The end of Bridgen finally?

Apart from the personality of a few of our recent Prime Ministers I tend to think as Tony Benn said – It’s about politics not personalities.

However, the case of the awful Andrew Bridgen means he is the exception that proves my own rule.

Yesterday he lost the whip from the Tory Party in what can only be described as a deliberate provocation. Nobody should ever compare anything to the Holocaust. Idiots and conspiracy theorists do but a serving Member of Parliament should know a lot better.

Of course this is not the first offence for this odious little man. He has been suspended for taking cash for lobbying in a breach of the rules and of course a judge found that he acted in an abusive and arrogant way. He also made it clear that Bridgen ‘lied’ in court during the family firm dispute.

In talking to political friends locally they believe this is all about a cunning plan to leave politics and find himself as a well paid talking head in the UK/US politics right wing media. He has always been a ‘rent-a-quote’ available to say the next stupid thing. I hope he does leave Leicestershire politics but I equally hope he doesn’t emerge anywhere else and gain from his vile politics.

I am particularly vexed by Bridgen because he followed one of the best local MPs any constituency could hope for. You would have to dig hard to find a constituency who didn’t hold David Taylor in high regard even if they didn’t agree with his politics. It is just over 13 years since David sadly died before the 2010 General election. I still recall exactly where I was when I got a call from the No10 Downing street switchboard to phone back urgently. Over the Christmas holiday for a back bench MP this was scary. It was either bad news in the constituency or I had done something terrible. Nothing prepared me for the new that my best friend and neighbour in parliament had passed away so tragically.

I had worked with David at County Hall in the 1990s and we were both candidates in the 1992 General Election. I knew I was going to lose but David was a target seat I assumed we would win. Of course 1992 was a shock election result for many of us and David only narrowly missed out to David Ashby. We campaigned together. We won together and we may well have lost together but I would still have preferred that than what happened. We would still be meeting up now pouring over the result and wondering what else he could have done. He worried about every constituent. He was so conscientious. Sadly my last words to David on the Sunday before Christmas when he came over to my house to collect the 2000 Christmas cards he needed to sign and send was “David you need to slow down”. My final words still haunt me a little.

But even in 2009 David was telling me horror stories about his opponent. He was obviously going to be a ‘nasty piece of work’.

Even though your opponents are trying to publicly remove you from your job and passion there are often some relationships built up over time and some ‘understandings’ about the type of campaign you will both run. Politics not personalities was my mantra, but now and then you could find yourself having a go at the person. You have to attend events together, speak at hustings etc so you bump into each other regularly. A cordial friendship and mutual respect is usually the best approach. Clearly Bridgen played by none of these conventions. he attacked and attacked relentlessly.

I guess there have always been the outliers politically who don’t follow convention. Mavericks are part of the life of Parliament. But being a nasty, self centred …. well you fill in your own description – doesn’t have to be part of the deal! As we all know he is a bit stupid and lacking in self awareness.

The sooner Bridgen loses the whip permanently and goes on to lose his seat the happier I will be.

He was never fit even to tie the shoelaces of his predecessor David Taylor.

I’ve never devoted a piece to the downfall of an individual MP before. I hope I don’t have to again. But he does deserve all the flak coming his way.

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