LETTER: Disillusioned with party politics

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Whatever has happened to the modern Conservative Party - both nationally and locally?

I joined the Tories at the tender age of 15 while still at school - sporting the badge of the ‘Vermin Club’ on my blazer.

The club was formed by grassroots activists in response to Nye Bevan’s snide remark describing Conservatives as, ‘Vermin’ at a Labour Party conference in Manchester.

While a national executive member of the Young Conservatives, I was working in the Chairman’s office of The Rank Organisation and was invited to the press showing of the film ‘Victim’ staring Dirk Bogarde which dealt with the thorny issue of the blackmailing of homosexuals when such conduct was a criminal offence. The film caused Bogarde to lose a great number of his fans.

I regarded blackmail - and still do - as a most appalling offence and the film prompted me to raise this issue formally at a national YC conference held at the Friends’ Meeting House in Euston Road - the motion being put forward on behalf of the Dulwich Young Conservatives.

The motion proposed that ‘homosexual acts between consenting adults in private and over the age of 21 years should no longer be a criminal offence’.

In proposing this motion, I never thought for one moment that this would lead to so-called ‘gay marriage’ which is so keenly supported by our Conservative MP, Francis Maude.

Later I joined the staff of Conservative Central Office as Assistant Parliamentary Liaison Officer - during which time, I made regular visits to the House of Commons.

Now in my late seventies, I am shocked to read of the alleged gay shenanigans of Conservative MPs and their young researchers - both in parliament and at the party conference.

Personally, I do not have a problem with civil partnerships but I regard ‘gay marriage’ as an affront to an 800-year-old sacred institution!

At a local level, our Conservative dominated district council is in deep trouble over the actions of Cabinet Members.

And this prompts me to ask, ‘What on earth has happened to the traditional Conservative Party - the oldest democratic political party in Europe?’

Little wonder that the majority of voters are disillusioned with party politics. Personally, I wouldn’t know how to vote in any future election - a plague on all their houses!

ROBERT B. WORLEY

Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham