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A thundering row on the right

1 September 2014

4:24 PM

1 September 2014

4:24 PM

It’s open warfare at the Times between two leading lights on the right – the newspaper’s former Comment Editor Tim Montgomerie and longtime columnist Matthew Parris, who held no punches in his Saturday column in the paper:

‘My fellow columnist Tim Montgomerie could not have been more wrong when he wrote in yesterday’s Times Red Box blog that “Ukip voters don’t believe that the Tory leader is serious about the referendum”. The “let’s-get-out-now” brigade in British politics have a very different fear. They fear that Mr Cameron would indeed hold his referendum and win it.’

Montgomerie took to Twitter the same day to dismiss Parris as backward looking – and he pushed Charles Moore’s column in a rival newspaper, which happened to disagree with almost every word the former MP had written. After a brief flirtation with the social network, Parris made a mysterious exit from Twitter, a departure that happened to coincide with Montgomerie moving on as his editor. So, there was no comeback there.

[Alt-Text]


But the row was not over yet. Montgomerie gamely kept up the spat, writing in Monday’s Times:

‘Some think (yes, Matthew Parris, I’m looking at you) that the Tory Right wants to drag David Cameron away from the mainstream. In fact the opposite is true. If anyone is in danger of being isolated from Conservative voters it is the PM.’

Over to Matthew Parris. Who knew that the future of the British right could invoke such passionate argument between chums?


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  • global city

    People want their sovereign rights back… why is this ‘an issue of the right’ to so many eyjits in the MSM/Westminster bubble?

  • global city

    Matthew Parris and an avowed europhile, so will be happy for Cameron to pursue his bogus renegotiation then win a referendum on a bogus prospect….he couldn’t openly state that however, or he’d blow their cover.

    UKIP and most Euroosceptis know that a government would most likely carry the population as they would accept their assurances. As Cameron would lie as brazenly as Heath and Wilson did, it is the issue at heart.

    Parris has created a government sanctioned straw man, just as they are also busily constructing right now in the EU with regards to the non-issue of ‘benefit tourism’. Cameron will win this great non-battle, along with another few insignificant (and temporarily returned) points and sell these as massive structural changes. Parris is part of the europhile consensus so should not be respected when suggesting he is making some sort of ‘objective’ analysis of ongoing issues. He will help spread the lies as eagerly as all the other eurofreaks.

  • berosos_bubos

    Election before last the Times endorsed Labour so I wouldn’t call it right-wing exactly.

    • cambridgeelephant

      When Rees-Mogg was the Editor and it was broadsheet it was a real journal of record and had much to admire.

      Since it went tabloid it stinks. Murdoch ought to be ashamed of himself for publishing such rubbish. He should have kept the Screws open and closed The Times.

  • Kitty MLB

    The wonderful Tim Montgomerie ( missed by Con Home) is a
    very insightful and quiet man (despite his fondness for windfarms) and he’s generally correct with his assumptions and i’d like to
    Point out that its obsurd to say Matthew Parris is ‘on the right’
    he paffles around in the middle.
    I’d like to put the cat amongst the pigeons, quite dangerous in this
    place.but some would chose not to believe Cameron (regardless of party) because it suits them politically. Rather like for the SNP
    independence is the end game Salmond hasn’t thought beyond
    that and if Scotland says no that is the end of the road for the SNP.
    Although we categorically know Labour will not allow a referendum and besides and lest we forget the dying succubus
    of the EU is a pussycat compared to Labour continuing where they
    left off.

  • pobinr

    What is right wing or racist or xenophobic in wanting to live in a self governing country & wanting to control the quantity & quality of people that come to live here ?

    • Jacques Strap

      Absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.

  • andagain

    You will notice that Montgomerie has no interest in the country as a whole – only in Conservatives. There have been any number of polls showing that the great majority of voters think the EU is a very unimportant issue, but that doesn’t stop the Right from thinking that if they destroy their own party over this issue, that will make them popular…

    • Jacques Strap

      He is a big C. Sadly for him, Essex man is a small c.

    • berosos_bubos

      The Eu is destroying every aspect of our lives, with help from our elected representatives.

      • andagain

        Withdrawing from the EU would give those elected representatives more power to destroy us, so I don’t see the advantage.

        • George Smiley

          Your comment is precisely and exactly why what you say about Mr. Cameron and the Conservative Party giving a referendum as a promise CAN NEVER be trusted; a double “No” vote in the referendum (and its re-run) would just simply be ignored, discarded and disregarded by Parliament anyway.

    • global city

      so is ‘the environment’ or ‘CAGW’, so is NHS reform or terrorism or ‘the cost of living crisis’… and yet government and the opposition debate these things all the time and enact legislation in response to those debates.

      funny thing is though that the EU impacts everything on those lists, from the ones that people put at the top of their priorities to the ones that are so unimportant that they never appear on any list at all. The EU commands the ground on them all.

