October 16, 2017

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.

4.31 avg. rating (86% score) - 36 votes
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.

  • gunnerbear

    If you had PR, safe seats would come under threat and the power of the party would be weakened.

  • sfin

    The beauty of FPTP is that it enables us to completely remove governments we don’t like. PR would give us endless coalitions with the likes of little Timmy Farron or Vince Cable as deputy PM, pretty much forever. If the Tories had not won outright in 2015, for example, we would not have had the Brexit referendum…

    The rest? Yep – agreed.

  • gunnerbear

    And full PR, NOTA on the ballot paper (balanced by compulsory voting), NI rules for postal voting and voter registration…..

  • Kay

    I am frustrated not bored. Weary of seeing the Brexit team almost apologising to Brussels. They indicate that they don’t want Brexit, just doing it because it’s the will of the people. May wants to be part of all the spin off organisations, which will still mean paying substantial amounts via Brussels to support talking shops, Johnson wants to continue welcoming hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans, with benefits of course. Hammond wants to remain. Even Davis is wobbling. Time for the night of the long knives or the UK will be out of the EU in name only.

  • gunnerbear

    Best of luck getting a load of NIMBYs to allow housebuilding… 🙂

  • Prompt Critical

    But it need not actually cost all that much. The land, being useless MOD land and green fields, can be acquired for nothing or very cheaply. And the houses need not cost the earth to build. They could be sold roughly for real cost. The essential idea is to flood the market and bring about a house-price crash.

  • gunnerbear

    So you want my taxes to provide a windfall of a cheap house for someone…..fair enough…tax any profit at 100% if the house is sold within 100 years.

  • Prompt Critical

    I do not agree. Selling a lot of the houses cheaply would serve to push down the price of all houses. It is true that renting out the “state houses” would do the same thing, but not as effectively or efficiently. They should be both rented out and sold. In very large numbers.

  • gunnerbear

    Back in the day, the Reds did bring it up and the Blues screamed just as hysterically…..in effect by backing down, May said, “Hey, all you poorer younger voters, yes…especially those of you without parents who have a house…..you’re going to pay for the care of wealthy older people so their families can keep their house and all the value of it…while you can’t even afford a house of your own……hope you don’t mind…”

  • gunnerbear

    Do not sell the houses cheaply….do not sell them at all for 50 years. As to HS2 don’t you know, the Blues Great White Hope, the Moggster has voted consistently for it….

  • gunnerbear

    May got s**t on by both sides over the ‘Death Tax’ and rightly so….firstly she backed it then backed down….

  • gunnerbear

    That would be Trump the C**t who wants UK workers sacked?

  • gunnerbear

    That’s the same membership that wanted Dark Blue policies from ’97 to ’10 even as the electorate ripped ’em a new one….

  • gunnerbear

    What Conservative policies exactly? Just about everything of value has been either sold off or shut down and we’re now a low skill, s**t job economy flooded with immigrants…the majority of whom will never, ever be net taxpayers so long as they’ve got a hole in their a**e.

  • gunnerbear

    “We understand that students are ideologists and will not vote Tory in big numbers until they have a stake in this country via homeownership, job and aspiration.” Yep…for the Blues and eds, nearly 40 years worth of economic policy decisions are coming home to roost. Take housing…..the only thing that will ease the housing crisis is to turn off the immigration tap (something business hates) and to build a f**k load more homes (but not for sale for 40 years) using public cash…which the Blue party of wealthy older people won’t ever support. Meanwhile, we’re stood on island made of coal and surrounded by fish and HMG is wondering how to keep the lights on and how to protect the food supply….

  • gunnerbear

    Minister for London eh? Well that tells the rest of the country to f**k right off…that the Blues are only interested in spivs and liars in the Clty….

  • Billy Lindner

    Sorry, Peter, but if you’re pitching to become the next Andy Coulson, you’ve got cloth ears. Bored by Brexit? surely you jest. I expect you’ll be wanting to bring back Osborne next. The Tory Party needs to be more London-centric?????????????? You’re bloody mad. You ought to be asking what happened to the working class vote in the Midlands and the North–the voters who put Thatcher into office. Nope–you just think that everyone’s a carbon copy of yourself.

  • Little Black Censored

    Well, I’m a member of the public and I’m not bored with Brexit; the subject fascinates and excites me. Like 100, I am bored with the politicians on both sides of the Channel and by the infinitely boring Remoaners with their dog-in-the-manger refusal to let us get on with it. I think for this stage of our political life Boris would do very well.

  • TheRightToArmBears

    The public is not bored by Brexit.
    The public is convinced that May and the Tories, in a conspiracy with all the other parties in Westminster are against Brexit and are determined to keep Britain shackled to the EU corpse.
    If May had any backbone we would stop the money for Brussels and walk away now, not tomorrow.
    Cut to the chase – Petition to leave the EU immediately
    https://petition.parliament
    Sign and circulate for your children’s sake.

  • LoveMeIamALiberal

    You may be right that the dementia tax might have left most people with more money than current policy, which would mean that it would be a net cost to the government. But no one was sure because the details of the policy were not thought through and therefore scared many people. It was a shambles, not one would associate with a strong and stable government.

  • sfin

    I would agree with you if we didn’t have the NHS.

    It’s a statistical fact that those that contribute most to the NHS, in taxes and NI contributions, use it the least, during their lifetimes – right up until the point when they do need to use it – in their old age. These people also tend to be Tory voters.

    So the policy was effectively saying – thanks for spending your whole working life subsidising the healthcare of others – but now we need your assets (which have already been taxed) to pay for yours.

    It’s a hard left, socialist policy.

  • Ahobz

    The proposal was if I recall correctly (some time since I read the manifesto) that the costs of care be recovered by a charge against the house. A charge is an asset in the hands of the lender, and a liability in the hands of the borrower. So you are forced to create a liability to the state, which is tied to your property. The property can only be sold if the liability to the state is discharged. The state has thus created in its favour an asset based on your property. I would put your question the other way round. In what way is that not nationalisation?

  • emma2000

    Thank you, in what way would your house be nationalised? I take it you could still pay with other assets if you have any? Personally I am off to dignitas if it comes to that! My mother had three years in a nursing home and although it was a decent enough place you are just waiting to die and I don’t see the point of that and of course I want my family to inherit what we worked so hard for. I do agree that any solution must be thoroughly considered and agreed. Also whoever thought it could just be dropped on us is a complete idiot. I am totally disillusioned with the Conservatives and only the thought of Corbyn and memories of the 70s will make me vote for them, hopefully with a new leader and Cabinet.

  • Ahobz

    Exisiting policy is no LA assistance to pay for residential care until you are down to your last 23K. How you pay is up to you. You may have to sell your house; you may have other asseets to sell first and peg out before the house needs to be sold. A bit of a lottery, but you (your attorneys) are in contol. The manifesto as presented suggested that your house be nationalised to pay for your care. Same result perhaps, different mechanism and not very Conservative.

    I think the truth is not so much that the policy is bad, but that was dropped as an unexpected airburst over the voting population. It does have the demerit of involving a double casino element and its presentation focused people’s minds on these points. 1. Will I stay healthy or be an invalid (it’s not just dementia)? 2. Will the invalid who is in the next room get all this free, because she has no assets?

    This policy needed to be warmed up into consciousness with a green paper, a white paper, lots of options explored and consultations. Instead in a document purportedly designed to encourage votes into the fold, peple were told that they would have their assets nationalised to pay for residential care; and what’s more instead of a consultation, wham its in the manifesto, no shilly-shallying in the Lords if there are better ideas about what to do etc. How could anyone with an ounce of political nous have thought it would fly?

  • emma2000

    Can you explain this so called ‘dementia tax’ to me? As I understand it you have always had to sell your home if necessary to pay for care until you were down to the last £23,000 so surely being left with £100,000 was better? Paying for your own home care taking the value of the house was new but not so terrible and I am exactly in the position and age who would be affected. I know it is unfair that dementia patients are charged but I simply cannot see any viable alternative. I am astonished that so many of my cohorts were mislead by the awful misleading outcry or have I missed something?

  • Prompt Critical

    I’ll submit my rant yet again, in the hope that somebody in the Conservative Party with some sense will see it.

    It’s very easy for the Conservatives to fashion a winning agenda. They need to do two things to support the young:

    (1) Stop the shameful waste of money on HS2, which promises to amount to over a hundred billion in the end, and spend the same money on building a million new houses and flats, on land taken from the MoD and on green-field and brown-field land, forcibly riding roughshod over council objections. Sell these dwellings cheaply on reasonable terms, or rent them out. They could be called “state houses”; it would be advisable not to let local councils have anything to do with it.

    (2) Immediately change over the motor insurance system of the UK to be like the one in force in all continental countries, where the vehicle is insured third-party-only for a moderate sum, for all drivers, and the age, the sex, the circumstances, etc… of the owner are not taken into account. (Comprehensive insurance would continue to be a matter for negotiation between the driver and the insurance company on a private basis.) This would end one of the most unfair current impositions on young people – not being able to drive about at a reasonable cost.

    My first recommendation is obviously a long-term thing: the impact wouldn’t be felt for several years, even with a crash program. But my second recommendation could be implemented within a year, and would immediately impact the psychology of everyone under 25 via his most sensitive organ – his pocket.

  • Stinky Britches

    I have it! The rejuvenating policy to invigorate the party!

    THE CONES HOTLINE!!!

    It’s a winner I tells ya. An absolute winner…

  • Jonathan Miller

    Melbourne property already very expensive, market inflated by intense Chinese investment.

  • launcher

    Forty years of EU membership has destroyed the Politics in the UK; “politicians” are nothing but bureaucrats (and venal ones at that). Mr Rees-Mogg is, of course, the sole exception.

  • getahead

    The public are not “bored” with Brexit but those of the public who voted to leave the EU are fed up with the governments prevarication and uncertainty. We need a Leaver cabinet, as Mojo says. Hammond should have been kicked out when raised the “transition period” issue when May was on holiday. It is significant that she didn’t contradict him. It’s not a transition period. It is a, currently, unlimited extension period.

  • Dan2

    Yet they are considering another farcical tax on the old to ‘help the young’ in this budget.
    They are morons.

  • The Banana

    Typical Tory muppets. Absolutely useless. The Brexit thing is done. Get it done, instead of constantly chewing over old bones – the public have moved on.

  • Lamia

    There is no case for removing Boris Johnson. He’s the only member of the cabinet who is considered remotely likeable beyond the Conservative Party itself, and he gave the only really positive speech at the dire Tory Conference.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    You don’t seem to understand, re people being bored with Brexit, that the author of the piece is a communications expert and he knows what you are thinking without the trouble of asking or listening. Brexit is the crux, Brexit is the test. It will mean the death of the party if they continue to mess it up.

  • xylophone

    May should have one clear objective (and one only at this time). That is to deliver a clean and successful Brexit as soon as possible. She is too badly damaged for anything else. Her poor record at the Home Office, the disastrous election campaign, the dilatory approach to Brexit – all these things have used up her political capital (such as it was).

    She is not the person to turn around the fortunes of the Tory party – she lacks a coherent and clear vision for the country (and obviously she has no truly conservative vision) and she lacks the necessary charisma to achieve the much needed reinvigoration of the party and its supporters. She should go as soon as possible, and take Hammond, Rudd and other Remainer obstructions with her.

  • Debs

    We have had enough because the government is not conservative. The leader is not a conservative and doesn’t appear to believe in anything very much .Now in the thrall of Mr Free Stuff Corbyn and looking to bash the elderly. Great policy for losing elections.

    I don’t think we are bored with Brexit ,just worn down with the daily anti Brexit propaganda spewing from media ,the BBC, Sky and every outlet you choose to listen to. But then I guess that’s how we are supposed to feel so we change our minds.
    At least Boris is a proven leader/winner and able to be optimistic and rousing about the future.The fact everyone wants to get rid of him speaks volumes.

  • Trojan

    The Tory Party needs to stand up to the BBC. May was appointed by the media, especially the BBC, who keep her under control. The Tories need to re-ignite the special relationship with America. Not everyone out side of London share Sadiq Khan and Teresa May’s hostile attitude towards Trump

  • Great Briton

    Gordon Brown wanted the job so badly but didn’t know why. No point leading if you don’t have a vision. May is so busy being busy that she has no time to be visionary. Again, just like Gordon Brown who came rushing back from his holiday because there was a flood somewhere.
    The PM should be like a CEO, don’t get involved in day to day, set the direction and back out, that’s what made Thatcher so good

  • brownowl

    Agreed. Since the execrable Ben Dummer was booted out in Ipswich and replaced by a Momentum Droid, I have no reason at all the continue to vote Tory. I can, and probably will, vote UKIP unless something drastic happens with the Party. To be clear, I don’t regard sacking May, Hammond, Rudd, Morgan, Sourberry et al as radical, rather I regard that as essential.

