AS UKIP get ready for their earthquake in Clacton today, with defector Douglas Carswell expected to win a by-election he himself triggered when switching sides, here’s a picture of two other Tories who have made the same floor-crossing trip.
It was posted by UKIP press officer Alun Elder-Brown and shows Mark Reckless, the Tory MP turned Ukipper, leafleting in Rochester and Strood with that man again, Piers Wauchope. Piers was the former leader of the Tories in Camden until he lost his seat to Nut Roast and moved to Kent. A one-time Conservative parliamentary candidate in Hampstead and Highgate, he is now standing for the Common in his new team colours in Thanet North. He’ll find it hard, however, picking off Sir Roger Gale there.
It seems so long ago now, but back in 2004, ahead of important council elections, Piers was asked at a hustings for secondary schoolchildren – none of whom could actually vote, but seemed pretty left-leaning – why he had joined the Conservative Party.
“I’m an old-fashioned Tory anarchist,” he replied. “I did not like rules. I did not like being told what to. Only where there are as few rules as possible do you have the opportunity to do what each of us wants to do.
He then lost the room a little when he told the kids that the attempts to make them interested in politics had been “quite laughable”.
“In the last election, we were giving out pictures of Solid Crew, I think,” he said. He meant So Solid Crew. It had actually been the rival rap group, Mo Fire Crew. “That’s about the level of it,” he went on. “There are people who are trying to get you interested in politics with sweet promises which don’t mean anything. Sometimes you have to look further than the promotional video they sent you.”