Rotten & Reckless
There’s a story on the Guido Fawkes blog today about the UKIP MP Mark Reckless being sued by his old Conservative Assocation.
“The Rochester and Strood Constituency Conservative Association have lodged a claim against its former MP Mark Reckless to claw back thousands of pounds it spent on 2015 General Election campaigning literature before he defected to Ukip. Members of the association say Mr Reckless and his agent, Cllr Chris Irvine, who are both now Ukip members, were approving expenditure for campaign literature for next year’s general election, up to two days before Mr Reckless defected to Ukip Saturday, September 27. They say they had no alternative but to throw away the campaign leaflets.”
Good for them.
Whatever you think about Reckless’ decision to switch parties, it’s important to understand what his local association are, and what they do. These aren’t head office bureaucrats or rich donors. They are local people, who supported Reckless when he was elected the first time and who have worked to raise money to help him get elected again.
They will have done so with coffee mornings, and quizzes, and sausage suppers, and race nights, and by selling and buying raffle tickets. They will have turned out for long meetings, volunteered as activists, delivered his paperwork, canvassed on the doorstep, argued in his favour, written to the local newspapers, put their name forwards as Chairmen and Vice-chairman and secretaries and treasurers. Just ordinary people who wanted to help Reckless, as their Conservative candidate, to do his job well and be able to keep doing it.
Because Reckless was so keen to stab them all in the back and spring a surprise defection at a difficult time, there was no clue that he may be leaving. Consequently, those decent loyal local supporters carried right on raising money for him and his office – and used that money to begin his re-election paperwork and literature. When approving the wording and pictures, did Mr Reckless say: “Stop! This is a waste of your time and and money because I’m going to split shortly!” Did he heck. He grinned, and said: “Thanks for all your help” while preparing to give them all a kicking and laugh while he did it.
Of COURSE he should bloody well pay them back the money they’ve spent on his election literature – which they raised for him with hard graft and dedication because they had put their faith and trust in him. It is his right to change parties if he wishes, but to stiff his old loyal supporters is just plain rotten. Any decent individual would put their hand in the pocket, shamefacedly apologise to the people he had betrayed and repay them the money he had caused to be wasted. At least then he would have left as a gentleman.
Instead he tweets: “Can’t they accept what the voters have decided?” You, sir, are acting like a dirtbag. The voters have decided to re-elect you as a ‘Kipper, but it is you who have decided to do the dirty on the very people who have supported you the most loyally for so long, and who seems to think it’s funny. You should be ashamed of yourself. Pay them and end your association cleanly, it’s the least you can do.