Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Bye bye Dave, don't let the door hit you on the way out

So David Campbell Bannerman has finally done what everyone expected him to do last year and gone back to the Tories.  I'm amazed he stayed as long as he did.

When he lost to Nigel Farage in last year's leadership election (14%) he said he couldn't work under him.  Despite DCB complaining to the BBC about Farage appearing on Question Time during the hustings and doing UKIP out of some media exposure and despite the smears during his leadership election campaign, Farage said he would still have a job in UKIP.  He chose instead to sulk.

What appears to be the straw that broke the Campbell's back (see what I did there?) was the mass abandonment of DCB's policies.  DCB's approach to policy making when he was head of policy was to form a committee, get the committee to produce a policy and then take out all the bits he personally didn't like and add in some of his own stuff.  That's how we ended up with a set of schizophrenic domestic policies that contradicted each other and didn't follow any sort of consistent agenda.

I won't go into details of his parting shot at the party that got him elected as an MEP in the first place, you can find it and judge him yourselves but here is UKIP's statement:
It is clear that David Bannerman has decided to put career before principle. He was obviously disappointed with his result in the Leadership election last year where he achieved 14% of the vote, and concerned about whether he could get re-selected by UKIP members in the Eastern Region.

So he has decided to secure his berth in the European Parliament until 2019, by joining a pro-EU party.

David has expressed his admiration for David Cameron, who has announced that he will not give the people of this country a referendum on Europe, because he believes we should stay in. He has some nerve criticising UKIP’s credibility.
When he was chosen as a candidate for UKIP in 2008, David signed a statement that said that he would “remain as a member of UKIP for the full 5-year term or otherwise retire from the Parliament”.

We call on him to resign, so that we can get a real Euro-sceptic to take his place.
He won't resign of course, his only concern is his career and that's why he's gone back to the Tories with his tail between his legs.  Two of the Tory MEPs for the east of England euroregion are due for retirement which gives DCB his best chance of getting re-elected and after the way he behaved last year, it was likely that when the regional lists were voted on by the membership he wouldn't have finished close enough to the top to have been re-elected.

DCB's defection now leaves Stuart Agnew as the only anti-EU MEP representing the east of England while DCB will sit with the pro-EU Tory MEPs and the most europhile traitor of them all, the Lib Dem MEP Andew Duff.

It's never nice to lose MEPs or any member for that matter but as far as DCB is concerned, good riddance to bad rubbish I say.  I have consistently criticised the way he works and the trouble he has caused in UKIP.  He was a dictator and not a very good one at that.

Looking on the bright side, we are now rid of DCB and in 2014 there is another EU election at which point we can deprive hi of the seat that UKIP activists worked so hard to get for him.  As a UKIPper has apparently told Guido: "our problem is now their problem".

I'll leave you with a quote from DCB last year which Total Politics (one of Iain Dale's projects) has kindly resurrected:
Cameron has spent the last five years ditching Conservative policies on Europe… It’s overwhelmingly clear now that trusting Cameron with Europe will be as misguided as trusting Blair on Iraq.
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