Sunday, 26 June 2011

Shale 'gas' on the rise (nothing to do with environmentalism!)

From James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday, it would appear all is doom and gloom within Cameron's West Oxfordshire constituency on reading the thoughts of Christopher Shale, the constituency Branch Chairman, who believes that there is no reason to join the Tories, their having come over as voracious, crass and always on the take.

Shale may well believe, correctly, that the party and local association do not present an appealing proposition, however he need not worry unduly. West Oxfordshire is "true blue" politically and the Tories could put up an ass with a blue rosette pinned on it and the party supporters would vote for it - oh hang on, they already have....... The local Tories present an even more unedifying proposition at local counts, where they walk round as if they owned the count too, talking amongst themselves whilst virtually ignoring everyone else. In fact the only time when I have been approached was at the last European elections when early counting showed UKIP in close contention, at which time Barry Norton - Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and Cameron's election agent - became very friendly indeed and was, briefly, a worried man. Once later returns showed the Tories in front with UKIP running a good second, our conversations became less frequent. Latterly, on the occasion of my last visit to see Cameron at a surgery - held in the offices of the local association - I met Barry Norton once again. Having assured him my visit was not to do with party politics, my no longer being Chairman of the Witney UKIP branch due to my status of "persona non grata" within the local branch - and probably nationally - he then attempted to recruit me - unsuccessfully needless to say.

Shale complains that the country is divided into two groups, namely "politics-heavy" and "politics light" with the latter group only taking an interest come general election time. This is hardly surprising considering the vacuousness of politics generally, the deceit of our elected representatives who treat their constituents with disdain, believing the constituencies and wards in which they are elected are their own personal fiefdoms. Within West Oxfordshire - and probably elsewhere - representative democracy is not helped when acts of patronage and nepotism appear to have gained a foothold. These practices are of course practised nationally within the area of candidate selection for general elections, as mentioned in this article, reputedly written by an anonymous Tory MP (the content of which requires a separate post).

In the Foreward to "The Coalition - our programme for government", Cameron, who is a co-signatory, states that he wishes to "clean up politics". The suggestion that one should clean one's own house prior to preaching cleanliness nationally must be one worth actually practising................

Update: Since this post appeared it has been announced that Christopher Shale was found dead in a portable toilet at Glastonbury. Needless to say condolences are extended to his family and friends, however one cannot but wonder whether the stench of Conservative political practices played a part.


English Pensioner said...

When I supported the Tories (I now support UKIP), the reason that I would not join the local conservative party was that I did not believe that it was genuinely independent, with the local officials seemingly being subservient to CCHQ demands, when of course it should be the other way round.
For example, they were not free to select their own parliamentary candidate, but were provided with an "approved" list.
CCHQ just saw them as fund raisers, otherwise they were a nuisance!

WitteringsfromWitney said...

EP: Always been the same in my experience.

As an aside I had just posted the article when the news of Shale's death was released. I considered pulling what I had written, but on reflection decided to let it stand, whilst adding the update.