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Editor @ 0928...

I'm still trying to understand the underlying reasons for publishing this story. As many people have said, this would be best done privately. Ifis the case, what motive could you have to deal with t in such an inflamitory way? This is not the first story you have released about Bercow in this light, and to an impartial observer some other motive could make things clearer. After the sudden Chariman Poll before the reshuffle designed to destabalise Maude and pitch for the sucessor, then the series of extremely damming stories on Bercow. I think you are following an agenda here that is far from clear to me, and I think we should be told what it is.

Good riddance to bad rubbish

I think you are following an agenda here that is far from clear to me, and I think we should be told what it is

Oberon, I have to be the bringer of bad news but obsessions about 'hidden agendas' Reds/Nazis/spooks under the bed etc are the first signs of rampant paranoia.

Anybody who helps Bercow fulfill the next stage in his personal journey is doing a fantastic service to the party and possibly laying the foundations for serious future disruption to Labour.

It's only a matter of time anyway. A year or two ago I asked a council member of TFA why Bercow was still a member.

Within a month he was gone.

BTW did you see Bercow on TV about half an hour ago proclaiming that the party leadership should not bother to consult the grassroots about anything?

I hope the good Tories of Buckingham were watching.

I too saw John Bercow on TV about an hour ago. He stated that a leader of the party must lead to to 'consult' with associations will lead to contradictory ideas and those demanding consultation are usually those that do not agree- it would be disasterous for policy formulation. He seemed well in support of DC. I really doubt this guy is intending to defect.This smear campaign run on this blog however serves to encourage anyone in that direction.Other things to worry about at the moment, I would have thought.

Hardly a series of posts on John Bercow, Oberon (11:31) - two in fact. The first of which included warm praise of JB on human rights and intl development.

My motives are clear enough I think. I shared with you the expectation of people I respect that Bercow is likely to defect. I said that it was speculation but I posted the well-sourced speculation in order for it to be discounted if it happens and for his remarks in the meantime - like today, apparently distancing himself from the Tory grassroots - to be placed in a proper context.

As for the grassroots poll on Francis Maude I think the members' view on the direction of the party is important. I know that that is not everyone's view but that has been this site's view from its inception and something that I'm committed to continuing. The current leadership deserves loyalty but they do not own the party. I am glad that ConservativeHome provides a platform for grassroot views.

I honestly think that spreading rumour and gossip unless it is extremely well-substantiated is both unworthy and very unhelpful. I also find the comments of many of the bloggers on this site repulsive. John Bercow is a huge asset to the party particularly in regard to international development, human rights and foreign policy. He has shown immense commitment and really gone beyond what one could naturally expect him to do. I sincerely hope the rumours are simply false gossip, that the rumours will cease, that those who are spreading them will learn some discipline, and that those who seem to regard him with such venom will shut up. I don't agree with him on everything, but he has been magnificent on international human rights ... and we should be doing all we can to make him feel welcome in the party. Frankly, there are bloggers here who I am ashamed to be in the same party with.

I would not have published this story Ben if my sources were not very good.

I agree with many of your other comments, though. There is a lot of personal meanness within this thread.

so do you really think it is going to happen? and why has it not happened yet? why has he denied it? and who are these "sources"? ... and can anything be done to prevent his defection if, indeed, it is true?

"I would not have published this story Ben if my sources were not very good

Are these the same senior 'sources' who reliably told you the Tories would pull out of the EPP before mid 2006?

i could understand it happening under ids or howard's leadership, and under blair's premiership .. but for him to leave cameron's ship for brown's would really surprise me.

Perhaps the religious nuts are just trying to force him out Ben.

Also have you noticed the 'welcome' given to Quentin Davies by Labour activists? I have a very low opinion of Mr Davies but not, I think, as low as many members of his new party.
Would Bercow who only a short time ago was a serious candidate to be considered the most right wing Conservative in parliament really enjoy having all that quoted back at him? I don't think so.
I very much hope that you have made a mistake here Tim.

Some might describe me (unfairly) as a "religious nut". Some of the religious nuts are my friends. So, if it is the religious nuts trying to drive him out, I say to them: stop it and grow up. You may not agree with him on everything, but he has been magnificent on issues of justice, working with 'religious nuts' like myself and - I know for a fact - he has personally deeply moved, inspired and challenged by the faith of people he has met. Surely it is a much better witness to our Christian faith to reach out to him in friendship, and work with him, rather than bang on in angry, hostile tones about issues that are frankly fringe concerns compared to the issues of human rights and justice which unite him with us. Are you Christians, or Pharisees?

Oh I wouldn't take ID(iot)S comment too seriously Ben. He wishes nothing but ill on the Conservative party and has taken an irrational dislike to Tim Montgomerie and this site.

Thanks malcolm. My comments were not aimed at Tim or the site at all ... they are good friends and colleagues ... my remarks were directed more at whoever is the source of these rumours, and especially if anyone involved in the rumours is part of the 'religious nut' category described... I am surprised Traditional Tory hasn't jumped in already: no doubt he's busy at the moment eating caviar with Sir Percy Haddock - I mean Craddock.

"irrational dislike to Tim Montgomerie and this site."

Tell me Malcolm - do you consider this attempt to destroy JB, a current Tory MP as rational?

Do you consider mine and JB's support for gay couples to adopt as irrational too?

Remember, whatever you think of me, I have no involvement in the new site that is being set up by loyal Tories who consider this site damaging. Still, don't let that get in the way of another of your ill-informed rants!

Idiot is well-named. Is he Jack Stone in another guise?

