A Minister with lots of ability is fired. A Minister with only a little is promoted. Does this make sense?
Of course not. But such is the logic of the plan reported in today’s Mail on Sunday. Ministers will be subject to a “Gold Star” system during the General Election campaign. They will be awarded a point for each phone canvassing session, extra points for visits to marginal seats, extra points still if the candidate is present during these visits, and further points if they campaign on Saturdays with Team 2015.
Needless to say, the scheme will be honoured more in the breach than the observance. For example, a Cameron-led government post-election is not going to fire Philip Hammond – even were the Foreign Secretary to sit on his hands and minimise his visits to 40/40 seats.
But it is further evidence of the Ozbyisation of the Conservative Party. Campaigning is everything – in a minority of seats, to win over an even smaller minority of voters. Other seats and voters are left to go hang, whatever their long-term importance to the Conservatives. Candidates, MPs, even senior Ministers are marching fodder to that end. Good government comes second to short-term Party interests.
Perhaps Ministers have come to enjoy being treated like reception class toddlers.