Dumbing down the Conservative Party
All this is consistent with the Conservative Party’s ever closer centralisation of power. If MPs or candidates do not comply with the request to discuss ‘fashion’, no doubt they will be deemed to have manifested an inappropriate ‘manner’ or ‘attitude’, the consequence of which will be demotion to the bank benches or removal from the Approved List of Candidates. No longer are local associations free to select who represents them: CCHQ advances those it favours, and its mechanism for dividing the sheep from the goats is increasingly opaque. There is no openness, no accountability, and no appeal against arbitrary judgement. While David Cameron preaches localism, devolution, subsidiarity and democracy to the nation, his own party is dedicated to centralisation, secret bureaucracy and 'star chamber' justice.
Over recent months CCHQ have been culling their ‘Approved List’. His Grace has now been contacted by 28 of these ‘excised’ candidates, many of whom have been loyal party members for decades, including former local association chairmen and deputy chairmen, with impressive CVs of devoted service to their communities and a clear commitment to traditional Conservative principles. Some even fought seats in the 2010 general election, and managed to increase the Conservative share of the vote. It is noteworthy that 24 of these 28 have either written or spoken on ‘Europe’, expressing the view that our ‘relationship’ with the EU is not entirely in the British national interest. There’s not a lot CCHQ can do stop MPs ‘banging on’ about ‘Europe’, but they are omnipotent in determining the ‘type’ of candidate who is advanced.
Ivan Massow (portrait above) is on the Approved List of Candidates.
His Grace would like to remind his readers that Mr Massow was once a feted by the great and the good at CCHQ as the incarnation of everything the party purports to stand for: in 1999 he was even chosen to accompany Baroness Thatcher to a party conference. He then left the party over its intolerant attitude (as he saw it) to homosexuality. He caused immense damage when he defected to Labour, branding William Hague ‘prejudiced and ignorant’ and the Conservative party ‘nasty and intolerant’. He said Conservatives ‘chime with the most base values and claw away at national insecurities’. He accused the party of ‘stirring up prejudice and fear’. He then launched a self-indulgent quest to become Mayor of London, campaigning against the official Conservative candidate and in contravention of the party’s constitution.
Yet he is now, once again, an ‘approved candidate’ for the Conservative Party.
It is difficult to understand how someone could bring the Conservative Party into such disrepute and publicly insult the Leader, and yet remain somehow ‘approved’. Approved for what?
Judging by his portrait, perhaps he knows a thing or two about fashion. But one has to wonder why CCHQ appears to place no value at all on loyalty, discernment, knowledge, and personal judgement.