Friday, June 17, 2011

Is Lord Tebbit about to be suspended or expelled from the Conservative Party?

His Grace put a question to the Lord Tebbit a few days ago, regarding his apparent exhortation to Conservative Party members to mutiny against Conservative Campaign HQ.

His Grace asked:
Are you suggesting that the loyal Conservatives of Somerton and Frome re-adopt Annunziata Rees-Mogg in defiance of CCHQ, who have just removed her from the 'Approved List'? Are you proposing that they volunteer for certain ‘support status’? Are you suggesting that they reject the next ‘clone dummy’ candidate CCHQ decides to impose? Having been party chairman, how do you think Baroness Warsi might react to your suggestion?
The Noble Lord has responded upon his blog:
Sally Roberts questioned what I would have said to ‘entryism’ when I was Party Chairman. Well, I always did and still do encourage Conservatives to join the Conservative Party and to fight for conservative policies and to select and elect Conservative Members of the Commons. Of course, in my day local Conservative Associations were autonomous bodies over which I did not have control, whereas today they are more like branches of the central Party, a point well made by Cranmer.

My message is that local Conservatives should control constituency associations and insist on selecting Conservative candidates who they like, not Central Office nominees. It could be called the Big Society politics. As Wuffothe Wonderdog says, Central Office might not like it, but faced with Conservatives willing to run independent Conservative candidates against imposed ones, they would probably think again.
This is both refreshingly forthright and very interesting indeed, not least because Lord Tebbit - who takes the Party Whip on the House of Lords and is a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party - is suggesting that local Conservative associations should threaten to run independent Conservative candidates against those imposed centrally. Of course, CCHQ will insist that they never impose anyone, but the facts of history rather negate such an assertion. Lord Tebbit urges this rebellion knowing full well that in the past it has led to associations being threatened with 'support status' (ie, 'taken over' by CCHQ) and, in one case, a whole association being dismissed for expressing support for an 'un-approved' candidate.

Lord Tebbit has clarified that 'local Conservatives should control constituency associations and insist on selecting Conservative candidates who they like, not Central Office nominees'. This can only be achieved by rejecting 'Central Office clone dummies', as he calls them. There are those who will view this as a direct challenge to the authority of the Conservative Party Board, which is omnipotent on all matters relating to the conduct of members.

Shedule 7, article 3.5 of the Conservative Party’s constitution states:
‘The Officers of the Association may move before the Executive Council the suspension or termination of membership of the Association of any member whose declared opinions or conduct shall, in their judgement, be inconsistent with the objects or financial well-being of the Association or be likely to bring the Party into disrepute. Similarly, the Officers may move the refusal of membership of the Association for the same reasons. Following such a motion, the Executive Council may by a majority vote suspend, terminate or refuse membership for the same reason.’
By exhorting Conservative Party members to reject CCHQ-approved candidates in favour of independents, Lord Tebbit is indeed declaring opinions and conducting himself in a manner that is inconsistent with the objects (and financial well-being) of his local association and the Conservative Party nationally.

Is CCHQ about to suspend or terminate Lord Tebbit's membership of the Conservative Party?


Anonymous wtf said...


17 June 2011 at 17:01  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

I make to apology for my bias towards the man - but I like Tebbitt, and the Conservatives if they have any sense would do well to listen to his words of accumulated wisdom.

If the Conservatives carry on in the manner of Dave 'trust me I'm a Bloke' Cameron, the Party will have very little to conserve at all.

Dumbing down is the new enlightenment or so they would have us believe, but Tebbitt is having none of it - he is a true-blue Conservative who worked for his living, even heading up the pilots union before going in to politics.

May be this is what is behind the current thinking at CCHQ that thinks dress a chimp in Top-Hat and Tails and you've got a Tory - you don't you've got a Chump.

Norman Tebbit will be long for his remark about his Dad getting on his bike to look for work as a gentle scourge to the work-shy - and he was right. I remember when the remark was made that even working class labour voters knew exactly what he was saying and it needs saying again.

If people are to travel across Europe and Africa simply to find work, there should be no shelter given the rash of 3rd generation career choice benefit bums that are bleeding this Country dry.

