Why the Tory Party is close to tearing itself apart

Those who think the entire Conservative Party and British electorate would instantly fall in behind Boris Johnson are hopelessly deluded.

That might seem an odd headline at any time for the Conservatives to swallow, but bear with me: I bring evidence to the table.

You doubtless saw at least some of the joke non-stories at the weekend about plotter-Boris being offered Zac Goldsmith’s safe seat to fight on the issue of Heathrow’s third runway. After drilling down, it was all tosh, to be frank: Johnson rejected the idea outright. But it suits the Mail to keep the pressure on Cameron, whom it loathes. Equally, the Telegraph will print anything about Boris so long as he says something anti-Cameron, or does something bone-headed like holding his own ‘enquiry’ into Heathrow vs Elsewhere on the runways thing. For the Barclays despise Cameron even more than Dacre does.

My favourite MP Bob Stewart also got dragged into it at one point, and once again made it clear (by the end of the ‘story’) that he had no intention of standing against Cameron as a stalking horse. Bob too thinks these stories are all tosh, and as usual he is right on the money.

It would be tricky for Johnson in the medium-term to dump the People of London (who so unwisely voted him in) for a crack at the Conservative leadership via some fall-guy safe seat. As yet, no genuine fall-guy has come forward: the truth is, a large section of the Tory Party wouldn’t have Boris at any price. I think in a straight fight, he could win against the Prime Minister – if Cameron was widely viewed within the leadership electorate as a lame duck. But far too many observers misunderstand the definition of lame-duckness in play here.

This is the stripped down situation, with all the red-herring nuances and false trails removed: the shadowy folks want rid of Cameron at the earliest opportunity. Most of them want out of the EU too.

Cameron blew it with Ashcroft during the May 2010 election, because he failed to give secretly Tory voters a clear roadmap for substantive change. A trimmer by nature, Dave tried to please everyone and wound up in a Coalition the shadowy men loathe even more than they despise him.

The Barclay Brothers’ first target was David Laws, followed swiftly by Vince Cable…although the latter blew up in their faces when, despite attempts to damage any advantage to Murdoch’s BSkyB bid, the full story was leaked to Robert Peston, and gave Jeremy Hunt the opening he’d been after since 2008. Hunt himself however fell foul of the Sark Twins as he blatantly ploughed forward with his promotion of the Newscorp bid.

For some time now, the Barclays have been behind Boris Johnson all the way. He virtually uses the Telegraph as his Mayoral House Magazine, but to be on the safe side, Johnson has continued to cultivate Murdoch, because that gives him another ally in his tireless mission to turf David Cameron out of Number Ten Downing St.

In turn, the oleaginous *unt sticks close to the munneeee too, as we have seen…and close to Boris, hedging his bets. Longer term, however, Jeremy – laughable I know, but true – sees himself as leadership material. And some of the older business Conservative money in the Soho area wants him as the figurehead too.

But there’s a big thing in the way of both Jezzer and BoJo: the Knights of Camerlot are in possession of focus group research suggesting very strongly that neither man would play well north of Watford. So although some elements on the Right would like to see a Johnson/Hunt ticket, the likes of Northern Rightists like Malcolm Brady would take a lot of persuading.

The problem Camerlot has had from Day One of the Coalition is that nobody likes them: they started out being tolerated, until people on both the Left and Right of national politics found them intolerable. Now the media knives are out, and the showdowns are coming: the EU and education in the case of the Brady Bunch, and the Third Heathrow runway in the case of the Borisons.

The loyalty to Cameron of the Ministers running those key areas of policy is now in severe doubt. Hague remains a Camerlot loyalist, but Gove is shifting over with the prevailing wind, Hunt is already (by one means or another) holding the PM to ransom, and Osborne has his own agenda as always. Only Ollie Letwin plods stoically on. The additional dilemma for Dave in all this is that the very people who are in one way or another loyal to him are the same ones the Mad Folks would like to dump: Hague, Osborne and Letwin.

All these key factors could be parked in the medium term were it not for two considerations. First and foremost, Mayor Johnson has shortened the potential timescale by making Heathrow a flashpoint…specifically with his daft idea of having his own ‘enquiry’. And second, the Liberal Democrats are close to being so completely out of the cage, the Conservative Right has had about as much as it can take.

