Autonomous Mind posts on the alleged spat twixt Claire Perry and Douglas Carswell, as reported in the Mail on Sunday. For the record, the question Carswell asked was during Prime Ministers Questions, when Nick Clegg deputised for David Cameron who was otherwise engaged on a jaunt to visit Obama. Having viewed this exchange on Parliament TV (starts 12:28:55) unfortunately some numpty stands up in front of Perry so it is not possible to see what happened.
Even allowing for the fact that some would say that the present Conservative Party is far from what is traditionally held to be a Conservative Party, Carswell is still taking the party whip and presenting himself to the public and his electorate as a Conservative MP. I find it strange that an MP who is so 'distant' in his beliefs when comparing those beliefs with that of his party still remains within that party; which leads to the belief that his political principles and beliefs are not as strong as his desire to continue his career - and so on balance I am the same opinion as Autonomous Mind.
Whilst I, too, have been critical of Carswell on my blog, if one is to criticise him of faux euroscepticism, then the same accusation must be made to Bill Cash, Bernard Jenkin, Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone, Christopher Heaton-Harris and others, in which of the latter I of course include Daniel Hannan. Where I believe Carswell lays himself open to criticism is that bearing in mind his authorship, with Daniel Hannan, of "The Plan", those aspects of their tome that Cameron has embraced has been done with what one might call 'lip-service' in that that which Carswell and Hannan believe is far distant to that which Cameron will be implementing.
What is at the heart of this matter is principle and honour, not just in their support of the party under whose name they sail, but also when considering how they campaigned during a general election. From the moment David Cameron was elected Leader it was obvious that he was not the eurosceptic that he presented himself as, a position that has hardened as time has gone by. I have to admit that I do not know how they conducted their election campaigns, but pound to a penny those campaigns were run according to the Conservative Party manifesto with a wish on their part not to 'rock the boat' in the hope that a Conservative majority would be achieved. In that regard, one wonders how often during campaign speeches and canvassing they broached the subject of this country's EU membership without it being raised by those to whom they were addressing. If I am incorrect on that suggestion then obviously I offer an unreserved apology. In fairness, it may well be that they too were misled by a manifesto which promised re-call of MPs, local referenda, etc, etc.
What the subject of Carswell's, and others, position raises is doubt about their political principles and honour and reinforces the belief held by many that MPs - of all parties it must be said - are more concerned about their careers, even if they do not wish for ministerial promotion. If one holds firm political principles then where is the personal honour in remaining a member of a party who plainly does not espouse those same principles? It is accepted that membership of a party cannot mean that one agrees with every policy that that party promotes, but in the case of Carswell and Hannan they are both so diametrically opposed the question of why they remain in the Conservative Party has to be repeated.
Claire Perry's alleged suggestion may well be supported by some, both in Parliament and amongst the public and they may well point to the case of Roger Helmer who did indeed 'jump ship', although in the case of the latter I believe there were other reasons - for example, with his stated intention not to stand again coupled with his inability to have his favoured candidate take his place, was he motivated to proverbially stick two fingers up to Cameron and Warsi?
Knowing my preference for Direct Democracy, there may be critics who will argue that the same shenanigans would occur, which they may well do; however because those matters for which national politicians would be responsible for would be greatly reduced, so would the possibility for differences of opinion on policy.
Just a few thoughts on the Perry/Caswell matter offered for further discussion.........
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