymous Tanfield said...

Your Grace
Whilst I am not a potential constituent of Zac Goldsmith and have no opinion on him personally I have to respectfully take issue with your description of his late Father Sir James Goldsmith as "much missed". 33 years or so ago I became aware of Sir James's prosecution for Criminal Libel of the then Editor of "Private Eye"
following an article concerning the fugitive Lord Lucan and his grossly "over the top" efforts to
prevent completely the distribution of the Magazine. The matter was ultimately settled without going into Court but given your "bottom line" commitment to freedom of speech in your columns it seems a little strange to me to praise the late "Goldenballs" in this way. As a result of all this I have been a very regular reader of "Private Eye" ever since!
Otherwise an excellent post and I wish Mr Goldsmith junior the very best of luck

15 April 2010 at 13:00  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Where did I suggest surreptitiousness, Cranny?

'The wicked flee when no man pursueth' (Prov 28:1)

Maybe the cigar wouldn't be such a good idea -- all that ash getting mixed together.

15 April 2010 at 13:02  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Like father, like son.

Zac Goldsmith appears to have inherited more than his father's fortune: there is an emerging genetic predisposition towards standing on points of principle

Your dead right there Cranny Your Grace Old Lad .

Classic Tory Boy, would have gone down well in the old Bullers wot wot - fine pedigree an all that.

middle child of Sir James Goldsmith and his third wife, Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart. His parents were both married to other people when he was born - Sweet! - just can't beat those good old, character forming family values.

Zac the Bastard eh? - Although, I have to admit, It does have a certain catchy aristocratic ring to it.

Apparently, his father, who was known to maintain polyamorous relationships, moved to New York in 1981 with his French girlfriend and was henceforth a rare presence in Goldsmith's childhood - Lucky Zac! …- expelled from Eton at 16 when marijuana was discovered in his room?- Not a complete tosser then – I’m starting to warm to him.

Hold on! – this is interesting -In September 2006, it was reported that Goldsmith had been having an affair with Alice Rothschild - On 29 August 2009, the Goldsmiths announced they had separated and intended to divorce. This should appeal to the religious right wing Whack-jobs here then.

Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said: “Cameron must sack Zac Goldsmith as a candidate now. He’s not fit to sit in parliament, when he’s claimed non-dom status all his life to keep his offshore hundreds of millions free of income, capital gains or inheritance tax. He must pay the millions he’s dodged to the British taxman.”

Sounds like he fits perfectly into the Ashcroft ‘lets not support the Nation with our tax free wealth until we have to, Non-Dom mould’, just like his dear old Dad he hardly knew – what a patriot. I wonder what they’ll say when he wants to push his eco-politics down at the local Point-to-Point – should be a grand day out.

On second thoughts, - Nah, you can have him - I’ve gone off him already.

The House of Commons needs more MPs like Zach Goldsmith. Do you Really YG?

15 April 2010 at 13:10  
Anonymous Hans Wildebeeste said...

The parking issue seems a silly topic to make a stand on. Cars in Richmond Park are a curse during the summer. There are still plenty of uncontrolled parking areas just outside the entrances to the park.

Anyway, at least he didn't promise to bring back the Ice Rink.

15 April 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous Lara Croft said...

I might stand for election next time

15 April 2010 at 13:45  
Blogger English Viking said...

Zac Goldsmith like his father? The same father that hated the EU and the cosy, three-party consensus on the issue that he started his own party to try to rid us of this menace?

Another opportunist who gets selected to be a PPC on the grounds that he is mates with divvy Dave and/or has used cash to get a position of influence.

BTW Worth 30 million? I think you could be missing a few zeros.

15 April 2010 at 13:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Look chaps, it's time to vote Conservative and forget about this 'fringe party' malarky.

Any party that wanted to leave the EU would have to negotiate because of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

cameron has promised to renegotiate.

15 April 2010 at 15:02  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Look, Mr Singh, it's time to start looking carefully at the entire social democratic package which characterises the whole of the Cameron approach, and which renders the Tory party almost indistinguishable from LibLab on everything that matters.

