Sunday, 28 July 2013

Tories at war – with each other!

Yesterday Ipswich Tory activist, Kevin Algar posted a blistering attack on his fellow Ipswich conservatives.

It will not make great reading for Ben Gummer and Tory leader, Chris Stewart. Gummer needs a unified Tory Group for any chance of making it a contest at the General election in 2015 and the comments by Algar show that Chris Stewart (and constituency chair- Liz Harsant) have little control over local Tories with very little self-discipline being shown by Tory members.

Ipswich Tory councillors may just place their heads in the sand and think this is just a one off attack by a disgruntled member but it does follow on from James Spencer (Bridge Ward) no longer feeling he can stand for the Tories.

It is not only within the local constituency they seem to be falling out, all over Suffolk they have members unhappy with Dan Poulter and Ben Gummer voting for the legalisation of Gay marriage and in the last two weeks there has been a fall out between Ipswich and Suffolk Tories over plans for traffic lights in parts of Ipswich.

It was not long ago that Ben Gummer was attempting to take all the credit for the massive investment in traffic infrastructure in Ipswich but strangely he has gone very quiet since his own constituency Chair has taken a dislike to certain parts of the scheme- from what I can seethe main issue is the attitude of Suffolk Tories who do not seem to believe in public consultation, especially with residents of Ipswich or Lowestoft.

Going back to the outburst by Kevin Algar, he accuses the local Tories of having no policies or any interest in coming up with any and accuses the Tory Group of failing to be a formidable opposition to the Labour Party, his feelings are best summed up with this comment about the Tory Group: “utterly shambolic and pathetically weak. One of the reasons Ipswich Conservatives abstain in votes so often is the fact that they have no policies and don’t believe there is a need for any “

Now some would say why the sudden outburst he seemed very happy with the direction the local Tories were going at the start of the week, one local Tory councillor put it down to him being drunk! But it seems it is because he has just found out that he has not been selected to stand in the local elections next year.

Not sure why the Tories have dropped him, he has stood for them in Chantry and Gipping in both the County and Borough elections and though I agree with very little he says he does seem one of the keenest of their very few activists.

Now today, Kevin seems to have mellowed and gone back to his normal anti-Labour posting and informing us that he will still be campaigning for Ben Gummer in 2015. The trouble for Gummer is will other local Tories want him helping on the campaign. Algar also does bring up the thorny subject of Ipswich Spy and the main contributors close links with a number of the Tory Group. This issue is one that seems to continue to cause trouble within the Tory ranks.

Kevin now seems to be backtracking fast and will probably be out delivering again for the local Tories by next week (if they will have him) and I for one hope he continues – even just for the comedy value he adds.

The classic was this week, I used twitter to wish our candidate in the Hadleigh Town election ‘good luck’ –Angela has worked hard with a number of volunteers to improve the Labour presence in this South Suffolk town, Kevin read this and quickly tweeted: ‘If you live in North Ward of Hadleigh Suffolk, get out and Vote Conservative.’

Trouble for Kevin, he had made the effort to find out it was North Ward but what he failed to check was the list of candidates – and so he went very silent when we informed him that no Tory candidate was standing, but looking at his tweets today I am sure he will provide us with many more comedy moments.

What the local Tories do about him will be more interesting, will they put an arm around his shoulder and welcome him back or as they have done with others like Paul Carter just ignore him?

Trouble with the social media he will never be far away and he has just tweeted that the Tories had asked him to deliver leaflets for a whole ward – making the local Tory Party seem not that organised not the sort of image Ben Gummer would like to see portrayed and last night Cllr Cenci was telling us, Kevin was wrong and they have a very organised delivery team! Someone is not telling the truth – Kevin or Nadia?

Currently Australian Cricket is the laughing stock of sport, and so bad that some people are starting to feel sorry for them, don’t – the Aussies made us suffer for years. Similarly now some would say don’t feel sorry for the local Tories – and I don’t but the residents of Ipswich are being let down when the opposition can’t even agree amongst themselves let alone contribute to helping run Ipswich in difficult times.

I am sure that even with their limited presence on social media that this weekend Mr Gummer and leading Tories will be discussing the attacks by Algar – what they do about it will be more interesting!

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