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Sunak’s enemies lie in wait Sooner or later, Truss and Boris will tear the party apart


January 17, 2023   5 mins

After the drama and dethronement of 2022, the Conservative Party has now entered its Phoney War. No one, it seems, has the strength or intention to move against Rishi Sunak, but they are jostling to be best positioned — ideologically and politically — for when the ball comes loose.

Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, this makes it even harder to establish his programme for government. Sunak’s place as leader is weak in an unprecedented way. Not only are there three former prime ministers on his backbenches, but two of them, (Truss and Johnson) never had their falling popularity confirmed by a bad election. This makes them, and their ideas, more potent than any former leader roundly ousted by the public. Moreover, neither seems willing to slide quietly into the obscurity of the speaking circuit.

Truss sees herself as the party’s Cassandra. She thinks her prophecies of the need for deregulation and growth were right, but wrongly ignored. She has a group of supporters who think the chaos of implementation should not hamper the salience of her suggestions. The so-called “ginger group” are trying to seize the intellectual levers of the party, ready for another go at the top, and want to chart a course of economic liberalism, deregulation and growth.

On Sunak’s other flank sit the continuity-Johnsonites. What they believe is a little hard to ascertain. Boris made his way through the party by promising every faction he was, deep down, one of them. He was, oddly enough, like the errant husband who tells his wife he is staying and his mistress he is divorcing for her — with both believing the other is the fool. The Johnsonites show little intellectual purity but are bound in personal loyalty to their man. A few dozen are even plotting his return.

For them, only Boris can arrest the party’s polling nosedive; only Boris can hold onto the Red Wall and the Tory seats of the south-east. The fall in polling in the first half of 2022 is ignored, and so, too, the by-election defeats that triggered the vote of confidence in the then PM, or even the contradictory threat that Johnson, the one-man electoral magic, will give up his challenge to Sunak if he’s allowed to chicken-run to a safer seat than his current Uxbridge. It’s more about faith than facts.

Taken together, these tribes present a problem for Sunak, but not a fatal one. Both his predecessors were popular with the membership and both have a parliamentary faction that is big enough to disrupt but not destroy his premiership. In any case, it’s unclear if either has the appetite to bring him down: Truss blew her shot and lacks an obvious successor, and Johnson pulled up at the first fence of the recent leadership contest. What they can do is snipe and plot.

Tory leaders have always faced grumbling. Heath was barracked by the Right-wing Monday Club and the development of the economically liberal faction that would become the Thatcherites. A decade later, Mrs Thatcher had to face down her Wets, whose spiritual leader became the ageing Earl of Stockton, Harold Macmillan, who fired softly-spoken broadsides against her embrace of “the Manchester School” and rejection of old Tory patrician ideals. Yet in these eras, there was sufficient deference to the leader, and the prime minister had sufficient strength, to lead an alternative narrative. Sunak seems to lack this.

Where Boris could be a chimaera that every faction could see themselves in, Sunak is the opposite. He is a Brexiteer, a true, pre-2016 believer, who has the air of Remain about him. He’s an MBA touting hedge-fundie and Goldman Sachs man who is attacked as a socialist. He was Boris’ side-kick in the Treasury for the high-spending, minimum wage boosting, pre-Covid budget, yet is seen as an austerity-monger. His Covid spending was hugely popular inside and outside the party at the time, but now no one seems to praise him for it. Even his popularity in parliament seems to be by default rather than dedication. He has ascended to the top of politics despite an incongruent lack of political appeal.

The steady managerialism which won him the job makes it hard to pull together a narrative. Boris won the party over with his showmanship, Truss courted the members with a steely determination to implement her beliefs. Both largely fell for the same reasons. With Sunak, everything seems neatly totted up, but it’s a whole that is lesser than the sum of its parts. There is nothing irresistible about his leadership — and so you can see how it will be resisted. Probably not directly, but he will have to work hard for the party to steer his programme through the Commons with these factions in play.

He’ll probably get the chance to do this. The rabble-rousers will make the water choppy, but not prevent him from steering through it. Their minds are on what comes after. The smarter, less party-line-taking MPs are accepting that the game is up and opposition beckons. They know this will be followed by a leadership election and a period of party soul-searching, so they are getting their ideas formed early. Both the Trussketeers and the Johnsonians seem to have this period as their real target.

The problem is that the triumph of ideas in the next term might simply be decided by the rate of decline in the Tories in this one. Few on the Right seem to understand how catastrophic the next election could be. On current polling trends, the party could be reduced to fewer than 150 MPs. While such a rout instinctively feels impossible, so too did the collapse of the Lib Dems and Scottish Labour in 2015 — even when all the data pointed to it.

Just because something is unprecedented does not mean it is impossible. Mid-term polling tends to narrow as governments approach general elections, but it is not an automatic process. With the economic outlook for this year looking gloomy, industrial relations worsening, and another bad winter for the NHS between now and polling day, there’s as much chance of a Tory rout as a revival.

Should this come, it adds an interesting gloss to all this infighting and positioning. The next leadership election will be largely decided by the Tories in Parliament after the next polling day. If a wipe-out hits, that caucus looks very different. Many of the frontbench could be gone, Truss’ protégé Simon Clarke could be handed his electoral P45, and even Boris could be kicked out without a new seat. Even if they spend the next 18 months floating ideas and launching papers, the new direction of the Tory Party will largely be decided by who is left clinging to the wreckage when the electoral tsunami has swept through.

At that point, the factions will seek to differentiate themselves from Sunak’s programme. Whether it is continuity Truss or the Johnsonian cabal, they are likely to be noisy. Other factions will also emerge — Priti Patel is reportedly working with the members, and is allied with the new Conservative Democracy Organisation that seeks to empower them.

There are two ways of looking at the current turbulence. Either discipline is collapsing into fractiousness, or the party is genuinely trying to figure out its next direction. Some MPs will be pure of heart, others entirely self-centred. Many will be in the middle, anxiously looking at their constituency prospects. For Sunak the motives matter little. His agenda will be disrupted by each flexing their brains and their numbers in parliamentary rebellions, even if his premiership endures.

It’s arguable that the Tory Party malaise has its ultimate roots in the failure to find a footing after 1997. It groped around for ideas until the financial crisis gave it the opportunity to return to government. The party’s most distinct theme for that era, its euroscepticism, was something leaders largely tolerated rather than embraced. The result was a party which seemed to stand for little beyond winning elections. There is a risk that soon it won’t even have that.

This does all point to a broader problem for the Right. The Conservative Party has maintained conservatism in one form or another for two centuries. If it is not able to put together a convincing and coherent platform that is both principled and popular, it is unlikely anyone else will be able to do it. When both the affluent and the left-behind feel comfortable voting Labour, it becomes questionable whether conservatism itself can survive.


John Oxley is a corporate strategist and political commentator. His Substack is Joxley Writes.

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Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago

I’ll disregard the laughable portrayal of Boris and Truss as right-wing bogeymen waiting to pounce.
The voters WILL desert the Conservative party at the next election and the damage will be permanent. It’s not even in question. Many will not vote at all.
Conservative values and principles however will still be alive in millions of people from different backgrounds and classes. However, it is dawning on many that the State simply will not honour the policies their votes represent.
Lib-Lab-Tories; just a vote for a WEF omni-party, UK’s voice in the worldwide network of politicians and bankers that have failed the citizens of the West over 25 years.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Totally agree! Every conservative will glaze over at talk of this hapless uncouth rabble pondering yet more doom loop in fighting. Only Truss comes half close to something approaching normal conservatism but she is a naive amateur extremist. Johnson. May. Rishi. All form part of a totally detached political class, unmoored from the realities of the crises in the economy and our society. They have spaffed a golden opportunity for national revival and a reverse out of the catastrophe of EU Blairism. Brexit did not even get to take off. Wretched, vain and still ignorant of the contempt of all true conservatives, these high tax pro EU semi socialist Tory MPs show no signs of showing intellectual energy and spirit. Nor do they recognise the immense danger their failure has put the nation in. Yabber yabber. Rome is burning.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I don’t disagree with a lot of what you say, but then you go off on the usual rightish ‘saviour’ syndrome, last time round, rather ludicrously, Liz Truss. Some of you guys ALSO haven’t the slightest comprehension of what conservatism is! Read Scruton. Truss ISN’T a Conservative, she is a rather ideological economic liberal, what we just used to call, a liberal!

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Agree. Reading Scruton exposes the yawning chasm between Tories and conservatives (intentional lower case).

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Yes. Scruton is spot on. Thoroughly recommended: objective, measured, humorous and analytical.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

My comments about Truss were not intended to be supportive or kind! I simply observed that unlike the Socialist Big State fraudsters Johnson May and Sunak, she at least acknowledged some merit in wealth creation/private enterprise and – albeit ineffectually – at least took on the crippling EU-forged Big State Orthodoxy. I have no idea how I expressed any ‘saviour syndrome’. I see no saviour and no hope for this rabble. God knows what the Conservative Party stand for now. I do read Scruton. His worldview does not exist within the so called Conservative Party and is anathema to the vast unelected failing leftist Technocracy which actually rules us.

L Easterbrook
L Easterbrook
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Truss used to be a Lib Dem. For all we know, she still is.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  L Easterbrook

Truss used to be a Remainer. For all we know, she still is.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  L Easterbrook

Truss used to be a Remainer. For all we know, she still is.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Another comment that is on the money for accuracy

L Easterbrook
L Easterbrook
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Truss used to be a Lib Dem. For all we know, she still is.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Another comment that is on the money for accuracy

Andy White
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Forever the contrarian in government and she had a past as a card-carrying Liberal Democrat. The warning lights were always flashing with Truss but everyone drove on regardless.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy White

No warning lights with Sunak?

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy White

No warning lights with Sunak?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

She had good intincts too good for her party I fear.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Agree. Reading Scruton exposes the yawning chasm between Tories and conservatives (intentional lower case).

