Quentin Davies MP has defected from the Conservatives to Labour the day before the Clunking Fist takes power. The picture is a self portrait drawn for Carshalton and Wallington Conservatives as part of a fundraising exercise called Consign, which is ironic since he has just consigned himself to a footnote in parliamentary history.
My only memory of the Europhile MP is when he was Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary and was speaking at the Conservative Party Conference on the last morning. This is somewhat of a graveyard slot as people are creeping into the hall to reserve their seat for the leader's speech, nursing the mother of all hangovers after four days of excessive "networking". Unfortunately a younger member of the party bent over and let out some 'Wallace and Gromit' in a row just behind the Shadow Cabinet as a wag added "If only more of our frontbenchers could elicit such raw emotion."
Since he has accused David Cameron of "superficiality, unreliability and an apparent lack of any clear convictions" it's maybe worthwhile looking at Quentin Davies' own reliable opinion:-
QUENTIN DAVIES ON GORDON BROWN
26 JUNE 2007
"a leader I have always greatly admired, who I believe is entirely straightforward, and who has a towering record, and a clear vision for the future of our country which I fully share."
16 MARCH 2005
"the Chancellor has been losing control... His projections... have been consistently wrong. He has been wrong about both revenues and expenditure... The Chancellor took risks... he is imprudent... a great worry... very worrying... he simply wanted to win the next election... if he can... it does not matter what happens afterwards... the Chancellor went in for an orgy of self-congratulation... deceiving other people... complacency... he is not prudent and responsible, and not a person to be entrusted with the management of anybody's finances, let alone the country's finances... unattractive and frankly problematic... an absolutely devastating misjudgement and mistake... the destruction of our pensions system... We have not had a word of apology from the Chancellor... He was just incredibly imprudent... extraordinarily incompetent... extraordinarily naïve... desperately complacent... As a result of that self-congratulation and complacency, the Chancellor is becoming so cut off that he is beginning to underestimate the intelligence of the electorate... I trust and believe that something nasty will happen to the Chancellor in electoral terms before too long. He will have no one but himself to blame.
Quentin Davies MP, HC Debs, 16 Mar 2005: Column 309-318
OK, it's a bitter article but really, an MP with more outside interests than you could shake a stick at, best known for being fined for cruelty to sheep, complaining at the end of his career from the luxury of a safe Conservative Parliamentary seat is somewhat disappointing not only for Conservatives like my group colleagues and I that are simply trying to make Sutton a better place but for the 22,109 constituents that voted for Conservative values and policies only to see their vote wasted as he spurns them for the 14,664 constituents that voted for his opponent.