By Gerald Warner, The Telegraph
The shrill denunciations of the media on election night by Joanne Cash, the defeated Tory candidate in the supposedly “shoo-in” seat of Westminster North, amounted to more than the chagrin of a failed political aspirant: they expressed the rage of thwarted Entitlement. Cash was the candidate who resigned in a huff last February, only to be reinstated by Dave, on which occasion she famously Tweeted: “It’s official DC has changed the party!!!!!!!!” Her message to old-guard Conservatives was: “RIP dinosaurs.”
Last Thursday, in political terms, it was RIP Cash. What does it tell us about the judgment of the man who now aspires to be Prime Minister and lead us through the perils of international global meltdown that he should have championed such a candidate? His failure to win a majority was largely attributable to his imposition on constituency associations of trendy, metropolitan, A-List candidates. Their performance was abysmal.
In the notorious Tatler magazine feature on 10 young Cameronian stars published in September 2008, Joanne Cash was tipped as a future Housing Minister. Equally implausibly, Shaun Bailey was regarded as a future Home Secretary, Mark Clarke as Trade and Industry Secretary and Annunziata Rees-Mogg as Defence Secretary (honestly, I am not making this up). All of them crashed and burned last Thursday: of the 10 much-hyped “Tatler” thrusters, only two were elected. Of the original 100 A-List candidates, two-thirds were defeated.
Yet that was Cameron’s Praetorian Guard. With 62 of them defeated, what credibility does the enforced selection of candidates on grounds of politically correct Blairite “image” retain? Arguably, the Entitled Ones deprived Dave of his majority. Another, more easily documented aspect of the Tory defeat (for that is what it was) relates to UKIP. As is being widely advertised across the blogosphere, in at least 21 constituencies the UKIP vote was larger than the Labour or Liberal Democrat majority over the Tories.
Since it is universally recognised that the overwhelming majority of UKIP voters are disgruntled Tories, that is how the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative core vote took its revenge on Cast-Iron Cameron. I shall not replicate the results here, since they have already gone “viral” online; but the figures are incontrovertible: even if you subtract 10, 20, or 30 per cent from the UKIP vote in those seats, to allow for minor defection from other parties, the UKIP votes still outnumber the anti-Tory majority. After the postponed election in Thirsk, the Tories will have 307 parliamentary seats; the seats lost through UKIP would have brought that up to 328, a clear overall majority.
Again, Dave’s arrogance, his dismissal of “fruitcakes and closet racists” and reneging on his “cast-iron” guarantee of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty cost him an overall majority. So, either of these two “modernising” policies – candidates imposed centrally by “localist” Dave and the betrayal over Europe – was sufficient by itself to deny Cameron a majority. Add to that his infantile but costly “Green” policy, his aggressive PC posturing – voting for the forced closure of Catholic adoption agencies, pledging to compel faith schools to teach homosexuality in contradiction of their beliefs, etc – and his pathetic, unquantified “cap” on immigration, reducing it to “tens of thousands” a year plus dependants and his position was a provocation to genuine Conservatives.
Even among the votes he secured, many were cast with the single-minded purpose of destroying Gordon Brown, not out of any attraction to Dave. Conservative Central Office, now trendily renamed CCHQ, has traditionally housed some serious number-crunchers. Are we to believe they are not aware that the sole obstacle to a majority Tory government was their own leader and his gang of infatuated Blairite opportunists? It may be that the constituency associations are now empty of all but Cameronian androids; if that is not the case, the insurgency that is urgently necessary to restore the Conservative Party to electability should start from the bottom up.