Liam Rhodes

How the Tories can fix their mess to fix this mess

How the Tories can fix their mess to fix this mess

l_rhodes June 10, 2017
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Earlier this year, when I resigned my membership of the Conservative Party, I made references to her character as lacking in stability and confidence, comments I repeated throughout the year.

Who did quite expect Mrs May to thoroughly test the maxim “oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them” in this way? Who would have thought that pissing off your core vote – i.e. pensioners, and then climbing down mid-way through a campaign would make them view you as neither strong nor stable? Who would have thought that demonstrating yourself to be so inept as to having to abandon your key election message to “the best Brexit for Britain”, a soundbite so utterly uninspiring as to possibly be ascribed only to you?

We never quite expected Seamus and Jeremy to have pulled off quite what they did, either, but that was bound to happen. The highest turnout since 1997 of the under-30s group gave them the anti-establishment vote that they were looking for. Congratulations to a campaign handled less badly than May’s overall, and in terms of getting out the vote, handled very well.

Mrs May has delivered us an absolute farce of a situation in which she will not be able to pass any significant legislation. The DUP solution has provided her with a confidence and supply arrangement in a government that will simply no longer be able to pursue a hard Brexit. How could they? Doing so would damage the Union in untold ways. The major point here is that their majority will be so insufficient as to render Brexit impossible.

All in all, congratulations to Ruth Davison, a true Tory moderniser who has demonstrated that by uniting people, by inspiring people, by giving everyone – including under 30s – something to vote for, just like we had in 2010 and 2015, you can make gains. Just let them have glimmers of you acting as a human being, fighting for things, like same-sex marriage, and you do this thing call “inspire” them to vote for you.

Theresa May, as one of two losers of the election, having gambled it in the first place, needs to accept that she is the wrong person for the job. A new leader needs to replace her. The Conservative Party needs to think of not who is strong and stable, but who can inspire people when they face a new election to deliver not just Brexit, but something tangible in the autumn. Acts of human compassion and fighting for impassioned things that you believe in, such as same-sex marriage tends to make people view you in a positive light. It worked for Dave, and it can work for whoever comes next.

We need to at least accept that this manifesto and focusing solely on Brexit was a complete catastrophe, and move on from there. Doing so might just result in the election of a leader who can properly consider whether that ‘hard’ version is all that attractive or inspiring after all.

Going to the polls early is going to have to be a necessity. The Tory Party actually owes the electorate the chance to elect either them under fresh leadership or the Labour Party – and soon. They broke it and now it’s time to accept responsibility.

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