Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why did the Conservatives tolerate Mark Clarke for so long?

Isabel Hardman explains:
The answer is that the Tory party was desperate for ground troops to fight Labour, and with a small and often elderly membership, this was hard to come by. It seems that their desperation stopped them asking the sorts of questions that an organisation with the luxury of many footsoldiers should have asked. They’d risk taking on someone like Mark Clarke because they considered it less of a risk to being utterly swamped by Labour activists in key seats. 
But it’s not just Mark Clarke, who denies bullying Johnson. Those involved in Tory youth politics say bullying was rife – and not limited to one man. Perhaps the party judged what was going on to be the sort of usual histrionics amongst student politicians, who believed they were acting like grown politicians with verbal thuggery and internet smears. 
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceIn hindsight, of course, with one young activist dead, the oversights of the party machine have proved far more costly than anyone could have imagined.


Squirrel Nutkin said...

1) If this mess proves career-ending for them, it couldn't happen to a more deserving crew.

2) I can't help thinking that when they were young and impressionable they watched All The President's Men and decided that CREEP and the "ratfuckers" were the heroes and role-models.

3) Let's also spare a thought for Tim "Cassandra" Ireland who's been hammering away at the Tories' toleration (verging on sanctioning) of this kind of amoral campaigning since not long after I started reading political blogs over a decade ago.

Antiochian said...

Biggest bully amongst the Tory crew on Test Valley Council is one going on 80... so they have been at it for a while.. fortunately he restricts his bullying to party members/Tory Councillors only...

James said...

So this one managed to slip past Cathy Newman, failure of journalistic due-diligence perhaps???

Phil Beesley said...

As you no doubt remember, Jonathan, young Conservatives have acted like this for years. When Thatcher was in power, the internal battles were as vicious as today. Perhaps they lacked the immediacy of social media warfare. During the Blair years, the Labour Party was an unpleasant place and some of the alleged grown-ups participated in Labour's backstabbing.

A sniff of power brings out the worst in some people.

Frank Little said...

[FX: applauds previous comments]

The only quibble I have is that RoadTrip was clearly aimed at destroying the Liberal Democrat, rather than the Labour, vote.