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A shameful past

I have a confession to make.

In May 1990, I contested a local election as a Conservative candidate for Fortune Green Ward in the London Borough of Camden. Had I won, I would have been a Borough councillor representing about 4,500 electors as a Conservative politician.

It seems a Folkestone, Kent Conservative councillor also has some confessions to make.

He said his convictions included death by dangerous driving, indecent assault, drugs possession, carrying a weapon and forgery.

Richdale, an unemployed chef, confessed to using cannabis and amphetamines to control his alcoholic cravings, saying: “I am an alcoholic and I always will be but I haven’t had a drink for 11 years.”

He admitted having sex with a girl of 14 and said: “She told me she was 15 but she was 14. She stayed at mine (home) and I woke up to find her having sex with me.

“But I am not a sex case and I am not motivated by lust. I wish everyone was like me.”

Now I should point out that the lawful age of consent in England is 16, not 15 or 14. The language used by Councillor Robert Richdale in an interview to his local newspaper does not suggest the calibre of candidate that I would vote for. I also find the last two sentences of the quote completely at odds with any sense of personal responsibility. It never had occured to me before now that the closure of the Conservative Party’s youth sections over the past 15 years might be a good idea, as a way of preventing child abuse.

So next time a Conservative complains about the ‘loony’ ideas of libertarians I will not be thinking, perhaps we go a bit too far. The more I see them, the more I like my denunciation of “an unelectable shambles comprised largely of cretins, petty crooks, pompous buffoons and in-bred yahoos. I will take no lessons in morality or “coherent political philosophy” from a Tory.

And that is before I look at the deplorable results in the by-elections tonight, where the Conservatives have made no headway whatsoever against Labour in the Midlands. The Conservatives cannot get one fifth of the vote in a Birmingham constitutency and cannot remotely challenge in Leicester, a city where three out of four MPs were Conservative during the 1980s.

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16 comments to A shameful past

  • This simply would not do in the US. After he’d confessed to all this, what would the press have to find out?

  • Richard Mann

    Another fellow from Kent must go – Michael Howard! The sooner we get some proper attack dogs like the old days (Norman Tebbitt, Nicholas Fairbairn, Enoch Powell, Margaret Thatcher) the better!!!

  • LoveSupreme

    If, like most voters, you think the Iraq Attaq was a waste of time and money, why vote Conservative? Michael Ancram admitted the other day that if in government his party would have fallen in behind Bush irrespective of what Hutton and Butler have told us about the phoney rationale for war. Ergo, Tory attacks on NuLab are careerist shadow-boxing. Voting Lib Dem, Respect or staying at home are the only logical ripostes if you’re anti-war: and many voters are, in urban and/or immigrant-heavy seats such as Hodge Hill and Leicester South.

    When it comes to Iraq, as in so many other questions of vital concern, the “choice” between Tory and Loabour is nugatory unless you believe personalities matter. Which is more oleaginous, T Bliar Esquire or Howard? Is either likely to convince the ever-growing Apathetic Tendency (60% in the two by-elections) that politicians are honest and capable of learning from their mistakes?

  • Joseph

    I am beginning to think that all those folk who vote Monster Raving Loony Party know something we don’t…

    Professional politics is a waste of time, why can’t they leave us to get on it?

  • Gazaridis

    WHAT THE ****?!?!?

  • Oliver Latymer Jones

    What short memories you have – remember it was a Conservative government who privatised the utilities and railways – and allowed people of means the opportunity to make a profit by becoming shareholders.

    Remember it was a Conservative Prime Minister who said there was no such thing as society – how much more socially individualistic can you get?

    And now you ‘bastards’ (to quote a Conservative leader) mock and joke at Michael Howard’s current plight. Despite his inadequacies Howard is not to blame. It’s the euro sceptics and euro phobic UKIP who are hammering the nails into the coffin of a once great political party.

    And pointing out Conservative councillor’s misdemeanours is just another sly dig. Let me remind you that people who live in glass houses (Link)should not throw stones.

  • Antoine Clarke

    Oliver Latymer Jones:
    Yes, a Thatcherite government did indeed privatise utililities and briefly touted ‘popular capitalism’.

    Yet the blunt fact remains. Since booting out Margaret Thatcher (ostensibly because of a bad result in the Bradford North by-election of November 1990), the Conservative Party has made not one gain in a Parliamentary by-election.

    It seems the Tories have not woken up yet to the fact that they are the opposition and are supposed to be able to find protest issues to mobilise public opinion. What have the hundreds of party agents and Central Office bureaucrats, hired PR and management consultants been doing since 1990? These people are paid salaries. As far as I can see, the only reason for giving money to the Tories is the hope of being nominated for a knighthood.

    See my report on Election Watch(Link) for a run-down of the problem for the Tories.

    As for UKIP, we know they have weaknesses, but as attack dogs in the EU parliament, they seem pretty effective.

  • GCooper

    Oliver Latymer Jones writes:

    “It’s the euro sceptics and euro phobic UKIP who are hammering the nails into the coffin of a once great political party.”

