Tories cheer UKIP leader against John Bercow


8:36 pm - September 3rd 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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Jonathan Calder picks up on the chorus of Tory voices cheering on UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who announced today he would stand against Speaker and Conservative MP John Bercow.

Nigel Farage’s announcement that he is to stand against John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, in his Buckingham constituency at the next election has excited the Conservative blogosphere.

“Yes He Can!” crows Tory Bear, complete with Obamaesque graphic.

“Go Nigel Go” cries Dizzy Thinks.

And Iain Dale says: “I’m glad I don’t live in Buckingham.” (I take this an admission that he would find it hard to maintain party loyalty if he lived in the constituency, rather than as a general assault on the this blameless Home Counties town.)

More on Liberal England.

And we were under the impression that Tories valued different opinions and ideological bases within their ranks.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Oh I can’t wait for this to kick off.

@ 1

And I can’t wait to see what Labour’s world-class political strategists do to capitalise on the Tory infighting! Oh, wait. Never mind…

Labour couldn’t capitalise on Tory stupidity even if it hit them on the head.

4. Chris Baldwin

There is no way, no way at all, that the general public will see this as a sensible thing for Tories to do. Some political obsessives might think it is, but in this case the general public will be correct.

The… the Tory hatred of John Bercow really does know no bounds, does it… this is astounding.

What I can’t understand is why they hate him more than Tories who actually jumped ship like Shaun Woodward and Red Quentin.

The small notion that Nige is closer to the values of rightist Tories (presumably the ones who are not cryptoeurophiles, as Nige would call most of the Tory ranks) is one reason why Dizzy, Dale et al are getting excited, but isn’t there the other matter of main parties never putting up speaker candidates, that its simply just not a done thing?

#2 Edna,

this makes for an interesting read, shows definite parallels, though some points are rather tedious.

7 – Blair described Bercow as “nasty and ineffectual in equal measure”. It may be Bercow’s personality (which I have always found extremely smug and irritating) that has something to do with it.

“What I can’t understand is why they hate him more than Tories who actually jumped ship like Shaun Woodward and Red Quentin.”

Hard to feel anything but pity for Quentin.

Points of order:

1) He’s not a Conservative MP, he’s the speaker. For some reason, we’re not fielding a Conservative candidate, so Tories’ best choice is to support Farage.

The most obvious thing would be for the local Conservative association to field a Tory candidate, since ideally we’d not give away a safe Tory seat to *either* a Labour stooge or a flamboyant kipper. But if forced to choose…

2) If the choice is between an expense-fiddling Labour stooge, and a flamboyant kipper, we’ll take the kipper.

@11 Point of order: Know what you’re talking about before you sit down to type
It’s parliamentary convention that you don’t field a candidate against the speaker. None of the other parties are fielding a candidate. The speaker is neutral, as is his seat.
I live in John Bercow’s constituency. I’ve met him, he IS a smug and conceited little tosser but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to vote for him. Anything to stop those UKIP mad men representing me. I’ll even campaign for him if I have to.

Good stuff Sam Dodgin, good stuff!

Thanks very much. This is all hot air though. Despite my previous comments about Mr. Bercow, I do think he’s a good representative, having written to him a couple of times and received both a reply and then a follow up letter regarding both my issues. A lot of people in this area have positive stories about his abilities as our representative. What a shame he’s such a tosser.

“It’s parliamentary convention that you don’t field a candidate against the speaker. ”

But not a parliamentary convention observed by Labour when the speaker is not from the Labour Party. They stood against Bernard Weatherill as incumbent Speaker in 1987 (as did the SDP) and against Selwyn Lloyd in both 1974 elections (as did the Liberals).

“It’s parliamentary convention that you don’t field a candidate against the speaker”

It most certainly is not.

When the choice is between Chirac and Le Pen, you hold your nose and vote for Chirac. This idea of voting for an extremist to protest against smarmy opportunism is a dangerous game.

Conservative Home Poll Result: When 1095 Conservative members were asked who would you vote if you lived in the Buckingham constituency; given the choice? John Bercow, Nigel Farage or Neither. 64% said Nigel Farage and only 25% said John Bercow. ( 11% said neither).

It looks like Speaker John Bercow hasn’t fooled as many Conservatives has he thought. If this little poll is anything to go by. The trouble is, I don’t think the Buckingham Conservatives know the ‘real parlimentary John Bercow’ as well as the people taking part in this poll; who are perhaps more interested in national politics than local issues. In my opinion so long as his name has the official blue Conservative party endorsement on the ballot paper or he has the backing of the Buckingham Conservative Executive Committee, they will be sure to put their cross in his box. But then they would probably do the same if Ronald Biggs the great train robber; had the ‘true blue’ endorsement! (The great train robbery was in the Buckingham constituency).

Unfortunately it seems the character of the person or his true politics or core beliefs doesn’t matter a jot, so long as he/she is the ‘true blue’ candidate; he/she will be elected by a large majority. Anyone standing against John Bercow at the next election would do well to remember this; if they are to stand any chance of winning. It is also worth remembering in a public poll just before the Speaker election, asked, who do you think will be the next Speaker? Only 1% of those polled said John Bercow. So please don’t count your chickens just yet Mr Farage or Mr Phillips or anyone else who decides to challenge Mr Bercow.

What Conservatives members think nationally is irrelevant to the unique conservatives voters living in the Buckingham constituency.

