Christopher Shales: Great reasons to join. No reasons not to
I’ve just read Christopher Shales’ memo entitled Great reasons to join. No reasons not to (courtesy of Guido). All the press coverage might make you think that it was the other way round: no reasons to join, great reasons not to. But it’s not. Shales clearly believed that the latter is merely the perception, and that the perception has to be changed. And that is what his memo is about.
If the Conservative party follows his advice, then I’m sure that they will increase membership. But I think he misses one fundamental point. He talks about people being either politics heavy or politics light, and the latter section is the difficult one. What he misses, however, is that the majority of people are neither wholly Labour, nor wholly Liberal, nor wholly Conservative whether they are politics heavy or light.
I voted Conservative at the last election because I was frightened by the Orwellian direction that Labour was taking our nation. The Conservatives promised to end this march into autocracy. So I voted for them. Not because I believe in everything Conservative, but because I believed them in this.
They lied. They didn’t repeal the ridiculous Digital Economy Act. It looks like ACTA will be nodded through. Surveillance has diminished not one jot. The police still maintain the largest DNA database in the world. And that’s just off the top of my head.
So who will I vote for next time? I don’t know yet. But how can I join a party with whom I have fundamental disagreement? And there’s no way I could join this Labour party despite the fact that I consider myself socialist (small ‘s’) at heart.
That’s why people don’t join political parties – it’s the perception of all or nothing. And no party in the country can match the political aspirations of the individual. They all betray us in the end.