More Glastonbury news: Christopher Shale was chairman of West Oxfordshire Conservative Association, David Cameron's Tory constituency association; he has been very critical of his Conservative association to the extent that James Forsyth reports his words in today's Mail on Sunday. Shales, in suggesting strategies to increase the West Oxforshire Conservative membership, has said:
"When we are together we are not always a group of people to whom many of our potential members are going to be magnetically drawn"..."We must behave differently – try to see ourselves as others see us."He said a few less flattering things too but to me it makes perfect sense. Forsyth makes some interesting points in his article saying that members need to be offered the chance to 'pick their own candidate' and even asks how 'many more people would sign up as Tory members if it gave them a real chance to set party policy on tax?' Interesting - and coincidental - in that I've just answered that exact same thing in an online survey for the Conservative Party! He concludes that "If the leadership are not prepared to trust their members with some real powers, then they are going to have to find a whole other way to organise the party. Otherwise, it is going to die under them"... unfortunately that's just what Chris Shales has done having been found dead today [BBC] in a toilet at Glastonbury Festival.