This weeks conference in Birmingham by the Conservative Party has already enabled a number of very telling speeches or articles. According to this piece from the BBC, the Mayor of London, someone who the Prime Minister describes as one of his stars, someone capable of simultaneously being Mayor of London, Columnist and MP, described Party members wanting to join UKIP as “Utterley Nuts”. Whilst no one would expect David Cameron to ask Boris to become Health Minister, with responsibility for setting policy for those of us with mental health conditions, the use of this sort of language by a senior party member should be challenged immediately. However rather than the party distancing themselves from their ‘star’, we can be confident that many members of the party will do the very opposite and embrace Boris as one of their own. Mr Cameron himself vowed to “throw everything we can” at the forthcoming by-election in Rochester and Strood following the defection of Mark Reckless who lied to his former party “over and over and over again” about his loyalty. We also had Grant Shapps, the Party Chairman speaking about Mark Reckless in a speech ‘He lied and lied and lied again.’ Grant Shapps went on to point out that Mark Reckless had accepted the donations and time of supporters while plotting treachery. ‘We have been betrayed,’ Mr Shapps told Conservative activists. ‘We all know individual MPs don’t succeed on their own. They do so by standing on the shoulders of others. Your shoulders.
The willingness of the Conservative Party to be so open about their feelings and use such intemperate language about someone who until Saturday morning was one of their tribe must surely set a tone for their conference and indeed send a warning to those considering joining the party. This party, no matter how welcoming they are of rich, potential party funders, do not take challenge lightly. They might love you when they are standing on your shoulders or removing funds from your bank account, but if you fall out with them, they will respond quickly and ruthlessly. The Labour Party are possibly no different. Indeed all Political Parties might be as determined to maintain their tribal discipline. However the Conservative Party is the tribe currently under the spotlight. It is surely time to offer an alternative way of running our nation. Do we really want the likes of Cameron, Shapps and Johnson at the helm of a nation of 63M people when they appear to be so out of control in the running of a Political Party with less than 150,000 people?