Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tory Fury

Tory blog-sites are alive with the sound of teeth gnashing and righteous eruptions over the sacking of one of Boris Johnson's key aides. Uninvolved as I now am with Tory politics I had not actually heard of James McGrath until his fate was drawn to my attention by the ever vigilant consultant. McGrath made a stupid comment in an interview about black people's reaction to Boris's election, saying, in response to the interviewer, "Let them go home if they don't like it here." A crasser comment you could hardly hope to come across, and about as helpful as a tiger at a children's tea party. Hardly surprising that he should have had to go - Boris Johnson was regarded with suspicion by many black voters on account of his earlier writings, and any political aide worth his salt would have trodden very carefully in an interview that discussed race with a campaigning black journalist.

More surprising is the outraged sense of injury being expressed by Tories of various hues, in the blogosphere. The two main commentating culprits are Iain Dale and Conservative Home, who are probably guilty of a bit of insider affection warping their judgements. More illuminating are the large number of posts from other Tories - if this is the authentic voice of the Tory grassroots, Cameron has problems aplenty.

The original article by Marc Wadsworth is here, and his reaction to the furore in the Guardian is here.

2 comments:

D Carnell said...

I have a smidgen of sympathy for Mr McGrath on this one. Like you astutely summise, it was crass and stupid, but I can't help but think that sacking the man was a little ott.

My real thought on the issue is that no matter how hard the Conservative Party tries to change it is unlucky enough to be saddled with these sorts of idiots who, from time to time, seem to make vaguely rascist or otherwise odourous remarks towards non-whites.

Whilst I'm aware that vast swathes of the Conservative Party are, politics aside, a thoroughly likeable bunch of coves (the blog author being one himself) there does seem to remain a seedy undercurrent in the grassroots and more occassionally in CCHQ.

Am I naive in thinking this sort of thing would never happen to a Labour mayor? We tend to specialise in economic bloopers!

GM said...

McGrath is, of course, a Tory of the aussie variety....