‘Offensive, patronising and pathetic’: Croydon Tory slates Zac

London election graphicA prominent member of Croydon Conservatives has described the Zac Goldsmith Mayoral campaign as “offensive, patronising, off-putting, negative and pathetic”.

John Cartwright also publicly admitted that to “register a protest”, he voted for Sian Berry, the Green Party candidate, as his first preference for London Mayor.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate, was the overwhelming winner of Thursday’s election for London Mayor, while Goldsmith’s campaign faded in the final days amid widespread acrimony over its divisive approach in trying to characterise his rival, a Muslim, as an “extremist”.

Cartwright is probably better known to Croydon voters as “John Loony”, who for many years was a regular deposit-loser when standing in all forms of elections for the Monster Raving Loony Party. And then he was warmly welcomed by the Conservatives.

"Offensive, patronising and pathetic": Zac Goldsmith has been castigated by a leading member of the Croydon Tories

“Offensive, patronising and pathetic”: Zac Goldsmith has been castigated by a leading member of the Croydon Tories

During the London elections campaign, Steve O’Connell, the Tories’ candidate for the London Assembly in Croydon and Sutton, was challenged to distance himself from the unacceptable elements of the Goldsmith campaign. O’Connell maintained his silence throughout, and was duly elected.

With the notable exception of Sayeeda Warsi, the former Tory Party chair, most senior Conservatives condoned the unsavoury conduct by maintaining a stony silence about the nastier aspects of the Goldsmith campaign until polling day.

Local Conservative MP Gavin Barwell – who never intervened while the divisive campaign was trawling the depths of divisiveness – jumped on the hindsight bandwagon only yesterday to register belated reservations, stating that Goldsmith is “one of the least tribal politicians”, and admitting that “our campaign alienated some and we need to recognise that”. This from a man who won his last election by 165 votes and received campaign funding from local Tamil groups.

In a display of party discipline and loyalty to its leadership which ought be an example to other political groups, Cartwright, too, held back on expressing his thoughts until it was too late to be highlighted and potentially impact the vote.

Not a typical Croydon Tory: John Cartwright in his Loony Party outfit

Croydon Conservative John Cartwright

But once the polls closed, Cartwright wrote on the Vote UK online politics forum: “Zac Goldsmith’s campaign was offensive, patronising, off-putting, negative and pathetic with its religious and racial profiling and insinuations about Sadiq Khan… If his campaign was so pathetic, I have concerns about his ability to administer and make executive decisions as Mayor of London.

“I have felt great reluctance and some resentment about the fact that I was ‘supposed to’ vote for Zac Goldsmith, just because I happen to be a member of the Conservative Party, and for weeks I have been struggling with my decision about how to vote.”

Throughout the weeks before the election, Cartwright’s Conservative colleagues were out canvassing, distributing election leaflets, effectively trying to persuade the people of Croydon to vote #BackZacAndCrack.

Cartwright’s homily continued: “On the one hand, I wanted to express my dissatisfaction with Zac’s campaign, but on the other hand I was not prepared to accept the premise of suggesting that Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan were equally bad. Saying ‘they’re both as bad as each other’, and abstaining or spoiling a ballot paper is a cop-out which for me is not a realistic option.”

Cartwright then signalled how his political party in Croydon is dominated by a single individual, his fellow Trinity School Old Boy, as he wrote with apparent fondness: “I have also become increasingly conscious of the fact that I am de facto a member of the Gavin Barwell Party, not the Zac Goldsmith Party.”

John Cartwright’s online homily against the ‘pathetic’ Goldsmith campaign

Cartwright laid out six options for how he might have voted, including: “(f) Vote for Zac Goldsmith, but write a message saying ‘This is a vote for Zac Goldsmith even though he is a pathetic nauseating twit’.”

Conservative Party member Cartwright disclosed that he voted for the Greens, with Goldsmith only as a second option. Green candidate for Mayor Sian Berry did speak out against Goldsmith’s divisive campaign well ahead of polling day.

Cartwright has broken Tory Party ranks in the past, most notably in Croydon Town Hall when he described Eddy Arram – a Conservative councillor and a Barwell constituency aide – as the borough’s worst ever mayor.

Over the weekend, Cartwright has supplemented his post-polls commentary by saying of the Goldsmith campaign, “If the campaign was so nasty, with the ridiculous racial stereotyping about Hindus, and the Islamophobic slurs against Sadiq Khan, then that implies that he wasn’t really in control of the campaign as he should have been, and was either too weak or too dim to put his foot down and stop the negative stuff. If he can’t do that, then perhaps he can’t administer things and manage people in the way that a Mayor should…

“By the end of the campaign I had already got to the stage where I was instinctively groaning whenever he appeared on TV.

