The Party

Had in 2015 some imaginative TV drama writer pitched to a network producer the idea of a new political drama called ‘The Party,’ with plot lines similar to those which real British politics has been following these last few years, they’d have been shown the door for it being too ridiculous.

Or, had the producer had the courage to give it a go, after the first few seasons of gripping drama along the Brexit lines, with viewing figures through the roof, this current season 7 would see viewing figures falling off a cliff. The public would be quite simply saying that the show had descended into an unbelievable farce.

The newly elected PM, Beth Druss’s tenure in the top role would have barely lasted two Sunday omnibus episodes. Now her predecessor Harris Jackson, the loveable rogue fired in disgrace at the end of the season 6 is plotting a surprise comeback:  promising yet again to ‘get the job done!’

Only this time he needs to face down his old partner and now arch enemy, the sleek Dishi  Punak, who is pitching his case as the only one competent enough to save the country from economic disaster, despite having been categorically rejected in the election one month earlier.

Like the falling imaginary viewing figures, it seems that the latest real life opinion polls have helped push the current Conservative Party into an absolute panicked frenzy; with an ever-aghast public looking on in amazement, bewilderment, and down-right disgust.

And as the real-life farce continues, it is starting to seem ever so plausible that by the end of this week the Conservative Party members will have had a new leader thrust upon them. This  the man that they categorically rejected less than two months prior.

Leading up to this latest sensation, it was also feasible that the members would have had a choice being either former PM Boris Johnson and former Chancellor, and defeated leadership candidate from the last election, Rishi Sunak.

Neither Boris Johnson nor Rishi Sunak should replace Liz Truss as PM, plain and simple.

Firstly, Boris Johnson. The public at large no longer appreciate him. They see him as a two-faced liar. He’s misled parliament, received police fines for breaking his own lockdown rules and after a succession of further missteps and bad falls, was rightly booted out on his ears (although he technically resigned.)

How he could believe the public would so quickly forgive him for those errors is frankly beyond comprehension. It borders on delusion. He has no moral authority to govern. The Conservative Party is in the business of winning elections, and with Boris back in charge they simply would not.

Seemingly oblivious to this, if we are to believe what we read  he nevertheless was able to gather the 100 nominations from MPs required to stand in the election. However, as the cold light of day dawned upon him he realised that keeping the fragile Conservative Party coalition together was impossible. Resignations and floor crossings were already being threatened should he return. So in these crazy political times that he would have found  himself without a majority to govern with, even potentially not enough MPs wanting to be in government with him.

So we turn now to Rishi Sunak. For many, the man responsible for Boris Johnson’s downfall. How arrogant can one man be that he can believe that only he can be the one to unite the Conservative Party, unite the country and solve its problems when, only one month earlier, he lost against Liz Truss in the last leadership election? It’s incomprehensible.

Rishi lost for two reasons. Firstly, Liz Truss offered solutions to the current economic malaise that Rishi did not. Truss’ error was in going too far and much too fast. Rishi’s policies lack appeal. Plainly, the membership do not want him. He is a numbers man. And members fail to see a difference between him and Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer.

After 13 years of Conservative rule, it would seem that we are on the cusp of austerity 2.0 in totally different economic circumstances, and there is no broad appeal for this across the country. So, plainly, if Rishi’s policies lack appeal with the Conservative Party members, they certainly would not wash with the broader public.

Secondly, seen as instrumental in Boris Johnson’s downfall, many Party members just won’t vote for him. ‘He who wields the knife can never wear the crown.’ Whilst a cliché, this acts as a guide to our instinct, relating to propriety and loyalty. Rishi is therefore forever tainted and should never become number one as a result.

Now having stood and lost too, he will forever lack legitimacy.

Regardless of this, it seems that Conservative MPs are now prepared to install their man despite the wishes of their membership; an act that looks bluntly like a coup. It shows total disregard and borderline contempt for the decision of the grass root members; those who pay their fees, canvass, deliver leaflets and give up their spare time helping get those MPs elected. It is, for many of them, the most anti-democratic action possible.

In what may seem a false equivalency, some members are drawing comparisons between this act and the parliamentarian shenanigans post the Brexit referendum. Others wonder how far the Party is prepared to go to ignore a democratic choice. This seems like an act of total self destruction.

What is a Conservative Party meant for if it can’t stand for the democratic principle, if it can’t believe in small state and low taxes, and if it can’t trust in its citizens?

As this blog is penned, there is still an outside chance that Penny Mordant can get to 100 nominations and force an election, but as the clock ticks and the seconds pass the odds are getting longer.

So as the probable anointment of Rishi Sunak approaches, with it comes the possibility of a Conservative Party wipe-out in the next election.

They don’t seem to have grasped that the public want more than balancing the books. They clearly haven’t been listening since 2016 and Brexit.

And whilst most conservatives believe in the natural  order of things, that come the next election in 2024 the Conservatives would have been in power for 14 years and it would be time for a change –  the British public deserve so much better than the current Labour Party offer.

This the Party whose Leader offered a second Brexit referendum after promising a renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement and promising to campaign against its own accord.

This the Party that would have had Britain join the European Medicine Agencies vaccination program, thus prolonging covid lockdowns.

This the Party that wanted to lockdown the UK for longer and more often than Boris Johnson’s governments, thus increasing public anguish and deepening public debt as a result.

This the Party that’s not able to distinguish between a man having a penis and a woman having a vagina.

This the Party whose leaders deemed it appropriate to kneel for Black Lives Matter, a political movement whose manifesto included defunding the police and ending the nuclear family.

This the Party that claims national pride yet has to print out the lyrics to the national anthem for it to be sung at their Party conference. Yet, this is the Party currently streets ahead of the Conservative Party in the opinion polls.

The Conservative Party should be ashamed of themselves. MPs would do well to consider all of this and do the wise thing – back someone else for leader than Rishi Sunak.

However, these are crazy times. I am not holding my breath.

Andrew Crawford


British Conservatives in Paris (BCiP)

Leave a Reply