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?