“He may be a good MP and he may actually care about the Heathrow issue, but I don’t think he will ever be able to get away from the damage done to his reputation from the appalling campaign. To be honest I don’t care what he does next, as long as I don’t have to see him on the TV.”

* – This article has been updated to reflect more accurately John Cartwright’s position within the local Tory Party, and to amend its account of his non-activity in the Mayoral campaign.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2016 London elections, Eddy Arram, Gavin Barwell, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Steve O'Connell, Zac Goldsmith MP and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to ‘Offensive, patronising and pathetic’: Croydon Tory slates Zac

  1. Its pretty rare, actually almost non-existent, for me to agree with anything any Tory, local or national, says or writes but John Cartwright’s comments about the deplorable, wet, over-rich, charisma-poor, unjustifiably ambitious, perennially entitled Zac Goldsmith were bang on target.

    Things like he “… was either too weak or too dim to put his foot down and stop the negative stuff”, and “By the end of the campaign I had already got to the stage where I was instinctively groaning whenever he appeared on TV”, and “To be honest I don’t care what he does next, as long as I don’t have to see him on the TV”, were wonderfully accurate albeit less vitriolic than I would have liked.

  2. derekthrower says:

    Oh dear Mr Loony, a bit too honest for your own good and survival in the Gavin Barwell Party.

    There will be no messy hard-edged action, but just a greater distance and marginalisation to face as Gav remorselessly heads on to the boardroom of an Ashcroft-related company. Time to reactivate the real Loonies in your quest for power!

  3. Is anyone trying to say that a chap whom Mayor Sadiq Khan shared a platform with is not an extremist? Or is it wrong to highlight the fact that the Mayor was naive to share a platform with someone who has extremist views.

    Some people don’t like to associate with me simply because I am Tamil. As a Tamil I may have had community meetings with those who sympathise with certain acts which is called terrorism. That doesn’t make me an extremist. In fact Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist. His name was only removed from the terrorist list by the US in recent years.

    “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter”.

    Highlighting a rival being naive is not racism. It is the lefties who want to twist the fact.

    I very well know that Sadiq Khan is Not an extremist and he is a very moderate Muslim.

    Though there are issues with the Conservative party particularly the Croydon Conservatives on understanding other communities, I don’t believe that the Prime Minister can be accused of being a racist.

    It is under David Cameron’s leadership that the Conservative party has done more to include ethnic communities than any other party leader. David Cameron is the first leader to visit Jaffna Sri Lanka and listen to my people there.

    The real problem is crediting an Australian for winning an election which was fought hard by volunteers and letting an Australian run a campaign where almost 50% of the population are from ethnic minority communities. I am not saying anything against the Australians.

    To be honest it took a long time for me to decide between Cannabis is safer and Zac and eventually
    I voted for Zac as a Conservative and Jemima’s brother.

    Racism exists in all political parties.

  4. arnorab says:

    Patrick, you should have voted for Cannabis is Safer. That is probably where Zac put his vote.
    He was at Eton but was kicked out aged 16 when caught with marijuana in his room, though he protests his innocence, insisting it was someone else’s stash. His father had also been expelled from Eton, but for gambling. His father was notorious for his womanising and Zac stays in the family tradition. He left his wife, Sheherazade, with whom he has three children, for Alice, sister of his brother Ben’s then wife, Kate – eyebrows were raised but that was all. His sister also has dubious taste in the choice of mates and no history of longevity of marriage. Zac’s only experience of real work, if you can call it that, was at The Ecologist, a magazine founded by his uncle Edward (Teddy). I’d love to have been able to watch the rigorous interview which led to his appointment.
    Zac eventually became the owner of The Ecologist and, as the magazine began to fade, sold it for £1. (Any green echoes?) Trust that family? Not in a million years!

  5. joeycan says:

    Oh dear Patrick; having criticised the man, ostensibly responsible for securing David Cameron’s electoral success last year (naming no names – very helpful!), I hope you will be taking issue with the unelected appointment of another Australian to the CEO post of Croydon’s Soviet-style administration.

    • As I said the Australian was not responsible for David Cameron’s victory. It was Ed Miliband who was responsible for David Cameron’s victory.

      If David Miliband was the leader David Cameron would just be a backbencher.

      Just imagine if Zac had won. The media and all the others would have praised him.

      Just a challenge for Mayor Khan (First Citizen Khan). Would he openly criticise ISIS and ask British Muslims not to join ISIS? Also criticise all other atrocities committed in the name of religion whether Christian or Muslim.

      Joeycan, I hope my siblings are note reading this as they are now Aussies.
      I know all about the Soviet style administration as I work for one. My goodness we should tell this Aussie that this is not the same Croydon in Melbourne.

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