There’s a rare old ferment going on over at Once More. Like them, I would welcome a Conservative government, but I don’t see any reason to drag the Tories into it. True confession though – I was once in the Conservative Party. It took approximately five seconds of the first meeting for me to realise that the branch was dominated by tossers. Little did I know that I was witnessing the future of the Conservative Party.
For proof of the tosser nature of the Conservative Party, look no further than the latest leadership shenanigans. Talk about a double whammy: not only are the Party’s face cards changing the rules to prevent the membership having a meaningful say in the leadership contest, but they’re freely admitting that they’re doing so to prevent the bloke who’s overwhelmingly supported by the members from being elected. After all, you can’t trust the members after they elected that loser IDS – you’ve got to rely on the people who chose Major, Hague and Howard - you can’t argue with a track record like that.
So there you have it: we have a major party dominated by union godfathers, lawyers and showbiz skanks – and they still give their members a bigger effective say in the leadership than the supposed party of the Right. But don’t let anyone say that the Conservative Party has become unmoored from its ideological roots – after all, they’ll still let even the lowliest members contribute money, pound pavements and deliver leaflets. What more do they want ?
Seriously, are Conservative Party members the battered wives of politics or what ? What do the modernisers have to do to get rid of them ? We’ve had Teresa May do all but denounce the membership as counter-revolutionary imperialist running dogs, now there’s this latest outrage, for which the sole justification is the theory that the fact someone is a member of the Conservative Party means they don’t understand politics. If Michael Heseltine stopped by each members house to paint obscene slogans on their front door, would they get the hint then ?
All this wouldn’t be so bad if the Parliamentary Conservative Party wasn’t the political equivalent of the chimp’s tea party, but a glance at the new rules for MPs reveals exactly what the Party’s face cards think of them. What with these plans to disenfranchise the members and employ only Stepford MPs, you have to keep reminding yourself that this is a nominally right-wing party.
That’s the basic problem right there. For all the Conservative Party’s rhetoric about trusting people, transferring power back to the fron lines, blah, blah, blah, they won’t even trust their own members with actual power, never mind the man on the Clapham omnibus. The Conservative Party is truly Blue Labour. Indeed, it is true to say of much of the Parliamentary Party that their sole motivating force is snobbery. They think that if they joined Nu Lab they might have to rub shoulders with the oiks, while – to paraphrase Ann Coulter – they think Conservatism involves nothing more than horsewhipping the servants. If the public treats Conservative MPs with contempt it may purely be because they sense that the feeling is mutual.