Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cameron surrenders on candidate selection...

Another day. Another Cameron flip-flop.

This time, the Tory leader has given in to pressure from the right and scrapped his much-hailed 'A' list which was supposed to ensure that Conservative MPs are not almost all white, middle-aged men.

As reported in The Times, the controversial 'A' list was supposed to end the situation highlighted last year when the Tory party chairman told an Asian candidate:
"Good luck, Ali, but I would be shocked if they didn't pick a white, middle-class male,"
But the 'A' list system produced just three candidates from ethnic minorities.

Cameron’s team tried to convince voters that the 'A' list showed that the Conservatives were no longer the 'nasty party'.

It was supposed to be Cameron's 'Clause 4' moment.

But under more new rules announced today, local Conservative branches will no longer have to choose from the A-list of priority candidates selected by head office.

It is a humiliating defeat inflicted on Cameron by local Conservative parties.

Who says so?

Er, Tim Montgomerie, a former chief of staff to Iain Duncan Smith, the former party leader, who runs the Conservative Home website for party activists. He says:

It is an acknowledgement of defeat by the party. They have surrendered to the inevitable on this.
According to The Times, even the new rules face opposition within the party, however, particularly because of the promotion of the quota for men and women. One contributor to Conservative Home wrote:
This is now the final nail in the coffin for anyone thinking this version of the Conservative Party is about meritocracy, equality of opportunity and not about political correctness and feminist gender politics.
The 'A' list has also been criticised heavily for being made up largely of people from London and the South East, from a narrow range of backgrounds, which does not represent the country at large.

May I suggest a name for Cameron's replacement selection system...the 'B' list.

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