The View From Here Alan Wells, the newly elected chairman of the IW Conserv-ative Association, is surely in for a fun time during the coming months. It is no secret there is bitter internecine strife among our Island Tories, particularly between County Hall and the MP’s office.
The big guns were first wheeled out in spectacular fashion at the Valentine’s Day massacre, which took place two years ago in the car park at Cowes Yacht Haven. A stand-off between gangleaders “Cavalier” Carole Dennett, partner of IW MP Andrew Turner, and council supremo “Deplorable” David Pugh involved terrifying volleys of provocation and bad language and the streets of the IW have since remained under constant threat from the aftermath of this memorable battle.
“I would like to unify the party and its work on the Island,” said Mr Wells after his election.
Such a delicate choice of words. He made it sound as if he was just rearranging the plate of vol-au-vents at the annual Tory sherry party into a more harmonious shape, rather than being thrust into a situation which would tax even the resources of the United Nations peacekeeping force.
Well, jolly good luck to him, though the signs are not particularly propitious. “We have a Conservative government, a Conservative council and a Conservative MP, so we should be flying,” continued Mr Wells, most unfortunately falling into his first whoops-a-daisy.
I’m sorry, chairman, but the only thing that will be flying if you can’t tell the difference between a Conservative government and a coalition government will be pigs, floating over your vision of a love-in among the Island Tories.
But all may not be lost. Perhaps Mr Wells’s tactics do rely on vol-au-vents. It seems he has an entree into the soothing world of canapes. When I asked him if had ever eaten a pasty (judging from the press coverage, there is no more important issue than this in political circles) he said he thought he probably had, possibly quite recently.
“My cousin’s children are the Fabulous Baker Brothers,” he revealed.
This is spectacular news! Not only does Mr Wells’s kinship to these gorgeous TV cooks ratchet up the Island’s list of available celebrities by a colossal margin but it provides the Tories’ new chairman with the means to bring this distressing feud to a close.
The whole nation is obsessed with the stars of cooking programmes and the Fabulous Baker Brothers, all hunky good looks and sexy dibbling about with squidgy chocolate brownies, are the perfect choice to unite the IW Conservatives.
Summon your cousin’s children immediately, Mr Wells. Lay on a scrumptious tea party. Invite Cavalier and Deplorable, and all their supporters, and subject everybody to the hypnotising spell of your lovely relations.
Pass round the meringues. Tinkle the teacups in a romantic manner. It just might work.
Probably best to omit the custard pies, though. The mere sight of these traditional missiles might start Cavalier and Deplorable off again and they both look as if they could perform a belter in the overarm bowling department.
Minimum charge way to beat panic buying
At least the Tories, whether at council or parliamentary level, are united in their desire to garner votes at future elections and Alan Wells will doubtless do his best to ensure the right message gets through to the electorate.
The days when politicians could treat voters with scorn are long gone. It was only after Chris Mullin retired as an MP that he was able to reflect in his published diaries on the greed, idleness and ingratitude of visitors to his weekly surgeries. While he was still in the Commons, he doubtless treated these feckless constituents like royalty.
Certainly the electorate must be accorded terrific respect, particularly with regard to their intelligence.
“Voters aren’t stupid,” is a favourite mantra of politicians, despite frequent evidence to the contrary.
The stupidity of the electorate was perfectly demonstrated after Francis Maude advised us to hoard extra fuel in a jerry can. Daft advice, certainly, not just on safety grounds but also because there was at that point no need to panic.
Mr Maude has rightly got it in the neck. But why would anyone take any notice of his loopy ideas?
The voters are always complaining that politicians are useless, so why heed their words? Why behave like sheep in the face of such obviously crass advice? Unless, of course, those who queued needlessly just to top up and caused major problems for those who truly needed to fill their tanks, were motivated not just by stupidity but greed and selfishness.
Should this kind of thing continue, there is, of course, a perfect solution. Garages should impose a minimum charge of £50 on each petrol transaction. That would sort out the stupids from those whose need is genuine.