The Atticus column in The Sunday Times suggests that Party Chairman Francis Maude has vowed not to return to Bournemouth because of the passes fiasco that blighted last October’s gathering. CCHQ is known to hold the Dorset Constabulary responsible for the long delays that ruined Conference week for hundreds of people. Atticus:
"The decision will be a huge blow to the town, where the party has been gathering for 20-odd years, but Maude has set out a string of complaints in an 11-page letter to the chief constable of Dorset. He says police took two months to approve David Cameron’s pass — which only just arrived on time — and tells how a cleaner broke in through a window to give Tory staff access to the pass office. Maude even claims that officers were told not to give directions to Tory delegates. At least that should be easy from now on: excuse me, constable, could you show me the way to Brighton?"
Editor’s note: "That snippet about needing to break into the pass office – and being able to do so – is a perfect summary of so much of the jobsworth regulations that characterise the public sector. David Cameron’s pass is bureaucratically delayed but the ‘secure location’ for all of the passes goes unprotected – so compromising the safety of every passholder. So much of British life is blighted by incompetence. It’s not just the public sector. Huge parts of the private sector offer unacceptable levels of customer service with internal departments of large companies blaming other internal departments if they can’t find another company in the supply chain to blame for non-delivery. It is to Francis Maude’s credit that he is planning to take the Conservative Party’s business away from Bournemouth until the various suppliers there can guarantee that there will be no repeat of October 2006."
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