Joanne Cash dust storm has left residue behind it

THE Joanne Cash dust storm has all but blown over as far as the national headlines are concerned, but what a whirlwind it was. And like any dust storm, it leaves behind it an unpleasant residue, in this case one of resentment. As the Wood&Vale reported t

THE Joanne Cash dust storm has all but blown over as far as the national headlines are concerned, but what a whirlwind it was. And like any dust storm, it leaves behind it an unpleasant residue, in this case one of resentment.

As the Wood&Vale reported the shenanigans at last week's meeting of the Westminster North Conservative association, where there was a move to de-select her as the parliamentary candidate, the national and international media swarmed on an episode which suggested that she wasn't prepared to accept the democratic will of her nearest Tory colleagues.

When she later withdrew her resignation as parliamentary candidate following David Cameron's personal intervention, it was only natural that the party leader would be accused of cronyism, by forcing his preferred runner - who is the wife of a fellow old Etonion - upon constituency members who clearly didn't want her as their candidate.

What this did prove is that like Tony Blair before him, Mr Cameron is determined to fashion a party in his own image. And for an electorate which has become tired of crusty old Tories still living in the dark ages, that may be no bad thing.


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Ms Cash, like her party leader, is young, intelligent and attractive. She is just the kind of politician Mr Cameron needs in his ranks and perhaps in his cabinet to help change the public face of the party. It is easy to see why he would want her to contest this very winnable seat.

But her colleagues in Westminster North are unlikely to rally to her cause, given the deep well of resentment which now exists among them, and the area's voters are bound to resent the fact that she does not have the support of her closest colleagues. They are entitled to wonder if a candidate who cannot gain the support of her constiuency colleagues is the best person to represent them in the House of Commons.

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In a Wood&Vale interview this week Ms Cash points out that she was not interested in 'some safe seat in the shires' but at times in the last fortnight she surely must have wondered if that would have been a more palatable option.

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