What an amazing week in politics!
Yes I know Iain Duncan Smith has enacted some of the most draconian cuts to our countries most vulnerable people. Yes I’m convinced his conscience has been defrosted after six years for Brexit reasons rather than a genuine concern for the people he represents. However I’m interested in the way that this government has suddenly, almost over night lost it’s confidence in itself.
Last May I remember too well Cameron turning his surprise into hubris. No one expected a Tory majority and the exit poll made many of us despair or hold onto a desperate hope for a psephological miscount (poor Paddies hat!) Last summer the government flirted with throwing away the European Convention on Human Rights, they looked unstoppable and everyone left of the chamber groaned with fear of their next strike. These all speak of a government that felt liberated from the coalition as they were securely in the nation’s driving seat. After eighteen years the Tories were back and for my generation the first time in our adult lives we had a Tory cabinet at the helm.
This weekend I see that the shine has truly gone and no sugar tax initiative will heal the obvious fissure within the Conservative Party.
Tory MPs have been defining their ideology and that is always an interesting time for a party as I suspect it is a way to denote where one stands in the split. Compassionate Conservatives – Cameron, Heidi Allen (a most impressive new MP and my opponent at the last election) and Johnny Mercer ” “MP Johnny Mercer on Personal Independence Payment (PIP)” (BBC) all claim that they have the good of all at heart and that they want to be firm but not patronising (questionable). Neo Liberals (although no one claims this any more) Letwin, Osborne and Ian Duncan Smith – (but wait he’s changed sides!!! How suspicious!!!) want the religion of the free market to replace other forms of worship on a Sunday as well as every other second of the day.
These rifts are only the latest in a catalogue of failure and to quote Malcomb Tucker – ‘a clown running across a minefield’ policy making. Hunt has alienated the medical profession and believes bullying will be a sign of strength rather of malice – the doctors fight on. Morgan has pushed schools into results factories at the cost of education – schools can’t recruit teachers. Johnson has had to make a his first political decision and now has alienated or confused half the population…and himself. Finally arch-Neo Liberal himself, Osborne, is falling out of favour with his own party and revising all of the arrogant boasts of economic success from the fictional Autumn statement. The real problem is that this government is six MPs away from failure and miles away from common sense.
We have four long years ahead of us. Good luck everyone!