Monday, December 12, 2005
Cameron today announced his plans to broaden the base of Tory candidates, a story much missed by the BBC all day. I am very weary of this big idea. I agree I want to see more female, Asian, disabled, gay and public sector Tory candidates (though not necessarily the same person, you understand). But most importantly I want to see the best Tory candidates. I am very unsure about plans to create the so-called ‘A’ Lists of candidates. Will they guarantee that no woman on this list is worse than a man who wasn’t on the list? Why are we not compiling the best 140 Tory candidates, full stop? I want women etc. to get on the list by merit alone. I am also concerned about this headhunting proposal. Why are we dragging people into a career that requires a huge amount of passion when they didn’t volunteer for it? I stomp the streets almost daily for the party and I do expect a little reward for my work – like perhaps being considered ahead of somebody who isn’t even a member. I do despair at the throngs of pin-stripped suited lawyers queuing up to be a candidate but is this really our only answer? As the member for Maidstone said recently, she would never have made it only an ‘A’ List yet she remains one of the most formidable forces in the party. Come on, Mr Cameron, is this really the only way?