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Yes. Scruton is spot on. Thoroughly recommended: objective, measured, humorous and analytical.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

My comments about Truss were not intended to be supportive or kind! I simply observed that unlike the Socialist Big State fraudsters Johnson May and Sunak, she at least acknowledged some merit in wealth creation/private enterprise and – albeit ineffectually – at least took on the crippling EU-forged Big State Orthodoxy. I have no idea how I expressed any ‘saviour syndrome’. I see no saviour and no hope for this rabble. God knows what the Conservative Party stand for now. I do read Scruton. His worldview does not exist within the so called Conservative Party and is anathema to the vast unelected failing leftist Technocracy which actually rules us.

Andy White
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Forever the contrarian in government and she had a past as a card-carrying Liberal Democrat. The warning lights were always flashing with Truss but everyone drove on regardless.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

She had good intincts too good for her party I fear.

stuart bailey
stuart bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Genuine question: do you really think Liz Truss – who believes in untrammelled free markets and deregulation – is a true conservative?
My two pence: although Johnson is a complete fraud and is rightly on the backbenches (hopefully forever), he intuited something important. To quote Michael Lind: “the right believes in the nation but not the state, while the left believes in the state but not the nation.”
Conservatives need a new policy programme of political economy based around security and resilience. Free markets and unchecked globalisation have shorn power from the working classes. Economic, political and cultural power has been taken from them. They’ve revolted.
We need to give them back power, in all three spheres. It requires a radical remaking of conservative thought.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  stuart bailey

I agree with the diagnosis. But power does not reside in our national Parliament and the Executive anymore. Power has been diffused away to an army of regulators, the Bank of England, the NHS and more. The politically motivated civil service has just stymied Brexit. We still have EU laws. And human rights laws prevent proper control of borders, policing and more. Untangling the huge mess created by the Blair years and its Cameron/May offspring is simply beyond the power and will of the modernTories. The Blob win.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The dud was also Boris who was elected by a landslide to deal with this but did nothing of consequence. I am suspicious of anyone who attends WEF an organisation that seeks global control.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The dud was also Boris who was elected by a landslide to deal with this but did nothing of consequence. I am suspicious of anyone who attends WEF an organisation that seeks global control.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  stuart bailey

I agree with the diagnosis. But power does not reside in our national Parliament and the Executive anymore. Power has been diffused away to an army of regulators, the Bank of England, the NHS and more. The politically motivated civil service has just stymied Brexit. We still have EU laws. And human rights laws prevent proper control of borders, policing and more. Untangling the huge mess created by the Blair years and its Cameron/May offspring is simply beyond the power and will of the modernTories. The Blob win.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I don’t disagree with a lot of what you say, but then you go off on the usual rightish ‘saviour’ syndrome, last time round, rather ludicrously, Liz Truss. Some of you guys ALSO haven’t the slightest comprehension of what conservatism is! Read Scruton. Truss ISN’T a Conservative, she is a rather ideological economic liberal, what we just used to call, a liberal!

stuart bailey
stuart bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Genuine question: do you really think Liz Truss – who believes in untrammelled free markets and deregulation – is a true conservative?
My two pence: although Johnson is a complete fraud and is rightly on the backbenches (hopefully forever), he intuited something important. To quote Michael Lind: “the right believes in the nation but not the state, while the left believes in the state but not the nation.”
Conservatives need a new policy programme of political economy based around security and resilience. Free markets and unchecked globalisation have shorn power from the working classes. Economic, political and cultural power has been taken from them. They’ve revolted.
We need to give them back power, in all three spheres. It requires a radical remaking of conservative thought.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

He didn’t actually say that Dustin! They are certainly waiting on the wings and not very happy to have lost power. If you actually think Boris the charlatan or Liz the inarticulate and not very competent liberal ideologue, are the Party’s future, well, I don’t know what to say. I can’t quite understand why your sweeping condemnation of the Conservative Party, with which largely agree, somehow exempts those two.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

There is poll after poll asking how Brexit affects this or that, but as we’ve not had Brexit they’re laughable.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

That’s a new one – ‘Brexit isn’t a shambles because it didn’t really happen’. Good grief the alternative Universe some inhabit. Take responsibility. It’s a shambles because it was always going to be a shambles esp when we went for Hard version.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

That’s a new one – ‘Brexit isn’t a shambles because it didn’t really happen’. Good grief the alternative Universe some inhabit. Take responsibility. It’s a shambles because it was always going to be a shambles esp when we went for Hard version.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Let us say that we have not seen anyone better than Truss as yet. She was honest and clear unlike a lot of the skullduggery we are seeing.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

There is poll after poll asking how Brexit affects this or that, but as we’ve not had Brexit they’re laughable.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Let us say that we have not seen anyone better than Truss as yet. She was honest and clear unlike a lot of the skullduggery we are seeing.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Quite so. I have written to my Tory MP precisely along these lines. We have 2 socialist/centre left parties. They are cynical political cross-dressers. How ANYONE can possibly describe the Tory government as “hard right/borderline genocidal” (the militant young doctors’ group spoiling for strike action) is beyond me. Especially when this same group describes Starmer’s Labour as “proto-fascist”.
We have Tweedledum-Tweedledee politics. I shall not be voting Tory. They need a dose of creative destruction.
As for Truss’s “growth”, it is based simply on yet more immigration, already more than 1 million a year.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

I don’t know that Truss agreed with mass immigration?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

I don’t know that Truss agreed with mass immigration?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Boris has failed miserably with his mandate for a clear Brexit. He achieved nothing as far as I can see. The problems that the country voted tory for remain. Being a member of WEF doesn’t help any of our leaders and appears to me a covenant to hand over our country to WEF captivity. Truss was the best option and had the right plan. Her party ditched her but not the country. As for May enough said. Conservatism appears to be finished in the conservative party. They have not done much about the schools teaching transgenderism and are as much deceived by this as they are deceived by Covid so called vaccinations.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

I genuinely don’t know who to vote for in the coming election, I think many previous working class conservative voters feel the same. There are no conservatives in the UK conservative party any more. Zero.
Its really simple.
The population want a “loon-free”, low tax, pro-business, growth oriented, pro-law & order, culturally traditional, independent national leaning party and that’s what the northern red wall voted for in their droves which gave the present massive majority. To be honest most western nations voters want that too and you can see this from the US to Eastern Europe.
Greenwashed, airey fairy, unfocused policy will get you on the left slanted BBC but not get shoes on kids feet or the planet actually saved of which I am also keen. Scruton is indeed the way to go.
I see none of that being pushed forward in POLICY as opposed to SOUND-BITES regardless of huge majorities in parliament to enact anything as the politicians have no conviction to enact what are ironically popular directions. Execute what the people want and save your job? Unlikely. Continuing to worry about pro-nouns instead of wars, famine and dictatorships instead will continue.
The Labour Party at its last conference binned singing “the red flag” and played the national anthem with a huge Union Jack behind them. Cynicism doesn’t even cover it but with some spin and dreadful present government performance it’s almost a guaranteed landslide. I don’t wish a far right winger with messianic traits (please, no) on anyone but just somebody in control who doesn’t hate his own country and represents the non-London metropolitan vote (the majority that is) would be nice but unlikely.
Sorry to sound the gloomster daily Mail reader but it makes you weep when you lived through the 70s and you know where this is going next. We will go the way of Canada and New Zealand shortly I suspect
Great paper in UnHerd and glad to see input from other countries and different political opinions from left and right. Imagine that? balanced and informed reporting with a mix of political input and comment from a mixed left & right readership. Discussion without trolls. Hope it catches on!

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Curtin
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Totally agree! Every conservative will glaze over at talk of this hapless uncouth rabble pondering yet more doom loop in fighting. Only Truss comes half close to something approaching normal conservatism but she is a naive amateur extremist. Johnson. May. Rishi. All form part of a totally detached political class, unmoored from the realities of the crises in the economy and our society. They have spaffed a golden opportunity for national revival and a reverse out of the catastrophe of EU Blairism. Brexit did not even get to take off. Wretched, vain and still ignorant of the contempt of all true conservatives, these high tax pro EU semi socialist Tory MPs show no signs of showing intellectual energy and spirit. Nor do they recognise the immense danger their failure has put the nation in. Yabber yabber. Rome is burning.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

He didn’t actually say that Dustin! They are certainly waiting on the wings and not very happy to have lost power. If you actually think Boris the charlatan or Liz the inarticulate and not very competent liberal ideologue, are the Party’s future, well, I don’t know what to say. I can’t quite understand why your sweeping condemnation of the Conservative Party, with which largely agree, somehow exempts those two.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Quite so. I have written to my Tory MP precisely along these lines. We have 2 socialist/centre left parties. They are cynical political cross-dressers. How ANYONE can possibly describe the Tory government as “hard right/borderline genocidal” (the militant young doctors’ group spoiling for strike action) is beyond me. Especially when this same group describes Starmer’s Labour as “proto-fascist”.
We have Tweedledum-Tweedledee politics. I shall not be voting Tory. They need a dose of creative destruction.
As for Truss’s “growth”, it is based simply on yet more immigration, already more than 1 million a year.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Boris has failed miserably with his mandate for a clear Brexit. He achieved nothing as far as I can see. The problems that the country voted tory for remain. Being a member of WEF doesn’t help any of our leaders and appears to me a covenant to hand over our country to WEF captivity. Truss was the best option and had the right plan. Her party ditched her but not the country. As for May enough said. Conservatism appears to be finished in the conservative party. They have not done much about the schools teaching transgenderism and are as much deceived by this as they are deceived by Covid so called vaccinations.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

I genuinely don’t know who to vote for in the coming election, I think many previous working class conservative voters feel the same. There are no conservatives in the UK conservative party any more. Zero.
Its really simple.
The population want a “loon-free”, low tax, pro-business, growth oriented, pro-law & order, culturally traditional, independent national leaning party and that’s what the northern red wall voted for in their droves which gave the present massive majority. To be honest most western nations voters want that too and you can see this from the US to Eastern Europe.
Greenwashed, airey fairy, unfocused policy will get you on the left slanted BBC but not get shoes on kids feet or the planet actually saved of which I am also keen. Scruton is indeed the way to go.
I see none of that being pushed forward in POLICY as opposed to SOUND-BITES regardless of huge majorities in parliament to enact anything as the politicians have no conviction to enact what are ironically popular directions. Execute what the people want and save your job? Unlikely. Continuing to worry about pro-nouns instead of wars, famine and dictatorships instead will continue.
The Labour Party at its last conference binned singing “the red flag” and played the national anthem with a huge Union Jack behind them. Cynicism doesn’t even cover it but with some spin and dreadful present government performance it’s almost a guaranteed landslide. I don’t wish a far right winger with messianic traits (please, no) on anyone but just somebody in control who doesn’t hate his own country and represents the non-London metropolitan vote (the majority that is) would be nice but unlikely.
Sorry to sound the gloomster daily Mail reader but it makes you weep when you lived through the 70s and you know where this is going next. We will go the way of Canada and New Zealand shortly I suspect
Great paper in UnHerd and glad to see input from other countries and different political opinions from left and right. Imagine that? balanced and informed reporting with a mix of political input and comment from a mixed left & right readership. Discussion without trolls. Hope it catches on!