In so-called third world countries, they listen to the wisdom of the Elders - CCHQ I suggest could do well to do the same.

17 June 2011 at 17:16  
Blogger Gnostic said...

U Turn Cameron versus the so called Turnip Taliban. Can't wait to see that.

Reaches for the popcorn...

17 June 2011 at 17:58  
Blogger Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Shouldn't be too much of a problem, sure I read somewhere he still has his Dad's old bicycle ;)

17 June 2011 at 18:01  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Considering how long he has been a contributing conservative party member I would have thought that would pose a few problems and backlash.

As Phillip Davies has shown today saying disagreeable things to the new model (despite it being a relevent subject of debate) makes me sometimes wonder if the role of MP has become one of not saying things about issues, which one could conclude has led to the dumbing down and perhaps representation deficet.

As your grace pointed out some time ago it is very difficult to stand on a traditional tory message , but that doesnt mean it has lost appeal even though the politcal landscape is more sensative.

I found the talk of a merged party rather rash and totally byepassing local constituancies. It seems very sad that one can now join a party ,not because you share its belief ,but because you are the malleable articulate person they need to push whatever message they want.

I dont know what is causing this as other parties do the same thing. surely politicians are supposed to be political , discuss issues , represent view points and constituancies , I dont mind having democratic elections, but if that is what we have then the consequence must be to represent any issue , wether on or off message.

Very odd isnt "politician speaks out on disabilty work issues " and then party turns on him , when he was doing his job and speaking in the commons , gets turned into a national judgemental issue when it was nearer a commons one. Mass centralised gagging orders are a new and unfortunate phenomenom in politics , not particulary brave democracy either is it .

17 June 2011 at 18:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if Cameron voiced any thoughts along these lines, he will change his mind tomorrow. That's a given.

WTF do the Conservatives stand for anyway? No one knows anymore. Not even the Conservatives. It must be extremely difficult for my MP, who always toes the party line and the only thoughts he has are those his Leader tells him to. He doesn't know what to think or say these days. Another of constant U Turns and his head will implode.

17 June 2011 at 18:29  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Does it matter?

17 June 2011 at 19:07  
Anonymous Robert Eve said...

Wish there were more Conservatives in Lord Tebbit's mould.

17 June 2011 at 20:12  
Anonymous Jack Flash said...

I must admit I've always had a lot of time for Norman, he speaks his mind and has proved again and again that he's willing to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. He's always seemed stable and sincere, unlike many of the johnny come latelys that now occupy the top Whitehall posts.


17 June 2011 at 20:13  
Anonymous Elliot Kane said...

I strongly doubt it.

Many Conservative and ex-Conservative voters still remember how good Lord Tebbit was in office and think of him as 'the best Prime Minister we never had'.

Tebbit being cast out would send a very strong message to all those Conservatives: they are supporting the wrong party. The party of Thatcher and Tebbit, which restored the fortunes of Britain and helped to end the Cold War would be officially dead. How many votes do you think that would lose?

If CCHQ are wise, they will simply grit their teeth and ignore Lord Tebbit.

And let's face it - Lord Tebbit is right, isn't he? Local candidates should NOT be centrally controlled. That way lies totalitarianism.

17 June 2011 at 20:41  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Dreadnaught said.

If the Conservatives carry on in the manner of Dave 'trust me I'm a Bloke' Cameron, the Party will have very little to conserve at all.

IMO, it is far too late, whatever conservatives alone do, because there is clearly nothing that remains, worth the effort required to conserve it.

13 years of The BBC's prime time Tony and Gordon Show made more then sure of that.

There is but one hope.

It is not just conservatives that must wake up, or indeed radicals from their respective dream states. They must both start waking-up to there true reality, at more or less the same time.

IMO, there are signs that this may have now started to actually happen. If you are one of the lucky first, then may I congratulate you on being admitted a member of this as yet overly exclusive club.

If not, please read on.

Have you ever considered that it is more then a little strange that the left genuinely believe that this country/world has gone far-right, while the right just as genuinely believe it has gone far-left. They can't both be correct, or can they?

IMO, they are both correct. This confusion stems from many miss understandings, including the following one.

As we know, leftists have often spread violence and destruction around towns and cites, raving until they turn blue in the mouth, that authoritarian corporatism, or FASCISM, is right-wing.

