Saturday, August 09, 2008

Even worse than Heffer?

Simon Heffer is away, but a replacement has been drafted who spookily fills exactly the same niche as the great man himself. Her piece in the Telegraph leads on the case of the Conservative ex-candidate for Watford who engaged in a 3-year campaign of vandalism and harassment against is Liberal Democrat opponent, and her take on it is that David Cameron should 'speak up'. Now this man engaged in evil, criminal behaviour for which I fervently hope he will be justly punished. As soon as he was found out he immediately resigned from the Conservative Party, and if he hadn’t he would have been chucked out. What he was doing was not only against the Law, it was against the basic principles of the Conservative Party today, or at any time in the past for that matter. However, the reality is that every party attracts a certain number of bad people and the important thing is to note if their doings are broadly condoned or tolerated or if they are stamped on hard as soon as they are discovered. This man was in no doubt about the reaction of the Conservative Party so he walked before he got the boot.

What else is there to say? Does this woman seriously entertain the idea that this was in any way the way Conservatives are expected or encouraged to operate? If she does then she should lay out her case, and let's face it if she has something then it would be a huge news story. She won't do that of course because she has nothing. I'm an ex-parliamentary candidate, Constituency Chairman and current senior Councillor so I know of what I write. Conservative are expected to meet the highest standards in public life or else they cease to be Conservatives. There is nothing to this but one scumbag in Watford and the dripping pen of a columnist who has clearly been instructed to keep bashing David Cameron while Simon gets sunburnt. Oh, and the Liberal Democrats have jumped on this idea as well.

There's a surprise.


Iain Sharpe said...

We would know for certain the answer to your various rhetorical questions if only there had been some statement by the national Conservatives or Watford Conservatives on Oakley's conviction.

So far there has been no expression of sympathy for the victims nor an expression of regret and no announcement of any inquiry into how this was allowed to happen.

Without a proper investigation we won't know whether it really was just one person and if it was how he was able to get away for so long without arousing colleagues' suspicions.

As your posting implies, this is not just a run-of-the-mill case of someone going a little over the top. Nor were the offences simply to do with Mr Oakley's private life.

They were deliberately designed to subvert the democratic process in the direction of the Conservative party. They may even have affected the result of individual local elections.

As the intended beneficiaries and as a party that conferred positions of responsibility on Mr Oakley, the Conservatives should surely have something to say about this.

(For the sake of full disclosure I should mention that I am a Lib Dem in Watford.)

Steve Horgan said...

Let's see: 'how this was allowed to happen', implies that others had knowledge of Oakley's activities. If you have evidence of that then you should go to the police.

'Without a proper investigation we won't know whether it really was just one person'. There has been a proper investigation, by the Police. Do you think that their enquiry was deficient in some way?

No one thinks that these were other than serious offences but the statement that 'They were deliberately designed to subvert the democratic process in the direction of the Conservative party' makes little sense. Vandalism and harassment are appalling, and we had some of it in Basildon, but it is difficult to see how it confers electoral benefit.

Oakley it out of our party and good riddance. His actions were politically pretty insignificant. The Police investigation did not show any evidence of a conspiracy. What more is there to say?

Or is this Liberal Democrats in a marginal seat trying to milk the Conservatives embarrassment?

Iain Sharpe said...

I have posted a detailed response at

Onlinefocus Team said...

Sorry seems to be the hardest word for the Watford Conservatives. And indeed for the Conservatives generally, it seems.

Iain, has anyone from the Watford Tories sent our PPC a bunch of flowers, or anything like that?