Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Rebel, Rebel – The Tories are a mess

'Infamy, infamy – they've all got it in for me', a classic comedy line but something our Prime Minister may have been thinking as he slumped in front of the television last night.

Because it looks like, whether now or in 2015, the Conservative Party and David Cameron are heading for a divorce and ironically it could be legislation about gay marriage which ends it all.

Electoral suicide in my opinion but for the first time last night I kind of understood why the rebels are well......so rebellious.

Cameron appears to be lurching from one policy to another, we will have a referendum but hey let's negotiate our position first turned into yes we will have a referendum.

Gay marriage, while an important issue, was not in any party manifesto in 2010 but now is a cornerstone of Conservative Party policy.

Add to that the u-turns, the backtracking and the embarrassing 'swivel eyed loons' comment about party members and well our Government is in rather a state.

But the seeds of this were planted back in 2010 when Cameron 'lost' an impossible to lose election against Gordon Brown.

Cameron needed a coalition to take the Conservatives back into power and deep down, those on the right of the party did and always will resent him for it.

The backbenchers now see a Conservative Prime Minister that has to run everything past his Lib Dem deputy despite that party making up 1/6th of the Government benches.

And they hate it, what's more they now hate Cameron and are smelling his blood. Rebellion after rebellion is taking place and even worse for the PM, he now needs Labour's help to get things done.

I suspect many of those backbenchers would have preferred Cameron to go it alone after 2010 with a winter election if it proved impossible – something which could have secured him a small, albeit workable majority.

When he didn't, I suspect many in the party wanted strong leadership and a pat on the head for the Liberal Democrats not joint working – Dave needed to tell Nick he only brought so much to the party.

The problem for Cameron is he did neither and now, with the economy still fast asleep, Her Majesty's Government already looks spent.....three years into the Parliament.

Now the rebels are energised they face a choice, rebel and weaken the PM so much and leave the Tories with no chance in 2015 (See Major and the run up to the 1997 election for a fuller explanation).

Or do they gather, force a no confidence vote in the Prime Minister, depose him and install a new leader who will speak to their values, drag defectors back from UKIP and shore up the party's vote.

It's a huge gamble as any new leader would have to learn from Gordon Brown's mistake and call a General Election or risk being viewed as another unelected Prime Minister.

But after the weekend the Tories have had, the rebels might now want to roll the dice and take their chance......

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