Is this the beginning of the end of party politics as we know it?
14 Jun 2015 at 10:31
I am beginning to wonder whether by the time of the next election British politics will be fundamentally realigned. The laws of political gravity are very clear. Elections are won by parties who offer choices from the centre ground. Tony Blair, John Major and David Cameron understand this. The Labour left, the Tory right and Lib Dem radicals do not. Events over the next three years could smash the present party system.
Let’s deal with Labour first. Despite faux unity with whoever becomes the next Labour leader a significant minority will be disaffected. If it’s Burnham or Cooper, the moderates will realise that any chance of winning elections are dead in the water. What will they do? Where will they go? Will they agitate for change or will they find another berth? And if Liz Kendall wins, the same questions apply to the left. All this talk about the return of David Miliband is piss and wind. He failed in his leadership bid because of lack of courage and judgement coupled with more than a whiff of arrogance. His chance has gone. Prescott is right. He should stop being such a political prick tease and shut up. And now there is the talk of a leadership challenge being available after three years. More piss and wind. It just gives the enemies of the incumbent hope and plenty of opportunity for mischief. It would lead to any message to the electorate to be diluted by continual civil war.
Now for the Tories who are more divided than I can ever remember. The sacked, unappointable, Euro loons and Cameron haters were bitterly disappointed that he won a majority. They hoped that this would be a speedy means to his departure and that ‘true’ Conservative values were on the menu again. Not surprisingly the lead up to the EU referendum is the catalyst for serious mischief. The right are preparing the ground for defeat with accusations of an unfair election. And the appearance of O’Patz (sacked, Euroloon and Cameron hater) on Marr today confirmed the obvious that whatever Cameron comes back from Brussels will be unacceptable. The new party grouping, Conservatives for Britain, is intriguing. It claims to have 110 members including some of the cabinet. But it will not divulge the names of its members. So we don’t know how large or small it is. But I can give you a clue. It is headed by Steve Baker (unappointable, Euroloon, general loon and Cameron hater) the most rebellious backbencher in the last Parliament. So anyone pining their coat tails to his black hole of a star can forget any chance of a job. Oh, and don’t think that the whips don’t know who they are. They would have embedded a few informers into their ranks. My guess it will be the usual suspects starting with anyone with a Bone in their name, Mad Nad, Philip Davies, Graham Brady, Bill Cash and a few trainee loons from the latest intake. In reality probably about thirty. Maybe a little more. If the whips play clever they can argue, with a very large tongue in their cheek, that as this is a perfectly respectable group they won’t object to a whip in attendance at every meeting.
So if we remain in the EU what do these guys do? The game is up. What do they do or where do they go? And if we leave the EU the game is up for the moderates. Cameron would have invested his credibility on it. He would have to go. So what do moderates like me do or go?
And now for the Lib Dems they know it is going to take years to detoxify their brand. If Farron wins its back to the politics of protest. Once again they will become the spittoon of public angst. They will become the wild and wooly party again. So what do the Orangebookers do or where do they go? And the same question if Norman Lamb wins.
Let’s not forget the Kippers are also horribly divided. Do they go down the road of the rather nasty brand of tea party politics or do they try to be a credible party with workable ideas? Whatever happens there will be a split.
So British party politics is in a state of flux. Could the Lederhosen wing of the Tories join with the less extreme wing of UKIP, perhaps calling themselves the True Conservative Party? Could labour, Tory and Lib Dem moderates breakaway and form a middle of the road Social, Democratic and Conservative party? None of us know what will happen and I am certainly not advocating the break up of the Conservative Party.
All parties have to be broad churches to survive. But when members stretch from the nave and into the grave yard that’s where they tend to remain. We could see the beginning of the end of party politics as we know it before 2020.