As I blogged earlier, it was clear that many of the local Tories in Ealing Southall resented having a candidate imposed on them while local talent was passed over. I think this will prove to be their undoing, since having a demotivated local team is not a good start!
Now I hear that a senior local Tory has had enough. Brij Mohan Gupta has decided enough is enough, and has joined the Liberal Democrats. Mr Gupta specifically cited the centrally imposed candidate as one of his reasons for the decision.
I would like to welcome Mr Gupta to a party which is democratic, and values it’s local teams.
Only I could be forgiven for thinking, that they were miles off, judging by the amount of navel gazing going on around here! Let’s just sort our priorities into some sort of order here. Lynching our leader (again) is not going to help us one bit in Sedgefield or Ealing Southall.
I nailed my colours to the mast during the leadership contest. I argued strongly for Chris Huhne – as I believed, (and still do) that he would have been the best leader to set against a backdrop of Brown and Cameron. A man capable of combining bold vision and substance. Someone who could make us look distinctive and relevant. I felt that a Campbell leadership would be a more ‘steady as she goes’ option – safe, but not exciting enough. I still think I was right, but we voted and we made our choice. We should remember that loyalty is to be valued, too. And we should remember how we mocked the Tories when they dumped leader after leader over the last few years. They may come a time when a fresh leadership contest is in our best interests – but now is not that time.
There are two parliamentary by elections in full swing, right now. We are good at by elections. The Tories look on in envy when we fight by elections while Labour activists are scared witless.
In Ealing Southall, Tories have panicked into enforcing a candidate from on high (who was not even a Tory), much to the dismay of some of their long-term local activists. Some Tories are so naive as to think that all they needed was a high profile Asian candidate and they are ramping up their chances. They will be disappointed.
The Tories seize on every chance to try to make us focus inwards because they fear us. We must stop scoring own goals and take the fight to them.