But Johnson knows exactly what his timescale is, and why. He sees the Coalition collapsing quite soon, and the Prime Minister being backed unwillingly into an election…which he will lose. He Boris will then be begged by primed beggars to cross town and re-enter the Commons as a national duty. He will become Leader, and await the chaotic collapse of a Labour government enjoying zero confidence in the markets. And then the Mighty Boris will finally complete the sale of BritPol Ltd to Scumbag plc…the Newscorps, Barclays, Bankers, multinationals and non-Doms he so readily admires, along with his equally grubby chum Michael Fallon.

There are umpteen problems with this career path, but the biggest I suspect is BoJo’s dual assumption that (1) the British people will stand idly by and watch this happen and (2) the Conservative Party will fall into line behind him in a dutifully docile manner. My own feeling is that what the Tories will do is split apart at the seams.

Some will head for UKIP – although Johnson may well try to do a deal with Farage – some of the centre-Left MPs will form a sort of internal opposition, and some Camerlot Knights will plot a repositioning of themselves…in the hope of carrying the centre-Left along as fellow-travellers.

“Bring it on” is my bottom line on this one: the quicker seismic fiscal economics and wild ambition undermine the cosy duopoly at Westminster, the better. And I increasingly believe that mature voters could control the vital coastal seats in the end, as a means of forcing that change in an almost peaceful manner.

Stay tuned. We may all be fed up of living in interesting times, but perhaps they are about to get more constructively interesting.

47 thoughts on “Why the Tory Party is close to tearing itself apart

  1. It is interesting how quickly power drains away. Whilst he is still actually Prime Minister, Cameron is, in fact, utterly irrelevant in any meaningful way. He cannot win an election because he lied about the EU referendum and will never be trusted again. Many Tory voters will vote UKIP knowing that it cannot win, but wanting some form of “resolution” of what the Tories stand for. Therefore, Labour will win the next election. Because, in fact Osbornes policy is effectively a mild version of Darling’s, they may well do a better job-and win the following election.
    In fact, people are so fed up with there being no direction, they will vote for practically anyone who shouts “this way!” with any confidence at all.
    So yes, the Tories are going to blow apart-the sooner the better. You never know, we might get somebody with principles.


  2. I too say ‘bring it on’ can’t happen quick enough for me, although I suspect the Tories and the LibDems will try to avoid an early election as they both know they will wiped out so, a deal with be done of sorts I suspect. I think that early elections and referendums live in the same locked cupboard.


  3. Sorry that should be Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I got confused with Mr Farage often referring to the other Herman as a mopey dick….


  4. If I remember correctly (and it is not important enough to do the research), the Coilition agreement prevents Dave from dropping Keith (or whatever his name is) and calling an election. The Limps will be allowed to try to form a coilition with ‘Reddy Eddy’. Although the benefit of this to anyone except Keith on a personal basis – is anyones guess, it would probably hold up any thought of a GE for the full 5 year term to be hacked out.

    On a side note can anyone remember whether it is October this year that the FULL impact of the Lisbon treaty comes into force ? This may make meaningless any Germen court ruling as the Lisbon treaty suspercedes constitutions (as it was originally supposed to replace)……Its that thinking stuff coming to the fore again :)


  5. What if our friend Nick -with whom we all agree apparently- (i’ve forgotten what his full name is already) shuffles off and lets someone decent from the centre take over leadership of the libdems.
    Presumably there is someone, somewhere, who could rally the firming-up middle ground, pulling from the centre left and centre right. I thought most thinking people inhabit some ground around the fulcrum.
    There cannot be absolutely nobody in politics with talent and competence.

    Can anyone offer a single back-bencher we could name-drop at least.


  6. Only David Davis I could name to fit that bill – but even he may be considered ‘damaged goods’ after his ‘re-elect-me-on-principle’ stunt.


  7. Its got to the ‘Enoch’ stage (for younger posters, read ‘Powell) who, though arch Tory and high principled politician though he was, once urged Conservatives to vote Labour !


