Skip to main content

David Cameron faces a challenge

Oh dear! the deselection of Liz Truss by Norfolk Conservatives is something of a challenge for the so-called modernisers around David Cameron. To most people these days, the deselection of someone because they had an extra-marital affair several years ago looks pretty absurd. These days the majority of the population are understanding about the pressures that can cause marriages to fail, and know that the idea of blaming someone is often wide of the mark.

Nevertheless it is only to be expected that Conservatives would be more concerned about the issue of marriage and morality. Social Conservatives pay a great deal of attention to institutions, and are naturally conservative about maintaining them. There is indeed a real cost to society from the failure of such institutions, but while Conservatives try to defend the institutions themselves, a Liberal will focus of the role of individual rights and responsibilities, rather than an imposed sense of -often hypocritical- social morality.

Given that Ms. Truss's affair was extremely public, and details could be found in a single google search, one can only assume that there may be another agenda amongst the local Conservatives. Mr. Cameron, by forcing candidates on local parties is breaking an old tradition amongst both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats- the local party is the final arbiter in the selection of a candidate. Personally I think that David Cameron, by forcing all women short lists on an unwilling party, is sending a message that a candidate's gender is more important that their character- which is why the Liberal Democrats don't make their candidate selections based on gender preference, but gender balance in the selection process. In any event, in virtually any other job, an employer that expresses such a gender preference, irrespective of merit, is breaking the law.

It seems to me that the deselection of Ms. Truss underlines the huge gap that has opened up between the "Notting Hill Set" and the rest of the Conservative Party. The leadership is already making the bedrock of the Conservatives nervous with his talk of social liberalism: the majority of the Conservative Party remains socially, well, conservative. Frankly Cameron's views on imposing all women short lists, apart from being a challenge to the independence of local parties, also puts him well to the left, not only his own party, but a significant swathe of Liberal Democrats and even some Socialists.

With growing suspicions about his views on the EU, Mr. Cameron may face a series of rebellions from his local parties. Given the scale of the job that is need for the Conservatives to get a working majority, there is real danger that such rebellions could undermine party unity and leave the Tories short of their majority.

David Cameron will only have himself to blame his he continues to tread on the toes of his own party. Liz Truss may be simply the first casualty of the growing discontent at the Conservtative grass roots against the self-styled "heir to Blair".


Pat said…
As I understand things Ms. Truss was selected by the same committee which deselected her shortly afterwards, on grounds that could very easily have been determined prior to interview. If this is correct then the selection committee itself needs de-selecting for its gross incompetence in carrying out background checks
Newmania said…
Liberals are surely the saddest hypocrites in that the rank and file talk about how repressed everyone else is but are usually po faced frumpy women and weedy men who are such an antidote to the libido that the question scarcely arises .
I really do not encounter the sort of caricature you describe and I can assure you that David Cameron is much like by Grass roots Conservatives , far more so than the blogasphere might suggest.
The Conservative Party is full of individuals and particularities , this is just another one and it will , I fear remain an exercise in herding cats . I like it that way , its a Gothic rather than Palladian structure

Popular posts from this blog

Post Truth and Justice

The past decade has seen the rise of so-called "post truth" politics.  Instead of mere misrepresentation of facts to serve an argument, political figures began to put forward arguments which denied easily provable facts, and then blustered and browbeat those who pointed out the lie.  The political class was able to get away with "post truth" positions because the infrastructure that reported their activity has been suborned directly into the process. In short, the media abandoned long-cherished traditions of objectivity and began a slow slide into undeclared bias and partisanship.  The "fourth estate" was always a key piece of how democratic societies worked, since the press, and later the broadcast media could shape opinion by the way they reported on the political process. As a result there has never been a golden age of objective media, but nevertheless individual reporters acquired better or worse reputations for the quality of their reporting and

We need to talk about UK corruption

After a long hiatus, mostly to do with indolence and partly to do with the general election campaign, I feel compelled to take up the metaphorical pen and make a few comments on where I see the situation of the UK in the aftermath of the "Brexit election". OK, so we lost.  We can blame many reasons, though fundamentally the Conservatives refused to make the mistakes of 2017 and Labour and especially the Liberal Democrats made every mistake that could be made.  Indeed the biggest mistake of all was allowing Johnson to hold the election at all, when another six months would probably have eaten the Conservative Party alive.  It was Jo Swinson's first, but perhaps most critical, mistake to make, and from it came all the others.  The flow of defectors and money persuaded the Liberal Democrat bunker that an election could only be better for the Lib Dems, and as far as votes were concerned, the party did indeed increase its vote by 1.3 million.   BUT, and it really is the bi

Media misdirection

In the small print of the UK budget we find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British Finance Minister) has allocated a further 15 billion Pounds to the funding for the UK track and trace system. This means that the cost of the UK´s track and trace system is now 37 billion Pounds.  That is approximately €43 billion or US$51 billion, which is to say that it is amount of money greater than the national GDP of over 110 countries, or if you prefer, it is roughly the same number as the combined GDP of the 34 smallest economies of the planet.  As at December 2020, 70% of the contracts for the track and trace system were awarded by the Conservative government without a competitive tender being made . The program is overseen by Dido Harding , who is not only a Conservative Life Peer, but the wife of a Conservative MP, John Penrose, and a contemporary of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Oxford. Many of these untendered contracts have been given to companies that seem to have no notewo