I can’t remember ever reading anything on Guy Fawkes’ blog which made me as happy as they did. Wonder if it was Paul Stainers or Harry Cole who wrote it?
One thing to add to their otherwise effective analysis: there’s been an internal tension at the heart of the party between the modernising clique (attempting to detoxify the brand) and the grass roots (willing to tolerate these imperious wealthy chaps because of the promise of power). Since they failed to win an outright majority, the tensions have been growing – compounded by the aloof, centralised and unresponsive leadership style of Cameron’s inner circles – with the recent riots perhaps being the catalyst set to start the fire which burns the house that Dave, George, Steve, Nick and Michael built to the ground.
If they lurch to the right, which seemingly they are, motivated by any number of reasons – instincts intrinsic to the Tory psyche, placating the grass roots, a real response to changing public opinion etc – they risk re-associating the brand with 80s moralism, this time compounded by economic woes and a cabinet stuffed with multi-millionares AND fracturing the coalition. Given both these conditions were necessary for the inadequate grip on power that resulted from the last election (with a mandate which, even on the level of appearance, was tenuous at best) the current situation is incentivizing a course of action which will lead to self-destruction. Further compounded by the number of u-turns they’ve performed since then, with their hyperactive radicalism now standing reveals as a product of anxiety about the longevity of their government.
Yet if they resist they risk an insurgency from the right of the party, not least of all from Boris who will spy an opportunity to weaken Osborne’s grip on succession, which will receive widespread support from the grass roots. David Davis and Liam Fox being the obvious contenders, as well as Steve Hilton and Michael Gove attempting to escape the sinking Cameroon ship. Perhaps also Ken Clarke, fresh from being done over and spat out by Cameron’s friends in News International. But would a Tory insurgency, likely led by Boris, forced to move from the right actually be electable? Furthermore the Tory grass roots and back benchers will be highly sceptical of superficial attempts at engagement, such that it will have to be genuine – insurgency from the right will open up a can of bigoted old worms (buried away from the electorate) which will likely leave it unelectable even if it succeeds. Even better would be an inconclusive war breaking out. Could Osborne, long seen as future leader, actually try and desert the sinking ship himself lest he ends up doing even worse than Gordon Brown? Particularly if Ken beats Boris in London, the Tories are utterly screwed at the next election.
And if the coalition falls, so does Clegg, creating an opening for the left of the Lib Dems which, unless Labour really fuck this up, creates the possibility of the much hyped lib-lab coalition we’ve been talking about for so long in the event that they fail to win an outright majority.
For the first time in months, thinking about politics actually just made me happy – the way events are moving, this is now Labour’s to lose. Hopefully the new labour types will keep their heads down and shut the fuck up.