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Top Tories trumpet top trougher

Michael Gove and George Osborne have put their considerable political weight behind Tim Yeo's campaign against his deselection as the Tory parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk.

In his letter Mr Osborne described Mr Yeo, who has been the MP for South Suffolk since 1983. as a “politician of principle”, who has “a deep understanding of the countryside and farming”.

That could be seen as sticking two fingers up at the electorate. However, I'm not sure if Gove's support isn't just slightly lukewarm:

Tim is a highly respected and immensely experienced member of parliament. In the time that I have known him his work, firstly as a member of the shadow cabinet and latterly as the chair of two select committees, has been extremely valuable.

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Reader Comments (36)

In the time that I have known him his work, firstly as a member of the shadow cabinet and latterly as the chair of two select committees, has been extremely valuable.

Extremely valuable to the Trougher.

Jan 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I always thought of Gove as a principled man, but clearly hasn't withstood the corrosive and corrupting forces of power and politics

Jan 7, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterShotover

Hopefully his constituents will ignore these gentlemen, and get rid of him.

Jan 7, 2014 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

I note that Brand Dave is being saved from contamination though.

Jan 7, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

"politician of principle" - Humpty Dumpty writing letters now as well as speeches.
Let's hope the people of S. Suffolk stick to their guns.

Jan 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterG. Watkins

"extremely valuable...". Shouldn't that read extremely costly; for the nation? Now we know for sure that these creatures all stick together. I just hope that the local party are not intimidated by this attempted corruption of the selection process.

Jan 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire

The apocryphal comment -"I would hesitate to breed from this officer"- on an Army officer's annual report I would apply to all three of these men.

Jan 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Chappell

All he needs now is Dave's 'full support' and he's doomed.

Jan 7, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Just heard what has happened to Anglea Merkel. This gave me the idea that perhaps we ought to encourage all our politicians to take up skiing – the longer they spend in casualty, the less damage they can do to the country.

Jan 7, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

"Poluitician of principle" ...... "highly respected". God Almighty, the man is an absolute sh1t.

Jan 7, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

David Chappell: I like to think that Yeo's Committee would say of him: "He was fired with enthusiasm'.

Jan 7, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

My guess is that whatever they think of Yeo personally, what's more important is that it would be a serious blow to the settled order of things to see him drummed out of the service.

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

You might be pleased to know that the Grauniad is once more banging the drum for wind, much, no doubt, to the troughers’ delight.

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Answers on a postcard as to why *anyone* would support a character like Yeo.

Also, isn't there an obvious comma missing from Gove's blather?

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterirony overload

I find this "support" for the so obviously corrupt Yeo disgraceful. It also tells us just how "honourable" our MPs are......not a lot to quote one comedian. Osborne is particularly damned as he calls for growth forgetting that there is a big hole in his calculations. To achieve growth, we need secure, affordable energy and plenty of it, but this is not going to happen with the gang of UN/EU acolytes we have in power. Fill that Osborne!!!!

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

Obviously he knows where the bodies are buried.

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

I lived in Suffolk for over 20years up to 1996 and Yeo was always a self serving fool. I fully support his constituents who want him gone.

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

David Chappell: I like to think that Yeo's Committee would say of him: "He was fired with enthusiasm'.
Jan 7, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Along with

"You will be lucky to get this person to work for you"
"You don't meet many people of such calibre"

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered Commentermichaelhart

"This gastroenterologist is so knowledgeable that he has no need to ask his colleagues for their opinions"

Jan 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

to be fair osborne is also tepid enough..
Politicians have to build golden gates for the damaged goods to walk away on

Osborne actually presides over pretty good numbers for 2012-2013..

Jan 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

The king James bible was more succinct than Gove or Osborne: Well done thou good and faithful servant. (The parable of the talents!)

And was not the talent a unit of currency?

Jan 7, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

“a deep understanding of the countryside and farming” - ordure, pig troughs and subsidies.

Jan 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

The big thing world wide is how the political class, no matter the government or party, seems to end up clustered around these oligarchic constructs held together by corruption and self interest that all too often crosses party lines. Central Banks out of control, obeisance to Paul Ehrlich type faux enviro and population concerns, insider deals of politicians and their insider pals engaging in huge corrupt deals like wind or solar, a complete lack of understanding of how pensions work, and unwillingness to control their spending. An encouragement of faux NGO's that are in fact funded by governments and serve as employment tools for politicos, their families and friends. And so forth.
I wonder if it is because over this long period many of them have gone to the same schools, or been taught by the same teachers, or influenced by international lobbyists (American idiom) posing as benefactors and businessmen.

Jan 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

These comments remind me slightly of Voltaire's comments, when told of the demise of a mutual aquaintance:
'He was a great patriot; a humanitarian, a loyal friend - provided of course that he really is dead...'