What has Cameron promised to renegotiate? He knows that all the major commitments have been made (under Lisbon) and are no longer negotiable. He has already weaseled out of a binding commitment to give a referendum on Lisbon.

It is fatuous for him to say that once the treaty had been signed there could not be a referendum: Wilson's referendum was post-treaty.

When you advise us to vote Conservative, you advise us to vote against grammar schools, against the recovery of our fishing waters, against our rescue from ruinous energy commitments, against any sensible plan to deal with the almost unbelievable deficit.

It's time to turn the Tories into a fringe party.

Look chaps; it's time to vote for what you believe in, and not for some tribal shell that represents your principles in name only.

15 April 2010 at 15:39  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Aanabaptist

A Lib-Lab coalition will see the introduction of PR voting - ensuring Conservatives are locked out of office at least for an entire generation.

If we vote for the 'fringe parties': we are commiting national suicide.

15 April 2010 at 15:43  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Singh

A Tory victory would ensure that conservatives are locked out of office for a generation.

15 April 2010 at 15:48  
Blogger English Viking said...

Mr D. Singh @ 15:43

The electorate are not committing national suicide; LibLabCon have murdered national identity and criminalised the right-minded whilst elevating perverts and criminals to positions of power.

No Christian, of whatever description, should even contemplate voting for any of this traitorous scum. It would most certainly be a sin.

Harsh language, I know, but until and unless we see some REAL change, which would include prosecutions for Treason, we are sleepwalking off a cliff.

15 April 2010 at 15:53  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

One of his late father's best-known remarks was: "When a man marries his mistress, this creates a job vacancy." Chip off the old block erh!

15 April 2010 at 16:11  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

The more I learn of this Goldsmith the less I like him,I`m astonished you regard him so highly.

15 April 2010 at 16:51  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Your Grace, I'm with you on this one. As for most of the rest of you pernickety types, if you aren't careful you'll need a parliamentary representative for each one of you; as nothing seems to satisfy. There are NO super-heroes, and damned few saints; and just as well too, as the populace wouldn't know what to do with either!

15 April 2010 at 17:18  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

Just what our country needs,another multi multi millionaire non dom,who`s never had a real job in his life,telling us off for not throwing that empty bean can in the right bin,while he jets around the world from villa to villa,or hops into one of his luxury motors to drive to one of his country pads or clubs ,to devise ways to tax us for not walking to work or check why our children are not on the train to go to the National Tory Education Camp.

Gawd elp us guvnor!.....

15 April 2010 at 17:58  
Blogger rob's uncle said...

Re: ' . . And when you're also Eton and Oxbridge, . . '

Up to a point, my Lord Archbishop: you have evidently done no more to inform yourself about Zac’s past than you have re parking in the Royal Parks.Wikipedia tells us:

‘ . . Goldsmith . . enrolled at Eton College but was expelled at 16 when marijuana was discovered in his room. He earned four A Levels from the Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies before leaving England to travel abroad . . ’

So he is no more ‘Oxbridge’ than Geoffrey Archer is. There is no reason at all to think his dilettante approach to education, work and tax-paying is going down well in this constituency of well-educated hard-working tax payers. The decision of his party’s peers not to back the Lib Dem motion to stop the parking charges was just another nail in his coffin.

15 April 2010 at 18:06  
Blogger D. Singh said...

We must save our country!

‘In 2005 the staunch EU-sceptic Conor Burns (Tory) stood for Eastleigh. Ukip stood against him. The seat went on a plate to EU-fanatic Chris Huhne (Lib Dem). In Harlow the robust EU-sceptic Robert Halfon stood for the Tories. Ukip horned in. The seat went to EU-passionate Bert Rammell (Labour) by 95 votes.

‘In all, Ukip probably cost the Conservatives 25 seats, handing Tony Blair a 66-saet majority instead of 16 and guaranteeing the easy passage of the Lisbon Treaty. Contrary to the silly propaganda, Ukip only split’s the Tory vote, and nothing else. With patriots this dim, Old Blighty really doesn’t need enemies. They win by default anyway.

