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The defection of an economist from one party to another would not normally make headlines.
But Tim Congdon, who announced his transfer of allegiance from the Tories to the UK Independence Party in the Telegraph last week, is no ordinary economist.
As one of the most articulate champions of monetarism, he has been a luminous presence in the world of conservative ideas for a quarter century.
His decision to leave the Tory mainstream for a fringe party, therefore, cannot be dismissed as an irrelevance.
David Cameron, I am told, was "livid", and it is not hard to see why. However proud his record as an empiricist and analyst, Professor Congdon's charges against the Tory leader represent a complete misunderstanding of what Mr Cameron stands for, and where he is trying to lead the party.
Two Tory peers have joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in protest at the Conservatives' lack of a "sufficiently Eurosceptic policy".
Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who switched with Lord Willoughby de Broke, said UKIP was the "only party telling the truth" about Europe.
He also said they had given up hope that the Tories would "toughen up on immigration, tax, education and so on".
The defections give UKIP its first Westminster representation.
Lord Pearson described the Conservative leadership of David Cameron as "going in the wrong direction".
Ukip, now led by Nigel Farage MEP, presents itself as the home of staunch principle in a world of shifty centrism and ideological treachery. In practice, it is the most mutable, say-anything party of the lot.
Basically, if you are against something, or want to leave something, Ukip is for you. In its rhetoric, it reminds me of Rik Mayall's brilliant slogan: "Never, ever, bloody anything, ever."
Founded to campaign for exit from the European Union, it now seems to stand for exit from the Tory party.
A Conservative peer and former candidate in general and European elections has announced he is defecting to the UK Independence Party.
The Earl of Dartmouth said he was joining the party because he thought Britain would be better off outside the European Union.
He also criticised Tory leader David Cameron, accusing him of becoming a "slave to political correctness".
He is the third Conservative peer to defect to UKIP in recent weeks.
Lord Dartmouth, who was until last week president of the Colne Valley Conservative Association, lost his hereditary seat in the House of Lords in Labour's reforms.