Here in relation to internal party politics in Ipswich I talked about an extremely emetic part of the Conservative AGM called the annual prize giving (also known as the inner clique love in) where they present cups to each other for various things while those outside the inner clique feel like they are on the rigging of a ship in a hurricane.
At this years AGM, this part of the meeting had a bigger element of farce in it than usual. It seems that the rules were changed for this years inner clique love in by the inner clique who appear to operate like the European Commision does. One of the cups is for biggest media contribution and this year it was for contributions via multimedia. Now we all know which local Conservative has the biggest presence in cyberspace, but he is not a member of the inner clique and is never likely to be. But this year it was won by Chris Chambers to notify the rest of us of his initiation.
It didn’t feel like being on the rigging of a ship in a hurricane so much at this point and then, the farce came into full swing. The cup for the best ward work was won by Tony James. This caused the air in the room to be filled with bemusement. I exclaimed “Brilliant.” because I knew it would be a good story to share on East Anglia’s Premier Political Blog. I’ve spoken to a few members today and they are still in a state of bemusement by it. One explanation that I’ve been given is that he is being wooed by Inga of the Yellow Peril and he has been given the award to persuade him not to go back to the duplicitous vultures. Surely being pursued by one party isn’t enough for an award? Well being pursued by four parties isn’t, so what’s this all about? So what fantastic ward work has he done? Has he managed to get a Labour majority down from over 900 to under 500 in four years? Well obviously not, only one person has achieved that locally. Did he manage to reduce the majority of a sitting Labour councillor the year Labour took Holywells? Well no, only one person achieved that too. Has he regularly talked to his local councillors about issues affecting his ward in person and asked questions concerning them at area committees and at full council? Well no, only one person who isn’t a councillor has done that as well. Has he developed a significant personal vote from people who otherwise wouldn’t dream of voting Conservative? Not that I know but we all know somebody who has don’t we? So what has he done? Has he worked with his local MP to get a school rebuilt that serves his ward? Was he the first Conservative to publicly attack Labour’s decision to close the creches? The mind boggles. The amazing thing he has done is campaign hard in Holywells the year the Tories lost it. I thought it was socialists who rewarded for failure. I think most of the people present did too, hence the bemusement.
The last award is called the Eddy Phillips award given for biggest contribution to the association over the past year which is traditionally given to Eddy Phillips and this year, the tradition continued. The funny thing is, he tells us he can’t work out why he keeps winning it. Eddy, it’s because you are the only person worthy of winning it.