It's time to say a fond farewell to the Conservative Party; an association of electors that has served the nation well is to be wound-up by David Cameron. The name will be retained by a conglomeration of global corporates which will run the nation's first party without members, using money rather than volunteers or members to campaign for seats. The move was leaked through the Telegraph today.
From the Party's heyday in the 1950s when it had over 2m members, increasing centralisation by a London party hierarchy, dis-empowerment of local associations and the gross reduction in the powers of local councillors have caused a haemorrage of members down to a current estimate of fewer than 200,000. The party lost over a million members alone, including the author, between 1979 and 1997, when it was last in power.
However, even reduced, the vestigial Associations are still a thorn in the side of a metropolitan leadership intent on a pro-EU, pro-global business, pro-international establishment world in which favoured apparatchiki can be parachuted into local constituencies and party members have no part in policy making. As local Associations have refused to die-off, Cameron has decided to kill them off.
Cameron is understood already to have retained brand and copyright experts from the new corporate owners of the party brand to prevent any use of the 'Conservative' name, logo or badging by members of the old political party. It is understood a re-branding exercise is being planned by the new owners to promote the party as a lifestyle, with exclusive branded goods and a consumer discount scheme.