October 5, 2017

Tories must not neglect core vote

Tories must not neglect core vote

Peter Divey believes that if the Conservatives act fast and bring in the correct talents they can deliver Brexit, preserve their reputation for economic competence, and prevent Jeremy Corbyn from gaining the keys to No.10.

The Tory Party Conference finished with farce. Almost comic-tragic. I felt genuine pity for the Prime Minister. Part of me wanted to look away but I found myself fascinated. A slow-motion car crash. There is no doubt May is tough. I give grudging respect. But this doesn’t change the fact fresh blood is urgently needed. Everyone is obsessed with new ideas. What is needed is a renewed presentation of Conservative ideas and values. More now than ever. New ideas seem to relentlessly tweak left. Social justice prerogatives. More Government. Identity politics.

The whole Conference lacked energy. Highlights were few. Policy was confused as if people were afraid to advocate Conservative ideals. You cannot help those Just About Managing unless you have a buoyant economy. No more stigma for the successful who employ people and empower the economy. Less tax invigorates business enterprise to the benefit of all. Less Government. Promote growth. The Chancellor was on a downer only seeing peril all about. We need a Budget of optimistic solutions. It is doubtful that we will get it. Yet we must.

Most speeches were internalised. They were talking to each other rather than the electorate. Digs at colleagues. Individual proposals aplenty. Policy was obscured by the fog of Brexit. Leavers and Remainers still planting flags. Problems were correctly diagnosed. Solutions were either scatter-gun or entirely omitted. It was the way speeches and programmes were organised. Too clever by half. Earlier speakers set up the ball, spoke about their concerns and problems. The solutions were left for later in the week. The big hitters would be able to smash the ball out of the park that others had tee’d up. It just didn’t work. If you dipped in and out the narrative was lost. It only appeared coherent if you watched every minute. But it was too dull. Dour. Lifeless. It would have taken fanaticism to endure more than bite-size chunks.

There were times when you could have believed you were politically forsaken. Parts of speeches smacked of Miliband or even Blair. There were attacks upon the perils of Corbyn. The magic money tree. The blatant lies to suck voters in. But when they knocked him down nothing Conservative was stood up in its stead. Conservatives are striving for a Broad Church. They surely need one, especially among younger voters. Left of centre glitter is not the answer. Conservative values convincingly applied have a natural widespread appeal that goes beyond fashion or cults. If you move on to the other person’s ground you are losing something of yourself. Even when they have vacated and left the plot empty. Stand on your own ground.

What did people expect when they voted Tory in the recent general election? Certainly not that manifesto nonsense. Above all, economic competence. Second, elimination of the deficit and progress on paying down the national debt. Lastly, Brexit meaning Brexit. People now think two of these three are being side-lined. The natives are restless, both within and without the party. It is about time the real Conservatives stood up. If you forego your core voters to gain others you are lost because you will have no heart. The calculation is that Tory voters have nowhere else to go. Why even weigh such a risk? It is said that there is no smoke without fire. But just now the Tories are all smoke. They must quickly bring the fire. This Conference, unbelievably, may not be the nadir. That would be when Corbyn sweeps into power and Momentum turns the UK into Venezuela. If the Tories bring in the personnel that wish to enact those three concepts from the General Election therein lies victory. Quick about it now…

4.45 avg. rating (88% score) - 11 votes
Peter Divey
Peter Divey's dormant interest in British and American politics has been reawakened by last year's Brexit referendum result and Trump's ascendency to the White House. In his spare time he enjoys playing chess and has a growing collection of vintage wrist watches.
  • EppingBlogger

    I have not been a member of the Conservative Party since the day the Maastricht Treaty was pushed through the HoC, and I have no intention of re-joining. However, I do want to draw attention to the way it has been ignoring or even insulting its members and supporters for decades.