All this talk of loyalty reminds me of John Bercow's interview with The Independent on Nov.1st 2004. In that interview he criticised our Leader, Michael Howard and sang the praises of Tony Blair, who (he believed) had been honest about the Iraq war.

At the time John was engaged to speak to us here in Lyme Regis. I wrote to Bercow and told him: "We grass roots workers are heartily sick of our work in the country being undermined by disloyal Conservative MPs at Westminster who, instead of opposing the government, prefer to oppose the opposition. Our present PM is one of the most dishonest, egocentric and anti-British in our post-war history, yet you shower him with praise and tell us how much you admire him. No word of criticism is to be found. Your censure is saved for your own side. You have a go at Michael Howard, Lord Tebbitt, Oliver Letwin and the Daily Mail. Your criticism of Michael even extends to impugning his integrity."

Needless to say, I cancelled his invitation. He clearly should have crossed the chamber a long time ago.

Nice one Sean. Great contribution.

Let's ignore how wrong Tim's sources have been in the past, then question what he was actually seeking to achieve with this thread.

I am no supporter of JB, or of any political party, but it would take a real idiot to believe that this thread is going to help your party in any way. It's simply a crude hatchet job.

I guess I'll get banned for not publicly supporting this IDS lynch mob.

..and for the record my Tory sources say that Tim is becoming ever more marginalised within the Tory Party. It's not hard to see why.

Needless to say, I cancelled his invitation

Good for you Frank. Mind you, as I've detailed previously, when I invited Bercow to a meeting years ago he forgot all about it and stood up his audience.

Bercow had the nerve to invite Lord Tebbit to his wedding. On that occasion it was his turn to get the brushoff, and quite right too.

BTW I am reliably informed that there is no love lost between Cameron and Bercow. Whe Bercow was rooting for Clarke he slagged off Cameron and as a result has been kept out in the cold ever since.

However much many of us may dislike Cameron, it must be conceded that he has some breeding, something that could never be said about Bercow.

We do not seem to complain too much when Lib dems and Labour councillors defect to us. It seems to be the norm in British politics at the moment - is it because people believe there is no REAL difference between parties? These defections only serve extreme parties (BNP, UKIP and Socialists) who do offer something different however unpalatable for the rest of us.

We do not seem to complain too much when Lib dems and Labour councillors defect to us.

We're picking up support - why would you expect us to complain? Electoral politics is about making our case and building up support. Gaining the support of influential local figures cannot be a bad thing for us.

These defections only serve extreme parties (BNP, UKIP and Socialists) who do offer something different however unpalatable for the rest of us.

Congratulations for being the first to bring the fruitloops into the debate! I don't recall many recent defections to them - perhaps they are rightly as "unpalatable" to responsible elected members as to the rest of us?

"Remember, whatever you think of me, I have no involvement in the new site..." - 'ID(iot)S'

There's a first!

"...that is being set up by loyal Tories..." - 'ID(iot)S'

Ah, that explains it!

"I am no supporter of JB, or of any political party..." - 'ID(iot)S'

Really?! Not UKIP? Not the Imagine Party? Not the Internationalist Party? Not the Pro-European Progressive Centre-Right Conservative Party?

"I guess I'll get banned for not publicly supporting this IDS lynch mob." - 'ID(iot)S'

Incidentally, a banner for the Centre for Social Justice featured prominently on the now-defunct UKIPhome site alongside some typically hypocritical guff about 'No Preference, No Prejudice' values, despite the CSJ founder Iain Duncan Smith's purported 'hatred of gay couples'. Not that this has got anything to do with the determination of 'ID(iot)S' to attack 'religious nuts' Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Montgomerie. Oh no.

Don't feed the trolls. The guy spends all his time looking for new IP addresses and new names after he is repeatedly banned.

I prefer to debate with people of substance with something to say.

It's good to hear that John Bercow has been supportive of the leadership, but it's a bad idea for any MP to knocks their grassroots activists. Let us remember that the grassroots voted Cameron in as leader overwhelmingly.

John Bercow is part of the Conservative coalition and I very much hope he does not defect, especially at a time when the party is moving towards his position. Let's hope that we never become such a narrow party that we cannot include someone with John Bercow's great ability. Many Conservatives support gay adoption and supported the Iraq war. Many Conservatives supported Michael Portillo. Many Conservatives are sceptical of IDS's marriage proposals (I actually give them my cautious support). I understand why Tim wanted to write this, but I hope he is mistaken (this rumour has been doing the rounds for five years) and I hope that people can lay off the personal nastiness a bit.

especially at a time when the party is moving towards his position

Now that the polls have gone into reverse that 'position' is revealed as the busted flush it always was.

It is the socially conservative agenda of IDS that is now, thankfully, in the spotlight.

Doesn't the fact that so many people speculate all the time about Bercow's coming defection tell you that the man is a principle-free pariah who has ratted on one ally after another.

He is now so widely disliked and despised that nobody is going to give him the chance to re-rat within the party, so better to be rid of him before he starts banging on the doors of the Monday Club.


Many Conservatives support gay adoption and supported the Iraq war

A few 'Conservatives' support gay adoption and, it has to be admitted, rather more supported the wicked and murderous oil-grab war against the people of Iraq. Many have repented of the latter.

To support either position is reprehensible

To support both is unforgivable.

This thread feels like a Friday night punch up.

Before more commentators feel inclined to blindly wade in with their own size 10s, they might care to look at this Bercow/Tebbit debate I was fortunate enough to be able to organise:


Time to raise the standard of the debate from the ad hominem?

Lee Rotherham

Good link... food for thought indeed. I fail to see how someone who genuinely believes these things can join the Labour party...

If he goes, he goes...

I can't make that link work. I've tried the Bow Group website but can't navigate to the item.

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