The recruitment drive by Croydon Conservatives, after nearly a year’s hard work, has delivered its first significant new member: John Cartwright, also known as John Loony, the habitual deposit-loser for the Monster Raving Loony Party at elections across the borough for many years.
This “coup” was announced by the local Tories’ Twitter account yesterday.
@CroydonTories: It is with great pleasure that we welcome @JohnLoony, latterly of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, to the Conservatives in #Croydon.
“Great pleasure”. Yeah. “Welcome”. Oh yes.
That Cartwright/Loony will not feel out of place among his new friends, sipping his subsidised shandies in the Croydon South Conservative Club, may be more of a reflection on his new colleagues than him.
Where this will leave the Loony Party in Croydon is a question that will trouble very few, we are confident to predict.
Of wider concern ought to be what the Croydon Conservatives will do about Cartwright’s liking for posting images of semi-naked young men on his Loony website.
A former pupil of fee-paying Trinity independent school, just like his new party colleague Gavin Barwell MP, Cartwright’s employment status is unclear. His “defection” to the Tories coincided with the ConDem government’s assault on welfare payments. It may be that Loony will be the only Tory prepared to try to live on £53 per week in welfare.
Cartwright’s defection to the Conservatives makes him the third of the candidates who ran against Barwell in Croydon Central in 2010 to be ruled out of contesting the marginal seat at the next election: Labour candidate Gerry Ryan is too male for his party’s all-woman short-list; and independent candidate and former MP Andrew Pelling has proved defective as well, joining Labour.
Cartwright may have lost his last deposit when he attracted 110 votes at last November’s Croydon North by-election, but he was not last in the ballot.
Nor was Cartwright last at the 2010 general election when he stood in Croydon Central and 192 voters thought he was amusing enough to deserve their vote. Even less popular on that occasion was Michael Castle, another recent recruit to the local Tories. It appears that Croydon Conservatives will accept anyone’s membership application. Things must be desperate.
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