While many rightists have sometimes most aggressively stamped their tiny feet, repeatedly moaning to anyone unlucky enough to be stuck in the same living room as themselves, that corporatism, or FASCISM, is left-wing.

When the truth is, that authoritarian corporatism is simply the very nasty bits from the left, and right, that the establishment selects from the party political menu. That which present the best chance of meeting the establishments long, medium and short term aims. This by first propagating, and them exploiting these self-interested agendas. which always turn out to be absolutely anything whatsoever that helps to keep ever fewer of THEM, up there, and so ever more of US, well and truly down here.

The only options that are ever presented for serious debate, are the ones the establishment decides upon, and then promotes through the mass media, most especially The BBC, Murdoch, The AP, and Reuters; most usually well in advance of time.

A Hobson choice, or a list of Hobson's choices, one could say.

On the subject of, Norman Tebbit.

IMO, If the man had even so much of a clue as to the size and might of the powers that oppose him, he would take permanent gardening leave, or buy a bullet proof vest.

A reasonably nice, well meaning, logical and commonsensical chap, that is clearly living in a distant mythical time, earnestly flogging a non existence horse, climbing up many hopelessly wrong trees, while desperately calling upon deaf ears.

I know exactly how poor old Norm must be feeling much of the time.

In other words, nothing has essentially changed as far as the great pecking order of civilization is concerned, since The Sun first dawned upon its creation.

17 June 2011 at 22:43  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, it would appear that the Noble Lord is seeking to transfer power to the people, an act consistent with Dave's own stated goals.

It follows that there can be no accusation of a breach of Schedule 7, article 3.5 of the Conservative Party constitution.

Or is Dave a switch-hitter who wants it both ways, so to speak?

17 June 2011 at 22:54  
Anonymous Fernando said...

I would point out that Norman Tebbit is viewing the past through rose-coloured spectacles. When he was chairman he disbanded the Federation of Conservative Students on rather weak grounds. Also, the Conservative party has had an official list of candidates for as long as I can remember and Central office has never been backward in pushing forward the merits of particular favoured candidates.

17 June 2011 at 23:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just our luck, we get a Hobbit when we need a Dharma King.

18 June 2011 at 02:35  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Bitb; iDave is small in political and moral stature for certain but we're dealing with deepest, darkest Dopey territory here, not kickass hobbit.

18 June 2011 at 08:00  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Will he now "get on his bike",this nasty little fascist has already stolen my job and bestowed it on a pole,looks like he has come back to steal our marbles too.

18 June 2011 at 08:20  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Atlas shrugged,

If you are saying that there is only one genuine political agenda, and that it is the agenda of the powerful, then I think you are correct. It has been clear for a long time that whatever party is in power, it is the agenda of big business/ capital that runs through the policies of all parties. Cameron for example is now broadly speaking continuing to promote the same policies that Labour promoted. Many people feel that as such, politicians have ceased to represent or even care about the concerns of ordinary folk, hence low turnouts; and we have a politics that is entirely stage managed. Government policy flows from boardrooms into parliament.

18 June 2011 at 09:23  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

In my view, the choice of a candidate is up to the local party and they should be able to choose any candidate that they wish whether from direct applicants or from a CCHQ list. Obviously there would be a need at some stage for CCHQ to check these candidates to ensure that they have no "dark secrets" which might embarrass the party at some future date, but that is a totally different thing from rejecting them because they don't agree with CCHQ's latest thinking.

18 June 2011 at 09:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don’t worry. There will be a place reserved for him in the retirement home for gutless ex-Conservatives, otherwise know as UKIP.

18 June 2011 at 09:50  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I doubt that they will take-on, or castigate, Lord Tebbit, they haven't the balls to do it.

Although, it is just possible that they are stupid enough to try!

18 June 2011 at 15:58  
Blogger Mr K said...

I am Labour Party member, but consider people like Norman Tebbit a worthy opponent I respect.

He said what he thought, even if unpopular, and you know he honestly believes he in his arguments.

Democracy needs principled people on the left and right, and Norman's blog is a great insight into the mind of a substantial wing of Conservatism.

11 September 2011 at 15:06  

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