Monday, August 29, 2005

Dialogue of the deaf

One of our readers has already drawn attention to the Danny Kruger piece in the our forum, published earlier today in The Daily Telegraph.

The particular section that excited attention was Kruger's commentary of the Tory leadership election and his assertion efforts were being made to concentrate the selection of the party leader in the hands of the MPs, and the selection of MPs (i.e. candidates) in the hands of the leader (i.e. Central Office).

The wider Tory demos is being bypassed, he writes, in favour of a small group of powerful men. Last week, he adds, the 1922 Executive called a meeting of MPs to discuss these changes, as is required by the party rules, for the Friday afternoon of a bank holiday weekend during recess: unsurprisingly, barely anyone showed up, which was the intention.

Actually, the situation is even more bizarre. MPs were actually notified of the meeting by letters sent second class on Wednesday, sent to their office addresses in Westminster. There was no way that MPs were intended even to know of the meeting.

What all this reflects is an absolute conviction in the Westminster bubble that the constituency parties are out of touch with the electorate and must be marginalised. It is not so much that the MPs are not listening. They simply do not accept what they are being told.

And that is the rub. It does not matter what we tell them. The MPs have their own ideas and intend to get their way. This is the dialogue of the deaf.


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