      • andagain

        And yet, somehow even UKIP doesn’t think europhobia will tempt many people into the polling booths, even in european parliament elections: their last campaign was all about immigration.

        Somehow the only people who manage to delude themselves into beliving there are a lot of votes in hating the EU are Conservatives.

        • global city

          ‘Europhobia’?

          • andagain

            Logically, a euroskeptic is someone who is uncertain about the EU. Some one who fears and dislikes it would be a europhobe.

            • global city

              it would have to be an irrational fear…not many of those around. the EU is a political project with political aims.

              Are you ‘phobic’ about what ever political party/philosophy you do not agree with? If you do not consider your opposition to be ‘phobic’ why do you insist that rejection of the biggest political project in Europe is based on some mental imbalance?

              I agree with the rest of your first post, but the ‘phobic’ notion is a baddun!

              • andagain

                Thanatophobia is the fear of death. Is it irrational to fear death?

                And if it is wrong to describe someone who fears and dislikes the EU as a europhobe, is it right to describe someone who supports and likes it as a europhile? Which terms should I use?

                • global city

                  You need to find the Greek for hate or oppose, as that would be the opposite of phile…’lover’

                  How many people do you know who fear the EU? Many fear the consequences of centralising all of that power in the structure it has and will keep, but!

                  the point of the ‘phobia’ meme is the irrationality of the affliction, it is not phobic to have oppositional views to political ideas and projects.

                • andagain

                  How many people do you know who fear the EU?

                  Plenty of people who comment on this very publication. And I don’t see how you can object to the ending “phobe” if you are happy with “phile”. After all, whoever heard of a rational love?

                • global city

                  You keep on ignoring the essential point of IRRATIONALITY

                  A phobia is not a fear of, it is an IRRATIONAL fear of…..yes?

                  Once you grasp that then try to apply IRRATIONALITY to any other political discourse and you will grasp where you are going so wrong in applying that attribute to people who oppose the political project called the EU… or even those who fear it’s reach and uncountable power.

                  It is not ‘phobic’ to oppose socialism or capitalism, HS2 or Scottish independence. would it be phobic to oppose the NHS or or changes to the NHS?

                  Please, let’s discuss this properly. It is quite important.

                • andagain

                  Please, let’s discuss this properly. It is quite important.

                  Is it? It’s only a word. Give me a better one, that will be understood immediately.

                • global city

                  Opinion
                  verifiable
                  Campaign
                  Convince
                  Argument
                  Disagreement
                  Mistaken
                  Positive
                  Alternative
                  Option(s)
                  Politics
                  Pro
                  Anti
                  Sceptic
                  Phile
                  Integrationist
                  Independent
                  Suprantionalist
                  Nationalist
                  Libertarian
                  Statist
                  Pasarelle
                  ‘Non’
                  Left
                  Right
                  ideology
                  Pragmatism
                  Outward
                  Collectivist
                  Democrat
                  Technocracy

                  Here’s more than one word. each can be used to describe the issues and the protagonists in the ‘In’ or ‘Out’ debate about the UK’s membership of the EU.

                  As it is profoundly political ‘phobic’ just doesn’t come into it, except when used by europhiles as a pejorative to try and smear sceptics or people hostile to the political project.

        • George Smiley

          There is nothing europhobic about reasserting British national sovereignty. It should always be the EU to justify their very own unnatural, anti-national, super-national existence, and not the other way round and for UKIP to justify British withdrawal from the European Union by re-asserting natural national British sovereignty.

          • andagain

            I said that even UKIP doesn;t think there any votes in denouncing the EU – and you didn’t disagree.

    • George Scoresby

      If you’re a Labour supporter, go rotherham yourself.

      • Kaine

        Child rape as a punch line. Classy.

      • andagain

        Gosh. An expression of hatred. Rather than an actual argument.

        • George Scoresby

          Rotherham is the arguement, poor soul.

          Subject: Re: New comment posted on A thundering row on the right

          • George Smiley

            The Europhile Troll also calls himself ” @Mail_Biter:disqus “, trying desperately but in vain to drive a wedge between patriotic, loyal UKIPpers into getting them to vote Con. with unconvincing babble, yet at them same uses the same account to spout pro-EU nonsense.

        • George Smiley

          And you call yourself a Conservative?! You, Sir, are just an anti-UKIP Labour activist masquerading as a Conservative.

          • andagain

            Another self-righteous mindless insult where an argument ought to be.

  • cambridgeelephant

    Parris is a jerk. He almost makes Cameron look like a conservative. Hitherto an impossible feat.

  • Jacques Strap

    Lets have a look… 70% of the British public want immigration cut, 95% said on sunday that multiculturalism has failed. Sorry but the main concerns of the right are completely mainstream, and are not exclusive to ‘the tory right’

    Vote Tory get Lib Dem. Vote Labour get Rotherham.

    • global city

      “Vote Tory get Lib Dem. Vote Labour get Rotherham.”

