Conservative Diary

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Tory backbenchers and the grassroots deserve better from the leadership

Yesterday afternoon and until 8am this morning nearly 1,900 Tory members voted on the issue of All Women Shortlists. The emphatic verdict is captured in the graphic below:

AWSVERDICTAlmost more powerful than those numbers, however, is this comment:

Quote John Maples writes for ConHome today about the All Women Shortlists.  There is no attempt in the article to persuade, encourage or inspire.  It's not so much a defence of AWS as a bureaucrat's statement of the party's plans.  It's an insulting article.

The Laughing CameronDavid Cameron would do well to think about that quote above. He and John Maples can ignore the upset of grassroots today and can do so without any electoral consequence. David Cameron can ignore the upset of his MPs at the unfairnesses of Legg and Kelly. Again without any electoral consequence. But being on top of public opinion isn't the only skill required in a party leader. Managing the conservative coalition is also a skill. He can treat core supporters in a cavalier way now but he will need them in the lean times that almost certainly lie ahead.

I hope I won't be writing about this topic again for some time.  Enough has been said this week.  Later next week I'll be writing about the enormous potential of the Cameron project.  I still believe that it could transform the nation and the Conservative Party could again become the natural party of government. It would just help if the manager was a little more respectful to his team.

Tim Montgomerie


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