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Curtin
Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago

I’ll disregard the laughable portrayal of Boris and Truss as right-wing bogeymen waiting to pounce.
The voters WILL desert the Conservative party at the next election and the damage will be permanent. It’s not even in question. Many will not vote at all.
Conservative values and principles however will still be alive in millions of people from different backgrounds and classes. However, it is dawning on many that the State simply will not honour the policies their votes represent.
Lib-Lab-Tories; just a vote for a WEF omni-party, UK’s voice in the worldwide network of politicians and bankers that have failed the citizens of the West over 25 years.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

When you consider how “woke” Britland is becoming with a Tory government in charge, the imagination reels at the thought of what will happen with the next Labour government.
But the way of the world is that you don’t get a Thatcher until you get wasted by a Callaghan. I say bring back Lord Salisbury. Everything has gone downhill since he died in 1901.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christopher Chantrill
Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

Andrew Bridgen MP, the only Man left in Parliament. Naturally the rat Sunak attacked him. What a dirty rat Sunak showed himself to be in that moment!

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

Here is the best UK video on the great crime of the vaccine –

it is James Delingpole interviewing Andrew Bridgen – an hour from a MP – and is shocking to the very core. Only a couple MPs are anti-Vax! He does get to essentially call Sunak a rat, and that was good – But this Plandemic has been a crime against Humanity, and this is the lone voice in all the Government! He also gives stories on the dark side of the agenda – not deep, but lets you know it is indeed a conspiracy.
He comes off very well – he is pretty charismatic in his way, and so it is very entertaining to watch. And it is worth listening to a MP talk of what life is behind those doors we do not enter. Give it an hour if you can. In this he assumes you are up on the talk he gives on the terrible harms the mRNA vax is causing – the life destroying harms – but does not go into them – you need to watch Dr Campbell’s one on Youtube (all other places have had it erased), it is easy to find if you search both names.

https://rumble.com/v21nnxc-andrew-bridgen-mp.html

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

James Delingpole is now the authority on vaccination? And I see you have now reached the point of replying to yourself! I do hope the Conservatives don’t go full blown down this conspiracy rabbit hole, they would lose power for decades.

Dr John Campbell is not an anti-vaxxer – his argument is that a harm – benefit analysis about RARE adverse side effects is required, which does rather acknowledge the point that there ARE benefits!

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Andrew, James Delingpole is not an expert on vaccines but Professor Robert Clancy is an expert Immunologist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMyERFBdB4E

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

John Campbell is changing by the week and says enough to make one very wary of a covid vax. I wouldn’t dare have one now. It’s all about $$$$

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Andrew, James Delingpole is not an expert on vaccines but Professor Robert Clancy is an expert Immunologist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMyERFBdB4E

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

John Campbell is changing by the week and says enough to make one very wary of a covid vax. I wouldn’t dare have one now. It’s all about $$$$

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

I have seen it and totally agree with it. I would not have another covid vax if you paid me.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

James Delingpole is now the authority on vaccination? And I see you have now reached the point of replying to yourself! I do hope the Conservatives don’t go full blown down this conspiracy rabbit hole, they would lose power for decades.

Dr John Campbell is not an anti-vaxxer – his argument is that a harm – benefit analysis about RARE adverse side effects is required, which does rather acknowledge the point that there ARE benefits!

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

I have seen it and totally agree with it. I would not have another covid vax if you paid me.

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
1 year ago

Bridgen is hardly ‘the man’ to save the Conservative party with his fringe notions, extremist ideas and detestable references. Not exactly a vote winner, is he?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

No but he is still a man who has got hold of the truth and is brave enough to speak up about it.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Dog Eared

No but he is still a man who has got hold of the truth and is brave enough to speak up about it.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

More ‘saviour’ syndrome, this time on behalf of the the rather absurd figure of Andrew Bridgen. I like the man, but his comparison of a vaccination programme, however critical we might be of it, with the systematic industrialised murder of millions, was utterly grotesque, and, worse politically, made him into a ridiculous figure.

I am increasingly of the view that most on the Right, railing and gnashing their teeth, simply don’t get it. Their analysis is wrong, and so therefore are their prescriptions. The division of politicians into ‘traitors’ and an ever changing cast of ‘saviours’ is just desperate stuff.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

He didn’t compare it with that. He quoted someone else who said it would turn out to be the worst thing SINCE that. If you sticks up straw men it’s very easy for you to shoot them down. Try engaging with the facts if the matter instead. It’s more challenging and more helpful.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

If he wanted credibility for his views he shouldn’t have referenced the Holocaust – and that showed his political stupidity.
Just like Clarkson, who never should have apologised for it, should have referenced GOT when making his crack about the vain one.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I believe he is right about the vax though.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

And that’s a fair view to take too – Bridgen messed up on presentation and made himself look a whack job instead of someone who seeks to have the debate that’s needed.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

And that’s a fair view to take too – Bridgen messed up on presentation and made himself look a whack job instead of someone who seeks to have the debate that’s needed.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I believe he is right about the vax though.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

If he wanted credibility for his views he shouldn’t have referenced the Holocaust – and that showed his political stupidity.
Just like Clarkson, who never should have apologised for it, should have referenced GOT when making his crack about the vain one.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

He did not make any such comparison. The word used was “since” not “the same as”!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

No. Post facto rowing back when the crassness and stupidity of the linkage dawned. Everyone knew exactly why he had Holocaust in the same phrase. He wanted it as the comparison. He could have said since WW2. He didn’t.
And besides worse than Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge? Than Mao and brutalities of the Cultural Revolution? The Gulags of Stalinist Russia?
At best he’s a bit thick.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Bingo!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

But a good instinct for the truth about covid.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Bingo!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

But a good instinct for the truth about covid.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

No. Post facto rowing back when the crassness and stupidity of the linkage dawned. Everyone knew exactly why he had Holocaust in the same phrase. He wanted it as the comparison. He could have said since WW2. He didn’t.
And besides worse than Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge? Than Mao and brutalities of the Cultural Revolution? The Gulags of Stalinist Russia?
At best he’s a bit thick.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

He didn’t compare it with that. He quoted someone else who said it would turn out to be the worst thing SINCE that. If you sticks up straw men it’s very easy for you to shoot them down. Try engaging with the facts if the matter instead. It’s more challenging and more helpful.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

He did not make any such comparison. The word used was “since” not “the same as”!

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

Yes he was a brave man to speak out the truth on vaccines. That they closed him down speaks volumes about the Conservative party. It would appear they are part of the deception.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Quite true Tony. I believe the Dr John Campbell / Professor Robert Clancy interview should be shown to all those vacant Politicians. So those numbskulls who have just ordered 210 million doses of the Moderna vaccine at £15? a shot don’t realise that giving widespread genetic vaccines to all and sundry can give varying results. As the professor says mrna vaccines are good for targeting individuals with their own T cells and say the cancer antigen. But as he says the more vaccinations we have the less effective they become.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Quite true Tony. I believe the Dr John Campbell / Professor Robert Clancy interview should be shown to all those vacant Politicians. So those numbskulls who have just ordered 210 million doses of the Moderna vaccine at £15? a shot don’t realise that giving widespread genetic vaccines to all and sundry can give varying results. As the professor says mrna vaccines are good for targeting individuals with their own T cells and say the cancer antigen. But as he says the more vaccinations we have the less effective they become.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

Here is the best UK video on the great crime of the vaccine –

it is James Delingpole interviewing Andrew Bridgen – an hour from a MP – and is shocking to the very core. Only a couple MPs are anti-Vax! He does get to essentially call Sunak a rat, and that was good – But this Plandemic has been a crime against Humanity, and this is the lone voice in all the Government! He also gives stories on the dark side of the agenda – not deep, but lets you know it is indeed a conspiracy.
He comes off very well – he is pretty charismatic in his way, and so it is very entertaining to watch. And it is worth listening to a MP talk of what life is behind those doors we do not enter. Give it an hour if you can. In this he assumes you are up on the talk he gives on the terrible harms the mRNA vax is causing – the life destroying harms – but does not go into them – you need to watch Dr Campbell’s one on Youtube (all other places have had it erased), it is easy to find if you search both names.

https://rumble.com/v21nnxc-andrew-bridgen-mp.html

Dog Eared
Dog Eared
1 year ago

Bridgen is hardly ‘the man’ to save the Conservative party with his fringe notions, extremist ideas and detestable references. Not exactly a vote winner, is he?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

More ‘saviour’ syndrome, this time on behalf of the the rather absurd figure of Andrew Bridgen. I like the man, but his comparison of a vaccination programme, however critical we might be of it, with the systematic industrialised murder of millions, was utterly grotesque, and, worse politically, made him into a ridiculous figure.