  8. Adam Holloway MP for Gravesham.
    He is not my MP but i get the impression he is an honest man with integrity.
    He defied the whip during the EU referendum debate and voted for a referendum, he also resigned during that debate.
    This was a comment I posted at the time:
    Adam Holloway for PM. He was a light shining in the dark. Lets make him a beacon. He has had the temerity to stick his head above the parapet as brave soldiers do. You can bet the powers that be, that only want self-serving lap dogs in politics have marked his card. Could he be the one. Come-eth e the hour cometh the man?


  9. They (politicos) are all disgusting and it matters not which flavor they pretend to represent as the status quo remains the same.

    They do not represent YOU, the electorate. They represent globalism, war, famine, misery and pollution all under the banner of unique thought and paid for by you, the naïve taxpayer. They even have laws conveniently put into place to stop you, the taxpayer, from complaining about what they do. How sweet is that?

    How much you think Hague’s intrigues in Syria are costing the Brit taxpayer? How much did it cost to murder Gadhafi? How much is it costing, in lives and money, our eternal jaunt in Afghanistan? How many people from the chav class could have been upgraded to middle class via sound education if the Iraqi war budget had gone instead to let’s say, the training up of nurses? But silly me, of course half a million Iraqi dead babies was worth the price it cost to keep the British underclass under.

    And now that the Brits start to realise they are being shafted let us hope their desire for change overtakes their desire for puking on pavements.


  10. “and some Camerlot Knights will plot a repositioning of themselves…in the hope of carrying the centre-Left along as fellow-travellers.”

    How many Knight of Witney have
    A. Safe Seats.
    B. Local Support within those seats.

    BoJo isnt machiaveli, but he isnt an idiot either.
    A deal with UKIP and primary elections for Tory MP’s create a quasi controllable powerbase and destroys everyone elses powerbase.


  11. @savepenrhos
    “He never lied about the EU referendum at all. He said he’s look at it, not that he’d give one.
    He did look at it and decided looking was enough”

    LOL – that’s got to be one of the funniest replies I’ve ever read on here, Slippery Dave really ought to consider your services as his Downing Street Official spokesman. Absolutely awesome.


  12. I think the UK electorate is far more Costa Concordia and everyone for themselves then the gallant old souls of Rudyard Kipling’s “Birkenhead Drill”


  13. For a bit of an informed choice:


    Interestingly 126 of the MPs have never broken party ranks. Maybe we should just scrap them and go for “party-vote-bots” and save the country a chunk of money.

    My crude statistic analysis is, Labour are most likely to bloc-vote, Lib dems least likely. Tories contain the most rebellious MPs.

    The crown for most rebellious goes to Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Con) fighting the current on 23% of the votes.

    I’m keeping an eye out for Steven Baker, as he is a strong advocate of monetary reform, a non-Oxbridger, and has been employed in the real world as an RAF Engineer followed by being an IT guy. His voting record actually suggests he is his own man too.


  14. What, you mean the same David Davis that accepted donations from JW’s new bete noir JHJ Lewis (not that JW has chosen to tell us about that – it appears to be an inconvenient fact that doesn’t fiit in to JW’s view of the world…..)?


  15. “He never lied about the EU referendum at all. He said he’s look at it, not that he’d give one.”

    In an open letter to the Sun readers in I believe 2009, he gave a ‘cast iron guarantee’ he would give the UK a referendum on any future EU Treaties if he became PM.

    He became PM and weasled out of the guarantee and replaced it with another worthless one to pass laws ‘guaranteeing’ the UK’s sovereignty. He hasn’t done that either.

    He lied, it doesn’t matter why he says he changed his mind, he made a guaratee he didn’t keep whether he intended to or not, he lied. There I think that makes the point.


  16. @JV – it may have escaped your notice but Davis is not in the Cabinet. it would be difficult to cover every one of the 600+ MPs and I am sure it would have been picked up at some point if Davis had made it into the Cabinet during the ‘redistribution’ Cameron lately pulled together. Though I am sure he (JW) does not need me defending him……….most people would work this out for themselves I would have thought.


  17. The Tory party has always been a loose confederation of warring tribes – right wing empire loyalists, monarchists, old money, floggers and thrashers, snobs, arrivistes, dodgers, chancers, spivs, nostalgics, proper old fashioned liberals committed to free speech, paternalists, landed aristos, you name it, with one thing in common – a very strong will to power. After all, they own the country so naturally they feel they are entitled to run it, they should be running it and any other state of affairs is an aberration. If Cameron had won an outright majority none of this would be going on. But he didn’t – so he’s shop-soiled goods. He’s had his chips. Let’s face it – he’s not up to it, is he? No bright ideas. No principles. A trimmer. A vicar of Bray. Lazy. Smug. Drifting, aimless, without a rudder. No smack of firm management or abiding aims. He’s just not a winner, is he?

