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Spectator sport for Tory rebels

5 February 2014

12:58 PM

5 February 2014

12:58 PM

The leading article in last week’s Spectator, which urged Tory rebels to stop rebelling for the sake of it, has upset many gentlemen of the shires/backwoodsmen.

The right-wing rump believes that their crusades against the liberal menace and the EU are far more important than Cameron’s party management or coalition realpolitik. So imagine their indignation when copies of the article were sent to them anonymously via the internal parliamentary mail system.


One recalcitrant MP – Andrew Percy – suspects that this might be a new tactic of the whips – keen to instil some order in the ranks.

If so, Mr S recommends that the whips buy each MP a (very reasonably priced) subscription to the magazine. It would certainly save them the time and hassle of photocopying.

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Show comments
  • Peter Stroud

    These gentlemen of the shires, needed to draw Cameron’s attention to the ordinary member’s unhappiness at his, and Mr Hague!s changed attitude with respect to the EU. That done, now they will concentrate on winning in 2015.

  • Richard Thomas

    Surely the problem with the Tory party as presently represented in parliament is an almost complete absence of gentlemen from the shires. There are garagists and estate agents aplenty but I can’t think offhand of many whom I would call gentlemen.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Isn’t it comforting to know that the Tories haven’t stopped squabbling for 20 years or more? Still if they could pick a leader worth having they probably wouldn’t have half the problems they have.

    Why is it since Thatcher they haven’t been able to pick a leader worth rallying around (and rarely have even found a leadership candidate worth supporting). There is something distinctly wrong with the Tory party but there again when it has been so divided and dysfunctional for so long is it any surprise?

    • berosos_bubos

      They have been trying to elect a BBC approved leader when the membership does not approve of the BBC.

  • Colonel Mustard

    ‘Backswoodsman’ is another American term imported by half wits and is entirely inappropriate for English yeomen. This ‘article’ therefore gets the traditional two fingers in response.

    Better men than you have scorned the ‘gentlemen of the shires’ and tumbled from their fine horses.

  • Denis_Cooper

    That would be the leading article which seized upon one opinion poll and claimed:

    “… the Labour party’s opinion poll lead has been reduced to one vulnerable point”

    when other opinion polls around the same time were still saying that the Labour lead was much higher than that, 10% in one case, and the average lead of Labour over the Tories was still not significantly different from the average of 6% or so that it has been for the past eighteen months or more.

    But that did support the new “victory is within our grasp, so now is the time for every good Tory MP to stop rebelling and come to the aid of the party” narrative, and even though absent the boundary changes they wanted the Tories still have to be about 6% ahead of Labour to have a chance of winning a Commons majority.

  • dmitri the impostor

    Thank you ‘Mr S’ for the revelation that the Spectator is a Cameroonian cat’s paw.

    What do you do you for an encore – knock people down with a feather?

  • an ex-tory voter

    So, tell me does being a “gentleman of the shires, or a backwoodsman” debar them from having and voicing an opinion on their Party’s current policy vis a vis the EU and in doing so to take into account the potential effect of their opinion at the forthcoming EU and General Elections?

  • HookesLaw

    ‘Andrew Percy’ – good to see a name put to one of the thickos. He seems more interested in voting with labour than actually working to get his own party re-elected.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Hey you can add him to your ‘hit list’ why don’t you? You can then get all those on the hit list deselected or if not drive them out and force them to join UKIP. Then your party will be truly cleansed of the unclean.

      You might not have much support left but at least it will be pure.

      Pure what though would be a debate for another time?.

    • Lady Magdalene

      Perhaps he’s taken his cue from Cameron, since Call Me Dave goes running to Labour for support when it looks like his own backbenchers might block one of his pet schemes.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Better still send them a do-it-yourself weather vane so they can tell instantly what CMD is thinking.