The most worrying thing for my Party is the prospect that we might actually win the forthcoming by-election in Eastleigh. Don't get me wrong folks, one fewer Liberal Democrat in Parliament would be a blessing for the nation but the Conservatives need to face the truth about their organisation, membership and structures.
This isn't about whether the Party wins the next election but about whether it survives at all. Or indeed deserves to survive. Everywhere I look, the Party's 'grassroots' are looking pretty parched and uncared for. This isn't about policy scraps over Europe, gay marriage or whatever but about the outlook of the London operational leadership.
There is no doubt - and the appointment of Lynton Crosby confirms this - that the brief from the Party leadership to what we used to call the 'professional party' is entirely tactical. The entire focus is on the 2015 General Election and the whistles, gongs and bells that must be blown bashed or rung to secure victory. And the concentration here will be on destructive politics - blackening the opposition, cat-calls and dog whistles.
It may work. Part of me hopes it does, for another Labour government - even a Labour-led government - would likely kill what small hope remains for the nation. But the Conservative Party has to look to the 2020 election and beyond. Has to ask how it is going to rebuild the supporter base that made it the world's most successful political party of the last century. For it wasn't any politician that made this party. It was two million active members - the Party's achievements, the rebuilding of Britain in the 1950s, the rescuing of the country in the 1980s, were possible because of those members. Without them there would have been no Macmillan, no Thatcher.
If we win in Eastleigh. Because of scandal in the Liberal Democrats, because of local anger over housing or because our whistles worked better than our opponents. If we win in Eastleigh the leadership will be vindicated in their disparaging exploitation of the Party's remaining members. Nothing will be done to build support in our big cities, no campaigns to attract new young members will be run and local control - mostly removed under William Hague - will remain a distant memory.
As Paul Goodman - who rather gets this problem - put it:
In the crucial Midlands and Northern marginals the Conservatives must win in 2015, councillors are losing their seats and membership is falling, as it is elsewhere: the national figure may be as low as 130,000. The Tories have made much during the by-election of learning from President Obama’s victory last year, but his triumph was achieved by a combination of computer-held data and boots on the ground.
One would have thought that Mr Cameron would make a priority of reviving his party membership. Instead, he has drawn the opposite lesson from the decline of political parties. Like Tony Blair, he has sought to define himself against his own party...
If we win Eastleigh on Thursday this lesson will be ignored - the grubby business of tactical campaigning will be seen as the way to proceed. And a little more of the Party's base will decide to stay home and watch telly rather than attend the branch meeting, deliver leaflets or run a coffee morning.