Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Old habits never die

I was ‘lucky’ enough to receive the election communication for our local Tory candidate this week, and it contains some ‘interesting’ claims.  Firstly, there was the rather strange claim that having campaigned for the Brexit Secretary David Davis means that he knows how to get a good deal for Carmarthenshire from Brexit.  The idea that this knowledge has transferred from one person to another by some sort of osmosis just by campaigning together is remarkable enough; even more remarkable is the implicit suggestion that David Davis has much idea himself about how to get a good deal.  Or perhaps that’s the problem – his fellow campaigner has somehow sucked all the knowledge out of him.
Apparently, voting for Havard Hughes (and Theresa May, who according to his posters – “standing with Theresa May in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr” – is also a local candidate) will “stop Plaid from blocking Brexit”.  I’m sure that Plaid would find his faith in their ability – with an expected 3 MPs out of 650 – to stop Brexit in its tracks more than a little flattering, but it only serves to convince me that, despite his apparently impeccable local pedigree, he has spent more time in the recent past dwelling in the same galaxy as his party’s leader.  And it completely ignores the fact that Plaid, like the remainers in his own party and the Labour Party, seem to have given up the fight to retain Wales’ place in Europe.
He goes further – a vote for him will “stop Plaid from helping Brussels break Britain and our economy in revenge for Brexit”.  This is the sort of foaming-at-the-mouth approach to those evil bureaucrats in Brussels which I would generally expect only from UKIP, but it serves to underline just how far in that direction a party which mostly (remember those faraway days just one year ago?) campaigned to remain in the EU has gone off the rails in its pursuit of UKIP votes.
In his write-up in the Carmarthen Journal last week, Mr Hughes revealed that he used to be a member of the Lib Dems, along with his mother (who fought previous elections in this area), before they both defected to the Tories.  However, his leaflet shows that he hasn’t lost all his Liberal Democrat tendencies; it includes a nice bar chart, based on “recent odds” from some bookie or other, which demonstrates, with complete disregard to any actual votes cast in the past, that only the Tories can beat Plaid in this constituency.  You can take a man out of the Lib Dems, but you can’t take the Lib Dems out of a man, to misquote an old saying.

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