‘The only strategy worth a light is to put the Tories in office, where actually do something, and then make the leadership aware it will face the father and mother of all grass-root insurections unless we are listened to at last. Handing the country to Brown and Clegg just to score a point is why Labour and Lib Dems adore Ukip.’

Frederick Forsyth, The Spectator (10 April 2010)

15 April 2010 at 18:29  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Forsyth is wrong this time: UKIP are not fielding candidates to stand against EU sceptics.

Also, his arithmetic isn't too good, as even if his 25-seat conjecture were correct, Blair would still have had a working majority.

And what sort of grass-roots insurrection could be launched against a party leadership that had just overturned three terms of Labour? The only effective insurrection is to vote for someone else.

15 April 2010 at 18:43  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Rob's Uncle,

His Grace is appreciative: it was written in some haste.

You should be grateful you're getting anything these days. Tomorrow may be barren indeed.

15 April 2010 at 18:49  
Blogger D. Singh said...

No! Your Grace! I need another article. I am at risk of malfunctioning.

15 April 2010 at 18:50  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

Alarms are sounding,there is great danger lurking in the heart of the Conservative party,

Zacharia....he is an agent of the Rothschilds.

15 April 2010 at 18:51  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Cranny tells us, 'You should be grateful you're getting anything these days. Tomorrow may be barren indeed.'

Personally I'm amazed at the flow of material from your keyboard, Cranny, and am filled with admiration for your tenacity, creativity and fecundity. I am grateful for every morsel you provide.

We would be surprised if no fresh post came, but the real surprise is that you manage to give us so much. We should not take you for granted.

Thank you.

15 April 2010 at 18:57  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Mr Singh, Mr Anabaptist and Mr English Viking,

I think we are very much stuck when it comes to this election. If we get the Conservatives in, then we shall only see Orwell's nightmare delayed, not stopped or reversed; if we vote UKIP, then we end up splitting the votes of each constituency, ironically allowing a europhile in even if 2/3 of the constituency voted for eurosceptics.

An answer for this could be if UKIP and the Conservatives made a pact not to stand against each other in marginal seats (where both candidates are eurosceptic of course). They are both conservative (UKIP more than the Conservatives ironically), and share (ish) a distrust (ish) of Europe, so they are not too ideologically opposed. If we saw a hung parliament, then we would have a lib-lab alliance fighting a Con-UKIP alliance, and I should think that the Con-UKIPs would have the majority.
UKIP would force the Conservatives to back away from Europe, while the Conservatives would take care of the running of the country.

15 April 2010 at 19:03  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'Forsyth is wrong this time: UKIP are not fielding candidates to stand against EU sceptics.'

Oh, looks like they're already doing it.

15 April 2010 at 19:04  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Second that. Your Grace's output is always thought provoking and well written


15 April 2010 at 19:07  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Last post was
Re Anabaptists comments.

15 April 2010 at 19:09  
Anonymous len said...

Most grateful for your articles your Grace.
I agree with Mr Anabaptist.( 18:57)
Thank you.

15 April 2010 at 20:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GO lib dems!!!!!!!!

15 April 2010 at 22:11  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Annonymous 22.11 I agree 'Go Lib dems' - go far, far away!

15 April 2010 at 23:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh come on, clegg did extremly well tonight. this debate will definately win him more seats even if the lib dems do still stay in third place. and cameron was pathetic. he was so uptight and aggressive; unapproachable. He needs to lighten up a bit.

15 April 2010 at 23:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Political parties are peddled like soap powder or junk food. They are corporatised, branded, trained and disciplined.

The government became the biggest spending advertiser ahead of Proctor and Gamble for the first time in 2008 (and again in 2009, but that's advertising for you).

"The House of Commons needs more MPs like Zac Goldsmith"

Despite having a brand worth £20 million plus, UKIP is stuffed with loose cannons.


16 April 2010 at 02:07  
Anonymous len said...

Wev`e had a good P R man before......Tony Blair,and look where he led us.

16 April 2010 at 07:42  

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