    While a national party should not put forward policies only to benefit its members or core supporters, the CP seems to have been wilfully doing quite the opposite. I regret that UKIP has been doing the same thing recently but no longer proposing libvertarian policies but interventionist high spending ones instead. We even had a candidate for the party leader role who wanted to adopt a policy on Islam, despite our policy of staying out of religious affairs ever since the party was founded.

    I believe the fault lies with the way MPs and their assistants are recruited from a very narrow pool of like minded metropolitan liberals, well healed generally and with no empathy with the public. They regard party members with even more disdain than core voters because they are more of a nuisance – they expect to have some influence on the party’;s affairs, don’t you know!

  • Peter Divey

    Relying on tactical voting or fear of the other…seems to be a big part of the strategy. Hardly inspiring.

  • Peter Divey

    To be..or not to be..that is the question. When a straight stick like John Redwood says he has no appetite for change,there is no appetite for change,there will be no change…

  • EthanEdwards2000

    Do vote. Otherwise it lets the barstewards in by default. Just vote against them.. Since the Tory party left me I have not looked back. As an ex Tory I easily found a party I could happily vote FOR. Since Nigel left though I’ve become a floating voter once more.
    But there’s no way I could vote FOR the current lib dem lite remainers like May.
    So unless I get a better offer its Monster Raving. But I always get out and vote without fail.

  • Seriously why is she still here?

  • DEvans

    Then Wallis Simpson it is.

  • AlfTupperDarlin

    You should really renew your membership, if only to have a vote on who replaces May. Not to do so is an abdication of responsibility.

  • sfin

    And McDonnell in No11 – God help us!

  • Jesus Actionfigure

    I think a large measure of Corbyn’s “success”, such as it is, can be attributed to May’s incessant advertising for socialism.

    If price controls, new council slums and redistribution are so great, why on earth shouldn’t voters go to the party that’s promoted the ideas for decades, instead of May’s pale imitation?

    May can’t stop herself from alienating the core, because she considers us to be “nasty”. The conservative vote of the near future will belong to whatever party can offer credible conservative policies. If UKIP can get their act together, their future is looking very rosy indeed.

  • getahead

    Rather than attacking Corbyn, the Tories should look at themselves. All they have to do is adopt conservative principles and Corbyn would not have a look in.
    The main issue for the Tories is getting Britain out of the EU, what we voted for. If they do that without quibbling they will be re-elected next time. So what have they done?
    They have formed a cabinet of mostly MPs with vested interests in the EU, the worst being the Chancellor of the Exchequer who is a raving remainer, who likes to hint at
    off-the-cuff policy changes while the prime minister is on holiday. So what does the pm do when she returns? She makes off-the-cuff into hard policy. She is manipulated by Hammond. She is a truly feeble pm. She needs to dump him.

  • Take Back The Streets

    Well said sir!

  • DEvans

    My feelings exactly…I have not renewed, nor will I as long as the party is run and led by the current grey, talentless deadbeats. They make even the dreadful Major of Maastricht appear semi-dynamic.

  • DEvans

    But I believe many conservatives find themselves unable to vote for the dreadfully inept and talentless people who claim to govern us. They are not even remotely conservative in the wet Major/Hesseltine sense…. I won’t vote and I know of a number of others who are thinking along the same lines…..whatever the consequences.

  • Peter Divey

    When the Conservative party look in the mirror nowadays all they see is compassionate and caring centrism. In fishing for votes and to meet the wider appeal of today’s political “fashion” they lose more than they gain. Brexit will be a beautiful thing if managed with conviction, A Labour Government under Corbyn/Momentum is frightening. Diane Abbott as Home Secretary,or maybe Chancellor due to her mathematical genius!?

  • Peter Divey

    We can only hope. The prospect of Corbyn as PM really ought to be enough to focus minds.

  • ale bro

    I suspect the real reason why tories can’t articulate a case for the market economy is that hardly any of the mps have any experience of working in for the private sector in a market economy. all of the policies being proposed are based on increasing the amount of regulation in the economy, but really tories should be decreasing regulation.

