To say I was stunned by Quentin Davies’s defection is somewhat an understatement. I have been in the Commons for 15 years and have worked alongside Quentin in the shadow cabinet during Iain Duncan Smith’s leadership. Like him I have been in the Party for over 30 years.
What propelled his motives will at some stage become all too apparent, but what we do know is that his vicious, poison pen letter to David Cameron is nothing more than part of Davies hideously ingratiating himself to the Brown leadership.
When Davies was dumped from his position in the Shadow Cabinet by new leader Michael Howard he clearly felt his greatness was being overlooked. I was dumped too and I felt somewhat equally peeved- the only difference is that I got over it.
As I read Davies’s insulting resignation letter I was open mouthed at its incredulity.
It is bile sodden from beginning to end showering David Cameron’s
successful leadership of the Party with twisted, withering digs. Even
under the slightest of superficial scrutiny Davies’s letter shows
itself to be contemptuous and self wallowing.
How can anyone attack Cameron for being PR obsessed when this has been
the hallmark of his new Party. The Labour Party was built on spin and
PR and even Blair had to admit that they had overdone it. New Labour
are the image driven Party par excellence. Manufactured in Millbank
they were the by word for no substance and all spin.
Davies states he did not seek a position in Cameron’s shadow team, but
clearly spent a great amount of time trying to persuade Cameron to
shift policy in several key ways. It seems his failure in some areas
have drained his loyalty from him- his loyalty to the Party, but most
importantly of all his loyalty to his electorate.
Davies concentrates on Cameron’s decision to take his Euro MPs out of
the EPP-ED group in Brussels. It was one of the main planks of his
campaign, and personally I look forward to the day when it happens.
Cameron could never break his word on this and Davies has known this
Britain is not a federalist country and nor is the Conservative Party.
It is somewhat strange timing to join the Labour Party when it is
taking as its leader a man who is known to be much more Euro sceptical
than its predecessor. Brown had to sit on Blair during the recent
treaty negotiations to prevent him from giving away more of our powers
than he eventually did.
Davies then gallingly states, “I have never done business with people
who deliberately break contracts”. So, when Blair promised a referendum
on the Constitution and reneged on it didn’t he see that as a breaking
of a contract.
The truth is Davies had broken a contract with the people of Grantham
and Stamford who voted for him in successive elections. 22,109 of them
trooped out for him in 2005 only to be stabbed in the back just 2 years
As for consultation on policy issues David Cameron has embarked on one
of the biggest consultation exercises I have known the Party take. The
Party has shifted more to the centre ground of politics- a position
which I would have thought Davies would support.
Brown has been accused of “Reckless irresponsibility” and a “perversion
of Government through spin and self congratulatory and self righteous”
style. Brown was also accused of “entirely spurious” spinning of
In one debate it was said of Brown referring to his cutting of investment spending
“The Chancellor is doing something that he always said he would never
do…playing around with investment spending, and using it as a cushion
to absorb mistakes…” a broken contract if ever I heard one.
These remarks were all said by Quentin Davies. He could have quoted
others about Brown being psychologically flawed or indeed Stalinist,
but not everyone is perfect.
Indeed Davies closes his letter by stating,
“Labour have just “acquired a leader I have ALWAYS greatly admired who
I believe is entirely straightforward and who has a towering record and
a clear vision for the future of our country which I fully share”. WOW.
Davies states that he is devoted to his constituents interests. Well
Quentin can clearly demonstrate that in a more graphic way than using
words which clearly weigh somewhat differently to the way I use words,
and that is to resign. He can quit his seat in Grantham and Stamford
and let them decide for themselves which party they want to represent
them in Parliament.
I know the path to the Lord’s is well trodden via the Temple Morris
shuffle. Who knows what the future will hold for Davies, but I couldn’t
have put it better than David Cameron in writing a very courteous
letter in response to Davies’s resignation rant- We will watch your
future career with interest.
And so we will.