    So the underlings are all on manoeveurs, protecting their interests. The Tory party isn’t going to tear itself apart; it is just preparing to ditch the smooth faced twat and adjust to a new paradigm. It’s what they do. And as soon as it is done they’ll close ranks and carry on just like before, just like they always do.

    It’s what we used to call normal politics before the country got all hysterical with 24 hour rolling news.


  18. The problem with conservatism is that it is all about ‘no change’. That’s what Conservatives stand for, defence of the status quo. Unfortunately, a great deal of change is presently needed and, true to form, the Conservatives are not doing anything. That’s the true difference between Labour and the Tories, the former stand for change, some of it quite radical but stealthily, sometimes deceitfully, achieved while the latter want the status quo to persist and only the slightest glimmer of change.

    It’s time for the Tories to do the unthinkable and reinvent themselves as a party that embraces necessary change. A new name would be a good start. Some more honesty would not go amiss, either.

    Cameron does not have the wit to sort out this fundamental problem and should go as soon as possible.


  19. @Full Stop. But we havent had any new Treaties have we. And he knew that all along. So….deception is the word I think you’re looking for.


  20. I served under Bob Stewart in the same Regiment for over 20 years. The man has a very hiogh sense of honour and integrity and losers do not end up commanding a regular Army infantry battalion.

    John also knows Bob Stewart and I’m sure he will support me when I say you find very few men with the level of honour, loyalty, duty and integrity as he has.


  21. “@Mark. Go back and check. All he promised to do was review the matter – which is exactly what he did.”

    I’ve already given the contradiction to this, that is not ‘all he promised’.

    “@Mark. Go back and check. All he promised to do was review the matter – which is exactly what he did.”

    I’m impressed with your ability to dissemble but that isn’t the point. In a further open letter to the same Sun readers he had made the ‘cast iron promise’ to in 2009, in January 2011 he changed his mind.

    Now which is it, he said he would look at it, (demonstrably untrue) or there haven’t been any treaties?

    He said prior to the election he would give a referendum and he said after it he wouldn’t. He lied, deceived or dissembled or, who cares? He said one thing before and another thing after. How difficult can it be to see that for what it is, dishonest?


  22. It is quite straightforward, there is no ‘implied’ about it. He was saying, vote for me and vote for a referendum and he made the cast iron guarantee in an open letter to the Sun before election and withdrew it after the election. Where is the difficulty with this?


  23. “@Full Stop. Exactly how many new EU treaties have come into existance since Cameron took office?”

    I think it is clear enough that this quote is intended to be where the second one is in my post above, but just to clarify, the above quote should lead the second comment which deals with new treaties.


  24. Yes, I tend to agree with your analysis. The Conservative party is a front for the wealthy. Has been since the nineteenth century when the big money decamped from the Whigs.

    ”It is a coalition of priveledged interests which wins elections by giving just enough to just enough people”.


  25. I would have thought they were making lots of changes – privatising the NHS (as they promised they wouldn’t pre-election), steadily privatising the school system (Newscorp waiting in the wings), opening up all public services to their outsourcing friends at Serco / Capita etc., even letting the corporate sector into running the police! Yes! It’s all about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’! For a few that is.

    Hmmm, what isn’t changing? Despising working people having any rights at work? Doing nothing to reform the City (where they get 50% of their funding from)? Persisting with disastorous rail privatisation? Doing nothing to close the tax havens (where the elite not only keeps its wealth, but through which drug money proceeds are laundered, terrorist financing passes and which are generally places where democracy and the rule of law are ceasing to function – see the Jersey paedophiles story).

    My grandmother never had a bean yet she voted Tory all her life. I asked my mother why. She considered the question for a while and then answered, ‘because she thought she was better than other people’.

    Ain’t that funny?


  26. Pingback: PLEBGATORELLA: “Oh yes he is! Oh no he isn’t!” | A diary of deception and distortion

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