Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Life Cycle of a LOCAL Aspirant

I will preface this post with the fact that the Conservative Party's Approved Candidates List contains hundreds of people of outstanding ability. Many of those who have appeared in Tonbridge & Malling to assist with recent elections will make great Members of Parliament.

This is about the "local aspirants". Mainly those who have never been on the Parliamentary List, or once were and have since been removed, or perhaps applied and were not accepted. This does not stop them moving their families into constituencies with an ageing incumbent MP and awaiting their chance.

If you are one of these, here is a 10 point plan to follow:

1.Phone local office and speak to Chairman / Secretary / Agent. Tell them how skilled / wonderful / successful you are and that you have just moved in and would like to join. Request membership details.

2. Return membership form immediately with ingratiating accompanying note. Phone up the following day to check it's arrived. Ask if Chairman / Secretary / Agent would like to meet for lunch.  Agree lunch date - spend entire lunch talking about how skilled / wonderful / successful you are.

3. Join your well-meaning and hard-working local branch. Inveigle your way into the Chair on the basis that you are skilled / wonderful / successful. Serving members may look on suspiciously, but are so relieved that someone young and enthusiastic has turned-up, they swallow their suspicions. Get yourself elected to the Executive Council.

4. Immediately preside over the ruination of your local branch by not returning emails or calls, not calling a branch meeting or if a meeting is called, emailing on the night to apologise that you cannot come as an "unexpected crisis" has come up at work and has delayed you. Watch long-serving and dedicated committee members drift away. 

5. Always reply to emails requesting campaign assistance to say how sorry you are, but due to *work pressures, *family illness, *childcare issues, *school visits, *train delays, *car problems, *charitable commitments (*delete as appropriate) you won't be able to make it that day. However, always add a note to say "keep me informed about future events" as this will at least convey the message that you are willing and might help in the future.

6. Always reply to emails requesting you attend fundraising events with a visiting Party Bigwig / Minister to confirm that, amazingly, your diary is totally free of *family illness, *childcare issues, *school visits, *train delays, *car problems, *charitable commitments (*delete as appropriate) and that you would love to come. Ask for a ticket to be reserved for you and that you will pay on the night. Ignore email saying pre-booking only. Ignore phone call saying you have not paid. Begrudgingly drop cheque through Association letterbox on the night before when the Agent tells you that without payment you cannot attend.

7. Use your sharp elbows and complete lack of shame to push to the front of the queue so you can be standing next to visiting Bigwig / Minister for the photographs. Monopolise said Bigwig / Minister with self important talk, detaining him or her from meeting and thanking the other volunteers who work far harder for the Party than you do.

8. Read Executive Council agenda in hope of seeing item on Parliamentary Selection. When it's not there send apologies due to *family illness, *childcare issues, *school visits, *train delays, *car problems, *charitable commitments (*delete as appropriate).

9. Attend Executive Council promptly when an item about the Parliamentary Selection appears on the agenda, but visibly shrink in stature when the Chairman announces that he has heard from the incumbent MP who has decided to seek the Executive Council's approval for another term of office.

10. Three days later email Chairman / Secretary / Agent and explain that due to you being so skilled / wonderful / successful that you are sure they will appreciate that certain things have to give in your busy life, and for the sake of family and career they you have regrettably decided to stand down from local politics.

"Go hang yourselves all! You are idle, shallow things:
I am not of your element."

Wait three years, and start again at point 1 above.


  1. How many times have I seen this happen.

  2. I have an alternative point 10:

    Commitment to local Association remains as strong as ever but sadly *family illness, *childcare issues, *school visits, *train delays, *car problems, *charitable commitments (*delete as appropriate) remain a constant problem and attendance at local campaigning/fundraising cannot be guaranteed. These issues are mysteriously resolved on dates for selection at surrounding constituencies. Be selected for safe seat 50 miles away partly based on your claims to being such a strong, active and supportive member of your home association.