Tuesday 6 January 2009

Embarrassing Tory memo

Hacks seemed unimpressed with this leaked memo from an internal Tory party meeting, but Lobbydog thinks they're overlooking something.

The document, leaked on Michael Crick's blog, reveals the Conservatives are taking measures to ensure gawky candidates don't humiliate the party.

It reads: "Care needs to be taken over the candidates that have the potential to embarrass the Party - there will now be a fortnightly meeting to assess the watch-list of candidates, and the reasons they are on the list needs to be taken into consideration."

An underwhelmed James Forsyth at the Spectator says it would be irresponsible of the party not to monitor its candidates.

He asks if anyone really believes the other two parties don't do the same.

They probably do. But it's not the other parties' leaked memo that is making them look stupid.

Obviously from the point of view of a party with aspirations to form Government it's good practice to keep rookies on a tight leash.

But it's not the point of view of the party that matters here, nor that of Lobbydog, Forsyth or any other bloggers or hacks.

It is the point of view of Joe public that counts. The Tories know that - it is why they worry about graceless candidates.

Joe public's immediate assumption will not be to consider that other parties probably do the same, it will be either:

  • The Tory candidates are so lame they need to be monitored 24/7 in case they do something stupid. Or:

  • The party has become so ridden with control freakery from the top that it's having to muffle those underneath - something it lambasts Labour for.

  • That's why Conservative Central Office should be fuming.

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