  • Theresa May. Aka Gordon Brown 2. Spent so long meticulously masterminding her ascent to the top that it failed to occur to her that she’s be a disaster when she got there.

  • Sgt_Bilko

    I agree with all your points, but I would add one more. If the Tories don’t get their act together very quickly indeed, they can kiss goodbye to a big chunk of those 4 million UKIP voters who saved the Tories at the last election to help push through Brexit. Many will either go back to UKIP or not vote at all.

    Millions of us are fed up with Conservatives offering nothing, except being slightly less crap at following through with Labour policies.

  • springmellon

    The ideological composition of the Parliamentary Conservative Party is made in the image of David Cameron, an ideological adherent to Blairism.
    In short, the majority of Tory MPs are effectively Blairites When it came time to appoint a new leader they, of course, chose a Blairite in the form of Mrs May.

    Disconnected and unaccountable to marginalised and disempowered Local Conservative Associations and other grass roots Tories, when the next leadership election arises the MPs will either fix it so there is no vote by the Membership by simply anointing another Blairite as leader or will present two Blairites for the Membership to choose between.

    The Conservative Party has effectively been the subject of a coup by Liberal Democrats, and the Membership are effectively in the position of the bird deceived by the cuckoo in to supporting its alien offspring.

    The Membership must take back control of the Party as a matter of extreme urgency. There were exciting reports during conference season of a campaign group formed to take back control; I hope it hasn’t fizzed out.

    It would think that only the threat of organised mass resignations by the Tory Membership would have the potency to force changes on the PCP. It’s time to stop feeding the cuckoo.

  • bob

    The biggest problem for Consevative voters is that the Conservative party aren’t Conservatives any more and haven’t been since they ousted Thatcher.

  • Jeff Evans

    Theresa May appears to be a person lacking in imagination.

    The most obvious example is the “dementia tax”. It takes the existing unsatisfactory rules on social care and makes them worse. Given social trends over the past 40 years, encouraging (forcing) women who might in the past have provided it into paid work, elderly care needs to be provided on a national insurance basis, paid for either by income tax or inheritance tax.

    Attempts to win the youth vote by throwing money at the student loan system, rather than reforming the system, also shows a lack of imagination.

    Solving the housing problem by shouting at the builders is equally unhelpful; what is needed is to cut down the planning application procedure.

    Energy prices could be cheaper if consumers didn’t have to pay for all the “green” measures the current law insists on. Also, since retailers are all buying from the same market, there isn’t real competition. And the reason people don’t switch suppliers is that chearper suppliers mostly have poor customer service and people don’t want the stress of sorting it out.

    One could go on.

    The only hope is that after the Brexit agreement is struck (or after a “no-deal” Brexit) we get a competent Prime Minister with a more imaginatve approach. Currently, I don’t see one on the horizon.

    Maybe the conservatives could merge with UKIP?

  • 100

    Even the author of this article still doesnt get it.
    People are not bored of Brexit they’re bored of the remainers attempts to stop it and all the negative media spin. They are bored and disgusted at the government’s obvious stalling of the process and Mays agenda to get the weakest softest Brexit as possible if at all.
    The voters want the government to get on with delivering on the referendum and take control of the negotiations by demanding that the EU either start trade negotiations before the year end or we walk Away With No Deal.

    May needs to be replaced urgently, she is an appalling PM and incapeable of governing and leading the party as she is always on the back foot trying to chase labour’s policies instead of thinking strategically of a proper conservative manifesto.
    Hammond also needs to be sacked, he is working against the government and the party at the directions of George Osborne. Feeding information to the Press and hinting of a disastrous budget aimed at hammering the core Tory vote is completely unacceptable.

    Gavin Williamson is floundering, he must step up to the plate and get control of these belligerent rogue MPs and give them an ultimatum to either get onside or lose the whip. I agree with the author that if Williamson is not up to this then he needs to be replaced as well.

