Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Desperate Tories remove requirement to be a party member for election candidates

I've been involved in politics for a few years now, and they say there's nothing new under the sun.

But there is, and now I've seen it: the local Tory party is so desperate for candidates to stand in Brighton and Hove's 2015 local elections it has abandoned the requirement that anyone seeking the office should be a member of the Tory Party.

Of course they are claiming this is all about democracy, and broadening their 'church' or 'tent' (or whatever weird metaphor is in vogue this week).

But that argument just doesn't stack up. Just last week the Tories were making the argument, publicly, that only people 'born and bred in Brighton and Hove' were fit to make decisions about the city. Hardly inclusive.

The Tories are cutting housing benefits to the most vulnerable in the city. Hardly inclusive.

They, along with their Labour coalition partners in the city, have fiercely opposed changing meeting times to allow parents of young children to participate. Hardly inclusive.

It does however raise the intriguing possibility that anyone opposed to the Tories - and the destruction they wrought on this city, and attacks on its most vulnerable citizens, during the 2007-2011 council 'term' - can seek to represent the party, either with the intention of getting elected and then abandoning the Tory 'whip', or with the intention of changing the party from the inside.

Either way, this looks to be a funny way of doing politics, and we can expect defections and an end to the Mears-Theobald show that has so dominated the party for years.

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