    Given that a clear majority of the UK population is strongly averse to the EU (despite the endless stream of pro-Europe propaganda from the BBC) I’d say the Euro-sceptics and the UKIP have it right and the Clarkes and Heseltines have it entirely wrong.

    It ain’t Euro-scepticism that is sinking the Conservative party in the polls – it’s a combination of factors. These include (in no particular order): having been wrong-footed over Iraq. Having been successfully villified by the media as ‘toffs’, swindlers and cheats (thanks Archer, thanks Aitken). Having been incapable of supporting their own leader. Having been incapable of advancing a consistently comprehensible anti-Statist argument. Having been a bunch of completely useless wankers under John Major.

    Above all, the Tories in 2004 look deeply, impossibly ‘uncool’ to the ‘single mum in the street’ and ‘the bloke in the pub’. In an age when the demotic has replaced the patrician, the very style of the Conservative party has become political kryptonite.

    The young middle classes, meanwhile, are mostly composed of old hippies or those indoctrinated by them with Leftist values and attitudes.

    Having thus lost vast tranches of the traditional working class Conservative and naturally blue middle class votes, the party flounders.

    The way things are looking today, there is a very real possibility that the Conservative party might be in a state of irreversible decline.

    In which case, heaven help us all because, for all that soi disant libertarians may despise the Tories, the prospects of a free society under ‘New’ Labour, or the even more statist LibDems, are immeasurably worse.

  • Oliver Latymer Jones

    Withdrawl from the EU is extremist and reactionary – by being in it we have some influence over our neighbours; not being in it is isolationist.

    Howard wants us in the EU but is very much against the federal super state you are so afraid of.

    Look at the european election results – UKIP are killing the Conservative Party – and all those who have conspired in this plot are beyond forgiveness. Your lunatic ideas are the stuff of schoolboy fantasy. They have no real world value, just like your blind following of Hayek’s rubbish.

    I bet all you anti-statists have at some time benefitted from the NHS – you are all a bunch of hypocrites and your hypocrisy has killed the Conservative Party.

  • snide

    Oliver: ‘we’ meaning regulatory statists like you, of course. How is you having your snout in the Euro-tax trough of benefit to me?

    Look at the european election results – UKIP are killing the Conservative Party

    That is the general idea and the only thing you can do to stop us it to move your policies in the direction we want. Get used to that idea, you silly boy.

    – and all those who have conspired in this plot are beyond forgiveness. Your lunatic ideas are the stuff of schoolboy fantasy. They have no real world value, just like your blind following of Hayek’s rubbish.

    It is really quite simple. You want something: a regulatory state 95% the same as the Labour Party plus you also want the essential ground rules locked in at a European level, which I would argue makes you a traitor like your hero Heath to boot, whereas we want something else. Feel free to not forgive us because we utterly despise you too.

    I bet all you anti-statists have at some time benefitted from the NHS – you are all a bunch of hypocrites and your hypocrisy has killed the Conservative Party.

    Of course I have used the NHS! Why? Because pompous thieving shits like you have forced me to pay for it with NO option to opt out and spend that money you took from me on private health insurance. You compel me to pay for something against my will and then accuse me of hypocrisy when I try and recover some pitiful value from my stolen money! Astonishing. You are just an incoherent intellectual pygmy. Yes, you are the perfect Tory.

  • Effra

    “Withdrawal from the EU is extremist and reactionary.”

    Yep. So what?

    “By being in it we have some influence over our neighbours”

    Not nearly as much as they have over us, for the worse.

    “Not being in it is isolationist.”

    Yep. So what?

    Try to *argue*, Oliver, instead of just mouthing objurgations.

    PS: UKIP didn’t stand at either of Thursday’s by-elections, but that didn’t stop the Tories crashing and burning. Wonder why?

  • GCooper

    Oliver Latymer Jomnes writes:

    “Your lunatic ideas are the stuff of schoolboy fantasy. They have no real world value, just like your blind following of Hayek’s rubbish.”

    Is it my imagination, or are we being visited by more than our fair share of inarticulate, uneducated, insulting trolls, of late?

  • Antoine Clarke

    Ladies and Gentlemen: language please!

    Mr Latymer Jones is frustrated because he knows that his political party needs the votes of eurosceptics and libertarians but does not want to admit it to us. His anger is directed against the world for being ‘unfair’: how dare people challenge his cozy Tory nest. We should follow blindly, unquestioningly the same Michael Howard who first installed millions of police cameras and proposed National Identity cards and now postures as a ‘friend of liberty’. Are we supposed to have such short memories?

    Does Mr Latymer Jones want harmonization of the age of consent, tobacco taxes and of drug laws to the European average? Does he want the system of healthcare most people in the EU use applied to the UK and scrap the National Health Service?

    I do. So who’s the reactionary Europhobe now?

  • ian

    So why is this news?

  • prof snape

    because it is interesting, of course! wickedness by political types is always interesting!

  • Simon Jester

    A somewhat belated comment: OLJ should remember that we do not owe our votes to the Tory party.

    I am not, and have never been, a member of the Tory party – it has always seemed full of quasi-socialists. OLJ has simply reinforced that impression.