Since I left the Tory Party two and a half years ago, a number of my former colleagues remain good friends. Most at least remain on courteous and cordial terms, and behave like grown-ups. Just one or two are taking the bitter and twisted approach, and sadly one of those is Vicky Ford MEP, (Eastern Region).
She’s on the Industry & Energy Committee, as am I. During the recent Commissioner hearings, I attended assiduously, and spoke repeatedly (several of these interventions are on my blog). However on the day that voting took place, I happened to be in Clacton, campaigning for Douglas Carswell. As Harold Wilson loved to say, politics is the language of priorities, and my priority was Clacton, not the European Commissioner.
On Oct 8th, she Tweeted MEPs en masse voting on energy commissioners – no show from UKIP “energy” spokesman @RogerHelmerMEP – down the pub??#ukipemptychair. I replied : ”Thanks Vicky, but we have a couple of by-elections to fight”. She came back with “shame you can’t be bothered to do the job you are elected to do”.
Now Vicky knows, as well as I do, that (A) My voting would not have made a scrap of difference to the outcome; (B) Even if we had succeeded in rejecting one of these Commissioners, we should simply have got another clone straight from Central Casting, appointed by Jean Claude Juncker, and committed to the same disastrous energy policies.
She also knows that all MEPs (including herself) have political duties in their home countries which sometimes require them to be away from Brussels. Sitting doggedly in committee rooms in Brussels is not necessarily the best way of serving one’s constituents’ interests. She knows that, but she’s not going to miss the chance to score cheap points at the expense of readers who don’t understand how the system works.
My final reply: “I am paid to further the interests of my constituents. They will be better served by a UKIP MP than by a European Commissioner”. They will indeed. And that UKIP MP is Douglas Carswell. I’m not sure what difference I made to his majority, but I was proud to be there on the day.
Meantime, Ms. Ford will be continuing to try to score juvenile political points.