Jan 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Apparently Troffa is going to sue the Sunday Times for "defamation of character" now that the House of Commons "investigation" found that he had not acted improperly.

One has to say he has chutzpah.

Jan 7, 2014 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

I am surprised that Gove, one of the more astute Conservative ministers, has given his support to Yeo so publicly. Osborne's support was maybe not unexpected as he is closer to Cameron. There must be reasons for this pressure, I don't have an easy answer.

However, the electorate here in South Suffolk, whether they are the mass of non-party Conservative supporters or from other parties, are looking for change. It also remains to be seen how the Conservative central office would react if the vote of members on the 20th Jan goes against Yeo, so that both the local party executive and members now reject him. A public clash between the local party and HQ would surely do more damage to Conservative election prospects than having the sitting MP just accepting his deselection in the first instance.

But that's not Tim Yeo.

Jan 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Whalley

Like Steven Whalley, I am a bit surprised (and disappointed) that Michael Gove has chosen to interfere in this matter.
Osborne, like his leader, is dim and out of touch with reality (at least as far as parliamentary matters go) but Gove really does know better than to get involved in the perfectly legitimate decision by a local Executive not to approve the re-selection of a member.
I wouldn't go so far as John in Cheshire and call at a "corruption" of the democratic process but I would call it highly ill-advised though, regrettably, a sign of the times. The electors of South Suffolk are not expected to choose their representative any more, merely to endorse the decision of the party hierarchy.
The next stage is to do away with constituencies altogether and just vote for the party nationally and they will then divvy up the seats according to their own preferences. At least that might have the advantage of parliament roughly reflecting the voting wishes of the people. As far as it goes!

Jan 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

In Football, if the Manager has the unanimous support of the Board, he's out in two weeks.

This is not unanimous support.

Jan 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

Football analogy

The dreaded vote of confidence.

Jan 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Mike Jackson wrote:

The electors of South Suffolk are not expected to choose their representative any more, merely to endorse the decision of the party hierarchy.

Our democracy is a very fragile thing. Last week, at the St Edmundsbury Development Control Committee, the democratically elected councillors voted against a wind turbine and were told by the Planning Officer that they were not allowed to. They'll get another chance not to be allowed to vote in a month. I'm trying to find out what the high and mighty bureaucrats think is a valid reason to vote against. Being a useless bat-killing (the barbastelle has been heard at the site), poverty-inducing siphon of poor peoples' money into the pockets of the rich is not enough apparently. I have already pointed out that the thing violates planning guidelines -- details on my Facebook page -- and naiively thought that that might be enough.

We were out leafletting in Haverhill today, just next door to Yeo's constituency. If his voters are sounding off like ours then I'm not surprised his local party members want him out.

As for the idea of voting for a party regardless of who represents it, I'm not surprised that MEPs are such a useless, colourless bunch of limp-wristed, spineless and vapid nonentities, that's how they get elected.


Jan 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

His a dead man if the local Tory party big wigs think he will lose them the seat.
But its south Suffolk , and that is Debens patch another feeding at the green trough, and they almost rather vote for Assad than parties other than Tory . So he may well live again .

The really interesting part is how these old school Tories , indeed Thatcherites, have become 'green heroes, despite their corrupt self severing practice which normal get the liberal media so hot and bothered. Truly there is dirt so bad that it cannot be be made clean by the power of 'green wash'

Jan 7, 2014 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

So why is someone you think have the opposite view like Chandra so pro someone like Yeo?? I really don't get it..

Jan 7, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

if Yeo survives he will be a pawn in Osborne's hand.

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:03 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Rob Burton,

See it as a political phenomenon, CAGW being of the left, big state etc. Yeo and the Conservatives are not really right wing - they are corporatists with a bit of right wing patter about the reponsibility of the individual and enterprise. Yeo is doing his bit to establish the practical regime required and the fact that he is lining his pockets does not negate his contribution. It would be a set back were he discredited.

See Yeo as a capitalist, if you must, then we have Lenin's remark that capitalism is not only sowing the seeds of its destruction but a capitalist will sell you the rope you need to hang him.

See it as a religious phenomenon, where the important thing is temporal power and having everyone go through the observances. People in favour wouldn't object greatly to a person who was instrumental in forcing the practical aspects of having everyone conform, even though they might doubt the purity of his faith.

Jan 7, 2014 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic


"..provided of course that he really is dead"

After attending a funeral (a regular occurrence when he was a church warden) my dad often used to wonder out loud where they buried all the sinners...

Jan 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

“politician of principle”

Although doubtless, like Groucho Marx, if you don't like them, he has others.

Jan 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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