Posts Tagged

Conservative Party

Revelations about Michael Gove’s past cocaine use have redefined the Tory leadership contest. Despite the ongoing Brexit process, growing economic uncertainty, and the Conservative’s historic defeat in the recent European elections, the debate has been dominated by illegal drug use. Seven of the ten candidates have admitted taking cannabis, cocaine, and even opium – though frontrunner Boris Johnson has stayed conspicuously quiet in the light of past statements. Even Theresa May has faced questions about her history with drugs. The problem is not that politicians are talking about drugs, but what they are talking about. Drugs are an important issue, and any future Prime Minister should have a thought-out, evidence-based and proactive stance on drugs – including on issues like …
Photo credit: Octavus

Many believe that the EU referendum has been called only to enable David Cameron to appease the Eurosceptics within his own party. This is debatable on numerous grounds. But what is certain is the eventuality that many Conservatives, including possibly some Cabinet ministers, will be joining the campaigns to get Britain out of the EU. For over a quarter of a century the issue of Britain’s role in Europe has been one of the most significant divisions within the Parliamentary Conservative Party (PCP). The European issue has been a reliable source of problems for the party leadership over the years. It has led to many rebellions, numerous defections, the downfall of Thatcher, and partly accounts for the Conservatives’ landslide defeat …

‘We have created the new common ground, and that is why our opponents have been forced to shift their ground…We are told the Social Democrats now see the virtues of capitalism, competition and the customer. We have entered a new era. The Conservative Party has staked out the common ground, and the other parties are tiptoeing onto it.’ “The facts? The facts? I have been elected to change the facts!’’ Lady Thatcher was loved, loathed and never ignored. Thatcher can be classed together with David Lloyd George and Clement Attlee as political leaders who sought power with the express intention of changing society, and did so to the best of their ability. Thatcher was reputedly asked what her greatest legacy was and she answered ‘New Labour’. Peter Mandelson, meanwhile, a doyen of New Labour, stated in June 2002, ‘We are all Thatcherites now!’.

Tomorrow the voters of Eastleigh go to the polls to select a new MP following the resignation of Chris Huhne. The eyes of observers of British politics are keenly trained on the outcome of the by-election because it might give us some early clues to some serious questions about the next election: How are voters going to respond when faced with two incumbent government parties? Is Liberal Democrat support going to evaporate? What is the effect of UKIP going to be?