I am increasingly of the view that most on the Right, railing and gnashing their teeth, simply don’t get it. Their analysis is wrong, and so therefore are their prescriptions. The division of politicians into ‘traitors’ and an ever changing cast of ‘saviours’ is just desperate stuff.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

Yes he was a brave man to speak out the truth on vaccines. That they closed him down speaks volumes about the Conservative party. It would appear they are part of the deception.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I would put it a little earlier with the death of Lord Palmerston (aka Lord Cupid) in 1865.

After all we still had to endure the GOM (God’s Only Mistake) William Gladstone.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Can’t really agree. Gladstone did a lot of good stuff. Including sorting out the national finances (paying down debt – “retrenchement” as it was called in those days) when Chancellor well before 1865. He was also less enthusiastic about the overseas “Liberal intervention” stuff (I really should give thanks every morning that we’ve seen the back of Tony Blair).
Curious that Palmerston and Gladstone both started out as quite traditional Tories and both drifted further “left” as they got older.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Off course Gladstone was a genius with the Exchequer, but I believe the ‘rot’ started with him.

Irish Emancipation, the ‘Married Women’s Property Rights’, the MOG (Murder of Gordon) and so forth.
Then there is his speculation in Egypt Stocks just prior to sanctioning the 1881 conquest of Egypt, and also those very strange diaries and their hints of self flagellation!

However it is curious that both he and Palmerston “drifted further left as they grew older”. I can offer no excuse for Palmerston, but for Gladstone I would posit his Evangelical Christianity coupled with his ‘guilt’ over his families massive involvement in the Slave Trade, maybe the catalyst.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

You object to married women having property rights, rather than I suppose the much preferable system of married women being treated, in law at least, literally as chattel?! That puts you to well to the right of almost any country on Earth, including most Muslim ones.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Roman women had excellent ‘property rights’ until the advent of Christianity.
Gladstone’s ‘emancipation’ was too little and too late, not even the wretched vote!

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I think we’ve misunderstood you here Charles ! We assumed you were critical of women’s property rights – you actually seem to be saying Gladstone didn’t go far enough/fast enough. It didn’t read that way.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

My apologies for such an inarticulate post! I could have phrased it better.

However I often feel that as the rulers of the greatest Empire since Ancient Rome , we should have been the first to give Women the Vote! Not one of the last!

A very slovenly performance, it must be said.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

If it’s any consolation, it was the British Empire colonies (NZ) and ex-colonies (USA) who got there first. The UK record is not that bad either. Well better than average overall I think.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

If it’s any consolation, it was the British Empire colonies (NZ) and ex-colonies (USA) who got there first. The UK record is not that bad either. Well better than average overall I think.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

My apologies for such an inarticulate post! I could have phrased it better.

However I often feel that as the rulers of the greatest Empire since Ancient Rome , we should have been the first to give Women the Vote! Not one of the last!

A very slovenly performance, it must be said.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I think we’ve misunderstood you here Charles ! We assumed you were critical of women’s property rights – you actually seem to be saying Gladstone didn’t go far enough/fast enough. It didn’t read that way.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Roman women had excellent ‘property rights’ until the advent of Christianity.
Gladstone’s ‘emancipation’ was too little and too late, not even the wretched vote!

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

You object to married women having property rights, rather than I suppose the much preferable system of married women being treated, in law at least, literally as chattel?! That puts you to well to the right of almost any country on Earth, including most Muslim ones.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Off course Gladstone was a genius with the Exchequer, but I believe the ‘rot’ started with him.

Irish Emancipation, the ‘Married Women’s Property Rights’, the MOG (Murder of Gordon) and so forth.
Then there is his speculation in Egypt Stocks just prior to sanctioning the 1881 conquest of Egypt, and also those very strange diaries and their hints of self flagellation!

However it is curious that both he and Palmerston “drifted further left as they grew older”. I can offer no excuse for Palmerston, but for Gladstone I would posit his Evangelical Christianity coupled with his ‘guilt’ over his families massive involvement in the Slave Trade, maybe the catalyst.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Can’t really agree. Gladstone did a lot of good stuff. Including sorting out the national finances (paying down debt – “retrenchement” as it was called in those days) when Chancellor well before 1865. He was also less enthusiastic about the overseas “Liberal intervention” stuff (I really should give thanks every morning that we’ve seen the back of Tony Blair).
Curious that Palmerston and Gladstone both started out as quite traditional Tories and both drifted further “left” as they got older.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

We all know that Labour will be far worse so we are talking about the lesser of two evils. I am going to sacrifice my vote to the Reform, UKIP or Heritage Party. Shame they cannot work together. UKIP is willing but Reform is not.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

Andrew Bridgen MP, the only Man left in Parliament. Naturally the rat Sunak attacked him. What a dirty rat Sunak showed himself to be in that moment!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I would put it a little earlier with the death of Lord Palmerston (aka Lord Cupid) in 1865.

After all we still had to endure the GOM (God’s Only Mistake) William Gladstone.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

We all know that Labour will be far worse so we are talking about the lesser of two evils. I am going to sacrifice my vote to the Reform, UKIP or Heritage Party. Shame they cannot work together. UKIP is willing but Reform is not.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

When you consider how “woke” Britland is becoming with a Tory government in charge, the imagination reels at the thought of what will happen with the next Labour government.
But the way of the world is that you don’t get a Thatcher until you get wasted by a Callaghan. I say bring back Lord Salisbury. Everything has gone downhill since he died in 1901.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christopher Chantrill
j watson
j watson
1 year ago

The problem at the moment for the Right is it thinks it’s primarily been about different personalities and their presentational failings. May was wooden. Boris all bluster. Truss robotic. Sunak managerial. But these attributes hide a much bigger problem which is huge inconsistencies and contradictions in current right wing thinking. Brexit vs Growth. Immigration vs Growth. Red Wall vs Blue wall. Britain vs Little Englander. Neo Liberalism vs pragmatic Conservatism. Free market vs some sensible state intervention and planning. And more.

Conversative party has always been a broad church and the most successful party because of it’s adaptability to the times. So even though I’m no fan I wouldn’t write it off at all. Next election will be much closer than current Polls suggest. The desire for Power will outweigh all other considerations eventually. But to be successful many more on the Right need to recognise often what they’ve been asking for is contradictory and in trying to face all ways we’ve ended in a much bigger mess than we should have as a Country.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I think there’s something in this, it’s a good comment. To my mind the key point in the article is, ‘It’s arguable that the Tory Party malaise has its ultimate roots in the failure to find a footing after 1997. It groped around for ideas until the financial crisis gave it the opportunity to return to government.’
If anything I’d say the Conservatives have failed to find a footing since 1992, euroscepticism was just displacement activity for real thinking. Hence when the referendum happened no one really quite knew what to do with it. In fairness, to all of the leaders they are just symptoms of the bigger problem which is, as you say, a contradiction between corporatist interests and (for want of a better term) one nation thinking. This contradiction reached its highwater mark with the EU where the splits became too much. It’s difficult to see how any leader ever could really have reconciled it. It’s too easy to blame the leaders.
There are, of course, sound arguments for leaving the EU but what actually happened within conservatism was a lot of single issue hyperventilating and score-settling. None of which actually seemed to lead to a coherent vision of a conservative society – the minimisation of woke, managed national preference and resilience, caution on inflation, secure work, owner occupation, paying for robust pensions, sensible levels of personal and national debt, laws that don’t micromanage, industry to fill that great big hole in the economy rather than a housing free-for-all and so on. Cameron and Osborne might have believed in their own heads that austerity was some great national-conservative revival but at best it just papered over the cracks short term. Johnson was a sugar rush not a conservative.
Rishi Sunak, it should be noted, polls someway ahead of his party and Keir Starmer has yet to really address Labour’s own splits on Europe. Like you I’m not totally convinced the next election is the foregone conclusion I’m told it is.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

The leadership all attend WEF conferences. The banishes my confidence in them and purports to a globalist agreement to take over all countries. Not a pretty picture. If you cannot vote them in and out then there is no reason for them to listen to you.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

The leadership all attend WEF conferences. The banishes my confidence in them and purports to a globalist agreement to take over all countries. Not a pretty picture. If you cannot vote them in and out then there is no reason for them to listen to you.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You are right. Labour are still driven by class envy and a deep loathing of wealth creation. They are mad identitarians. They should be under more pressure. Meanwhile, the Big State is still intervening more and more with our lives, warping so many markets and even locking us up to protect the reputation of its ghastly monolithic NHS. Yet still Rishi has not yet made the case AGAINST these twin threats to prosperity and freedom. He and Hunt talk of ‘unearned income’. They talk like Brownites on tax for social redistribution only and have rekindled welfare dependency in a huge unseen underclass . They pour yet more money into a totally broken NHS; hike corporation taxes and even bow to Greta on Net Zero and ESG. There COULD be clear blue water between a Tory Party and Labour. But they are just not making the case. Like a tired swimmer out of their depth, they are just being dragged wimpering far out to sea by the more powerful tides of the leftist Blob, media and law.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Critique rich, actual policy suggestion lite I’d suggest WM.
Let’s be hearing an actual thought through Policy you’d recommend and how you’d get sufficient support to get it through. Genuinely interested.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

What an imaginative way of describing it.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Critique rich, actual policy suggestion lite I’d suggest WM.
Let’s be hearing an actual thought through Policy you’d recommend and how you’d get sufficient support to get it through. Genuinely interested.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

