The Mail calls it ‘bizarre‘ but I’m sure we can think of some more honest words about a Tory plan at the last General Election to stand a terminally ill candidate against John Bercow in the hopes that they’d die before polling day and thus delay Bercow’s inevitable re-election.
I know it’s a refrain Alastair Campbell is often putting forward on his blog and on Twitter, but imagine if it turned out people associated in some way with Gordon Brown or Labour had tried to find someone who was terminally ill to stand for election, hoping they’d be dead within weeks all to delay the election of someone they didn’t like. Imagine the conversations they’d have with the candidate explaining the scheme!
The story has come out in an unofficial biography of Speaker John Bercow, which allegedly describes the depth of loathing David Cameron has for him. Quite why the Tories hate Bercow so much is never really mentioned these days – but generally I think it’s because Bercow started out his political life as a dyed-in-the-wool Thatcherite and has progressively moved leftward until he was a continual subject of Labour attempts to persuade him to become a Labour MP instead. Of course, having a wife who is a prominent Labour supporter doesn’t help either.
But given that David Cameron has supposedly been all-about detoxifying the Tory brand and moving the party to the centre (and thus left-ward of the instinctive stances of the majority of its MPs) I find it weird that he hates Bercow so much for merely following the same path, except doing it first and dare I say doing it out of honest belief rather than electoral pragmatism.
Presuming the story is true (and the Mail doesn’t question it’s veracity), as the Mail says the fact there were Tories (and the story doesn’t mention how high up they were…) who genuinely considered this plan shows the depth of feeling some of them have towards Bercow, to a degree I’d suggest is rather pathetically (yet dangerously) obsessive
However, as a wider (non-party political point) it shows how many MPs and politicians lose sight of reality when they get so drawn in they come up with schemes that aren’t just harebrained but also grossly immoral and never even realise it.
We can name various people on either side of the party lines who have done such things, but I’m fairly sure if this was a Labour plot there’d be more than a little righteous ‘anger’ emanating from various parts of the media as this story has come to light.