Tuesday, January 9

Noble Lords Join UKIP

The big news in eurosceptic circles today is that two of the "defrocked" Peers, Lord Pearson of Rannoch and Lord Willoughby de Broke, have joined UKIP. They have not precisely "defected" it was more a question of their party abandoning them.

Both Noble Peers are known for their outspoken views on many issues, particularly the European Union and its effects in this country. When the peers (together with two others, Baroness Cox and Lord Stevens of Ludgate) lost the whip in 2004, the stupidity of the Tory leadership in letting people like that go was a meaSure of the political low of the once great partyhad fallen.

Lord Pearson has worked long and hard for the Conservative Party, among other actions, raising a good deal of money and a party that is £35 million in the debt cannot afford to be sniffy about such matters. Before he was ennobled, Malcolm Pearson was well known in the ranks of those who fought Communism and he has continued to speak up in humanitarian matters, such as the fate of the Kalahari Bushmen.
During the EU parliamentary elections in 2004 Lord Pearson (Rannoch being in rural Scotland) was an invaluable asset to the editor of this blog who was the Lead Candidate in Scotland for UKIP. Lord Pearson's frequent 'phone calls during the hard fought campaign were welcome boosts to the moral of the small but professional electioneering team.

Lord Willoughby de Broke, one of the hardest working and most active peers in the House, though he has never held a paid ministerial job. He is not as well known in the media as Lord Pearson, but he is as important in politics. Furthermore, he is a scion of an old and active Tory family.
Dr Richard North wrote of Lord Willoughby de Broke when he addressed a UKIP fringe meeting:

David Willoughby de Broke is no ordinary peer. He is the 21st Baron, heir to an unbroken line, which stretches back to 1491, son of a war hero and a Tory through and through. If you cut him in half and split his bones, he would have "Tory" etched through them like a stick of rock. He is the embodiment of the Tory establishment, and, despite that, a thoroughly nice and truly caring man. He even looks like a Tory.

And it was this man, this High Tory, who carried the conviction. What he had hoped to hear from Mr Howard was that he would have wished to repatriate many more powers than just fishing, the Social Chapter and aid, and, if negotiations failed, then he would "consider all our options… including withdrawal", warning that his party was "dead meat" if it did not listen to public concern over greater European integration.

Both Peers are strong-minded and conscientious, campaigning for the issues they believe in, be thatleaving the EU, hunting, matters to do with agriculture or the situation in China, Tibet and Hong Kong. Of course, they do not get paid for the work they do, merely given rather limited expenses, unlike the various MPs who do little but are convinced that they are underpaid.

The Conservative Party can ill afford to lose people of such high calibre and UKIP has done well to snap them up, despite the ill-natured and frankly ignorant sniggering that has gone up from some of the Conservative blogs. No wonder Nigel Farage UKIP's leader is strutting this is all very good news for UKIP and indeed the Country.

No comments: