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…