  • sfin

    You are very welcome, Sir/ Madam.

    Your wisdom freed us from the shackles of the EU, I only hope that you (and your vote) remain long enough to free us from what is now currently on offer.

  • grumpyashell

    True…I did not leave the Conservative party,it left me.

  • Cynical Ex Academic

    I have been a Conservative for as long as I can remember, and well before my present MP was born. If May alienates staunch Conservatives like me – and I’ve suffered Heath, Major, and Cameron, together with tossers like Heseltine and Critchley – then not only won’t the Conservatives win the next election, then even MPs in ‘safe’ seats will discover what ‘unsafe’ means.

    If May is the PM, and we haven’t left the EU by the time of the next election, then the party is doomed.

  • DEvans

    Excellent post, every paragraph on the nail. Cheers for bringing a smile to my wrinkled old face.

  • DEvans

    An apposite, timely article, thank you. If I thought that the powers that be within the Tory Party heed any of it I might renew my membership…. neither is likely. May will go, she must, the country is currently without effective leadership. If, as you point out, quasi tories like Rudd or the equally grey and ineffective Hammond get the keys to No 10, GB is finished..because Corbyn will win the next election.

  • sfin

    The Tories have spent the last 27 years neglecting their ‘core vote’.

    Ever since the, large state, social democrats hijacked the party in 1990, they have haven’t had one convincing electoral win. Cameron couldn’t win an overall majority against an exhausted Labour government with a disastrous, self appointed leader and his second win was won under questionable circumstances. 30, newly elected Tory MPs were under investigation for electoral fraud – which the CPS conveniently dropped when May called her, disastrous, election (which a cynic may conclude was why she called it) Small (c) conservative voters have been turned off in droves and the undecideds have gone for the real thing in Labour and the LibDems.

    Now we have two big policy announcements at a ‘Conservative’ conference.

    Council houses and price controls? Have they gone mad?

    This is, red in tooth and claw, socialism. A ‘conservative’ approach would have involved freeing up planning restrictions for the private construction industry, restricting immigration to control demand and abolishing ‘green’ taxes and VAT on energy. VAT on energy was introduced by the Major government to bring us into line with EU tax policy, so abolishing it would have also signalled that the government was serious about Brexit.

    Corbyn’s success has been down to the fact that he is offering an alternative to the centrist-same government-different curtains at No10-approach to politics, which has governed us for over a quarter of a century. The Tories – and most of the mainstream media – are still wedded to the Blairite, progressive global corporatism which the country is heartily sick of.

    The ‘Conservative’ and Unionist Party need to get rid of the ‘Heseltine’ element and offer the electorate some robust conservatism. It’s that simple.

  • Peter Divey

    “God help poor England”. Exactly. Which is why the Tories must energise and change now. This swing to the liberal left is a cul-de-sac. If Rudd or Hammond are promoted further then Corbyn is a certainty. There are far better candidates who actually espouse Conservative values. They can bring that heart,direction and vision. Unfortunately you may be right that no one will rise up until it is too late. There is still time…

  • Cullerchris

    Unfortunately the Tories turned their collective back on us when they opted to support gay marriage. The comments about turnip taliban and crazed loons didn’t help much either. Like thousands of us I opted for UKIP having lost my original home in the Conservative Party. Love him or loathe him, Mr Corbyn has at least rejuvenated his party by reflecting his membership if not his voters. On our side the Tory leadership, isolated in its metropolitan ivory tower, has no heart, no direction, no vision. If the uninspiring Mrs Rudd or Mr Hammond replace Mrs May. It’ll simply be more of the same. Then perhaps only a period in opposition will bring a return to its roots, common sense and renewal to the Conservative Party. But Corbyn as PM? God help poor England.

We’re committed to providing a free platform to host insightful commentary from across the political spectrum. To help us expand our readership, and to show your support, please like our Facebook page: