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Don't Like Nasty Tory Tactics? - 'Tough' Says Tory MP

09/05/2016 12:15 | Updated 09 May 2016

James Cleverley, Conservative MP for Braintree, has blogged about their much criticised London Mayoral campaign - saying that we will have to get used to this sort of personal and aggressive political campaigning from now on. Why? Because thats what the Americans do. It appears, that there is a new rule - that we have to do what the Americans do - no matter how vile and divisive.

Of course that's nonsense - we don't have to accept anything just because the Americans do it. Lets hope Mr Cleverley doesn't take a fancy to politics North Korean style.

He was referring to the failed Tory campaign to elect Zac Goldsmith - the campaign that seemed shaped around saying that Labour's Sadiq Khan was strongly associated with terrorism - this argument best summed up in a dreadful article written in the Mail newspaper by Mr Goldsmith illustrated by a picture of the bomb damaged London bus from 2005. The article was a depressing indication about how far the Tories were willing to go to win - a new low in UK politics.

It would be bad enough if the Tories actually believed there own dreadful accusations but, it is becoming increasingly clear that they were merely saying it to win votes. It would be slightly more honourable if they actually believed what they were saying.

The cynicism of these tactics was revealed in a BBC Radio interview with Tory Defence Minister Michael Fallon when he repeatedly dodged the issue when asked if, given what they said about Sadiq Khan during their campaign, did they now think London was safe with him as Mayor?

I listened to this broadcast and as I understood what Mr Fallon said - he seemed to think that these sorts of accusations were simply what you say during an election and that he was now looking forward to working with Khan. It had been Tory business as usual? Of course - the BBC will have to watch it's back even more keenly asking questions like that.

If Mr Fallon and the other Tories really believed their own nasty accusations then they should now be shouting from the rooftops that London is not safe with Mr Khan in charge. Of course - they won't be doing that.

Owen Jones wrote in the Guardian that we should not forgive or forget this racist campaign by Zac Goldsmith - I think he is right. If this sort of campaigning is accepted as normal then it will lead to worse tactics and further devalue politics and democracy in this Country.

To be fair their campaign has been criticised by some within the Conservative Party and of course the tone of it doesn't represent the attitude of all Conservatives - but it does reflect the cold blooded cynicism of some of the most senior Tories. They want to win at all costs - they will say almost anything to win - even if they don't believe it and they will tell us that we have to put up with it because thats what they do in other Countries. How inspiring.

There is a very crude expression which seems to address this situation 'don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining'.

What is most surprising about Mr Cleverley choosing to defend this type of campaigning - besides it being a cynical and destructive - was that it failed so badly - that Goldsmith was so roundly defeated. Their nasty campaign didn't even work - why would they want to repeat it?

It was a matter for London voters to choose their Mayor - but it would have been depressing for many more people if the Tory campaign had succeeded. It is a relief that their cynical tactics were recognised by London's voters for what they were.

By Mr Cleverley's strange logic we should be looking forward to some Trump style campaign violence, a few punches thrown about by supporters - some journalists being roughed up perhaps - or protesters assaulted? If you don't like Tory tactics - Mr Cleverly has an answer - 'tough'!

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