Journos and other political tragics have been primed for news of political defections over the last few weeks. The direction of travel was supposed to be from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives. Well, Quentin Davies, the Europhile MP for Grantham has confounded them by choosing the day before Gordon Brown's ascension to the Premiership to defect from the Tories to the Labour Party.
Apart from wondering whether this the first recorded occasion of a rat joining a sinking ship, what the hell is Davis up to? In his published letter he talks of his disillusion with a party which “appears to me to have ceased collectively to believe in anything, or to stand for anything. It has no bedrock. It exists on shifting sands. A sense of mission has been replaced by a PR agenda." Which mission is he talking about exactly? That of William Hague? Duncan Smith? Davies was a shadow minister for both. Does he really believe that the Tories are less possessed of coherent policies than under IDS? Or is this merely the move of someone desperate for a little limelight? It's not good news for Cameron, whatever the motive.
UPDATE: Blimey, what a pompous ass
Believe it or not, I have no personal animus against you. You have always been perfectly courteous in our dealings. You are intelligent and charming.
As you know, however, I never supported you for the leadership of the party - even when, after my preferred candidate, Ken Clarke, had been defeated in the first round, it was blindingly obvious that you were going to win.
Nor, for the same reasons, have I ever sought office in your shadow administration.
Although you have many positive qualities you have three, superficiality, unreliability and an apparent lack of any clear convictions, which in my view ought to exclude you from the position of national leadership to which you aspire and which it is the presumed purpose of the Conservative party to achieve.
Believing that as I do, I clearly cannot honestly remain in the party. I do not intend to leave public life.
On the contrary I am looking forward to joining another party with which I have found increasingly I am naturally in agreement and which has just acquired a leader I have always greatly admired, who I believe is entirely straightforward, and who has a towering record, and a clear vision for the future of our country which I fully share.
Because my constituents, to whose interests of course I remain devoted, are entitled to know the full background, I am releasing this letter to the press.
So devoted is he, that I'm sure we can expect a bye-election so that his constituent can register their approval of his move.
Labels: politics, Tories