Friday, September 07, 2007

Of Bercow, Eliasch and Mercer

Seducer's smile: another successful romance

Three little turncoats in a row? Evidence of Brown's 'big tent' mentality? A baffling display of political ineptitude by David Cameron? What they certainly represent is that for all Brown's talk of 'new politics' the primary focus of the Prime Minister remains the detabilisation of the Conservative party and of David Cameron. As Nick Robinson says, the move by Eliasch in particular is evidence that the old power of patronage - the only direct power wielded by a Prime Minister - is still alive and well. Ultimately, while an opposition can talk the talk, a Government is able to do concrete things - and offer real jobs.

As for Bercow and Mercer, this is a piece of, ahem, naked political opportunism by the Prime Minister. Neither of them are natural consensus politicians, let alone closet Labour supporters, though Bercow has doubtless been subject to a prolonged domestic ear-bashing on the subject, and Mercer in particular ought to remember the forced outrage from the Labour benches when he was described as a racist dinosaur. Brown isn't after them for their looks - this is a seduction aimed at embarrassing David Cameron.

And seduction is more or less what Brown is doing. He's the equivalent of the older boy at school who has his own car and sets out to seduce the girlfriends of less fortunate kids by offering them a sweeter deal - whether it's a genuine 9-carat gold necklace or a chairmanship of an advisory committee. The aim is, in any event, to stamp your dominance on the other boys. The potential problem for Brown is that each successive steal looks less like an attempt at consensus politics and more like what it is - a party political attempt to embarrass David Cameron or Ming Campbell.
On the Today programme Brown was asked by John Humphries whether, since Brown was portraying these moves as a part of a new consensual politics, he had discussed them with the party leaders. If this is consensus, shouldn't you have cleared it with the other leaders? Brown's evasive response (he always steers clear of direct answers to direct questions) made it look all the more shifty.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with politicians acting politically to discomfort opponents. But the facade of consensus is soon dissipated. Brown is starting to look more like a serial home-wrecker than a big-tent centrist.
UPDATE: In a piece defending this tactic, Jonathan Freedland rather gives the game away by saying how all this cross-hiring demonstrates Mr Brown's pulling power.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My constituency MP John Bercow's disloyalty was the main reason I stopped renewing my Conservative Party Membership as I observed him move further and further to the left and publicly declare his new liberal views. It comes as no surprise whatsoever that he has accepted a job with Gordon Brown and New Labour, following previous disloyalty to the Conservative party and it's leaders. I will never forget when he publicly 'stabbed' Ian Duncan Smith in the back after resigning his shadow post in such a way to cause IDS maximum damage. He is also the self appointed champion of the militant gay rights lobby even when his enthusiastic pursuit of the these rights have meant riding roughshod over religious peoples beliefs and values; as we saw recently with the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs). John Bercow supported the Government's undemocratic forced new regulations completely, which he clearly demonstrated with his letter to the Telegraph at the time and other public statements.

In my opinion John Bercow is not a man of conviction or has any real principles, nor, is he a man that shows loyalty to the Conservative Party or it's leaders, he is merely an opportunist MP that blows with every favourable wind, if that wind is a trendy left wing liberal wind, all the better.

What does he have to do before his constituency officials realise that John Bercow is now more like a 'trendy left wing liberal' masquerading as a conservative. What does he have to do before they have the courage to deselect him and force him to stand under his true New Labour colours. Or is the only way to remove him as the MP for Buckingham to have a real conservative; someone with traditional conservative values and ideology, stand against him at the next election as an Independent Conservative?

Simon Icke, Buckingham Constituent.

4:49 pm  

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