Anorak

Anorak | Christopher Shale’s Damning And Introverted Leaked Memo To Conservative Party In Full

Christopher Shale’s Damning And Introverted Leaked Memo To Conservative Party In Full

by | 28th, June 2011

THE mysterious death of Christopher Shale, chairman of West Oxfordshire Conservative Association, at Glastonbury features on just one national newspaper’s front page. Such is the popularity of grooving in a Somerset field among the older generations that we may have to get used to news middle-age men dying in the toilets. But Shale has achieved one notable thing in his death: his introverted ideas for boosting Tory party membership are being broadcast to the masses. Now he’s dead, everyone’s listening to him.

The Guardian’s front page tells readers:

Constituency chairman had No 10 backing for party plan

The story aims to make Shale appear a big fish in Tory circles. We are told:

No 10 and Conservative headquarters had been deeply involved and supported the radical plans to transform Tory party membership drawn up by Christopher Shale and leaked hours before he died in unexplained circumstances at the Glastonbury festival.

The damning assessment by Shale, David Cameron’s constituency chairman, of the Conservative membership offer to voters was initially seen as a freelance operation. But it has now emerged that Shale’s strategy paper, Project Vanguard, was backed by Conservative HQ and was calculated to make membership more palatable to the “98% of Tory voters” who are “politics light” and would be terrified of canvassing.

Shale, 56, had pointed out that the Tories were about a palatable as a used wasabi enema in your cucumber sarnie:

“Over the years we have come across as graceless, voracious, crass, always on the take”.

James Forsythe told Daily Mail readers:

In a sign of how hard the party is finding it to attract new members, the document concedes that the Prime Minister’s own association gained only 22 members in the past year. Their response is ‘Operation Vanguard’, which is designed to achieve a ‘transformational increase in [West Oxfordshire Conservative Association] membership, in ways others can apply to similar effect nationally’.

Shale’s memo lists five reasons not to join the Conservative Party. He sums them up thus:

Please join us. It costs £25. There are no real benefits. Individually we’re ok – some of us are your friends even – but collectively we’re sometimes not a very attractive group of people. Our parties aren’t fun. It’s a slippery slope to political activism. You’ll always have to support us, even when you know we’re wrong. You’ll have to go public about being a Tory and face the consequences with your non-Tory friends. Oh and by the way, we’re after as much of your money as we can get; and we’ll never stop asking for it.

It’s all good stuff. But such things have little hope of success. Real change is brought from without not from within.

Shale’s words were noticed by Number 10. Before he died Gabby Bertin, the prime minister’s press secretary, called Shale and told him the story would be in last Sunday’s Mail.

The Mirror makes a link. It delivers a loaded headline:

Tragic Tory in series of phone calls hours before his death

Christopher Shale, a close friend and aide of Mr Cameron and his constituency chairman, told his deputy Richard Langridge: “I’m irritated it’s been leaked, but don’t worry, I’ll deal with it.

The Mirror sees the chance to make trouble for the Tories. But the police say the death is not suspicious. Still, if the Tories can be made to look capable of driving a man to his death, the Labour Party supporting Mirror will take it. (The righteous Mirror may also like to look at another top-level politicised agitator, namely Dr David Kelly, who was, like Mr Shale, part of the Oxfordshire landscape.)

Back in the Guardian, we are told:

Shale, 56, had been feeling ill before he had found out about the leak, according to a source close to his widow, Nikki. A coroner ordered toxicology tests to be carried out after an initial postmortem proved inconclusive.

The inference is Death By Leak. No, make that: Death By Tories. So, far the press have linked Shale’s death to: Wayne Rooney, CAitlin Motan, Kate Moss, suicide, Tories, a heart attack – but not yet the state of the toielts at Glasto…

The full memo is here:

christopher shale memo



Posted: 28th, June 2011 | In: Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink