Natalie Elphicke Welcomed to Labour by Keir Starmer

Natalie Elphicke Defects to Labour

The defection of Natalie Elphicke, former member of the ERG (European Research Group) and Tory MP to Labour when she has already announced that she is standing down at the general election later this year is a little odd to say the least.

The current state of uniparty politics in the UK does of course make the switch more understandable. There is little more than a cigarette paper between the Tories and Labour in terms of policy difference. It is just the management team that is different.

While the main stream press repeated state that elections are won from the centre ground and it is the centrists who both parties are trying to attract, that doesn’t paint an accurate picture.

Currently both parties are not centrist, they are both left of centre. Both high tax, both large state, both want to control, both employ nudge theory, impose lifestyle choices, both are led by focus groups rather than a party belief system, both lead from behind, reacting to whatever section of the community shouts the loudest at any point in time.

Only 7 MPs including Mrs Elphicke have ever crossed the floor from the Tories to Labour. The idea was to have two parties with different ideas about how to run the country, not to have an interchangeable uniparty where MPs feel at home on both sides.

This defection serves to highlight the lack of difference between the two. Heads I win, tails you lose. The choice is not a choice at all, this is not democracy, this is a state monopoly where your vote is side-lined by a process that will return the same policies, the same strategy, the same Net Zero at all costs, the same high taxation, the same profligate spending, the same desire to remain firmly attached to the EU for the benefit of the long term plan, the same high migration, the same ever growing, bloated state presiding over ever worsening public services.

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Why Did Elphicke Defect?

Nothing changes, nothing will change as and when Keir Starmer gets the keys to No. 10. Just the continuation of the project, the mighty project that is delivering little for the people of the UK, just an ever-declining standard of living, worse health outcomes, ever higher costs and continued struggle to feed, house and clothe their families.

So what reasons are there that might encourage Natalie Elphicke to defect to the Labour party? What reasons are there for an MP who is standing down in 6 months to make such a political statement?

1 Elphicke hates Sunak more than she loves UK Sovereignty

Having fought for Brexit as a part of the ERG, Elphicke seems to have no problem showing her support for the pro-EU, pro-Rejoin Keir Starmer. Starmer wants to rejoin in the fullness of time. Why would you jump from the ERG to Labour?

2 Elphicke was never a Right-Wing Tory

More probable. There is nothing to suggest that the criteria for being a member of the ERG includes a robust vetting process for policy alignment or conviction so it is highly possible if not probable that in their number they include spies and infiltrators. It is inconceivable that a true Brexiteer would get behind Starmer.

3 Elphicke may have been promised future benefits

What sort of future riches would manage to convert a right-wing Tory into a Starmer loving socialist? Too many politicians it seems are more interested in their career opportunities rather than in the publics best interest.

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When Two Parties Meet to the Left of Centre

The Elphicke defection is surely a red flag highlighting the sorry state of our political system more than a statement about either specific leader or party.

If MPs from the two main political parties in a predominantly two-party system are fully interchangeable then where does that leave the electorate?

This defection doesn’t make any political sense from any direction. Starmer has faced a mini rebellion for welcoming Elphicke. The toothless ERG which has long talked the talk without actually achieving anything looks even weaker. The Tories look to have lost a closet socialist, not that that will affect the rest that remain ensconced within the party.

As it turns out when it comes to Elphicke, many players have skin in the game. Four years ago she allegedly interfered in due process by asking the lord chancellor for a favour over her husband’s trial. This was then duly kept under wraps by not only the Tories but also by the press for four years until she defected to Labour when not unsurprisingly the scandal comes to light.

Natalie Elphicke sought to influence Robert Buckland over her husbands sex abuse trial

This is beginning to look like Starmer has shot himself in the foot.

To the rest of us it is political misdirection. Please look over here while we continue to under-deliver and fail on their manifesto promises.

The press from parliament focusses more on these political games and manoeuvrings than they do on policy, policy delivery and the state of the country.

In the Absence of an Opposition we need the Press

Press freedom is an abject term. None of us know who has a vested interest in doing what for whom and when. No press in impartial, we all have an opinion and press barons buy newspapers in order to carry a message, there would be zero purpose to supporting a financially weak press otherwise.

Newspapers were once hugely lucrative, that is no longer the case. The majority get their news online for free, leaving paid papers struggling to finance quality journalism.

We all have a point of view, I do, you do, newspaper editors, journalists, owners, TV reporters, newsreaders, we all have a view.

So, in a country with a free press, how have we reached the point in time where the Elphicke legal interference story can lie buried for four years until such time as the Tories want it leaked. It was obviously leaked by the Tories to discredit her following her defection, but this is looking to have backfired on the Tory propaganda machine.

The party of sleaze has just reminded the public that it is the party of sleaze and that it still hides that sleaze and is prepared to use it via a very compliant media that appears to be doing the governments bidding.

During covid the press were heavily supported by the government. Maybe that support came with strings attached?

So where do we go from here? Starmer faces continued pressure about Elphicke, the Tories will continue to throw as much mud as possible (if for no other reason than to deter any more defections) and the press will publish what they are told.

In a uniparty state, the press were to some at least the opposition, holding ministers and the government to account but this episode has revealed the limitations of a supposedly free press and their abilities to tell us the truth, not their truth, but the unbridled truth.

Where does this defection leave the electorate in Dover? I am guessing angry.