'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Are the Tories at war?

Thanks to @ollygrender who tweeted this link to an astonishing attack on David Cameron - from his own side.

It must be by an anonymous Tory MP and it goes to show how the unrest on the Tory backbenches is, as predicted, getting worse.

Here's a quote about the Pritchard affair:

'Cameron’s quasi-Machiavellian later response, laughing off accusations of bullying and dismissing the debate as a storm in a tea cup, is a mark of his contempt for MPs and the public. Flashman has no time for the little people. He spins a glib line, thrashes a few fags (sorry, whips) and thinks he’s got away with it'

They are a very unhappy bunch indeed.

Hence I suspect David Camerons plea the other day on immigration policy that (and I paraphrase), 'it's not his fault' (and how pathetic is that). As Mark Pack pointed out, it's great to hear from the PM publicly that we are having a marked effect on preventing the worst excesses of what a majority Tory government would have achieved. But of course Cameron was talking, I suspect, less to the country and more to his backbenchers.He's in trouble.

There's a great story on Conservative Home about Osborne telling Cameron what might happen if he lost the AV referendum.

'Cameron walked into George Osborne’s office to tell him that he’d just been told that he’d lose the leadership if AV passed. Cameron thought it funny that MPs could be so melodramatic. Osborne’s face didn’t move. We can’t rule it out, he said, staring at Cameron in a moment where the gravity of the situation dawned on the Prime Minister.'

No wonder Cameron reneged on the agreement not to get involved, and went in all guns blazing. (It's also worth reading the whole article - it shows the depth of concern in the Tories - and look at the name that crops up in the second sentence - no concidence, I suspect....).

So what does this all mean for us? Three things.

1. We need to keep poking the Tories and watch them implode.
2. The Tory leadership is going to keep moving to the right to appease the backbenches. We need to stop them - morally as well as for political expediency.
3. As the Tories move right, so will Labour, as it tries to take the centre ground the Tories vacate. We need to stop that too.

Exciting times ahead.

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