Tory voters losing will to live


Tory voters losing will to live

 A directionless government and Brexit fatigue are causing the public, including the Tory base, to lose their will to live. The government needs an exciting and visionary domestic policy agenda to reinvigorate the British public and get their heart beating again. 

The public is totally bored by Brexit. The PM needs to put before the public an exciting policy agenda which is visionary and radical rather than dull and managerial. The public wants a leader who inspires them.

Another weekend of dismal reading for Tory supporters. Opponents and supporters of the Chancellor had clearly been busy. The end result, however, is further proof that the PM presides over a government at war with itself rather than with a hard-left Labour Party which understandably can’t quite believe its luck.

The Tory Conference in Manchester was the most depressing and dispiriting in recent years. Well before the PM’s disaster of a speech, Tory supporters were shaking their heads in disbelief. The Tory Party no longer seems interested in governing. Settling old scores and squabbling over Brexit seems much more important.

As every day passes this government looks more and more like John Major’s government post the 1992 election. Dramatic action needs to be taken and taken quickly to get the show back on the road. The alternative is too ghastly to contemplate.

As a first step, the PM needs to state that she will not fight the next election. She can then focus on sorting out Brexit and preparing the ground for her successor.

The PM has to create a professional and effective communications team at Number 10 which directs and manages the news agenda rather than merely responds to the agenda of its opponents. Oh, for the days of Andy Coulson…

The Chief Whip needs to get a grip and make it clear to Tory MPs at every level that they need to show loyalty to the Tory Party and behave accordingly. At the moment it appears to be a free for all. If he can’t deliver then he needs to be replaced by somebody who can.

There needs to be an immediate ministerial reshuffle. Never before has there been so much dead wood around the Cabinet Table let alone in ministerial offices. Too many ministers aren’t performing and they need to be sacked. The Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary have become a problem for the PM. Although risky there is a very strong case for removing both men from their current jobs.

The Tory Party on the ground is increasingly moribund. There is probably more life in the average morgue. The PM needs a political heavyweight in the mould of Norman Tebbit or Cecil Parkinson to rebuild the party’s activist base. Nowadays anybody under sixty is considered a Young Conservative. Contrast this with a rejuvenated and young Labour Party activist base.

The government needs a domestic agenda. The public is totally bored by Brexit. The PM needs to put before the public an exciting policy agenda which is visionary and radical rather than dull and managerial. The public wants a leader who inspires them.

London is becoming a political black hole for the Tory Party. The PM needs to take note from the Tory rebirth in Scotland and encourage London Tories to go it alone. There needs to a full-time Minister for London who is a member of the Cabinet and a policy agenda which resonates with Londoners. The alternative is a wipe out in next year’s London council elections.

Finally, the PM needs a hit squad of bright young Tory MPs whose sole job is to take the fight to the Labour Party. At the moment Labour Shadow Ministers seem to go unchallenged when making policy announcements that in only the recent past would have been regarded as extreme.

In short, Tory MPs have to decide whether or not winning the next general election is of any interest to them. At the moment, Tory voters are in despair.

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  • Peter Bingle
    Peter Bingle
    Peter is the Founder of Terrapin Communications. With a career in politics and communications that has spanned almost four decades, he is one of the country's leading public affairs practitioners. His career has seen him advise many top companies, including McDonald’s, HSBC, L’Oreal, Permira, Motorola, Camelot, Rolls Royce & Kellogg's.
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