Today’s report that a certain MP failed in his application for membership in a branch within his Federal Electoral Conference has predictably been greeted with howls of outrage from interested parties.
Without reference to the specifics of Mr Morrison’s case, I’ll note that it is crucial for effective functioning of branches that their respective ethos is acknowledged by prospective members. In particular, perceptions of petty ambition need to be addressed by applicants; also, one regrets to note that questions of external stature are (or at any rate ought) be irrelevant to assessing an applicant’s fitness for membership. In my capacity as Treasurer of Haberfield Branch in the Liberal Party, I may note that (ceteris paribus) I’d consider (say) a former High Court Justice equally eligible for membership of my branch to a dustman. Indeed, considerations of appearance would, if anything, require me to do my utmost in order to avoid perceptions of favouritism arising to those who would, by virtue of their status, be seen as potentially in a position to pull strings.