Time to split !

The deep fault-lines in the UK’s ruling Conservative party were revealed yet again this week when the party’s MPs voted 200 to 117 to keep Theresa May as their leader, and therefore as UK Prime minister.

A majority of 200 Conservative MPs chose to support a Prime Minister who has not only failed to implement the result of the 2016 Brexit Referendum as she promised, but has betrayed the most fundamental of her party’s traditional principles.

They voted to retain as Prime Minister someone who has, despite the Brexit vote in June 2016,  negotiated

  • secretly to hand over the UK’s entire Defence capability – military, policy and supply
  • to create tax harmonisation with the EU
  • a Withdrawal Deal which maintains the UK in the Customs Union of the EU unless the UK relinquishes sovereignty over Northern Ireland
  • a Deal to give the EU £39 Billion and some, for absolutely nothing in return [this from a country which has been  a persistent, major net contributor to the EU and which has written off valuable assets it has within the EU
  • as if the UK were a penniless dependent desperate for EU clemency

And in domestic politics, a Prime Minister who has pursued policies which

  • fail to give our police sufficient resources and powers to fight crime [police numbers are down by 20,000  since 2010 while crime is far from falling,  with violence and drug crime getting out of hand]
  • but will spend £2 Billion creating a wholly un-necessary and highly troubling new mental health check system for all schoolchildren, not just those identified as at risk …
  • allow golden visas to Russian oligarchs to continue, despite the Home Secretary’s concerns and despite the now long running issue of massive money laundering via the UK property and stock markets

And the underlying reason the 200 have maintained her in power, quite apart from personal ambition, is the issue of Brexit.

The realistic 117 are fed up with the betrayal, the fudge and the delay. But those who remain loyal to May want to stop Brexit, or minimise its impact.

Those 200 have maintained in power a woman who has lost the confidence of the electorate and the allegiance of the vast majority of her party members: Conservative Home website reports 80% want her out before the next General Election.

She is manifestly seen as a failure and a liability. No-one believes she could win the next General Election, and everyone knows that the Conservative party will pay a severe electoral price for her mismanagement of Brexit.

The Brexit Referendum in June 2016 was supposed to settle the issue once and for all, both for the country and the Conservative party.

But the Remain minded in parliament and in the civil Service establishment have done everything possible not only to thwart the Brexit vote, but to accelerate UK integration into the pan European project.

Far from being resolved, this decades old running sore gets worse – with no possible deliverance in sight.

The Brexiteer  Right wing of the Conservative party must now resolve this issue. They must now form a new conservative party which

  • espouses traditional conservatism and which
  • keeps faith with grass roots members instincts and views

The total corruption of the Conservative and Unionist party is now clear for all to see, and that party will pay the price at the next General Election.

The Right wing of the party is blameless in this and has fought desperately  to prevent it. But they will suffer the same fate as the rest of the party, despite their faithfulness and their efforts.

There is no alternative now but to split formally and create a party which is manifestly  true to patriotic Conservatism.

The electorate will understand at once what is happening, and disillusioned grass roots Conservatives will finally have a home which has been lacking for too long now.

In 1990 to 1992, the Conservative party lost over half its members over the EU membership issue. Party membership plummeted from over 900,000 to 400,000 in just two years. It has never recovered and declines continually. It is now down to about 125,000.

In 2014, two Conservative minded women set up the Conservative Woman website. Their motto is the philosophy not the Party.  Their mission page states:

We unashamedly value faith, family, flag and freedom of expression. Our aim is to conserve conservatism before the party destroys it completely.

Just today, readers of that site are asking “How can the 117 carry on under May?” and suggesting a new party here

Grass roots frustration with the faithless Party leadership is now so great that a new party formed by leading Brexit figures – and under the leadership of Boris Johnson – would easily outstrip the membership of the current Conservative party, and provide a true Conservative party for Conservative voters at the next Election.

How can patriotic conservatives vote for this Conservative and Unionist party in the now inevitable General Election in the coming months ?

The time is ripe for such an initiative. It will certainly work in the current climate.

But if those leading Brexit Conservative MPs fail to do this they will pay the price anyway, they will fail Conservative voters, and once again they will leave the now nominally  ‘conservative’ party in the hands of those who have corrupted its philosophy and brought disaster on it.

Those 117 Brexit MPs must ask themselves this vital question. Where will frustrated Conservative voters go ?

Many will go to some new ukip type party;  many may well go to extremes; but many will just walk away in disgust and outrage leaving the reputation of politicians and politics damaged irretrievably.

The Right wing vote will be dissipated, without proper focus,  and the Conservative cause severely damaged, perhaps beyond repair.

Strategic realities are in play. It’s time to make the break and create a  Conservative party which reflects Conservative voters concerns and reflects the fundamentals of the cause.

It’s time to lay aside the conventional wisdom that a new party cannot succeed, because the situation today demands it.

Labour has opted to espouse its true credentials, despite its parliamentary party.

Conservatives must too.

Ray Catlin

Copyright © 2018 Ray Catlin. All rights reserved.