What an imaginative way of describing it.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Also what happens to deservedly popular policies. The Bonfire of the Quangoes followed by a huge increase in them. Immigration…speaks for itself. Tough on crime, ditto.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I don’t see the calibre of people in the Tory party just now apart from people like David Davies.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I think there’s something in this, it’s a good comment. To my mind the key point in the article is, ‘It’s arguable that the Tory Party malaise has its ultimate roots in the failure to find a footing after 1997. It groped around for ideas until the financial crisis gave it the opportunity to return to government.’
If anything I’d say the Conservatives have failed to find a footing since 1992, euroscepticism was just displacement activity for real thinking. Hence when the referendum happened no one really quite knew what to do with it. In fairness, to all of the leaders they are just symptoms of the bigger problem which is, as you say, a contradiction between corporatist interests and (for want of a better term) one nation thinking. This contradiction reached its highwater mark with the EU where the splits became too much. It’s difficult to see how any leader ever could really have reconciled it. It’s too easy to blame the leaders.
There are, of course, sound arguments for leaving the EU but what actually happened within conservatism was a lot of single issue hyperventilating and score-settling. None of which actually seemed to lead to a coherent vision of a conservative society – the minimisation of woke, managed national preference and resilience, caution on inflation, secure work, owner occupation, paying for robust pensions, sensible levels of personal and national debt, laws that don’t micromanage, industry to fill that great big hole in the economy rather than a housing free-for-all and so on. Cameron and Osborne might have believed in their own heads that austerity was some great national-conservative revival but at best it just papered over the cracks short term. Johnson was a sugar rush not a conservative.
Rishi Sunak, it should be noted, polls someway ahead of his party and Keir Starmer has yet to really address Labour’s own splits on Europe. Like you I’m not totally convinced the next election is the foregone conclusion I’m told it is.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You are right. Labour are still driven by class envy and a deep loathing of wealth creation. They are mad identitarians. They should be under more pressure. Meanwhile, the Big State is still intervening more and more with our lives, warping so many markets and even locking us up to protect the reputation of its ghastly monolithic NHS. Yet still Rishi has not yet made the case AGAINST these twin threats to prosperity and freedom. He and Hunt talk of ‘unearned income’. They talk like Brownites on tax for social redistribution only and have rekindled welfare dependency in a huge unseen underclass . They pour yet more money into a totally broken NHS; hike corporation taxes and even bow to Greta on Net Zero and ESG. There COULD be clear blue water between a Tory Party and Labour. But they are just not making the case. Like a tired swimmer out of their depth, they are just being dragged wimpering far out to sea by the more powerful tides of the leftist Blob, media and law.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Also what happens to deservedly popular policies. The Bonfire of the Quangoes followed by a huge increase in them. Immigration…speaks for itself. Tough on crime, ditto.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I don’t see the calibre of people in the Tory party just now apart from people like David Davies.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

The problem at the moment for the Right is it thinks it’s primarily been about different personalities and their presentational failings. May was wooden. Boris all bluster. Truss robotic. Sunak managerial. But these attributes hide a much bigger problem which is huge inconsistencies and contradictions in current right wing thinking. Brexit vs Growth. Immigration vs Growth. Red Wall vs Blue wall. Britain vs Little Englander. Neo Liberalism vs pragmatic Conservatism. Free market vs some sensible state intervention and planning. And more.

Conversative party has always been a broad church and the most successful party because of it’s adaptability to the times. So even though I’m no fan I wouldn’t write it off at all. Next election will be much closer than current Polls suggest. The desire for Power will outweigh all other considerations eventually. But to be successful many more on the Right need to recognise often what they’ve been asking for is contradictory and in trying to face all ways we’ve ended in a much bigger mess than we should have as a Country.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

“Truss sees herself as the party’s Cassandra. She thinks her prophecies of the need for deregulation and growth were right, but wrongly ignored.”

She is going to be proved 100% correct on that. This will of course not mean that she has any real chance of becoming the Tory leader again, and as for winning an election, forget it. But I am confident that at some point, she will be recognised as having had the right ideas and that the country lost a crucial opportunity to avoid decline.

The present high-tax consensus is already wrecking the economy and will do more even more damage as time progresses. The only question is what will happen that makes this impossible to deny any longer.

As to the final paragraph, it suffers from the classic establishment fallacy-conceit: that only the ideas debated at the top possess political relevance. That is why we are forced to tolerate toxic rubbish like gender ideology and Net Zero: ideas that have almost no traction in the broader section of the electorate which is capable of developing an informed view. (Ignore the polls on this: almost nobody wants heat pumps once they understand the cost/performance numbers, and this goes for virtually all the boutique politics ideas that only people at the top take seriously).

In short, there is still a rich seam of the electorate that will vote for conservative rejections of all the stupid ideas that the Establishment thinks it can foist upon us, and the Tory Party will be able to represent such voters once again – after, of course, it has lost the next election and realised the folly of trying to beat the Left in the wasting-taxpayers-money race.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Agreed!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Not sure there was much below Truss’s ‘Growth’ slogan, other than tax cuts, desire to stop Braverman et al unduly limiting immigration and a bit about building on the Green belt.
That demonstrated an absence of real appreciation on what the UK lacks on science, innovation, use of capital wealth, education, and how long it may take to correct these deficiencies. Some strategic thought on where are we best and thus should focus before we try to be something we’re not was also lacking. On the latter we are good at services – finance, consultancy, film production, architects, lawyers etc etc. We ain’t been good at the conversion of engineering ideas (of which we have many leading edge) into mass production for decades. She and Kwarteng showed no indication of understanding why that was and what they’d do about it. A few tax cuts wasn’t going to start fixing that at all. It’s complicated and relates to how investing opportunities in the UK have tended to favour lower risk Finance than Manufacturing.
On a political level she was obviously hopeless. Didn’t prepare the ground, didn’t ensure she had constructive criticism in her camp to get the best decisions, and then couldn’t think on her feet and answer a question without default back to her pre-script for toffee.
Let’s not rewrite how utterly awful it was.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Nothing better on display though.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Nothing better on display though.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I agree. It would appear that the tories have lost it and joined the ranks of Labour.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Agreed!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Not sure there was much below Truss’s ‘Growth’ slogan, other than tax cuts, desire to stop Braverman et al unduly limiting immigration and a bit about building on the Green belt.
That demonstrated an absence of real appreciation on what the UK lacks on science, innovation, use of capital wealth, education, and how long it may take to correct these deficiencies. Some strategic thought on where are we best and thus should focus before we try to be something we’re not was also lacking. On the latter we are good at services – finance, consultancy, film production, architects, lawyers etc etc. We ain’t been good at the conversion of engineering ideas (of which we have many leading edge) into mass production for decades. She and Kwarteng showed no indication of understanding why that was and what they’d do about it. A few tax cuts wasn’t going to start fixing that at all. It’s complicated and relates to how investing opportunities in the UK have tended to favour lower risk Finance than Manufacturing.
On a political level she was obviously hopeless. Didn’t prepare the ground, didn’t ensure she had constructive criticism in her camp to get the best decisions, and then couldn’t think on her feet and answer a question without default back to her pre-script for toffee.
Let’s not rewrite how utterly awful it was.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I agree. It would appear that the tories have lost it and joined the ranks of Labour.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

“Truss sees herself as the party’s Cassandra. She thinks her prophecies of the need for deregulation and growth were right, but wrongly ignored.”

She is going to be proved 100% correct on that. This will of course not mean that she has any real chance of becoming the Tory leader again, and as for winning an election, forget it. But I am confident that at some point, she will be recognised as having had the right ideas and that the country lost a crucial opportunity to avoid decline.

The present high-tax consensus is already wrecking the economy and will do more even more damage as time progresses. The only question is what will happen that makes this impossible to deny any longer.

As to the final paragraph, it suffers from the classic establishment fallacy-conceit: that only the ideas debated at the top possess political relevance. That is why we are forced to tolerate toxic rubbish like gender ideology and Net Zero: ideas that have almost no traction in the broader section of the electorate which is capable of developing an informed view. (Ignore the polls on this: almost nobody wants heat pumps once they understand the cost/performance numbers, and this goes for virtually all the boutique politics ideas that only people at the top take seriously).

In short, there is still a rich seam of the electorate that will vote for conservative rejections of all the stupid ideas that the Establishment thinks it can foist upon us, and the Tory Party will be able to represent such voters once again – after, of course, it has lost the next election and realised the folly of trying to beat the Left in the wasting-taxpayers-money race.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

The complacency with which this commentator treats the outcome of the next election as a foregone conclusion is reminiscent of the delusions of the commentariat before the 2016 referendum. There is, and will remain whatever the result, a majority in the UK who are culturally and economically conservative. What does Oxley think will happen if conservatism “dies”, exactly? What a silly, meaningless thing to say. History suggests that times of mounting geopolitical tension, increasing costs of energy, and growing public mistrust in the ruling classes are rarely “progressive moments”. Perhaps there will be a “electoral tsunami” but it might not be one which ushers in Starmer – a version of Sunak even more detached from reality and the people he is supposed to serve – into office.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Yes. I think Sunak is an irrelevance, and 2024 is lost and Labour will form the next government, but that means we might at least see a conservative party emerge to challenge the following election.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

Agreed. Sunak should be toast along with his tired Tory colleagues unless Starmer keeps messing it up – then the Tories will come back rejuvenated.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

We have far better parties on offer now, although they are small. May they have the strength to break through the barriers, otherwise we are sunk.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

We have far better parties on offer now, although they are small. May they have the strength to break through the barriers, otherwise we are sunk.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

If you get an election. The way it is going WEF will outlaw democracy. You will own nothing but you will be happy. What a deception.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

Agreed. Sunak should be toast along with his tired Tory colleagues unless Starmer keeps messing it up – then the Tories will come back rejuvenated.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

If you get an election. The way it is going WEF will outlaw democracy. You will own nothing but you will be happy. What a deception.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Yes. I think Sunak is an irrelevance, and 2024 is lost and Labour will form the next government, but that means we might at least see a conservative party emerge to challenge the following election.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

The complacency with which this commentator treats the outcome of the next election as a foregone conclusion is reminiscent of the delusions of the commentariat before the 2016 referendum. There is, and will remain whatever the result, a majority in the UK who are culturally and economically conservative. What does Oxley think will happen if conservatism “dies”, exactly? What a silly, meaningless thing to say. History suggests that times of mounting geopolitical tension, increasing costs of energy, and growing public mistrust in the ruling classes are rarely “progressive moments”. Perhaps there will be a “electoral tsunami” but it might not be one which ushers in Starmer – a version of Sunak even more detached from reality and the people he is supposed to serve – into office.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago

Those who ignore the lessons of history are destined to repeat them.

