‘My spies steal Tory blueprint for
MEP selection for Bananaguay’s next election.
Is great! Now I have no opposition to shoot!
And UN say election free & fair!’

The world and his wife condemns kleptocrat war criminal Comrade Bob Mugabe as he steals the latest set of elections in Zimbabwe (well, not quite everyone: there are African politicians and Western Leftists aplenty who think this brute is something of a hero). Meanwhile, closer to home, the Conservative Party has been engaged in its own election-fixing scandal.

Hats off to ConservativeHome then, for they have been doggedly pursuing this shameful and tawdry piece of gerrymandering for some time. Reading the sorry tale, it is difficult to connect the word ‘democratic’ with the phrase ‘Conservative Party’.

One consequence of what has gone on will be a loss of votes to UKIP come the next European elections. Many Conservatives will find themselves faced with electing some who have shown themselves to be integrationist Europhiles who have done all they can to undermine mainstream opinion and official party policy on Europe and will be unable to stomach it. UKIP will get their vote instead at a time when we need to be amassing as many votes as possible to demonstrate clear and powerful electoral support for Conservative policy on the Treaty of Lisbon (provided they have one) and the consequent dilution of moral authority on Europe will undermine Cameron, if and when he becomes Prime Minister, in all his dealings with the EU.

Another consequence is the generation of distrust between the grassroots and the leadership. This will, one suspects, redound to the latter’s disadvantage next time this exercise takes place, for we now know how the tail intends to wag the dog. The tail should not be surprised if it finds itself docked.

Advantage has been taken of the natural loyalty of Conservatives at a time when all of us wish to be presenting a united front to the world with a view to securing the election of a Conservative Government (warts and all) in place of the present Socialist one.

Thanks to ConHome we know in considerable detail (and despite the best efforts of some to prevent the detail from seeing the light of day) how the selection process has been very carefully and shamefully fixed. It reflects absolutely no credit whatsoever on those who have taken part. Memories concerning this sort of thing are, however, long and one doubts whether this particular Chumocracy will ever be permitted again to get away with an exercise redolent of a Banana Republic. The fixers, however, may well be dismayed when the pendulum swings firmly the other way and those who are thought to have benefited unfairly by this process are swept away in 2014.

In addition the leadership of the party may well regret the reaction to this as the grassroots will be looking to ensure far greater openness in all such exercises and not just this one. It may yet be that, in trying to ensure the outcome of this selection process, they find themselves forced into much more democratic procedures in future.

It is called the ‘law of unintended consequences’.