Hostile Takeover or Return of Former Support?

February 18, 2019

Politics is famous for boring the pants of many people, yet now, just over a month before the UK is due to leave the EU, a new interest seems to be growing.

   Some Conservatives complain that the party is being infiltrated and taken over by former UKIP members, with (surprise, surprise) Brexit remainers being the most vocal. Both Anna Soubry and Nick Boles have been quoted as saying a ‘purple Momentum’ was gaining control of local associations, resulting in sitting MPs facing deselection.

   Yet is not the same accusation made against many Labour associations, this time of being infiltrated by the far left? It has become generally acknowledged that some Labour MPs are indeed facing deselection for not being supportive of Jeremy Corbyn. On Merseyside, local Labour activists are accused of bullying their own MP, Luciana Berger, and veteran MP Frank Field having already resigned the party whip, is rumoured to have a ‘hard-left bully’ lined up as his replacement. Not only that, but seven existing labour MPs have only today quit the party over anti-Semitism – including Luciana Berger. All seven cite the take-over of Labour by the hard-left as one of the reasons.

   And in addition, last week’s ‘school strike’ saw numerous examples of children being given hard-left banners and placards to carry as they demonstrated. There are plenty of photographs to show the truth of this; is not this a rather disturbing example of the ‘take-over’ in action? Do something similar to a child online and an immediate charge of ‘grooming’ is the result, itself a criminal offence.

   As for Tory complaints of a UKIP infiltration, was it not the case that people abandoned the Conservatives and went to UKIP as they despaired of Cameron and Osborne? Medway MP Mark Reckless leaving the Conservatives and joining UKIP was one example, Douglas Carswell another. Tory Remainers cannot have it both ways; either they are seeing a return of former supporters or they are simply losing the plot and paying for not honouring a majority vote.

   Deselection is their fault and theirs alone.

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