      Should be written on every wall across the land!

    • Kaine

      What a random final paragraph. Assuming someone who believes in the decadent nature of Western civilisation does vote, which is unlikely, there aren’t really that many marginals in London.

    • English Majority

      Excellent comment.

      And absolutely correct.

  • anyfool

    The panic is starting in the upper reaches of the Tory party, they are starting to realise they have no clothes, there will soon be more MPs than members if they carry on with Cameron`s current charade.

    Osborne is starting to express little doubts about renegotiation as are others, now we have the silly Parrish screaming,
    (There are plenty of nutters out there and maybe the nutters do need a party to represent them.)
    On that he is right, he and his fellow Cameroon nutters should just go to the Lib Dems, although they might be too Europhiliac for even those rabid Euroloons.

    • Jacques Strap

      No clothes? They can borrow my name if they like.

      • global city

        If it stinks to high heaven then give them it

  • ManOfKent

    Yet more demonstration of how broken divided and dysfunctional the Tories are

  • artemis in france

    Matthew Parris is living in a dream world. He’s the sort of gay who insists that IS is not représentative of the “réal” Islam. Strange how so many homosexuals are in denial about how Muslims feel about them and what many of them would like to do to them, and possibly will do once the demographic time bomb explodes. In the Mail today – by 2037 white pupils will be in the minority in British schools. Parris probably feels he just cannot insult Cameron because of the Gay Marriage bill.

    • NJH

      I wouldn’t mind betting that the Gay Marriage bill will not survive 2037 by more than a few years.

      • Kaine

        And that gives you such a tingle doesn’t it?

        • NJH

          Not at all. I do not look forward to the Islamification of liberal Britain. As a gay man I feel particularly vulnerable.

          • Kaine

            And you think the only party to oppose equal marriage is your salvation?

            • NJH

              I have no idea what you are on about. I do not oppose equal marriage. But I expect the institution to be threatened by islam when the numbers allow.

              • Kaine

                This thread is about UKIP, who opposed equal marriage. I take it you’re not a supporter then?

                • George Smiley

                  There is no point in promoting something (homosexual marriage) that more than half of the World would never accept. It would negatively affect the career opportunities in Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Russia, China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, for all those involved, and even for their children.

                • Kaine

                  As Walter Greenwood put it, there is still love on the dole.

    • pointlesswasteoftime

      Nah. Gays know exactly how Islamists feel about gays – it’s precisely the same as right-wing people banging on about how Cameron has betrayed conservative principles by pushing for gay marriage.

      • http://thelightcavalry.zenfolio.com/about.html Mark Adams

        Well except in one respect, Ukip will leave you alone and Islamists will hang you.

  • MaxSceptic

    Mathhew Parris’s hissy fit on Saturday was very amusing.

    A bit like my great aunt Martha who in her dotage used to explode when faced with a bad table manners….

  • sfin

    Mathew Parris is not “on the right”, he is a progressive social democrat.

    David Cameron is “not on the right”, he also is a progressive social democrat.

    The party still calling itself ‘conservative’ is a progressive social democratic party – ‘progressive’ being the opposite of ‘conservative’.

    There is only one major conservative political party in UK – it is called UKIP.

    • Des Demona

      That’s the one major conservative party with like …. no MP’s … right?

      • Jacques Strap

        Give it a month.

        • andagain

          When there will be one “conservative” MP and six hundred and forty-nine left wingers?

          • George Smiley

            The Conservatives are no longer Conservatives, but Centre-Right ex-New Labour.

      • global city

        as opposed to the party with no morals or principles?

        • Des Demona

          No argument from me on that. If and when UKIP actually publish their policies and manifesto then we can judge whether they have even a modicum of serious economic sense or are just engaged in dog whistle politics of the worst kind.

          • global city

            I’m hoping the same. I am desperate for a centre-right party that is able to to a job of running the country and replace the Tories. I hope the manifesto is inspiring.

    • Jose Martins

      “The party still calling itself ‘conservative’ is a progressive social
      democratic party – ‘progressive’ being the opposite of ‘conservative’.”

      Spot on!!

    • The Masked Marvel

      Quite. No surprise which one of the protagonists in this “spat” is a columnist for the Spectator…..

    • misomiso

      Matthew Paris is correct. That is the fear of the outers.

      Everyone has looked at the polls and knows that if a Tory Prime Ministers has got some concessions and campaigns to stay in it is almost impossible to exit.

      This is DC’s political strategy. Why should outers colaberate with him? He has never been genuine about reforming the EU or leaving it. He’s far more concerned with the preservation of the Unio.

      Better to burn the whole political system to the ground than let DC keep the country in the EU for another generation.

      • stearl33

        I know it’s very rude and petty to comment on people’s spelling in these comments, but “colaberate’?!!
        I actually had to think for a second what you meant and when I got it I confess I had to smile.
        OK, now you can have a pop at me :-)

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