Monday, February 01, 2010

Salisbury's New Tory Candidate

Salisbury used the 'open primary' method that has become de rigeur for Tory associations to select their new candidate. The lucky person gets to try and succeed Robert Key MP in what must be considered a relatively safe Tory seat, albeit subject to possible Lib Dem predations. Anyway, one John Glen won the nomination - a clean-cut seeming guy with a track record of professional work within the Tory Party, so hardly a game-changer. He was a research assistant to an MP, adviser to William Hague, head of the Conservative Research Department - here's someone who certainly hasn't bothered to move outside the Tory Party's plentiful employment possibilities. More interestingly, however, is the set of broad beliefs he offered - low tax, tough on crime, tough on immigration, Eurosceptic. You'd have to look hard to find the softer brand of Cameron Toryism here. Even more interestingly, Glen's vocal supporter, the editor of Conservative Home, who was at the selection meeting, observed that politically the candidates offered broadly the same mix:

It was striking how conservative all of the candidates were. They all, for example, made very Eurosceptic pledges, all backed grammar schools, all committed to much stricter control of immigration.

I remember a time when all prospective Conservative candidates were expected to show support for the death penalty. Now, it seems, you have to make sure you sign up to the full raft of Thatcherite beliefs, whatever the party leadership may be saying. Continued evidence, it seems, of the gulf between David Cameron's leadership echelon, and the grassroots party.

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