A Failing & Weak Conservative Party? No More Tory Government! The End of the Conservative Dynasty is Nigh. Pick your own headline here as ‘Tory’ Tony has become a floating voter with no confidence in Rishi & Co. ………..
In ‘The Guardian’ (Saturday,13 May, ‘One by one Sunak’s pledges are crumbling’), Polly Toynbee analysed the position with the Prime Minister’s five pledges: halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce national debt, reduce NHS waiting lists, new laws to stop small boats. All look precarious in their chances of delivery and in the case of the NHS shambles not only is the latest figure of 7.3 million the highest ever, but, according to The Institute of Fiscal Studies, could rise to nine million.
MPs On Constant Holiday
The former health secretary Sajid Javid is suggesting that a 13 million-long list is a possibility. The verbose Rishi will simply change the subject and start talking about maths for all pupils up to the age of eighteen ignoring the reality that all four teachers’ unions have rejected the latest pay offer. What his sycophantic advisers in 10, Downing Street will be saying is that limp through until the summer holidays, allow members of parliament to enjoy weeks of sunshine in their Caribbean homes, return to Westminster in September for several weeks, go home again because of the party conference season, return briefly and then break up for half term.
Britain will effectively be run by civil servants for weeks and weeks except in Northern Ireland where Rishi’s Windsor Framework has stalled because the Democratic Union Party (DUP) want guarantees that Northern Ireland will always be part of the United Kingdom. Rishi cannot give that undertaking because of provisions within the Good Friday Agreement.
Local Elections Nightmare
Within the Conservative Party, the loss of 1,063 councillors in the local elections will have shaken many MPs who care deeply about their hard-working party colleagues. To understand how bad was the result, the Conservatives had filled the media airwaves with predictions of losses of 1,000 in the belief it would be around 700 and they could claim a ‘better-than-expected’ result.
Now Rishi is facing three snakes in the grass. The first is the inevitable Boris amphisbaena: one head, his loyalists, calling themselves the Conservative Democratic Organisation, have begun their sniping at this last weekend’s Bournemouth meeting fronted by former Home Secretary Priti Patel (who did nothing to stop the small boats), but powered by Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg who should be earning their MP’s salaries but are intent on enriching themselves through their media work. The second is the European Research Group which is seething that hapless Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has announced via the Press that only 600 of the proposed 5,000 EU laws will have gone by the end of the year.
Labour Liberal Democrats Coalition
in a recent Daily Mail, Andrew Neil describes a boa constrictor sliding purposefully towards the Conservative Party with compelling simplicity and foreboding. Put simply, Labour may need a coalition with the Liberal Democrats to secure a working majority and the price for that will be a commitment to proportional representation. If that happens, according to Andrew Neil, ‘future governments would then be the monopoly of various permutations of Left-wing parties, involving Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and nationalistic parties.’
Whilst the last LibDems coalition did not work well for them, (they lost all but eight of their 57 seats in the 2015 General Election, they will see the introduction of PR voting as their safety net. To stop this situation, the Conservatives would need to secure more than 50% of the votes at a General Election, something in modern times they have never done. In the 2019 campaign Boris won 317 seats with 42.4% of the vote.
How Westminster Works
If you sense a degree of cynicism in the above you may want to read How Westminster Works – and Why it Doesn’t by political journalist Ian Dunt.
As one review says when considering some of the crazy ministerial mistakes he examined: ‘Dunt does something far more useful in performing a detailed analysis of why none of this nonsense was stopped before it got started. The civil service, he shows, is staffed by clever generalists who lack the granular knowledge that would allow them to predict how things might go wrong, or give them the confidence to insist that a Tigerish minister first establishes an evidence base for any proposed change, including taking data from pilot schemes into account.’ A succession of Health ministers might want to put their hands up at this point.
Square Mile Tales
A Floating Voter
In my recently published autobiography Square Mile Tales , I explain that I had to leave the Conservatives because I felt the highly questionable behaviour of Boris Johnson and the ludicrous fifty days of Liz Truss as Prime Minister rendered the Conservative Party valueless. I cannot join the Labour Party because that would be disrespectful to the wonderful people of South West Bedfordshire and their inspirational MP, Andrew Selous, with whom I spent many hours and campaigns both in the Thatcher years and in opposition to Tony Blair. This makes me a floating voter and I suspect that I will be watching a drowning Conservative Party.