Thursday, May 28, 2009

Conservative Candidates: How Will Cameron Sift 1000 Wannabes?

Last night Iain Dale reported that Conservative Central HQ may have received intimations of interest in becoming a Tory PPC from as many as 1,000 people. Oh deary me.

Cameron's idea of encouraging anyone to apply as he has says a number of things to me.

First, it is a huge negative mark on the 200,000 or whatever Tory Party members at large. Cameron is basically saying these members and activists may be as corrupt and/or stupid and/or greedy as Hogg, Mackay, Kirkbride, Dorries, Winterton and the rest.

Second, this is like the Eh? List writ large. Remember how popular that gimmick was with the grass roots? Young Rees-Mogg called them, including his own sister Annunziata, "potted plants".

Third, it is nothing new. Dave Cameron has been an opportunistic recruiter of "talent" with no background in the Tory party for some time. Remember Tony Lit? A rich businessman, often characterised as a "playboy", signed up as a Tory arguably after being selected as a candidate for Ealing Southall.

Fourth, this impression managing process any idea of Cameron wanting an early General Election. He wants to clean out some of his bad, mad, sad rubbish and he has plenty.

Fifth, as Iain says the Tories will now have to due process this horde of wannabe MPs and deal with the fall outs too. 100 of them will be under-cover journalists, another 100 anti-Tories and so on. Yippee!

Sixth, Cameron is not the first to encourage naifs to enter the fray. One of my many Dorries tipsters tells me that Nads only ever joined to support husband Paul's ambitions. Look where the indecent rush to see her in parliament has led!

And finally, seventh, is Cameron going to tip out a few PPCs in winnable seats to make room for some of these volunteers? Or is he going to face headlines in a few months: "1000 applied, but not a single one can win".

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