A confidential blueprint for David Cameron's controversial bid to impose more women, gays and ethnic candidates on reluctant party activists has come to light.If that's a desirable option, why the need for subterfuge?
The explosive six-page document proposes the use of subterfuge to end the white, male and middle-class image of the Conservative Party.
Iain Dale thinks that it is a desirable option, as the Conservative Associations in six constituencies have just picked 'diverse' candidates, each spurning the option of the white man. This, apparently, proves that CAs are progressive, changed parties, and the old guard Tories are wrong.
Well, we'll see.
And the language in the document will further exacerbate tensions between the Tory high command and its army of hard working volunteers.The problem being that we pay to see a conjuror because we expect to be tricked. It's part of the act. We aren't supposed to be tricked by people we elect to positions of power (though god knows why we haven't realised that it seems to happen a lot).
The document suggests using 'stealth' and stresses the importance of keeping 'quiet' over the plans to ensure more women, ethnic and gay candidates. 'Like a conjuror, we'll get more applause if the audience cannot see exactly how the trick is performed,' the document says.
Still, maybe this charge is led by a frighteningly diverse bunch of...
It was written by Tory schools spokesman Michael Gove, an influential member of Mr Cameron's inner circle, and Dean Godson, a director of favoured think-tank Policy Exchange.*sigh*
Mr Gove is a close friend of Joanne Cash, 40, the poster girl for the Tories' so-called A-list of candidates designed to fast-track women, ethnic candidates and gays into winnable seats.
Now the row over selection has moved to the Warwickshire constituency of Stratford-upon-Avon.The Tories need to be careful. A similar situation for councillors in Barking & Dagenham last year has caused great upset, and raised the possibility that embittered former Labour members will stand as independents.
A huge turnout from the 900-strong association is expected this evening to select a candidate.
But the list imposed by Tory Central Office means they have a choice of four women (none of whom has ever fought a Parliamentary seat), one of ethnic origin and only one local (white) man.
Sir William Lawrence, who has served 28 years as a councillor in the town, said: 'Just think of the quality of the MPs who have been chosen by the constituency association in the past. But, today, we are not trusted to make that choice.'
Mr Cameron is unrepentant and his decision to seize power from local associations, say his friends, is the culmination of the secret plan on how to neuter the party faithful in the country.
These members of the Tory grassroots, cruelly nicknamed dinosaurs, are seen by modernisers as impediments to a progressive party.Meanwhile…
The Prime Minister will launch a weekend of events with a speech today accusing the Tories of harbouring a 'hatred of government that will hurt the recovery'.Really, Eric?
He will claim the Tories would peddle a 'narrow nationalism' that will leave Britain 'isolated'.
But Tory chairman Eric Pickles said: 'The choice at the election will be clear: Five more years of Gordon Brown or change with the Conservatives.'
What ‘change’ is that, then..?
And just why should I believe you when you tell me your party is the one to vote for? Because it seems to me that it plans to pick up just where the Labour Party left off...