Knifing the Tory way

David Cameron is having to restore some confidence after word leaked out about some of his inner circle bad mouthing activists…not unlike some of the bad mouthing that goes on inside National of activists.

David Cameron?moved to repair relations with a bruised Conservative party by emailing a “personal note” to all members in which he said he would never work with anyone who “sneered” at activists.

Amid anger in the party at the allegations that a senior member of his inner circle had referred to activists as “mad swivel-eyed loons”, the prime minister said the party was held together by “a deep and lasting friendship”.

Cameron reached out after senior Tories, who were enraged by allegations that the Tory co-chairman Lord Feldman had made disparaging remarks about Tory activists, warned of a sea change in the parliamentary party as growing numbers of MPs decide that the prime minister is becoming a liability. Feldman strenuously denied the allegations which he described as “completely untrue”.?

But senior figures indicated that the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee, Graham Brady, was expected to receive further letters calling for a confidence vote. Brady, who is understood to have been sent a limited number in recent months, will have to call a vote if he receives at least 46.

One senior figure said: “This is worse than John Major. There was quite a lot of sympathy for him because of the Maastricht rebels. He also listened, though he probably listened too much. With Cameron it feels like this could be terminal ? and will be so before the election.”

The prime minister moved to stabilise his position by sending an impassioned email to party members in which he wrote fondly of his 25 years as a party member.

The prime minister wrote: “We have been together through good times and bad. This is more than a working relationship; it is a deep and lasting friendship. Ours is a companionship underpinned by what we believe…Time and again, Conservative activists like you stand for duty, decency and civic pride.”

Cameron addressed criticism of his inner circle. “I am proud to lead this party. I am proud of what you do. And I would never have around me those who sneered or thought otherwise. We are a team, from the parish council to the local association to parliament, and I never forget it ? To those reading this, here is my message: there will always be criticism from the sidelines. But we must remember what this party has always been about: acting in the national interest.”

Those activist can either be inside the tent pissing out, or if sidelined or antagonised outside the tent pissing in. Wise politicians seek not to divide but to unite. Foolish politicians leak badly to the opposition to foment mischief for their own team.

If it happens enough then a good old fashioned Tory knifing happens…and we do it like no other. Just ask Aaron.