Party loyalties are, by their nature, exclusive.
Even so, as every active polico knows, there are opponents over there, but your true unforgiving enemies are behind you.
So, Malcolm feels entitled to choose his favourite Tories.
Some are so OTT they select themselves as rôle-models of all we loathe and detest — the ever self-promoting Nadine Dorries, perhaps? Some are total parodies — why does Jacob Rees-Mogg leap to mind?. Others are, actually, quite cuddly and civilised: how can anyone have an aminus against Sir George Young, a good Etonian and Christ Church man, genuinely bright , and decently principled — he opposed Thatcher’s Poll Tax?
And then there is Malcolm’s favourite Tory of the moment —
Dr Sarah Woolaston, the MP for Totnes in Devon.
Uniquely, she was selected by a decent “open primary”, with ballots delivered to every elector.
Yes, she has that usual GP bee-in-her-bonnet about booze (as a practising drinker, Malcolm skates over that as lightly as possible).
She has a magnificent record in high-lighting sexual crime and assault — one of those areas that too many MPs — out of self-interest? — skitter round.
She has been a shrewd analyst of the Cameroonie Health Service “reforms” and defender of the NHS. Since she knows the system from the inside, this has made her a potent critic. For that alone she deserves sanctification.
Now she is standing by her euroscepticism, and apparently pledging to vote against the Whip on Monday. As Malcolm has said before, he was anti-EEC in 1975, and appeared on Stay Out platforms. In the end, for the only time in his enfranchised adulthood, he failed to vote, recognising that the argument had been lost. Not much has changed his mind subsequently: he would now vote “Stay in”. But he recognises that there is a prophylactic need to have a further public debate and a definitive referendum vote — preferably on the in/Out issue. So Malcolm reckons the Miliband posture is misbegotten; and that of the rising-90 MPs across the other side has a rationale — though most are simply bigoted. Dr Woolaston is clearly not merely a camp-follower.
Her political promotion prospects, though, are nil. This girl, surely, cannot be bought.
Onward and upward!