Lord Machivelli's tongue has managed to land George Osborne in
The poison Mandelson drips must be highly potent stuff...
Either that or he has some very powerful friends...
It is with great regret that I feel it necessary to write this e-mail however I feel that something needs to be said so that we can move forward from the divisions that have arisen in recent weeks. I also thought that given the criticism we have come under for failing to communicate, I should communicate my thoughts and what I intend to do at the Exec meeting to you. I would like to state at the beginning of this that I cannot speak for any of my colleagues – I would only like to explain my position to you and why I feel that I have to take it.
My personal concerns echo much of what Adele said in her e-mail that ended up on Tory Bear. I also share many of the concerns expressed by Clare Hilley (AC for London South), Alex Agius (AC for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire), and Paul Wells (President of UEA CF), Matt Lewis (AC for Staffordshire), Matthew Davison (AC for
I would also like to recognise that the opposition to these reforms does not appear to London-centric but from all areas. The opposition to these reforms also comes not only from those who voted for Matt Richardson or Daryl Williams at the last election but many who voted for Michael as well. It would be a mistake for the opposition to these reforms to be viewed as an attack on anyone’s personality. Those that oppose it, or at least the majority of those that do, do so as a genuine matter of principle.
My reading of Michael’s e-mail is that if any reform proposal is decided at exec, it will be sent to the party board without a consultation period. I have checked with some of my NME colleagues as to whether that is their interpretation as well and it is. In my mind that is not acceptable and I intend to express this sentiment in the Executive meeting on the 13th.
When I first considered running for Exec for a second time, I spoke to the then Chairman Mark Clarke about what exactly the role involved. Mark very kindly spent most of an hour going through how the organisation worked, putting me right on some of my more loony ideas and explaining that in a voluntary organisation no one ever truly has power they only have influence. It is that final point that I have continued coming back to during over the past few months.
As an Executive we do not have the power to force our membership to do anything that they do not want to. It is important to remember that volunteers are just that- volunteers – and anytime they give to helping our campaigns is voluntary.
To push reforms through which do not have the support of a substantial majority of the membership will cause them to lose what faith they have in CF and to potentially to feel so slighted as to withhold their support, in terms of time and physical resources from the organisation. At anytime this is damaging but in the run up to a General Election it will be especially so.
If any package of reforms is agreed on the meeting of the 13th, I feel that we will be opening up a Pandora’s Box. It at best means that this destructive debate goes on and on. At worst it means that CF gets an unnecessary and counterproductive structural overall the year before a General Election.
CF has developed an increasingly unhealthy focus on internal politics. This has to stop so that we can return to focusing on what really matters – developing new branches, empowering and supporting Area and Branch Chairmen and Campaigning in our Marginal Seats.
I will be voting against these reforms in Executive and whilst I cannot speak for any of my colleagues I sincerely hope that they are voted down.
All the Best,
And so it continues...
Will comment on this whole saga in depth at some point but in the mean time TB can't really think straight and needs some sleep.
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