Amongst all the speculation about who are the Tory MPs that Tim Montgomerie suggests are strongly considering jumping ship and joining UKIP - the most commonly named MPs have been listed by Guido Fawkes and James Mills - it seems to me that
the most obvious candidate is being ignored. Zac Goldsmith. And the reason he's being
ignored is because most pundits don't live in Ham Common - but if they
did, they'd be suggesting Zac too. Because there's a special Ham Common related reason why Zac might be about to leave the Tories.
So why do I think Zac may be about to leap into UKIPs arms?
Well, to start, lets list the the obvious reasons. Most agree that Tim's 2 'mystery'
MPs are likely to be amongst the 81 rebels who voted for a referendum
on the EU last year. Zac is one of their number.
The two PPSs who resigned in order to defy the whip - Adam Holloway
and Stewart Jackson - are seen as being amongst the most likely
jumpers. But it's been forgotten that defying the whip also cost Zac a
job in government. He was about to become David Cameron's personal
Green envoy. But then, as the Mail reported...
"David Cameron was accused of ‘petty and vindictive behaviour’ last
night after millionaire Tory MP Zac Goldsmith was banned from a key
Government job for defying him over the EU.
The Prime Minister had approved the appointment of Mr Goldsmith as his
personal Downing Street envoy to fight global warming and save the
But the offer was withdrawn two days before his first assignment – and
hours after he voted in favour of a referendum on whether Britain
should cut its ties with Brussels."
As we know, the environment is a cause Zac is passionate about. It must rankle to
have the job he'd most want in government taken away by Cameron.
And reports that Osborne wants to try and weasel out of The Green Deal
must be salt in the wound.
And of course Zac has strong family history around the anti EU lobby.
He'd fit right in around the UKIP table
So lots of good reasons to surmise that it might be Zac. But there's
Zac is MP for Richmond Park. And there's one local issue that all
local parties have campaigned very effectively on. And he has been
entirely consistent over. And now it seems his own party may be about to
stab him in the back.
The third runway at Heathrow.
Zac has said he will resign and fight a by-election if the Tories
reverse policy on this. And now suddenly, they are apparently doing
There's a council by-election currently taking place in Richmond. Our local campaign is based on stopping the third runway - and pointing out that the Tories are considering a massive U turn on this.
Imagine as Zac trudges around the constituency and gets told every day
that his own party is doing the one thing he said he'd resign over.
And the local Lib Dem candidate , Jane Dodds, is running a fantastic campaign. She
lost by just 19 votes last time.
And to save you checking - yes. UKIP policy is against a third runway at Heathrow.
A Tory rebel
He has the job he wanted taken away from him
His father's son
A green campaigner in a party reneging on it's green promises
Being stabbed in the back by his own party on the one issue he said
he'd resign over
Seeing a highly effective local campaign in his own constituency
pointing out Tory betrayal on that same policy - and imagining defending
that same policy in 3 years time...
And when he said he' d force a by-election, he didn't say who he would
Now. I think a lot about Zac. I am after all a Lib Dem PPC who
lives in his constituency. I can even see the top of his mums house from my window (there's a reason this blog is called what it is - it's my little in joke...).
So I reckon I'm in a good place to put 2+2 together.
Of course, this is all speculation. I will tweet this out to Zac, and he's welcome to come on the comments and tell me I'm wrong.
But since I first tweeted it (on 11th April), he's been out there saying stuff like this...
It all adds up...doesn't it?
Except look at UKIP's attitude to the environment: "Fighting wind farms" is on the front of the local election manifesto.ReplyDelete
And inside, "We will...
- "Ban new wind farms and subject existing ones to democratic local planning procedures. ...
- "Close the Climate Change Department saving up to £18 billion a year.
- "End wasteful EU and UK subsidies to ugly, cost-ineffective 'renewable energy' scams.
- "Stop all payments to the Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel and other UN climate-related agencies."
I can't see Zac Goldsmith ever signing up to that.
Rather depends on where the Tories stand on green issues. If they are, ahem, the 'greenest govt ever' then he'll stay put. If they ditch the green deal - then he has little to lose on that front.ReplyDelete
If I'm right and Zac is one of the two possible defectors then I imagine that is what the doubt - and any negotiations - are probably about.
There is flying a kite and there is plain lunacy.ReplyDelete
UKIP don't believe that we are experiencing catastrophic global warming; we don't want to cover the country in windmills; we do support cheap nuclear electricity; we do support the development of shale gas. Under what possible circumstances would Zac be welcome in UKIP?
The subconscious subtext here may be that you recognise, with the LudDims now the 4th party, Zac, or anybody else, would not be so foolish as to consider joining you despite the fact that he shares your ecofascist hysteria.
You know, I've seen childish plays on names before so that doesn't really bother me.Delete
And I get the "Dims" bit - exceedingly witty of you I must say.
But where on Earth does the "Lud" bit come from and how is it meant to be amusing?
I'm giving you a B for effort and a D for scientific knowledge.
It must be a reference to ‘Luddite, n. (and adj.)’; OED explains:Delete
‘ . . Etym: < the proper name Lud or Ludd . . According to Pellew's Life of Lord Sidmouth, Ned Lud was a person of weak intellect who lived in a Leicestershire village about 1779, and who in a fit of insane rage rushed into a ‘stockinger's’ house, and destroyed two frames so completely that the saying ‘Lud must have been here’ came to be used throughout the hosiery districts when a stocking-frame had undergone extraordinary damage. The story lacks confirmation. It appears that in 1811–13 the nickname ‘Captain Ludd’ or ‘King Lud’ was commonly given to the ringleaders of the Luddites.’
What this has to do with anything the Lib Dems do I don’t know but no doubt Neil Craig will enlighten us. He’s quite right to point out that UKIP is not the party for Zac - it’s more likely I suggest that he will resign the whip when Cameron breaks some green pledge or other, sit as an Independent Conservative, which is what he is already, fight the 2015 election as an Independent and then, having lost, go off and find a more congenial occupation than being an MP.