1. Thread on my experience in a previous life as a Cameron Conservative. This will be a little long, but i hope interesting.
2. Conservative Future at the time (2009) wasn't what it became later. It was a place where Liberals could find a home and campaign.
3. It was - with Ben Howlett as chair - modern & progressive with sensible policies on climate change, marriage for all etc.
4. The "Sound" crowd was present. These are the faux Libertarians - wannabe tax avoiders - who shout "sound" at stupid ideas.
5. However generally speaking, those i campaigned with were as i was: socially liberal but with a fierce sense of economic pragmatism.
6. My worst moment was being screamed at by Andrew Rosindell at a Con Way Forward - *shakes head* - event for being pro-EU. That was fun.
7. And i never went anywhere near the Young Britain Foundation. I was, after all, sane.
8. May 2010 was spent with a group of three others driving around Kent helping to unseat Labour MPs and turn Kent blue. We did well. But ...
9. I was not that impressed with the candidates. Especially the one for Rochester and Strood who missed his 1st vote as an MP by being drunk
10. It dawned on me quickly that MPs are, in the main, the worst people in a party. As in you have to be bolshy and obtuse to become one.
11. But they're as nothing compared to local associations. There's a reason why candidates are parachuted in.
12. If you want to see what happens when right-wing local associations choose candidates, look to UKIP. Well, ex-UKIP now Tories.
13. But we won. And i was actually very happy with the coalition. 2010-2015 was a good time to be liberal and centre-right. However ...
14. The Tories claim they brought about marriage for all, but its a lie.

A majority of Tory MPs voted it down. It was Cameron. Not them.
15. There were the constant attempts to undermine Ed Davey who was doing an excellent job at the DECC.
16. And the humiliation of Nick Clegg over Lords Reform and the jeering from the backbenches was repugnant. But still, i stayed.
17. 2015 is where it started to go wrong. Without the Lib Dems, Cameron had to bend the knee to the hard-right. Cons Future changed too.
18. Europhobia was "cool". Madhat speakers were being invited to Conservative local assocs and university societies. Pragmatism was dying.
19. Liberal Conservatives could see what was becoming, but we stayed to try to prevent the party imploding.
20. I remember an event with Steve Baker. He left me in no doubt that being pro-EU and a Tory was - in his ideological mind - incompatible.
21. And then came the referendum. CCHQ was "neutral" (!) while a majority of the local assocs and uni socs were Leave.
22. But what drove me out wasn't the result, but the aftermath. And specifically three words.
23. Fearing for its survival, the party embraced UKIP as its own & lurched right-wards. Liberals were stunned.
24. And then at #CPC16, now PM @theresa_may said this. And i knew the Liberal heart had died within the party and it was time to go.
25. I don't think the party had any idea how badly "Citizen of Nowhere" would go down. But it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
26. What exists today is nothing like the socially liberal and fiscally sensible party i campaigned for in 2010.
27. Rudderless, captured by the hard-right, salivating over Hard Brexit & in thrall to the Mail & Express, the Tories are unfit to govern.
28. #GE17 was an opportunity for humility. Instead they seek to lecture Britain's liberals on why they were right with SoS call us remoaners
29. They are not a path to the open, tolerant and liberal Britain we want. Nor are they the path the sound public finances.
30. Maybe one day they will be. But for now, they need to go into the wilderness again. We'll be waiting for when they return sane. /Fin

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with 🥶❄🌨James Willby 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇪🇺

🥶❄🌨James Willby 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇪🇺 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @JamesWillby

Jul 12, 2018

I'm reading the #Brexit White Paper here. Its utter #cakeism. EU will say no.
This is incredible. So the UK wants a common rule book for goods, but not services, membership of agencies ...

Who's going to be the fucking arbiter then? If not the ECJ!?

#Brexit #WhitePaper
So we're at association agreement. Not FTA.
Read 5 tweets
Mar 27, 2018

I'm becoming ever more - furiously I must attest - convinced I'm right about something.

First, read this. It's a quote today from @theresa_may in front of the Liason Committee. Read between the lines and you see a transition period lasting well beyond 5 years.
There was zero chance that the UK would be ready for Brexit by March 2019, nor frankly by 2020. And we told you all that would be the case and lo and behold it's now appearing.
So this means that the UK will be stuck like a lame duck in the "transition" period - a colony of the EU - until at least 2027. Why? Three words. Multi-Annual Financial Framework.
Read 10 tweets
Jan 19, 2018
Thread: I'm so genuinely pissed off with @theresa_may's bare-faced lies on how much she wants EU migrants to stay in the UK - reiterated last night - that i've gone back and read her 2015 Speech to @Conservatives Party Conference. So, lets look at this Caring Tory said.
No @theresa_may, we don't know anything of the sort. There is NO evidence of immigration to the UK hurting the poorest paid. There just isn't.
So in 2015 @theresa_may claimed immigrants were behind the housing and schools crisis. Not cuts or lack of investment or Tory voters refusing schemes due to Nimbyism. Immigrants. Caring wasn't she.
Read 14 tweets
Dec 11, 2017
Thread: as a former Conservative, I'm amazed at how little the Left seem to understand how to beat them. A few key insights based on how Conservatives really think.
Let's start with the easiest mistake.

Stop calling them evil. Whether they are or not, what you're doing is telling Conservative voters they're evil too. And you need to flip them.

Call then incompetent. That is what resonates. "Shower, shambles" etc. These are all good words.
People don't like paying tax. People are very happy for someone else to pay for public services but not them. The number of people who pay tax "for civilisation" is vanishingly small. Accept it.
Read 25 tweets
Nov 14, 2017
The way in which Brexiteers expect #millenials to take up the slack of falling immigration is very revealing to me.
It speaks to the paucity of their ambitions and their achievements in life. Their horizons are so tempered & so it's what they offer.
But there is also a quite clear a sense of envy: a want to punish young people. "Throw them into the fields, let them see real work"
Read 10 tweets
Oct 11, 2017

To help journos and politicos on the right, let me explain Corbyn's Brexit plan. Its simple elegance.
Corbyn has repeatedly said the vote has been had and the question is settled. So the Tories have no line of attack on Labour is anti-brexit
This means Corbyn keeps his Leave voters. However, can then unilaterally offer rights to EU nationals and promise a jobs first Brexit.
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!