09 March 2007

Tory squabbling

Much has already been said about the leaked memo by David Mundell to David Cameron about the (dire) state of the Tory Holyrood Group, of whihc Mundell was a part until 2005. Was he therefore saying that he's the only Scottish Tory with any clout (bigheadedness), or was he admitting is that he's as useless as the others? Whichever, the memo itself isn't what I'm posting about.

Consider: with less than two months to go, Labour bloggers are on-message (not counting Terry Kelly, of course). LibDem bloggers are waxing lyrical about the joys of Menzies Campbell and Nicol Stephen. SNP bloggers are also behaving, so Party bosses needn't panic when they read what members are posting.

Now, in a way, this is disappointing: the internet is meant to be a place of freedom of expression and information, so it's a shame that the party machines have activated and people are behaving themselves.

But the Tories are interesting: Alan Simpson's blog seems to be an expression of despair at the state of his party, which would pretty much back up the contents of the Mundell memo, but it's provoked an angry reaction from Party colleagues. Y is a vowel seems to provide the strongest reaction. Opinion is polarised, and insults are flying. The comments sections of relevant posts on both blogs make for ugly reading.

Two months to go, and the Tories are flaming each other. If the online row is a fair reflection of the state of the wider party, if memoranda of despair are floating around Central Office, then there is a serious problem. While the discipline of other parties' blogs and bloggers might not make for as much fun to read, we still learn something. It shows that the other parties are going into May focussed, and bracing themselves for a fight: for them, the enemies are rival parties. For the Tories, they still feel that they have enemies within.

1 comment:

Alan Simpson said...

What is there to be happy and cheerful about? It's hardly the biggest surprise the SNP feeling is one of excitement considering every poll has them winning and the Lib Dems can be pleased because no doubt they will again sell their soul in order to get a ministerial mondeo.

There is a huge amount of change required. Yet this is not forthcoming.