Bill's Archived Comments

for the week beginning: Monday, 8th April 2002

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- The Scottish Conservatives - rude and arrogant (8 April 2002)

The Scottish Conservatives - rude and arrogant (8 April 2002)

Last week I wrote about  plans by some disaffected Tories to challenge what they see as the liberalism of the current leadership (Tory Right form group to counter 'liberalism'). The day after posting that article, I received a circular letter from Scottish Conservative Chairman, David Mitchell, addressing me as a 'member' and enclosing a newsletter.

As regular readers will know, I resigned from the Conservative Party on 17 September last (click here to read about that), but it appears that Scottish Conservative Central Office in Edinburgh have not updated their records (any more than their website has been updated recently), so I wrote to Mr Mitchell to advise him to remove my details from their files and to advise him of my view of recent development in the Conservative Party. I have received back from him what can only be described as a choleric letter, probably because he has been quite unable to refute any of the points I made in my letter to him. I reproduce the text of my letter to him, dated 3 April 2002, his reply to me dated 5 April 2002, and a letter I have sent today to him; you be the judge:

My letter dated 3 April 2002, addressed to Mr Mitchell (Chairman), Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, 83 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2ER:

Dear Mr Mitchell,

I have received your circular letter, referenced above, and have the following comments:

  • I am not a member of the Conservative Party; I resigned from the Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber Conservative and Unionist Association on 17 September 2001, as a direct result of the election to Leadership of the Conservative Party of Mr Iain Duncan Smith a few days earlier;
  • Please remove my name and address and any other information you may hold about me from your database, to avoid other unwanted junk literature from your organisation being sent to me.

Until my resignation, I was a Vice Chairman of my local C&UA and the Secretary of its Inverness branch. I had grown increasingly unhappy with the right-ward drift of the Party under its former Leader, Mr William Hague, and the election of Mr iain Duncan Smith was the final straw.

Unfortunately I have seen no sign, if one cares to look behind the media spin (at which, it has to be admitted, Mr Duncan Smith and his cohorts are becoming moderately successful), that there is a genuine process of change occurring in the Party of whose Scottish section you are Chairman.

A couple of examples:

  • On 8th November 2001, the day Mr Henry McLeish MSP resigned as First Minister of Scotland, the Leader of the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament, Mr David McLetchie MSP, chose to say (during a live interview on BBC2 from the ‘black and white’ corridor) that it had been a 'waste of time' and that 'more important' matters could instead have been dealt with, for the Scottish Executive to undertake the repeal of Section 2a (the equivalent of Section 28 in England and Wales);
  • In ‘The Daily Telegraph’ yesterday (2 April 2002), a report was printed about a faction of Conservative Party members, former members of ‘The Monday Club’ (now suspended from The Conservative Party, although this seems to have had little practical impact), who now spout from within the Conservative Party their odious views, without seeming challenge from the Party Leadership. A Conservative Central Office (London) spokesman is quoted as responding to queries on the matter: “We have no comment to make on this sort of politics.”

I have the following comments:

  • Why not? No condemnation? No expulsion from the Conservative Party?
  • Is it perfectly acceptable for members of the Conservative Party to hold, and voice, such opinions?

It says a lot, in my view, for the reality behind the words of people like Iain Duncan Smith and Oliver Letwin, that they are prepared to tolerate such outbursts and take no action to exclude such people from membership.

It is highly unlikely, Mr Mitchell, that I will wish to re-associate myself any time soon with a Party that, even today, appears still to be infected with the triple vices of bigotry, racism and homophobia.

Yours sincerely,

W Cameron

D Mitchell's letter dated 5 April 2002 addressed to me:

Dear Mr Cameron

I think your letter of the 3rd April is full of your own prejudices and is so wildly inaccurate that it does not merit any comment.

If you ever get round to reality again, we will welcome you back gladly.

Yours sincerely,

David W Mitchell

My letter dated 8 April 2002, addressed to Mr Mitchell (Chairman), Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, 83 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2ER:

Dear Mr Mitchell,

I have received your intemperate letter - the tone of your letter indicates just why your Party is unlikely to be able to persuade a sufficiently high proportion of the voting population to vote for it to give it a passing chance of being re-elected to government any time soon. There is a quotation from Santayana which fits your letter pefectly - unwilling to listen, unwilling to learn about summarises your Party.

You categorise my letter as ‘wildly innacurate’ and say that ‘it does not merit any comment’. Pathetic. I challenge you to identify any specific innacuracy in my letter. I know you cannot -and you know it, too, which is why you have resorted to the abusive tone you use.

Yours sincerely,

W Cameron

The machinations of this man continue - see the later article posted 30 April 2002 for how the party is choosing to stick with its failed methods for choosing prospective parliamentary candidates by clicking here.

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Copyright © 2002 William Cameron