Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Michael Howard urged to go (and quickly)

Conservative Leadership Newsblog has an interesting summary of calls for Howard to go now. It quotes Damian Green's full statement on R4 Today this morning:

“Once he has said he is going, then authority starts ebbing away. That’s life. It’s started happening and we need to get on with it... Let’s have a civilised and orderly transition – that’s very good. But I think doing it with reasonable speed, rather than taking the rest of this year doing it, would actually aid the move to a civilised and orderly transition. It seems to me that if we are going to have a process that goes on from now to the end of the year, that the person who will gain most advantage from that is Tony Blair.”

It also reports an extraordinary statement made at yesterday's Parliamentary Party meeting by our friend Ray Monbiot:

'Mr Monbiot compared the party activists to spectators at a football match. Spectators don't choose their football team's manager, he said, and neither should grassroots Tories choose their party leader.'

Wha? Hasn't he been following the furore over Glaser's take-over of Man U? All those previously loyal supporters who don't like been treated as mere spectating customers.

But 'one MP told CLN that party members are better thought of as shareholders in the Conservative enterprise. The same MP said that Mr Monbiot's claim to represent the party grassroots was now in tatters.'

Regular readers here will recall our earlier posting Shareholders, Customers, or Employees? We fully support the un-named MP.

CLN ends its post with a quote from Bernard Jenkins' excellent piece in the Telegraph:

'There is something profoundly unmodern, indeed un-conservative, about an organisation stripping its members of their voting rights. We are meant to trust the people, but some of us don't even trust our own members: members who are so wonderfully loyal that they may actually let the MPs get away with it.'


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