Back in October 1995, Alan Howarth decided to defect to Labour, and the defection was orchestrated for maximum impact around the Tory Conference. This morning, in Hugo Rifkind's column in the Times, he notes that,
"Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP who is so controversially working for Gordon Brown as a government adviser, isn’t going out of his way to rebuild bridges with his party. With his commitments to Gordon coming first, Mercer will be missing the Conservative Party conference. “His work for the Home Office has blocked the diary off,” explains a helpful soul in Mercer’s Commons office. “He doesn’t live too far from Blackpool, so he may nip in and out if he can. He isn’t going to commit himself."This got me thinking about 1995 and wondering whether it could happen again. I'm not suggesting that Patrick Mercer is going to defect you udnerstand (although I am still curious about that comment the editor of the Spectator made), but could Brown's mission to destroy the Tory Party be in a final phase of an even bigger surprise? Who knows?