Conservative Home Poll Result and Debate 04.09.09

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2009/09/nearly-twothirds-of-tory-members-would-back-nigel-farage-against-john-bercow.html#comment-6a00d83451b31c69e20120a5a21c6f970c

Jonathan Isaby writes on conservative home:

‘Those tories backing Nigel Farage in Buckinghamshire are being drawn into a stunt orchestrated by our political opponents’. 05.09.09.

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2009/09/those-tories-backing-nigel-farage-in-buckingham-are-being-drawn-into-a-political-stunt.html#comment-6a00d83451b31c69e20120a54bd2d3970b

Simon replies to his article:

‘This situation has come about because Central office didn’t have the guts to ‘reign in’ John Bercow years ago when he first ‘stabbed’ IDS in the back on national radio, then he undermined Michael Howard and when David Cameron was elected, he called him a ‘toff’ or something very similar.

The party whip should of been withdrawn from this disloyal self seeking liberal opportunist a long time ago!

The only thing necessary for the triumph of a self seeking liberal maverick was for the Conservative party to take no action; either at central office or by the constituency executive committee.

John soon found out he could say what he liked, do what he liked and completely change his core beliefs and politics to liberal and be chummy as he liked to his new labour, and lib dem very useful friends. After all he had one of the safest Conservatives seats in the country; so he had nothing to worry about whilst he quietly hatched his long term plan to become the Speaker of the House, despite the vast majority of his own party voting against him. He was just too clever for the lot of them as he knew it was his new labour chums who had the majority not his Tory colleagues. His trendy liberal speeches and new labour overtures had paid off big time. Despite all of the above it seems some Conservatives still don’t get it do they Mr Isaby! All of this could of been avoided, so now the voters are left with Hobson’s Choice; unless a real independent Conservative comes forward.’

I’ve always thought Bercow was a good parliamentarian. He’ll win the seat though, whatever happens. If Labour and the Lib Dems are smart, they’ll not nominate anyone and tacitly encourage their supporters to vote for Bercow. One of two things will happen: either the local Tory association will take a (rather unprecedented to my knowledge) step of nominating a candidate – in which case UKIP lose. Or, the Labour, Lib Dem and Tory loyalist votes go to Bercow – and even with 64% of Tories voting for someone else, Bercow wins, UKIP loses.

To be honest, it all seems like a storm in a Westminster teacup. I can’t imagine many Buckingham voters being as caught up in the mutual orgasm of Iain Dale etc about a candidate a shade to the right of Genghis Khan.

Which just goes to prove that UKIP is nothing more than the Far Right wing of the Tory party.

The UK needs gto wake the fuck up. The Tory party is moving very fast to the far right and yet the sheeple think call me Dave is a middle of the road Tory.

Once again Dale shows his true clolours. AS Sunny says, the Tory party does not tolerate liberal views in its ranks .

@21

To be fair to Dave, he does appear to be a middle of the road Tory. The problem is that he’s leading a group of far right nutters. Whilst I trust him personally, I don’t trust his ability to contain the crazy from spilling out should they be elected. I don’t fear Cameron. I fear his party.

As many good ideas as I think Doug Carswell has, insisting that a speaker chosen by secret ballot would be good was clearly an error. We ended up with a speaker chosen simply to irritate the Tories. Now, it may turn out that Bercow is the right choice (I’m holding my judgement, although his refusal to reveal his salary nor wear the speakers robes both go down as negatives in my book) but he was chosen for completely the wrong reasons.

I’d be more in favour of a random draw. Any MP who wants to be speaker needs to get so many signatures of support, and then all those with enough support go into a hat. If anything, it would stop Tories (like myself) whinging that we have another Labour speaker.

Bercow and S Woodward saw where the wind was blowing and realised that if they wanted a ministeial salary they needed to join labour or gain labour’s support: they are both astute politicians.

You should be aware that a third party has already declared an interest in standing for the Buckingham seat. Retired Sheriff Patrick Philips who descibes himself in the Daily Mail as a ” conservatively minded independent”.

Perhaps Buckingham Conservatives will choose Mr Philips as the Official Conservative candidate?

Tune in next week…

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill Why are you going to kill someone?

Perhaps you if you don’t stop spamming the blog with real estate adverts…

28. Richard S Nicholl

To reply to what Sally says. No I dont think the Conservative Party is moving to the far-right and no I dont think they are intolerant of people who espouse liberal views. Its pretty obvious that Sally’s remarks are pure wrong when you see how the Conservative Party has turned out over the last few years. They have moved away from the right altogether and now theyre pretty much in the middle ground of politics, so much so it has now become difficult to tell them apart from Labour and the Liberal Democrats. No wonder they are increasingly being referred to as “Blue Labour”. And as for them not tolerating liberal views, theyre looking down their noses at people who express even the most remotely illiberal views. So get off this blog Sally and come back when you start to know what you are talking about. You know sweet bugger all about politics.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    : Tories cheer Nigel Farage against Bercow http://bit.ly/1IU4HJ

  2. Ged Robinson

    RT @libcon: : Tories cheer Nigel Farage against Bercow http://bit.ly/1IU4HJ

  3. Liberal Conspiracy

    : Tories cheer Nigel Farage against Bercow http://bit.ly/1IU4HJ

  4. Politics and the local-national disconnect « Though Cowards Flinch

    […] something similar with regard to the Lib-Dems. The preference of many Tories for UKIP’s Nigel Farage over ’soft’ Tory MP John Bercow or the acquisition of ‘hardline’ ConHome by a moderate indicate the potential for […]





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