Caroline Lucas really is a Stalinist, isn\’t she?

This week we were again reminded of how fragile a grasp the prime minister has on his party. In Northamptonshire, David Cameron\’s personally appointed campaign manager in the Corby byelection, Chris Heaton-Harris, was exposed as secretly backing James Delingpole\’s rival campaign, part of a concerted effort against onshore wind. Delingpole subsequently withdrew, which Heaton-Harris suggests in the covert film was always expected.

Even more troubling was the implication of John Hayes, Cameron\’s new minister for energy, in the secretly filmed Greenpeace footage, and the indication that he may have strategised with Delingpole and Heaton-Harris to run his anti-wind, pro-fossil fuel message up the political agenda – something that he hasn\’t yet denied.

These revelations are shocking, not only because they represent an affront to the people of Corby, whose byelection has become hijacked by Westminster backroom tactics – but also because they raise serious questions about who exactly is in charge of the UK\’s climate and energy policies.

So far, Hayes has shown little but contempt for and minimal understanding of the aims of the Liberal Democrat-run Department of Energy and Climate Change.

A politician must absolutely follow the party line instead of doing what they think (however odd or strange it might appears to others) is right.

The Politbureau has spoken and who are you, a mere elected representative of your constituents, to disagree?

23 thoughts on “Caroline Lucas really is a Stalinist, isn\’t she?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    OK This is killing me, but I think I might have to agree with – and I can’t believe I am saying this – Caroline Lucas on this.

    John Hayes is a member of the government and of the Cabinet. If he does not agree with government policy, he should resign. He can bitch about windmills to his heart’s content from the back benches. But if he wants the perks of office, he needs to understand what collective responsibility means – he is bound by the government’s policy. Even if it is asinine. As this is. The respectable thing to do is resign. Complaining about it behind his leader’s back is disloyal and just not cricket. Actively campaigning against it is grounds for dismissal.

    I feel so dirty. I am going to have a very hot shower now.

  2. Oh, it’s just the usual double standard. We network and synergise, they conspire. That kind of thing.

    See also: they lobby, we advocate. They propagandise, we raise consciousness. Etc.

  3. Jesus, I agree with So Dirty He’s Black.

    Worstall, if everyone was as crass as Farage, nothing would get done. You’d all be disagreeing over some pedantic nonsense.

  4. Leaving Arnald aside-as you should–the suprising thing is that their are still some Tories left with even a tiny bit of sense–enough to oppose the ecofreak nonsense of death-by-windmill.

    Maybe all is not quite lost.

  5. Ian B nails it. Does anyone seriously think that lobbying etc. doesn’t go on in politics over policies whether they are agreed or not?

  6. SMFS (#1), I’m not sure he is disagreeing with coalition policy.

    Coalition policy, I think, is to meet the various EU eco targets. Hayes says that we have met them (or at least will do with the windmills already in the pipeline) so we can stop.

  7. Note also Lucas refers to “the aims of the Liberal Democrat-run Department of Energy and Climate Change”

    So the Tories in the coalition have to follow coalition policies, but Lib Dem politicians in DECC follow Lib Dem ones?

  8. Apparently, both Heaton-Harris and Delingpole have been reported to Northants Police for potential breaches of electoral law.. 118A of the 1983 Representation of the People Act confirms that a person becomes a candidate for the purposes of the Act no later than “the day on which he is so declared by himself or by others“ which Delingpole has clearly done.. and is not dependent on the filing of nomination papers, payment of a deposit etc..

  9. @ SMFS

    I’d agree most of the time, but I think it gets a bit more nuanced in coalition. The tories hold some views that are diametrically opposed to some LD views. The Coalition therefore has some policies – on a trade-off basis – that individual MPs, yea, even Ministers, might not personally agree. In the short term it is the Coalition’s duty to follow the party line, sure, but in the longer term (given that both individual parties wish to increase their vote share at the next election) it might be in party interests to dissemble a bit.

    Consider, if you will, a Coalition policy that forced the government to double it’s spend on Diversity Co-ordinators (in return, say, for the Lib Dems dropping the mansion tax). Ministers would be bound to speak up for it in public, but no-one in the tory party would be that bothered if they went back to their local association and said “it’s all balls and personally I’m against it.”

  10. If anyone who has any interest at all in coalition interaction (or, indeed, Labour backstabbing hypocrisy) hasn’t seen the latest Thick Of It, then they are losing out.

  11. You forgot her full title. “Doctor” Caroline Lucas. PhD in regency lezzer poetry or summat. Just the person we need pontificating on energy policy. I bet she doesn’t even know the laws of thermodynamics.

  12. God help us if a party leader can’t tell his party members what to think!
    I’ll bet Ms. Lucas whips her members into line remorselessly.

  13. “So far, Hayes has shown little but contempt for and minimal understanding of the aims of the Liberal Democrat-run Department of Energy and Climate Change.”

    To be fair, so do most people.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “I hate to have to tell you this but, no matter how much you scrub, you will never feel clean again.”

    I agree. I still feel dirty.

    4 Arnald – “Jesus, I agree with So Dirty He’s Black.”

    No you don’t. Because you do not have the wit to understand my point. You just think you do.

    12 Richard – “Coalition policy, I think, is to meet the various EU eco targets. Hayes says that we have met them (or at least will do with the windmills already in the pipeline) so we can stop.”

    In that case he is probably on firmer ground. But I am unconvinced this is the case.

    15 sam – “I’d agree most of the time, but I think it gets a bit more nuanced in coalition. The tories hold some views that are diametrically opposed to some LD views. The Coalition therefore has some policies – on a trade-off basis – that individual MPs, yea, even Ministers, might not personally agree.”

    God I hope so, but actually I think most of the so-called Tories are fine with most Lib-Dem policies. After all, as I have said, we basically have three Lib-Dem parties these days.

    “In the short term it is the Coalition’s duty to follow the party line, sure, but in the longer term (given that both individual parties wish to increase their vote share at the next election) it might be in party interests to dissemble a bit.”

    Well dissemble away. But conspiring against your leader’s policy is not on. In public, the members of the team need to be on the same page. Whatever they think in private. If they can’t face it – and who in their right mind could? – they need to seek the decent obscurity of the back benches.

    19 Ian B – “As far as I can tell, it’s Green Party policy to repeal them.”

    They would if they had heard of them. And if they had heard of them they would probably call them phallocentric.

    22 Bemused Bystander – “To be fair, so do most people.”

    Ha.

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