The latest being on today’s Evening Standard website where commentator Anne McElvoy, in a piece in which she reflects upon how “it is that the Westminster machine is powerless over MPs and candidates who care not a jot about how their behaviour affects their parties”. In this article she cites Hugo Swire’s antics at the Conservative Party Black and White fundraising Ball recently.
It’s time to go Hugo. Stop embarrassing the electors in East Devon!
It’s time for change! It’s time for challenge!
Anne McElvoy’s Evening Standard article in full –
Politicians suffering serious foot-in-mouth have become the norm
The reason House of Cards keeps on running — we’re now into Netflix’s third series of Frank Underwood’s diabolical deeds, a worthy heir to Francis Urquhart’s suave Westminster homicides — is that we like to believe politics is a sphere of control freaks who can end careers or defenestrate rivals with a phone call. Events present a different view.
If the pre-battle stages of the election campaigns tell us one thing, it is that the Westminster machine is powerless over MPs and candidates who care not a jot about how their behaviour affects their parties. This week has seen a premier cru crop of bloopers, led by the Prime Minister, who went whimsically off message to discuss his retirement date.
The only blessing was that this offered distraction from the truly toxic Afzal Amin, who may well have cost the Tories a crucial seat in the Midlands after he was accused of a deal with the far-Right English Defence League so improbable, stupid and cynical that it sounded like the plot of a satirical television drama.
|Mr Bean. Separated at birth from...|
|A very kind interpretation of Hugo Swire's fundraising jokes|
Well, chaps, the reality of it is that we are about to enter the throes of an election whose result hangs in the balance, a constitutional mess that will be dangerous for the UK after the Scottish referendum and an unfinished job on rebuilding the economy after a major crash. Whichever side you are on, and whether your party leader is the best thing since wartime Churchill or a Mr Bean in thin disguise, very little is achieved by behaving like a prat when the election is imminent.
|Hugo Swire MP. Separated at birth from...|
Yet for all the faux grandeur of the Whips, the grids, the spinners and expensive strategists, Westminster’s House of Cards has lost control over its ranks. Frank Underwood would have found a solution involving an oncoming train. Urquhart would have dispatched the offenders with a late-night drink or an appointment with Doug in the woods. Short of the actual murders, they had a point.