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Cllr Lindley have you any involvement in this????!!!!

Tim is wise, and has vision.

I see him as a valuable barometer in gauging how well Cameron has succeeded or failed to convince Liberals that there has been real change in the Tory party.

I'll watch with interest.

Iain broke the story earlier. Perhaps he can enlighten us about his record in the area..

I can see the headline in the Sun on Tuesday: Ming Rocked as Perkins Defects Shocker!'.

I have never heard of Cllr Tim Perkins. If he wishes to defect do we have the option to refuse him?

Why are people making so much fuss about these defections? So far we have had one Lib Dem former PPC and now there are rumours of another Lib Dem former PPC and a former Labour PPC. If we were having Lib Dem MPS or Labour MPs defecting to us then I could understand the excitement, even if they were former MPs!

Can we please keep things in perspective?

But it shows the way the wind is blowing. When was the last time anyone defected to us ? I can only think of Reg Prentice and that was nearly 30 years ago.

It does show the way the wind is blowing.
But there is something distasteful about defections/defectors which I can't quite put my finger on.
Oh yes, I remember now...it's the fact they won't defect without the promise of a job first...

I can't recall Tim at any stage ever suggesting that he would only move if he was promised a job first. He's values driven.

I think actually the last defection we had was Richard Balfe MEP in 2003 (?). Before that it would have been the Finkelstein Social Democrats going across to join John Major's team.

I think I'm right in saying that John Horam has the distinction of having been an MP for Labour, the SDP and us.

Defection make a pleasant change to defecation. No more Mingers please.

Can we give Richard Balfe back?

Tim's a good guy and is waiting to be assured that the changes are real. If he was waiting for a job before defection, then he wouldn't have announced his non-renewal of his Lib Dem membership, as he already had a job with them.

It speaks volumes about his integrity that he hasn't just switched, but has announced his leaving of the Lib Dems.

What was the name of the Labour MP who defected to the LibDems and then back to Labour? Is he still with Labour or did he lose at the last election?

Paul Marsden?


That's him. He re-joined Labour one month before the General Election. He then stood down. What a bizarre fellow!

"I think I'm right in saying that John Horam has the distinction of having been an MP for Labour, the SDP and us."

You are correct. If defectors tend to be the kind of people who will blow with the political wind (regardless of the direction), why do we get so excited about them?

Paul Marsden has quit the game. He quit Labour complaining of the Whips attitude when he spoke out against Afghanistan. He then quit Lib Dem just before the General Election claiming more heavy tactics.

He's now writing a book about his experiences, and settling in with his newly acquired Russian girlfriend. He's certainly one of the more versatile MP's of recent years (with many others to compete with) - let's hope he dishes the dirt good and proper.

Is the excitement getting too much? We have had a few defections in the East Midlands, all Councillors and LDs too. One joined us in Derby last week and is a welcome asset to the Group on the City Council. A former Lib Dem who joined us on Leicestershire County Council last year is already making a contribution. Because most of us would never think of defecting we don't realise how hard it is for many people to do. We should welcome them.

A counciller and former PPC are really nothing to get worked up about. People in local government swap parties with worrying regularity (local politics is often far more affected by personality clashes than partisan loyalties or ideology), and judging by some PPCs the Lib Dems have fielded, quality candidates are not their forte.

If this was a sitting MP (or even a former MP) I might be more excited.

I think the underlying issue is momentum - "the big mo". The media perceives this to be a sacrifice of some sort - an attempt to propitiate the angry gods which control all political destinies - that marks a dramatic change in the political environment.

People in the public eye who switch from one party to another risk being ridiculed for their actions. But that isn't pleasant, so even if there was a huge gulf between their views and those of their current party, why would they do it? They might be publicity seekers who feel that any amount of public ignominy is better than being ignored. But they might just be saying 'I want to be on the winning side'.

By and large, the media seem to assume the latter. If the press portray it as momentous, then it is - for the moment. And enough of such moments is what creates political momentum. So while it's hard to tell how critical any one event is, even years later, there is significance to the overall pattern of events and of the press reaction to them.

From my view, talk of LibDem defections needs to be seen in the context of the ICM poll showing public dissatisfaction with Labour's handling of the NHS, and the Grauniad saying "Blair's foul legacy of sleaze threatens to stick to Labour and finish off Brown as well". It could indicate that the will of the people is to turf Labour - old and new - out of Westminster, and is settling on the Conservatives to replace them.

If we are not careful we might end up with Shaun Woodward back.

Helen Clark, the former Labour MP who lost her Peterborough seat stated last May that she was thinking about defecting to us, so could it be her that is the former Labour candidate who is poised to defect?

Thank you Andrew. I was making some derogatory remarks about him yesterday, but I couldnt remember the wretched mans name! Woodward. That was him. Repeat. Weshould send back any of his ilk. His integrety may be a tad suspect.

Helen Clark defected last year, Terry.

Helen Clark???? Lets hope we can do better than that!!

Is this the same Helen Clark who managed to achieve one of the largest Lab > Con swings in 2001, then achieved another 9% fall in her vote in 2005 ?

The same Helen Clark that announced from the steps on Peterborough Town Hall after her defeat "Despite my sadness, we must applaud and cheer the Labour Government" then applied to join the Conservative Party just three days later, saying she was ashamed to be associated with Tony Blair.

The same Helen Clark that accused her Conservative opponent of assualt, then quietly dropped the charges after a CPS enquiry ?

The same Helen Clark that hit the headlines in 2000 following complaints from her neighbours about "continual and ongoing" disturbances / raised voices / smashing sounds coming from her property in the early hours.

Frank - how right you are, I too hope we can do better!

It is worrying that these fair weather politicians just want power at any price. They will go with whichever party they think they can succeed in. Forget principles.

If Lib/Dims are defecting to the Tories, you have to ask yourself if the Tories are a real Conservative Party, or just a TINO Party (Tory in Name Only Party).

This latest Lib Dem "defector" only joined us from the Pro-Euro Tories a few years ago. A case of returning whence he came, methinks.

As I understand it, Tim worked for the Pro-European Conservatives and wasn't actually a member.

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