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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Shapps Is Sacrificed

A week, Harold Wilson once observed, is a long time in politics. Why this should be has just been pointed out as former Tory Party co-chairman Grant Shapps has become the latest casualty in the fallout from the bullying scandal now engulfing it. Previously, nothing, but nothing, could dislodge Shapps from his co-chair position; this tells anyone who may have thought otherwise that this is very serious problem for the party.
Previously, Shapps had been discovered to have promoted a piece of software that operated in flagrant violation of Google’s rules. His routine deceits included pretending to be someone else: at least two aliases, Michael Green and Sebastian Fox, are well-known. He had used his position in the Tory Party to bully a constituent, and threaten legal action against them. None of these was sufficient to dislodge him.

Nor was his singularly ill-judged “Tory Bingo” graphic, which suggested that the working class were “they”, and was therefore patronising in the extreme. The only thing that removed Shapps from the co-chair was when he was forcibly removed after the General Election. Some right-leaning pundits concluded he had been badly treated. They did not know the half of it. Sadly, they might not even now.

Shapps resigned for one reason, and one alone: it was he who welcomed Mark Clarke back into the Tory fold last year, awarding him the title of “director” in charge of RoadTrip 2015. For this, and apparently not acting earlier to head off complaints about Clarke’s behaviour, he had to go. But he is only resigning his ministerial portfolio, remaining as MP for the seat of Welwyn Hatfield. That’s not good enough.

Shapps’ litany of double-dealing, dishonesty, bullying, chicanery, and forthright spivvery, added to his singularly unfortunate judgment call on Clarke, should easily be enough to have him drummed out of the Commons. At the very least, the Tory Party should expel him, and man up sufficiently to put a new candidate before the electorate in a by-election. Only then will the catalogue of misbehaviour be properly closed.

And, as I outlined in an earlier post today, there are several others with questions to answer, and that is several as in additional to Andrew Feldman, the current party chairman. Meanwhile, in case anyone had forgotten, this is first and foremost about Elliott Johnson, and his Dad Ray has spoken approvingly at Shapps’ decision to venture into the room with the whisky and revolver and do the right thing.

But, as he points out, “It’s about time, he should have resigned several weeks ago … It justifies our view of Grant Shapps. But there are others involved and we need to ensure there’s a clearout of all these unsavoury characters at CCHQ”. Added to that I would include those who may not be at CCHQ, but are active on the fringes and have knowingly and enthusiastically participated in bullying.

Zelo Street readers will hear more on one of those fringe figures tomorrow.

8 comments:

Jonathan Wilson said...

I've heard that either Sebastian Fox or Michael Green is to take over the position.
Contribsx has said he will edit the Wiki page to show that Grant Shapps was nowhere near the internet at the time the alleged bullying was ignored.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to the typical rictus-grinning tory spiv.

Not that there's ever been any shortage of them.

About time his "business" and "entrepreneurial" activities were properly looked at too......

Anonymous said...

You are most likely aware of them already - but there are a couple of characters deeply into CF and Road Trip 2015 who I feel need a further look - not least because they have conveniently and very recently moved on to other roles.

One was on the (now suspended) CF National Executive alongside Alexandra Paterson and others. Very recently he announced his new role as Deputy Director of @ToryWorkers, the new Conservative 'trade union' movement.

The other was CF South east region chair and if I remember correctly, ran for the CF leadership against Paterson. She is now the new commissioning editor at CWF - was this Elliot Johnson's role before he was made 'redundant'?

both campaigned for Halfon and others on Road Trip 2015 and tweeted enthusiastically about Halfon's virtues.

So, what I'm asking is: were they moved to new jobs because they opposed the bullying, or were they moved out of the way for the time being because they are still being nurtured for future office, despite being part of Clarke's inner circle?

A young person has tragically died, and we all need to know what happened.

SimonB said...

When did that broken nose appear? I think we should be told!

rob said...

@Anon 17:29

From The Telegraph Nov 2013

"A business deal involving a company set up by Grant Shapps, the Conservative party chairman, “may constitute an offence of fraud”, Scotland Yard has said....."
despite finding evidence of an offence, no charges will be brought."

Perhaps they could now give an explanation? Why would he be exempt from the long arm of the law where others wouldnt be? Did he have connections?

@Anon 19:29

"A young person has tragically died, and we all need to know what happened."

Agreed. It is interesting to note the advice on school bullying from www.gov.uk which even more interestingly excludes private schools which may explain the problem within the Tory Party itself.

"By law, all state (not private) schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils.

This policy is decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is."

Perhaps they should start to practise what they preach in their own little grown up world?

Anonymous said...

...this is first and foremost about Elliott Johnson, and his Dad Ray has spoken approvingly at Shapps’ decision to venture into the room with the whisky and revolver and do the right thing.

Possibly not the best situation in which to use a suicide metaphor?

Andrew Albury said...

Anyone care to inform us how Toby Young and Julia Hartley-Brewer have commented on the matter today or the last few days in light of these developments - I could look on Twitter but a) Julia and I have come to virtual blows there because I lost my temper at her for her calling for all greedy non-late night working, non-weekend working £50K per annum train operators to be replaced "just like that" (a la Tommy Cooper), with shiny new automated trains for the benefit of her very-important self and b) There's only so much bull@@@t I can cope with, this close to Christmas?

Anonymous said...

To Andrew Albury.

Oh I don't know. We should celebrate bullshit, especially the tory version.

Every time bullshitters open their mouths they give themselves away.

Take the unctuous John Pienaar on Radio 5 this morning, oozing his usual line of insincerity during an "interview" of John McDonnell. It was hilarious because McDonnell took the right wing propaganda, shoved it back up Pienaar's anal canal and then set light to it. Poor Pienaar didn't know whether to shit, shave or shampoo.

What's REALLY funny is the look of panic on the faces of the tories now Corbyn and McDonnell have shown they actually constitute a radical opposition to the Bullingdon gang and the "new" Labour neocon goons. The change might not survive the lies and propaganda and outright corruption of British politics and its mainstream media, but at least a a start has been made.

Even funnier is the notion of increased bowel movements among the Friends at Vauxhall Cross and the Brit desk at the Boys from Langley. You can bet McDonnell's Little Red Book caper had them scrambling for the McCarthy Book of Reactionary Phrases, all of which will be distributed with instructions for use by mainstream media. They might even employ Hanks and Spielberg to come up with one of their bullshit bangbang-you're-dead "patriotic" movies.

So hang on in there, Andrew. The spectacle could be hilarious as a series of predictable Gordon Gekkos surface. See the ineffable Donald Trump. Of course it will be tragic for "ordinary" people trying to make their way in the world - but hey what's noo?