Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 22 November 2015

Tory Bullying - The Accomplices

As the Mail On Sunday’s political editor Simon Walters turns the screw a little more on now former Tory activist Mark Clarke, there is a risk that, after he has been comprehensively thrown under the bus, the circus might leave town and the party’s bullying culture become forgotten. That is what many of those who supported Clarke, or at least equivocated in the face of his behaviour, will be hoping. It must not be allowed to happen.
Today’s MoS front page splash - which even got a mention on The Andy Marr Show (tm) paper review today, thanks to Paul Waugh - is suitably graphic: “THE SEX TAPE THAT SHAMES TORY PARTY” reads the headline. The article also stresses that Clarke was still behaving in his own inimitable fashion right up to September this year - right up to the moment that Elliott Johnson’s body was discovered.
In order to get away with it, Clarke would have required the assistance, overt or otherwise, of others. So when the MoS says “The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of the film as part of our investigation into the scandal engulfing Clarke, who is accused of bullying a Conservative activist who later look his own life. With the consent of the victim, we are handing the sex film to police, who are to investigate”, this risks losing that focus.
Walters hints at this when he tells “The drugs ‘sting’ occurred after a party hosted by the Conservative Way Forward group on the Commons terrace on September 3. Among the guests mingling with Tory MPs was a prominent female Party official who had complained about Clarke … Also present was Andre Walker, former chief of staff to Tory MP David Morris … Walker is one of Clarke’s key Tory henchmen”.
Yes, Walker would be one of those in the firing line, as would former party chairman Grant “Spiv” Shapps. But the most obvious target for further investigation is the newly ennobled Emma Pidding, who was still happily working with Clarke, and singing his praises, right up to last August. The Tories’ own inquiry is going to interview her. What are Walters and the rest of the press pack waiting for? Just look at her effusive praise.
A HUGE thank you to you, Mark. An inspirational team … a great team campaigning for a great candidate @michelledonelan Thanks to @MrMarkClarke for organising … It was a pleasure - as ever! … Busy day planning #Roadtrip2020 with @MrMarkClarke - exciting campaigns ahead”. And she included Clarke’s mistress: “On the way to catch up with #battlebus2015 #bestbus @indiabrummitt. I wonder if it will be cocktails or tea?
It is rumoured that Emma Pidding not only shielded Clarke, but also tipped him off not just about all the complaints, but also exactly who was making them and the detail of their allegations. And Clarke was being tipped off as recently as September. Clarke’s lurid behaviour may make a good Sunday splash, but it should not detract from the need to hold to account all those involved - Clarke was not acting alone.

Just in case Simon Walters needs a few pointers, you understand. Roll on next week.


rob said...

From Huffington Post 23rd October

"David Cameron has been accused of behaving like a 'schoolboy bully' threatening to 'duff up' the House of Lords if it blocks his tax credit cuts plans."

Bullying seems to be endemic in the Tory Party.

Culture coming from the top? The Old Etonian influence? Or NOTW and News Intl? Or both?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Heil on Sunday article is merely another example of neocon squirming to avoid the real implications.

See that giant word SEX? Is anything more calculated to give Sunday indigestion to the corner shopkeepers and "I-own-me-own-business-yer-know" suburban paranoids and Little Englanders who vote for the current Nastzis in Downing Street?

Any day now they'll be back parroting the I Blame The Sixties routine bullshit. The suited-up Bullingdon hoodlums are only the latest manifestation of the same old gang of thieves, the same old hypocritical AngloYank latter day puritans, warmongers and tiny minded forehead knucklers.

It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so tragically predictable.

Richard Norris said...

Incidentally,Michelle Donalan is rhe newly elected Tory MP for the Chippenham constituency.

Richard Norris.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone who was working in the Chairman's Office could be possible accomplices and should all be questioned. For example if they were made via chairman@conservatives.com then everyone who worked in the Chairman's Office would have access to the emails. It could be possible that complaints weren't necessarily going all the way up the chain and that's why people who made complaints were only receiving generic responses as mentioned in the press and perhaps why CCHQ are claiming they have no record of such complaints??

rob said...

@ Anon 19:59

"claiming they have no record of such complaints?? "

Well, if they have been deleted, à la Becky Brooks@NOTW for instance, they wouldn't necessarily have the records would they? Doesn't mean they don't exist somewhere else though. Perhaps GCHQ could help?

Anonymous said...

Just googled the newly elected MP Michelle Donelan and it appears that she knows Clarke and Donal Blaney very well. Defended YBF at the last election: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/mar/06/radicalised-tories-young-britons-foundation