Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Something wrong at HCCA

The news that Huntingdon Constituency Conservative Association is not going to hold a special meeting over the revelations that Djanogly was employing private investigators to snoop on party members is wrong. There is obviously a schism between Djanogly and the rest of HCCA. This needs to be addressed. Burying this story isn't the answer. Djanogly needs a vibrant association and the association needs a vibrant MP. At the moment there seems to be neither.

The thing about political associations is many times non-political people get the power structure wrong. Back in the olden days each Conservative Association was very autonomous and in a General Meeting of the Association was supreme. They could select and de-select candidates and MPs at will. This was a frustration to John Major who wanted to get rid of Neil Hamilton. William Hague started the change of balance giving the party leader the ability to effectively sack MPs and candidates.

For all the constitutional changes the basic political structure of the Conservatives remains the same. The General Meeting of The Association is still the font of power. It elects the President, Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, Treasurer and other positions. It delegates authority to the Chairman, Management Committee and Executive Council. It appoints Patrons and, importantly, its parliamentary candidate and can appoint a Political Agent.

The point of all this is the political agent works for the association not the MP or Parliamentary candidate. The Association works to ensure the constituency returns a Conservative MP. To this end the MP is a product of the Association. The Agent is an employee/contractor of the Association not the MP. The MP doesn't run or own the association nor the Agent. The current Agent, Simon Burton, was an employee of Jonathan Djanogly. So does Simon put the Association first or Djanogly?

As reported in The Daily Telegraph, Djanogly served notice on the former Agent, Sir Peter Brown, not to tell anyone about his expenses claims. Resorting to the law and threats doesn't help in getting a working relationship between members.

By ruling out an Extraordinary General Meeting, the HCCA leadership is not allowing the local Conservative members a chance to have their say on this matter. Better to keep their heads down and hope the Boundary Commission for England effectively does their job for them.

1 comment:

Save Hinchingbrooke Hospital said...

It just shows how very weak the HCCA is..and how they are supporting the Incumbent's actions