Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Tory Toffs & Trots

Conservative Future logo.png

Whilst everyone focuses on Momentum, the Jackie Walker affair and the continuing fallout inside the Labour Party it has been almost overlooked that the Conservative Party is rebranding one of it's youth movements again following bullying and a resulting suicide.

The Evening Standard reports:

Shamed Tory youth wing Conservative Future is to be given a new name following a bullying scandal.

A senior Conservative figure said the party wants to encourage young members to join and campaign following Brexit, but admitted a new image and governance structure was needed to restore its reputation.

Conservative Future’s national executive was suspended by the Tory HQ in November last year and organiser Mark Clarke banned from the party for life after allegations of bullying, sexually inappropriate behaviour and blackmail were made against him by several young activists.

Two months earlier student Elliott Johnson, 21, had named Mr Clarke in a note before he killed himself on train tracks in Bedfordshire. Mr Clarke denies any wrongdoing. 

Older readers may recall the furor over the Federation of Conservative Students. These charmers (referred to as Maggie's Militant Tendency) used to parade around in "Hang Mandela" t-shirts. The Conservative Home website reminds us:

The FCS often behaved like an extreme left-wing organisation - seeking ideological purity throughout its ranks. It attempted to disaffiliate colleges and universities that were controlled by 'wets' or other 'unsound' undesirables. It appeared to war with other Tories as much as with the National Union of Students - 'the last closed shop' it hated so much. The wets took their revenge in 1986 when 'a riot' of drunken FCS members at a Loughborough University conference caused what was reported at the time as thousands of pounds of damage (although Tim Hames reported tonight that the damage was actually very slight). The FCS was successfully spun against by one of its 'wet targets' - a young Nick Robinson who went on to report on today's political spinners.

The FCS was finally disbanded by Tory Chairman Norman Tebbit. The last straw was a copy of the FCS magazine which branded former Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan a war criminal for agreeing to the deportation of Cossacks back to Stalin's Soviet Union. Tebbit had to get a court order to stop the magazine's distribution.

That last paragraph reminds me so so much of the Moamentum types rantings against Tony Blair...

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