    A new leader must refocus the agenda on conservative policies and stop trying to chase the labour vote with socialist money tree gimmicks.

    Seriously how difficult is this.?

  • Jolly Radical

    We all know that none of this will happen.

    We also know that is because the Parliamentary Tory party does not contain a single person of genuinely conservative or even remotely right-of-centre beliefs.

    And we have all accepted in our hearts that we are heading for a Corbyn regime, followed by an EU anschluss and consequent socioeconomic meltdown.

    Buy gold, and check out the property prices in Melbourne (the one in Australia, not Cambridgeshire.)

  • sfin

    A lot of rearranging of the deckchairs on the Titanic here…

    The Tory party used to, at least give the impression that it represents conservative opinion in the country (it never really did of course). Since 2005, when it embraced progressive politics, it hasn’t even done that.

    The Tories still cling to the Burkean principle that we elect a better informed and educated class to represent our interests in a sovereign parliament. In this, less deferential, age of mass media and instant information, this concept is hopelessly out of date. Since 1990, when the parliamentary party was hijacked by European social democrats, it has increasingly only served to represent itself and has only survived due to fear of the alternative.

    Since the Heseltine element took over it has not had one, single, convincing, electoral win.

    If the Tories are to survive, they need to open themselves up to scrutiny from the membership. Open primaries for candidate selection, direct election of the leader and the power to recall errant MPs would treat the disease – not the symptoms.

  • Dropbear

    As a Tory activist I’m losing the will to live. May was a crap Home Sec, technocratic, indecisive, politically correct and authoritarian in outlook. She’s much the same as PM, with the added malus that her instincts are just plain wrong. She doesn’t seem to understand what is a good idea and what’s a bad idea. The “dementia tax”, when I first saw it, dropped my jaw in about two seconds. I was simply dumbfounded that a conservative could do something so utterly stupid as to take aim so squarely at many of their own voters’ interests – yes, being caught by it is not certain, but the potential cash impact of it on a family is so large that many people would be thinking it might be better to let Corbyn and his crew wreck the economy a bit instead of taking the risk. I mean, if your job is relatively safe why not pay a bit more tax and let the mad socialists squander it rather than risk losing hundreds of thousands of pounds? In those few seconds, if I had anyone else I could have voted for I would have done.

  • Mojo

    We have a disastrous government because we have a disastrous leader. Her mistake started from her campaigning to be leader. She said she was not a showy politician. Whereas at this moment in our history that is exactly what we need. Someone who resonates with the country. Someone who has ideas and is proud to voice them. But most importantly Mrs May has taken the wrong advice from the wrong people. All her advisers have been dull Remainers. She should have insisted that a proper leadership election be worked through. Indeed the party itself should never have allowed her to be shooed in by the London media and the conservative hierarchy. Right from the getgo the country didn’t trust her.
    Then move on from that mistrust. If she was serious about Brexit she should have put in place a full Brexit cabinet taking in all the talent she could find on the backbenches. But she took the advice of some very old hat Remainers. People who had no comprehension of what Brexit meant.

    Therein lies the final and perhaps the biggest mistake. She really does not understand why we all voted to leave the EU. She is a big state advocate. She isn’t a true conservative and she is definitely not a patriot. If she wanted to overcome this to do her duty she really should have put forward an exciting plan for the future of this country. Instead she has just chased the Labour Party leftwards and caused a real open wound for the majority of the country. Where do we lay our head. We do not want the Labour Party policies enacted. We understand that students are ideologists and will not vote Tory in big numbers until they have a stake in this country via homeownership, job and aspiration. There is no party platform we can vote for. So many of us will not bother to vote again. We have been badly let down on our referendum vote and we feel we are not being listened to. Labour will get in by default and I suspect the very bright Tories will eventually get together with other very bright parliamentarians and probably new intakes with a strong sense of patriotism. I cannot see the Conservative Party surviving with this glum and gloomy government.

  • markbrev

    Sorry, but if you’re looking to destroy the Tory party in the rest of the country, then making a minister for London would be a good start.

  • Bik Byro

    As is often the case, Peter Bingle hits the nail firmly on the head. Amazingly, the Conservative party seems oblivious to all of this.
    From day to day they have the appearance of a caretaker government put in place to hold the reins as a temporary measure until a proper government is elected.

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