Monday, June 30, 2008

How to become a Tory MP: "Lick up" to Central Office and "hold your nose"

Conservative Home have published a fascinating guide on how to become a Conservative MP, garnered from submissions from 126 adopted candidates.

Some of the advice can be considered common to people aiming to be MPs from all parties, for example "Don't leave first base without your family's support".

But some of the guidance has a distinctly Conservative flavour.

For example, "Prepare to lose a lot of money". One adopted candidate writes:

Over the last ten years I've spent at least £100,000 getting to this point and I feel lucky. I will be an MP in the first Conservative government of the 21st century but many others have spent tens of thousands and have got nowhere.

Indeed, Conservative Home estimates that the average cost of becoming a Tory MP is £41,500. It seems that part of this money needs to be spent on buying vintage champagne for Conservative Central Office list-wallahs at conference - one candidate wrote:

I was told by a CCHQ employee that if I applied for the seat they would ensure I got an interview. We'll manage the sift for you. It was a person I'd bought champagne at the last Party Conference. It was the best £35 I ever spent in my time in the party.

Also, forget working hard - it's who you know that counts. One candidate says:

Seriously - do some homework - and be seen in the right places - by elections, various events that the area CCHQ staff are at...and the like...don't bother doing 10,15, 20 years working your way up through the ranks gaining experience.

There are some other gems on this same subject:

Lick up to everyone in CCHQ who matters to get on the A list - get the fix in your favour and make sure you're good on the night too.

Hold your nose while you're on your way up. Say nice things to the CCO staff who will lose your CV or put it on the top of the pile. It's nauseating but these people have so much power.Too much power.

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