This is the first in a series of blogs exploring the complete shambles of the current Conservative Party. No one has been a greater critic of Jeremy Corbyn than me. I regard him as a terrorist loving, Islamist apologising traitor. I hold Corbyn in contempt because of his refusal to condemn the abuses of the old Socialist States in Eastern Europe and his advocacy of the pernicious policy of nuclear disarmament. If people like him had been in charge 40 years ago we would have lost the Cold War and the Eastern bloc countries, and probably ourselves, would be enslaved by repressive Soviet style Communism. Despite that decent people voted for him. I don’t blame them. I blame us. I’ll explore why I think that was so in a later blog. But what I want to do now is map out what I think should be the first steps out of this unholy mess.
The first thing is that May has to go. She called an unnecessary General Election and lost her majority. She adopted a presidential style campaign based on strong leadership whilst simultaneously displaying the most appalling weakness and petulance. She has a tin ear for politics. In the most important General Election since WWII you do not kick your core vote in the teeth. This was precisely what May did with the ‘dementia’ tax and getting rid of the triple lock on pensions. In short, when you have the type of lead May did at the beginning of the campaign, to win, all you have to do is not make false steps or mistakes. It’s like carrying a precious vase across a slippery dance floor. Instead of walking across the floor carefully, May and her team decided to play ‘keepy uppy’ with it like a bunch of half-witted teenagers. It was no wonder the lead was smashed into a thousand pieces.
May’s USP was that she was uninspiring, but safe. That has gone and her credibility is non-existent. It is impossible now for her to command confidence in the country or inspire respect from EU negotiators. She has to go and be replaced by someone who can. The honourable thing for her to do would be to resign. But I doubt very much she will do this.
Conservative Party leadership elections are run by the 1922 Committee of back bench MPs. A contest can be triggered in two ways; if 15% of Conservative MPs write to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee saying they no longer have confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party; or if he or she resigns. Candidates can be nominated by two MPs and there are then a series of ballots within the parliamentary party with the candidate with the lowest number of votes dropping out after each ballot until the final two left standing go forward to a vote of party members.
Even as a paid up and long suffering party member of the Conservative Party I can see it is absurd to go through this process at a time of national crisis. It maybe an exaggeration, but it is as daft as Churchill going through such a process in May 1940. Unfortunately, unlike in May 1940 there is no obvious candidate. Internal party democracy, even amongst MPs is a vastly over-rated concept. Instead the 1922 and whips office should take soundings over the member of the cabinet most likely to be able to unite the party, work with the DUP, restore the Party’s reputation for competence and negotiate Brexit. It’s a desperately difficult task and as an outsider looking in I don’t honestly know which member of the cabinet would be most suitable. It could be someone currently obscure. For instance, Baldwin was effectively last man standing when he became PM in 1923, but he navigated the country through the shoals of the interwar years as effectively as anyone could. The people who should know the best person for the job is the 1922 leadership and the whips office. They need to collaborate to achieve the necessary coronation.
One way to manage this would be to cooperate with the DUP. The Conservatives can’t form a government without the DUP. They should tell the Conservatives that Theresa May does not command their confidence, but if she was replaced with someone who did, they would be prepared to enter a coalition which would provide the majority government the country needs. Once a mutually acceptable leader of the coalition was appointed PM, it is inconceivable that they would not become Conservative leader, Churchill, for instance, became Conservative leader only after he was appointed head of the war time coalition. I do not like all the DUP stands for, but I do not doubt for one second their patriotism and loyalty to the UK. Now is the time for them to help rescue the country from the shambles the Conservative Party has created. Getting rid of Theresa May as PM is the first step in doing this. The sooner she is gone the better.
To conclude, by losing our majority through rank incompetence, we, the Conservative Party have let the country down in a shameful manner. We face the appalling prospect, in two or three years time, of a Marxist Prime Minister whose values are alien to everything Britain represents. If this calamity is to be avoided we have to make amends and we have to find a leader who can do it.