David Cameron’s in-tray had an unwelcome surprise for him this afternoon. Quentin Davies (see picture) a leading moderate Conservative MP of twenty years handed in his resignation letter as he crossed the floor to join the Labour benches. Writing to Mr. Cameron, Mr Davies said that the Conservative Party "appears to me to have ceased collectively to believe in anything or to stand for anything". See here for the full story.
It’s a blow for David Cameron. His tactic has been to ape Labour’s language and copy the style of early new Labour – which he had been doing with some success. But political strategies are more than rhetorical style. Parties are made up of people who share a series of values. When Gordon Brown talks of social justice, opportunity for all and a fairer Britain; he is believable because he expresses values that have been Labour’s for over 100 years. Looking at the actions of our local Conservative Council (who have just pushed through £34million of cuts to local services) it’s hard to conclude that Mr. Cameron’s Conservatives share any of those values or anything like them. Quentin Davies says something similar in his letter to Mr Cameron.
Locally, we’ve had four new people join Labour in my ward (Hammersmith Broadway) during the last three weeks alone. Change is in the air, the Tories have upset many residents with their cuts in services and these local people felt motivated to join Labour and to get involved. Click here if you’d like to join too. You’ll be very welcome as I am sure Quentin Davies is happily discovering for himself.