Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The Bourne Mystery

No, not the latest in the series of novels by Robert Ludlum, just a question about the amazing run of luck which has befallen Nick Bourne, in being the only party leader not to have had any obvious or public disagreement within his party over the rainbow coalition of which he is probably the main architect. There were serious disagreements within the Lib Dems; it is clear that there is serious discontent within Plaid - how have the Tories escaped this?

Part of the reason, of course, is that the Tories have never really worried about the concept of party democracy. The Leader decides, the members do as they are told. It's worked pretty well for Bourne – it's almost worked for Cameron as well, although rumblings seem to be starting over the party's direction at a UK level.

But there may also be an element of ignorance amongst the rank and file as well. Do the members and the activists really understand what their leader has signed them up for? A full law-making parliament, extending the Welsh language act, proportional representation in local government. These are the sort of policies which one would expect to have some of the backwoodsmen who still inhabit much of the Tory party choking over their cornflakes. But not a squeak.

So, to misquote Conan Doyle, 'why has this dog not barked in the night?'