The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Sign of Nick

I am in receipt of a rather sad piece of electioneering from a Deputy Conservative councillor, Jonathan Davies, who is running for Parliament in Finchley and Golders Green despite lacking the advantages of incumbency, a defensible record or a party with any remaining purpose other than to hang onto its leadership's little red boxes.

Predictably enough, the leaflet reads like part of a local campaign with a few national references thrown in, apparently on the assumption that even someone innocent enough to vote Liberal Democrat this year will be vaguely aware that the election is a general one. Equally predictably, there is no hint of the grand visions of 2010: the Deputy Conservatives have no further intention of changing the terms of debate on Europe or immigration, and their commitment to electoral reform is now about as detectable as that of the Real Conservatives and the Wannabe Conservatives.

There is a page of "guarantees" - tax cuts, pension rises, protection for the NHS and schools budget, and continued commitment to "balancing the books" - which are entirely indistinguishable from the anodyne guff being peddled by the two main branches of the British Neoliberal Party. There is a section of white-on-black text where Jonathan Davies names three Real Conservative policies which were blocked by the Liberal Democrats, in between supporting such minor peccadilloes as Twizzler Lansley's anti-NHS bill, Graybeing's vandalism of the justice system, and the Spare Room Subsidy Withdrawal. "Without the Liberal Democrats to stop them, the Tories would have cut public services deeper and faster, making the poorest bear the heaviest burden," proclaims Jonathan Davies; who, like the sitting expenses claimant, somehow fails to make clear his pride in the local food bank which has done so much extra business while his party has been giving heart to the Conservatives.

Most touching of all is the part in which Jonathan Davies drums up quotes from supportive locals. The equivalent section on the Labour candidate's leaflet is headed "Why we are backing Sarah Sackman" and includes four blurbs from four different people: an academic, a school governor, an actor and a student. Jonathan Davies has managed to find one single person who will admit to backing him and even campaigning alongside him. That person is another Deputy Conservative councillor.


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