This is fascinating. Here's David Cameron and Eric Pickles, who'd already been gassing about Tories being Libby soulmates, holding court with some "Senior Lib Dems" who have become defectives. Most of those taking part are from visible minorities. All but one of them speaks to camera and explains the reasons for their treachery. Their "philosophy" would perhaps over stating things. They still sound like Lib Dems to these ears. Apolitical. Chancers. Careerists.
So, who you're wondering is the chap on the middle left who doesn't get to say anything? That comrades is Cllr Faraz Bhatti, Manchester's only "conservative" councillor. Elected as a Lib Dem Cllr, their PPC in Stretford and Urmston last time, a helper for Sajjad Karim in the Euros, then followed him to the Tories for personal advancement.
As a brand new councillor Bhatti was immediately over-promoted to joint Finance Spokesman and also Equality Tsar. Immediately out of his depth. Struggling to explain why the Muslim Woman - Yasmin Zalzala - who had taken two great chunks out of the Tory vote in 1997 and 2001 with one John Leech as her agent on the second occasion - was tipped out as PPC in Manchester Withington in 2005, being told in writing that it was her being a woman, a muslim and a foreigner that stalled her, leaving the way for the worst dressed man in parliament, that same John Leech to spin his webs of deceit. Also unable to explain the crass communalism of his then party. And on the budget? He hadn't a clue.
Yet, Faraz felt, he was overlooked for further promotion and advancement. Hence his decision to leave the Lib Dems. Coinciding also with all kinds of social difficulties including an unwelcome encounter with police officers at an infamous snogging and dogging site near the airport. Mr Bhatti apparently took some good counsel and decided not to press ahead with his complaint about their work.
Bhatti's dad incidentally was one of the three Lib Dem candidates for the Chorlton ward in the 2004 "all out'. I had attended a Polling Station with him in 2002 I think it was. And he had explained how he had been a member of all three main political parties from time to time. Changing on a whim or according to selfish opportunism.
The 2004 all out was the one where the third on the Lib Dem slate, Angela Gallagher, actually triumphed having been drafted in late on instead of Cllr Norman Lewis's intended nepotism to award his daughter with the candidacy. On Angela's election the Lib Dems immediately started parting Angela from her retirement nest egg.
First, they told her that it was customary for successful candidates to clear the debts of their branch parties. Ker-ching! There goes a thousand or two down the drain. And then second, third, fourth and fifth famously the appallingly dressed Mr Leech persuaded the pensioner Mrs Gallagher to part with £23,000 of her hard-earned.
This was duly fully declared, a good deal of it rather later than it should have been, with microphones snatched from announcers who were being so foolish as to mention the amount at a public event. I have yet to find anyone who has studied Mr Leech's expenses return for the 2005 General Election who thinks it is even close to legal, decent and honest. But he says it was. Perhaps come back to that one of these days.
The last tranche of Angela's nest egg was secured over a "Thank You" Pizza which turned into yet another chugging. A surprise last course: "Bombshell Surprise!" you might say. The word on the streets was that Mrs Gallagher believed that she would be repaid at least some of her money. But she did not see a penny piece again.
This was I thought rather unfair. Another pensioner woman, a Mrs Leech, was in receipt of a repayment, albeit for a rather smaller sum.
So, there you are. The tall, dark, silent stranger is the "Senior Lib Dem" turned "Conservative" Cllr Faraz Bhatti. And the rest is history.