David Cameron: also putting political agenda ahead of principle

Bloggerheads has recently written yet more about the scandalous behaviour and recalcitrance of Patrick Mercer MP (a blogpost from which I take my title). Mercer’s involvement with all sorts of untrustworthy characters is the gift that keeps on giving for the political blogging community. Without wishing to repeat any of Tim’s excellent ongoing investigative work in bringing to light Mercer’s links with people like Dominic Wightman and the now discredited “terrorism expert” Glen Jenvey—and also detailing Mercer’s inconsistent denials thereof—it’s worth at least adding this footnote for future reference.

I live in Witney, which memans that my MP is David Cameron, leader of the party to which Mercer currently belongs. I asked Mr Cameron what he intended to do about Mercer, in an admittedly longwinded letter. Specifically, I began:

I am writing to inform you of evidence which has come to my attention regarding the conduct of Patrick Mercer MP, Nadine Dorries MP and Iain Dale, and also to inquire as to what steps you will be taking with regards to said conduct.

After a few weeks of silence—which admittedly included conference season, although the office of a party leader would have the spare staff, surely—I received the following reply, the body of which I quote in its entirety:

Thank you very much for your recent letter.

I will certainly take on board the points you make. I always welcome the views of my constituents and am grateful to you for taking the time and trouble to get in touch.

[signature] David Cameron

Now I’m no fool. I know the form of the polite brush-off of a problematic and possibly mad constituent that you want simply to distance yourself from, so I won’t pursue this with his office. But I will make clear: that when Mercer finally becomes a complete embarrassment for the Conservative party, which he is currently merely embarrassing in the presence of a select yet attentive online audience, David Cameron cannot say he wasn’t warned.

So, for the record: I told David Cameron MP, in a letter dated 4 October 2009, that:

Patrick Mercer used unreliable sources like Jenvey, Wightman and the Vigil group, neglecting to check up on the stories because they suited his political ends.

Patrick Mercer then lied about being heavily involved with Jenvey, and was caught out in that lie.

Patrick Mercer has smeared a writer for investigating his own behaviour and holding him to account.

Patrick Mercer has stood by and done nothing while this writer: has been threatened, has had his reputation and personal life smeared by other sources; has had his home address published online and open season declared on the writer and his family.

Iain Dale and Nadine Dorries have also stonewalled and smeared this writer, refusing to come to his aid in any way. Their behaviour has turned their online presences into one big joke at the Conservative Party’s expense.

It is my opinion that the conduct of all three of these Conservative Party members, but especially Patrick Mercer, has been unbecoming for member of parliaments [sic, unfortunately]. Furthermore, I believe that Patrick Mercer and his office have brought the profession into disrepute. As a resident of your constituency I would therefore like to know what action you will take both as Patrick Mercer’s fellow member of parliament and as the leader of the party of which he is currently also a member.

In reply, what action did David Cameron MP agree to take? No action at all. Mark that, if this finally explodes in the mainstream news: David Cameron had all the facts to hand and could have taken decisive action, but didn’t. What sort of a leader does that make him?

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4 Responses to David Cameron: also putting political agenda ahead of principle

  1. James says:

    What sort of a leader does that make him? One who can work out what’s relevant and what isn’t.

  2. John says:

    I’m sorry to say that Mr Mercer is my MP and I believe a law unto himself.

    [edited: John, I'm glad for your support. However, without credible references for some of what you've claimed I'm not really happy hosting it on my blog. This has been a fraught story all round and there's a limit to which I'm willing to get dragged further into it.

    I'd be happy to link to any blogpost you wrote on the subject, however, and have the text of your comment still available if you want it for reference.]

  3. sbalb says:

    What sort of a leader does that make him? One who can work out what’s relevant and what isn’t.

    You must have been thinking of that one for ages, although however jawdroppingly hilarious it might be I don’t believe it’s in any way correct: you’ve turned into a witticism something which instead rests entirely (and rather dryly, I admit) on the mandate with which a constituent MP is elected.

    You’ve implicitly defined “relevant” as what you personally consider to be relevant. However, as an elected official, David Cameron is obliged to consider relevant those matters which his constituents also consider relevant.

    I’m one of David Cameron’s constituents, and I consider Patrick Mercer’s office being embroiled in VIGIL, lying about that involvement, and smearing those investigating into his office’s shady dealings (to the extent that it arguably encourages through omission personal attacks on the investigators) to be very much relevant to parliamentary democracy, at the very least as much as duck houses and moats. So if David Cameron truly does not consider this relevant then I submit that he is incapable of fulfilling his mandate as my democratic representative and should resign as my MP.

  4. looby says:

    Oh Lord…I’d never heard of the ernestmaples.com saga. What an absurd idea – that lawyers are brought in to ban the free distribution of postcodes. There’s a file going around on…well, going around… with all the UK postcodes listed by grid reference. Not as good as putting a street name in I know.

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