Sunday, June 26, 2011

Christopher Shale :"Over the years we have come across as graceless, voracious, crass, always on the take."

The memorandum, reported by the Mail on Sunday, said that the prime minister's own association gained only 22 members in the past year, and Shale is reported to propose "a transformational increase" in membership in ways that can others follow nationally.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Shale wrote that "collectively we are not always an appealing proposition".

Shale criticised the association's fundraising efforts, saying: "Over the years we have come across as graceless, voracious, crass, always on the take."
He concluded that people don't join because they "think we'll beg and steal from them. And they're right".

Shale added: "When we are together we are not always a group of people to whom many of our potential members are going to be magnetically drawn."
He goes on to warn: "When we come together as a group we sometimes morph into something different, less attractive. Our [Woca] environment alters us."

His solution offered was: "We must look different – when we communicate, when we're together. We must sound different – in what we say, how we say it, the language we use, our tone of voice. We must behave differently – try to see ourselves as others see us."

He claimed that the country can be divided into two groups, "politics-heavy" people and "politics-light" ones, who aren't interested in the subject except at general elections. He calculated that 98% of the population is "politics light" and that "politics heavy is a big turn off for politics-light people".

Shale likens changing the membership package away from political activity to what Cameron did to the national party: "It's what, pre-2005, DC used to call double ham and eggs: We've offered them ham and eggs repeatedly. They don't want it. So how can the solution possibly be double ham and eggs?"
Instead, under Shale's strategy, "Woca is, in effect, going into the event management business". He proposed the association put on events with "money can't buy appeal".

One idea was for "The PMQ DIY Lunch: Bring your own sandwiches to watch PMQs in a different fine country house in the constituency (by courtesy of a PPC member) every week; glass of wine, cup of coffee, informal discussion, yours for a fiver".

He also proposed party supporters are given access to politicians in the US in return for cash. "We might have 'Just Another Ordinary Day: We'll organise it but choose how you get there, stay where you like for as long as you like and on one of the days breakfast briefing with a senior staffer, tour of the White House, lunch with a senator … yours for cost plus a £1,000 donation to Woca."