Tories get in. 3 terms later they have been infiltrated by liberal-centrists who love power but know they won’t achieve it in the Lib Dems. They bicker and squabble leaving the floor open for Labour, which gets in, because voters have short memories.

Labour promise a centrist, pro-economy agenda. They break their promises and spend big on ludicrous vanity projects and focus on creating non-jobs that are geared towards making it harder and harder for the diminishing number of economically productive citizens to create wealth. The state grows. Labour borrow a fortune and suddenly… ‘there’s no money’. Labour’s progressive tendencies are foisted on an increasingly unwilling country and the Tories, hopefully chastened, are voted back in. The Tories have a few years to pull the irons out of the fire and restore something approaching a healthy economy.

Rinse and repeat.

But this time, Covid, the fairytale of Net Zero and a weak, narcissistic PM have injured the Tories’ ability to right the country, so we’ll start the doom-cycle on the wrong foot this time.

It’s not going to be a happy decade.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

No change from Labour then. Same old same old stuff. They will still not know what a woman is in their bonkers imagination.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

No change from Labour then. Same old same old stuff. They will still not know what a woman is in their bonkers imagination.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago

Those who ignore the lessons of history are destined to repeat them.

Tories get in. 3 terms later they have been infiltrated by liberal-centrists who love power but know they won’t achieve it in the Lib Dems. They bicker and squabble leaving the floor open for Labour, which gets in, because voters have short memories.

Labour promise a centrist, pro-economy agenda. They break their promises and spend big on ludicrous vanity projects and focus on creating non-jobs that are geared towards making it harder and harder for the diminishing number of economically productive citizens to create wealth. The state grows. Labour borrow a fortune and suddenly… ‘there’s no money’. Labour’s progressive tendencies are foisted on an increasingly unwilling country and the Tories, hopefully chastened, are voted back in. The Tories have a few years to pull the irons out of the fire and restore something approaching a healthy economy.

Rinse and repeat.

But this time, Covid, the fairytale of Net Zero and a weak, narcissistic PM have injured the Tories’ ability to right the country, so we’ll start the doom-cycle on the wrong foot this time.

It’s not going to be a happy decade.

Richard Abbot
Richard Abbot
1 year ago

I have rearranged the last paragraph:
This does all point to a broader OPPORTUNITY for the Right. The Conservative Party has DISREGARDED conservatism in one form or another for two DECADES. If it is not able to put together a convincing and coherent platform that is both principled and popular, it is A CHANCE FOR ANOTHER PARTY TO EMERGE THAT WILL. When both the affluent and the left-behind feel comfortable voting Labour, it becomes questionable whether THE NATION ITSELF itself can survive.

Kevin Ludbrook
Kevin Ludbrook
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Abbot

Democracy and politics is in a funk. Our current two parties do not represent any significant right wing or left wing ideology, it’s all mashed up. But then we (i.e all of us) have surely moved on a long time ago from such crude categorisation. Kier is making speeches that seem right wing and Rishi (and co) is doing the opposite. But either way it’s extremely difficult to govern with any clear ideology when everything you say is in the line of fire from the media and people like us. So I suspect it’s extremely difficult for any new party to emerge. It would need a leader and support from a cabinet with strong characters and conviction that can be respected. And if you have those strengths why would you become a politician? Quite depressing really. I suspect that the Conservatives will continue to triumph but not forever. I quite liked what Kier had to say recently but then I remember the list of people in his shadow cabinet. And it sounds lovely to hand back power to local councils but I wouldn’t trust my council to run a party in a brewery. I think he’s right about the NHS but does anybody have the skills to implement proper change? After all it’s 1.6m voters. Sorry rambling, it’s been a busy day.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Ludbrook

It is possible for a completely new Party to emerge, Macron/Em Marche being the obvious recent example. But it’d need to be more centrist in order to be successful would appear to the lesson there. (Obviously how long his party lasts remains to be seen too).
The idea a new Party on either extreme gaining sufficient support to govern alone a mirage I suggest, albeit one both ends of the spectrum continue to desire.

Andy Blake
Andy Blake
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The likeliest candidate (the Reform UK/SDP alliance or whatever bloc Nigel Farage is the de facto leader of come 2024) occupies a political space that is national-populist and hostile to neoliberalism. In other words, close to Tory Socialism if that’s how we choose to label the traditionalist pre-Thatcher one-nation conservatism from Burke through Disraeli and Blatchford to Macmillan and Powell. Throw in convergence with Red Tories and Blue Labour. Even continuing entails of the former Revolutionary Communist Party faction which hopped aboard Farage’s Brexit Party.

I have lately noticed an increase in the favoured self-description “politically nonbinary” by Reform-adjacent influencers. Such a thing could indeed appeal to both ends of the spectrum AND present as centrist. We may be looking at an emerging total-spectrum syncretism (paleoconservative national-liberal market-socialism!) which can appeal to the common, organic, communitarian elements which run through all varieties of Western politics like the lettering through a stick of Blackpool rock. The Far Centre?

As Farage’s history has shown, a party of this character wouldn’t need to govern alone, or at all. It need only present enough of an electoral threat to force its agendas upon those in power and change the terms of political debate. Nor would I anticipate difficulty in keeping up the pressure on government backsliders. Being a permanent but effective opposition confers a certain underdog cred.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy Blake
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Blake

Farage hostile to neo-liberalism? I think not. He’s no state interventionist – unless it’s immigration policy. And therein lies one of the problems for his project – he has to hide from so many of his core supporters what he’d really then want to do with real power.
If we did move to PR then the prospects for Farage could open up, but the contradictions in right wing policy could just become even more pronounced. PR not imminent of course, but could drive bigger centrist consolidation and marginalise extremes. A more likely British outcome one suspects. We’re generally a nation of moderates.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Realistically every part has to compromise, but so long as they stick to the journey in all honesty it is all that one can ask for.

andyblake000
andyblake000
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

And those economically-left, culturally-right moderates in the Red Wall gave the Tories an 80-seat majority off a cautiously populist, one-nation manifesto. (How far Johnson intended to honour it isn’t the point.) The other precondition for the breakthrough was a parliament which everyone could see was obstructing a clear democratic mandate. I doubt this will be the last such occasion, PR or no.

Actually, I’d say Farage is one of the few politicians whose wants have been transparent, and one thing that’s not on his want list is the PM’s job. (He only even leads parties when duty calls and, as life president of Reform, would happily leave actual power to Tice.) But he is a lightning rod for many — and not just on the right. His instincts for a popularly accountable and efficient state adhere more to national-liberalism than to a state-starving neoliberalism which was always globalist in its promotion of free movement. Farage has evidently not forgotten that his declared hero, Enoch Powell, was hands-off only with business and he turned on his former cheerleaders in the Mont Pelerin Society over its blind eye for the illiberal consequences of a free market in migration.

Last edited 1 year ago by andyblake000
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Realistically every part has to compromise, but so long as they stick to the journey in all honesty it is all that one can ask for.

andyblake000
andyblake000
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

And those economically-left, culturally-right moderates in the Red Wall gave the Tories an 80-seat majority off a cautiously populist, one-nation manifesto. (How far Johnson intended to honour it isn’t the point.) The other precondition for the breakthrough was a parliament which everyone could see was obstructing a clear democratic mandate. I doubt this will be the last such occasion, PR or no.

Actually, I’d say Farage is one of the few politicians whose wants have been transparent, and one thing that’s not on his want list is the PM’s job. (He only even leads parties when duty calls and, as life president of Reform, would happily leave actual power to Tice.) But he is a lightning rod for many — and not just on the right. His instincts for a popularly accountable and efficient state adhere more to national-liberalism than to a state-starving neoliberalism which was always globalist in its promotion of free movement. Farage has evidently not forgotten that his declared hero, Enoch Powell, was hands-off only with business and he turned on his former cheerleaders in the Mont Pelerin Society over its blind eye for the illiberal consequences of a free market in migration.

Last edited 1 year ago by andyblake000
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Blake

Agreed. Just getting some of them into government would be a plus.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Blake

Farage hostile to neo-liberalism? I think not. He’s no state interventionist – unless it’s immigration policy. And therein lies one of the problems for his project – he has to hide from so many of his core supporters what he’d really then want to do with real power.
If we did move to PR then the prospects for Farage could open up, but the contradictions in right wing policy could just become even more pronounced. PR not imminent of course, but could drive bigger centrist consolidation and marginalise extremes. A more likely British outcome one suspects. We’re generally a nation of moderates.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Blake

Agreed. Just getting some of them into government would be a plus.

Andy Blake
Andy Blake
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The likeliest candidate (the Reform UK/SDP alliance or whatever bloc Nigel Farage is the de facto leader of come 2024) occupies a political space that is national-populist and hostile to neoliberalism. In other words, close to Tory Socialism if that’s how we choose to label the traditionalist pre-Thatcher one-nation conservatism from Burke through Disraeli and Blatchford to Macmillan and Powell. Throw in convergence with Red Tories and Blue Labour. Even continuing entails of the former Revolutionary Communist Party faction which hopped aboard Farage’s Brexit Party.

I have lately noticed an increase in the favoured self-description “politically nonbinary” by Reform-adjacent influencers. Such a thing could indeed appeal to both ends of the spectrum AND present as centrist. We may be looking at an emerging total-spectrum syncretism (paleoconservative national-liberal market-socialism!) which can appeal to the common, organic, communitarian elements which run through all varieties of Western politics like the lettering through a stick of Blackpool rock. The Far Centre?

As Farage’s history has shown, a party of this character wouldn’t need to govern alone, or at all. It need only present enough of an electoral threat to force its agendas upon those in power and change the terms of political debate. Nor would I anticipate difficulty in keeping up the pressure on government backsliders. Being a permanent but effective opposition confers a certain underdog cred.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy Blake
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Ludbrook

It is possible for a completely new Party to emerge, Macron/Em Marche being the obvious recent example. But it’d need to be more centrist in order to be successful would appear to the lesson there. (Obviously how long his party lasts remains to be seen too).
The idea a new Party on either extreme gaining sufficient support to govern alone a mirage I suggest, albeit one both ends of the spectrum continue to desire.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Abbot

Our eyes should be on the emerging smaller parties like Reform’ UKIP and Heritage Party. They still have time to build.

Kevin Ludbrook
Kevin Ludbrook
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Abbot

Democracy and politics is in a funk. Our current two parties do not represent any significant right wing or left wing ideology, it’s all mashed up. But then we (i.e all of us) have surely moved on a long time ago from such crude categorisation. Kier is making speeches that seem right wing and Rishi (and co) is doing the opposite. But either way it’s extremely difficult to govern with any clear ideology when everything you say is in the line of fire from the media and people like us. So I suspect it’s extremely difficult for any new party to emerge. It would need a leader and support from a cabinet with strong characters and conviction that can be respected. And if you have those strengths why would you become a politician? Quite depressing really. I suspect that the Conservatives will continue to triumph but not forever. I quite liked what Kier had to say recently but then I remember the list of people in his shadow cabinet. And it sounds lovely to hand back power to local councils but I wouldn’t trust my council to run a party in a brewery. I think he’s right about the NHS but does anybody have the skills to implement proper change? After all it’s 1.6m voters. Sorry rambling, it’s been a busy day.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Abbot

Our eyes should be on the emerging smaller parties like Reform’ UKIP and Heritage Party. They still have time to build.

Richard Abbot
Richard Abbot
1 year ago

I have rearranged the last paragraph:
This does all point to a broader OPPORTUNITY for the Right. The Conservative Party has DISREGARDED conservatism in one form or another for two DECADES. If it is not able to put together a convincing and coherent platform that is both principled and popular, it is A CHANCE FOR ANOTHER PARTY TO EMERGE THAT WILL. When both the affluent and the left-behind feel comfortable voting Labour, it becomes questionable whether THE NATION ITSELF itself can survive.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Sunak is just as insincere and unfocused as Johnson but without the charisma. He has no vision, no programme for government other than economic managerialism, he blows in the wind on any subject that has principle or ideology at its core – illegal immigration, online safety, NI Protocol, gender issues.
Worse, he has utter disdain for the party membership, which is why the Tory canvassing effort at the May local government elections will be all but invisible.
He’s been crowbarred into office by the majority of Tory MPs who, like him, are not actually conservative.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dougie Undersub
Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago

Spot on. We saw a political coup live on TV in this country, I couldn’t believe it but that’s what it was without the tanks in the streets of course

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago

Spot on. We saw a political coup live on TV in this country, I couldn’t believe it but that’s what it was without the tanks in the streets of course

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Sunak is just as insincere and unfocused as Johnson but without the charisma. He has no vision, no programme for government other than economic managerialism, he blows in the wind on any subject that has principle or ideology at its core – illegal immigration, online safety, NI Protocol, gender issues.
Worse, he has utter disdain for the party membership, which is why the Tory canvassing effort at the May local government elections will be all but invisible.
He’s been crowbarred into office by the majority of Tory MPs who, like him, are not actually conservative.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dougie Undersub
Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
1 year ago

No one voted for Sunak. That’s the problem. He couldn’t win among the party membership, and he almost certainly won’t win among voters. The party needs to surrender control to its members and let them choose their candidates and leader. Without that, the party will continue to alienate its members and voters.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

Spot on

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

Spot on

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
1 year ago

No one voted for Sunak. That’s the problem. He couldn’t win among the party membership, and he almost certainly won’t win among voters. The party needs to surrender control to its members and let them choose their candidates and leader. Without that, the party will continue to alienate its members and voters.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago

Extraordinary that the writer makes no mention of the main reason why Sunak is so vulnerable. The way he was put in place as Tory leader and PM by his supporters on the 1922 Committee changing the leadership election rules to prevent challengers standing against him in a vote of MPs let alone of party members! No Tory member or voter has forgotten and it will almost certainly lead to mass abstention from the Local council election including myself who has vote Tory in every Election since 1979.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

Same as me. Council alright but government a big no at the moment.. They lack moral courage. It’s plain to see if they understand moral courage at all.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Ross

Same as me. Council alright but government a big no at the moment.. They lack moral courage. It’s plain to see if they understand moral courage at all.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago

Extraordinary that the writer makes no mention of the main reason why Sunak is so vulnerable. The way he was put in place as Tory leader and PM by his supporters on the 1922 Committee changing the leadership election rules to prevent challengers standing against him in a vote of MPs let alone of party members! No Tory member or voter has forgotten and it will almost certainly lead to mass abstention from the Local council election including myself who has vote Tory in every Election since 1979.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I think people are being far too pessimistic about the chances of a Tory win at the next election. Assuming that Sunak’s five pledges (inflation halves, growth returns, debt/GDP ratio falls, NHS waiting lists fall and legislation is passed that refuses asylum to anyone who comes via a dinghy from France) come true, which is likely, I think they will have a strong hand to play. Something like this:
“We got Brexit done despite Keir Starmer’s best efforts and Covid. When we were hit by Covid, thanks to our actions, our death toll was less than the USA and Germany. We were the fastest country to vaccinate our population (spawning a whole new UK industrial sector in the process) and the fastest to drop restrictions. We kept families and businesses afloat with the furlough scheme. When the inevitable global inflation hit, we tackled it and it is now back to 2%. The NHS took an inevitable hit because of Covid but the waiting lists are now falling and we have recruited an extra 50k nurses. We were the first and best ally of Ukraine; we kept the lights on and protected family budgets through the resultant energy crisis. We stood up to the militant left-wing public sector unions and stopped the strikes. We’re stopping the boats and will leave the ECHR if Starmer and his lawyer friends stand in our way.
Yes it has been messy but we got through it and we are set fair for the future. Here are the things we’re going to do next (100k immigrant cap pledge from 2015 and 2017, fracking and some anti-woke stuff etc).
Now let me tell you about Keir Starmer and …”
I think that message plays well with normal Tory voters (if not with those who inhabit current affairs websites like me and you).

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

It is not pessimism but optimism that the tories will crash as they are now.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

It is not pessimism but optimism that the tories will crash as they are now.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I think people are being far too pessimistic about the chances of a Tory win at the next election. Assuming that Sunak’s five pledges (inflation halves, growth returns, debt/GDP ratio falls, NHS waiting lists fall and legislation is passed that refuses asylum to anyone who comes via a dinghy from France) come true, which is likely, I think they will have a strong hand to play. Something like this:
“We got Brexit done despite Keir Starmer’s best efforts and Covid. When we were hit by Covid, thanks to our actions, our death toll was less than the USA and Germany. We were the fastest country to vaccinate our population (spawning a whole new UK industrial sector in the process) and the fastest to drop restrictions. We kept families and businesses afloat with the furlough scheme. When the inevitable global inflation hit, we tackled it and it is now back to 2%. The NHS took an inevitable hit because of Covid but the waiting lists are now falling and we have recruited an extra 50k nurses. We were the first and best ally of Ukraine; we kept the lights on and protected family budgets through the resultant energy crisis. We stood up to the militant left-wing public sector unions and stopped the strikes. We’re stopping the boats and will leave the ECHR if Starmer and his lawyer friends stand in our way.
Yes it has been messy but we got through it and we are set fair for the future. Here are the things we’re going to do next (100k immigrant cap pledge from 2015 and 2017, fracking and some anti-woke stuff etc).
Now let me tell you about Keir Starmer and …”
I think that message plays well with normal Tory voters (if not with those who inhabit current affairs websites like me and you).

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I’m really not convinced that electoral polling at this time is at all reliable. Labour has over the space of about 1 year gained something like 25-30% over the Conservatives. Without that much fundamentally changing to justify that.
Hard to make predictions given the extreme volatility. I offer these thoughts (which aren’t necessarily what I want to happen):
1) Feels far too early to judge Sunak. I’d say foolish to do so. I doubt most people have made up their mind about him yet.
2) Labour likely win the popular vote in a 2015 election – but not by more than 7% over the Tories
3) However, we may reach a 1997 state where it becomes seen as safe to vote Labour and socially unfashionable to vote Tory (there may be an element of fashion/consumer psychology/not wanting to feel left behind at work)
4) Labour probably need to recover some seats in Scotland – not clear if this will happen yet – it will eventually, but may take a bit longer
5) Boundary changes very likely to happen and will favour Tories (worth +10-15 seats)
6) Labour needs to neutralise Brexit for the moment
Firstly to recover the Red Wall.
Secondly, to suppress Lib Dem support.
Since the Lib Dems are the most active “Rejoin” party, Labour actually has an interest in making the election as direct Labour/Tory as possible. Labour will not form a stable government unless they win an outright majority.
This is actually achievable simply by stating that they have no plan to rejoin for [say] 10 years. Let things stabilise and improve relations with the EU (who want the UK back to pay their unfunded liabilities and may be less petulant with Labour). If both the Tories and Labour rule out any imminent rejoin, little point voting Lib Dem. The main practical problem is that Labour MPs will hate this. But most of them are fools anyway.
7) I think the article overstates the importance of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. I doubt the public care that much about them. They are both the architects of their own demise.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree with most of that, but on Starmer/Brexit: there isn’t going to be any “rejoining”. Ever. It’s only English exceptionalism that makes some people believe they’d even want us back. Sans Thatcher’s hard won special terms, the conditions for rejoining will be far too onerous. Starmer knows this. Hopefully he’s got some kind of Norway deal up his sleeve. But first he needs the votes of the cap-doffers and knuckle draggers.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

That’s what I always thought – that we would have to rejoin on far worse terms than we had pre-2016 (and we joined on pretty poor terms in the first place in 1972).
However, the demographic and economic outlook for the UK looks far more promising than most of “core EU” (my view – I think there is plenty to back this up – the best finance and professional services businesses in Europe, strong biotech, the best universities, flexible labour markets, better pension funding than anywhere else in the EU – perhaps excluding Holland). “Core EU” = Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, NL. We’re also far better sorted for energy resources than the others (if we bothered to use them).
I think there are also at least 3 sub-groups within the EU:
Core EU – no intention of ever reforming and won’t want the UK back (partly jealousy)
Scandi + NL – closer to UK on business issues
Eastern Europe – closer to UK on lower taxes, less regulation – suffered excessive bureaucracy under Soviet rule and know it doesn’t work
You are also assuming that “core EU” remains the dominant power. Not a given – they are in relative economic decline vs new E Europe economies – for example, at some point, Poland will probably overtake Spain.
Based on that, I think there’s a chance that the next generation of EU politicians will want Britain back to fund some of their defecits. Unless they reform and get their act together on things like excessive welfare state costs and luddite attitudes to new technologies. Little sign of that happening though. Of course, we should refuse any such offer.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Eastern Europe has learned hard lessons through communist oppression and know the dangers of excessive socialism. They are also not woke like Europe and the UK. They are realists on defence and could point the way for all of us in the future.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Eastern Europe has learned hard lessons through communist oppression and know the dangers of excessive socialism. They are also not woke like Europe and the UK. They are realists on defence and could point the way for all of us in the future.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago

I hope you’re right

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

That’s what I always thought – that we would have to rejoin on far worse terms than we had pre-2016 (and we joined on pretty poor terms in the first place in 1972).
However, the demographic and economic outlook for the UK looks far more promising than most of “core EU” (my view – I think there is plenty to back this up – the best finance and professional services businesses in Europe, strong biotech, the best universities, flexible labour markets, better pension funding than anywhere else in the EU – perhaps excluding Holland). “Core EU” = Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, NL. We’re also far better sorted for energy resources than the others (if we bothered to use them).
I think there are also at least 3 sub-groups within the EU:
Core EU – no intention of ever reforming and won’t want the UK back (partly jealousy)
Scandi + NL – closer to UK on business issues
Eastern Europe – closer to UK on lower taxes, less regulation – suffered excessive bureaucracy under Soviet rule and know it doesn’t work
You are also assuming that “core EU” remains the dominant power. Not a given – they are in relative economic decline vs new E Europe economies – for example, at some point, Poland will probably overtake Spain.
Based on that, I think there’s a chance that the next generation of EU politicians will want Britain back to fund some of their defecits. Unless they reform and get their act together on things like excessive welfare state costs and luddite attitudes to new technologies. Little sign of that happening though. Of course, we should refuse any such offer.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago

I hope you’re right

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It is said by some that polls are for the purpose of telling you what to do.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

But some of us seem to interpret them the other way – it’s arguable that people have been voting against what the polls tell them to do recently, given the polls appalling record in predicting the Brexit vote and many recent elections.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

But some of us seem to interpret them the other way – it’s arguable that people have been voting against what the polls tell them to do recently, given the polls appalling record in predicting the Brexit vote and many recent elections.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The leadership fundamentally changed, no?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Yes.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

But the poll ratings dropped while Johnson was still PM and not so much afterwards, so I think that’s not a compelling argument.
By “nothing fundamentally changed”, I meant that there was no significant policy change or major deterioration in the economy (there was some, but not that dramatic). It seems more likely that perceptions have shifted something like 3-5x more than the fundamentals. It may also be that the general public perception of Labour has become more favourable (something I’d struggle to understand – but with perceptions, we only need to observe, rather than try to make sense of them).

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Yes.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

But the poll ratings dropped while Johnson was still PM and not so much afterwards, so I think that’s not a compelling argument.
By “nothing fundamentally changed”, I meant that there was no significant policy change or major deterioration in the economy (there was some, but not that dramatic). It seems more likely that perceptions have shifted something like 3-5x more than the fundamentals. It may also be that the general public perception of Labour has become more favourable (something I’d struggle to understand – but with perceptions, we only need to observe, rather than try to make sense of them).

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree with most of that, but on Starmer/Brexit: there isn’t going to be any “rejoining”. Ever. It’s only English exceptionalism that makes some people believe they’d even want us back. Sans Thatcher’s hard won special terms, the conditions for rejoining will be far too onerous. Starmer knows this. Hopefully he’s got some kind of Norway deal up his sleeve. But first he needs the votes of the cap-doffers and knuckle draggers.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It is said by some that polls are for the purpose of telling you what to do.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The leadership fundamentally changed, no?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I’m really not convinced that electoral polling at this time is at all reliable. Labour has over the space of about 1 year gained something like 25-30% over the Conservatives. Without that much fundamentally changing to justify that.
Hard to make predictions given the extreme volatility. I offer these thoughts (which aren’t necessarily what I want to happen):
1) Feels far too early to judge Sunak. I’d say foolish to do so. I doubt most people have made up their mind about him yet.
2) Labour likely win the popular vote in a 2015 election – but not by more than 7% over the Tories
3) However, we may reach a 1997 state where it becomes seen as safe to vote Labour and socially unfashionable to vote Tory (there may be an element of fashion/consumer psychology/not wanting to feel left behind at work)
4) Labour probably need to recover some seats in Scotland – not clear if this will happen yet – it will eventually, but may take a bit longer
5) Boundary changes very likely to happen and will favour Tories (worth +10-15 seats)
6) Labour needs to neutralise Brexit for the moment
Firstly to recover the Red Wall.
Secondly, to suppress Lib Dem support.
Since the Lib Dems are the most active “Rejoin” party, Labour actually has an interest in making the election as direct Labour/Tory as possible. Labour will not form a stable government unless they win an outright majority.
This is actually achievable simply by stating that they have no plan to rejoin for [say] 10 years. Let things stabilise and improve relations with the EU (who want the UK back to pay their unfunded liabilities and may be less petulant with Labour). If both the Tories and Labour rule out any imminent rejoin, little point voting Lib Dem. The main practical problem is that Labour MPs will hate this. But most of them are fools anyway.
7) I think the article overstates the importance of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. I doubt the public care that much about them. They are both the architects of their own demise.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

The thing that dismays me with Sunak’s government is that we have so many problems to deal with at present and yet they are involving themselves in attempting to curtail people’s right to strike . Do they really think this sort of response is a vote winner?

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I have no interest in seeing the Tories continue, but the proposed legislation does not do what you claim.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

How so?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

And it is clearly a vote winner.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

How so?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic S

And it is clearly a vote winner.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

It could be. They are only thinking of stopping these people stopping the traffic over zero carbon deception which plants and trees rely on.

Dominic S
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I have no interest in seeing the Tories continue, but the proposed legislation does not do what you claim.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

It could be. They are only thinking of stopping these people stopping the traffic over zero carbon deception which plants and trees rely on.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago

The thing that dismays me with Sunak’s government is that we have so many problems to deal with at present and yet they are involving themselves in attempting to curtail people’s right to strike . Do they really think this sort of response is a vote winner?

tom j
tom j
1 year ago

“On Sunak’s other flank sit the continuity-Johnsonites. What they believe is a little hard to ascertain.”
Maybe they believe that the guy who won the last election is the guy who should be leading the Tories into the next election, rather than some admin guy who happened to be the last man standing during the last round of internecine warfare.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago

“On Sunak’s other flank sit the continuity-Johnsonites. What they believe is a little hard to ascertain.”
Maybe they believe that the guy who won the last election is the guy who should be leading the Tories into the next election, rather than some admin guy who happened to be the last man standing during the last round of internecine warfare.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

The Conservative Party has maintained conservatism in one form or another for two centuries. 
And the Conservative Party have survived by pivoting around key policies over the years (e.g. the repeal of the Corn Laws). If this is another pivot point – away from centralisation and managerialism – then Truss could lead the change, perhaps with Boris’ support.
But if it is just ordinary infighting then centralisation and managerialism will continue – and it doesn’t really matter which party ‘manages’.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Truss couldn’t lead anything. She has no credibility now. She clearly had no “touch” (a connection with people and an instinctive sense of what matters to them) or judgement – the first requirement in politics (and I’m not sure Sunak or Starmer do either). For all their other failings, Thatcher, Blair and Johnson had this. Callaghan, Wilson, Cameron and perhaps Major had some. May, Heath and Brown had none. Truss probably none either. Sunak and Starmer probably sub-Cameron.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It wasn’t given to us to vote so how do you know? I would have voted for her.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It wasn’t given to us to vote so how do you know? I would have voted for her.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Just to clarify – I’m not against your core point of moving away from centralisation and managerialism. I just don’t think Truss and Johnson are going to do it. What’s more (and worse), by blowing the opportunities given to them, they’ve associated these changes with failure and made them less likely. I really don’t see much public appetite for that sort of dramatic change right now – Brexit, Covid, Boris, Ukraine, Truss – I think most people have had enough excitement for now and would happily settle for 2-3 years of boredom under Sunak or Starmner.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Would that would be possible but they will both tinker with the country with worse times following.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Would that would be possible but they will both tinker with the country with worse times following.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Truss couldn’t lead anything. She has no credibility now. She clearly had no “touch” (a connection with people and an instinctive sense of what matters to them) or judgement – the first requirement in politics (and I’m not sure Sunak or Starmer do either). For all their other failings, Thatcher, Blair and Johnson had this. Callaghan, Wilson, Cameron and perhaps Major had some. May, Heath and Brown had none. Truss probably none either. Sunak and Starmer probably sub-Cameron.

Peter B
Peter B