Schadenfreude: The Tories February 4, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, Economy, European Politics.
I’ve got to admit to great pleasure at the news of nascent and not so nascent plots within the British Tories centring on replacing David Cameron, and George Osborne too. Granted this is part and parcel of a near atavistic revulsion I have for the Tories which has been a constant, perhaps one of the main ones, of my political life, but it’s also because it represents a shift in the nature of their rule since the 2010 General Election where now they are moving into real trouble.
The prospect of a triple-dip recession seems very real – making a mockery of Osborne’s claims that austerity was just the medicine Britain needed. Cameron has been pushed towards a much more extreme position on Europe than he intended. There appears to be a significant rebellion amongst Tory MPs over the issue of gay marriage – though thankfully the measure itself looks as if it will be passed fairly handily.
And now, now plots against Cameron’s leadership. As the Guardian notes:
First there was the plot, revealed last Sunday, for the Windsor MP Adam Afriyie to challenge David Cameron if he fails to win an outright majority in 2015. Then, two days ago, senior Tories confirmed to our chief political correspondent that Mr Cameron genuinely faces a confidence vote among MPs by summer 2014 if Tory poll ratings do not improve and if the party gets a drubbing in the local and European elections. Finally, the Daily Mail reported on Friday that the plotters now have George Osborne in their sights as well as Mr Cameron, threatening to try to remove the chancellor if the UK slips into a triple-dip recession this spring.
This is great. It is precisely when a party runs into trouble that these events manifest. They’re not a cause, but a symptom of deeper problems. And, as the Guardian notes, there’s a brilliant irony in all this. The Tories are currently in power – albeit slightly constrained by their ‘partners’ the Liberal Democrats – because of Cameron. And as it also notes, it’s not Cameron the public are ‘wary of’, but the party he leads. More again there’s no evidence that the British electorate want a full-blown Tory programme.
How all this pans out remains to be seen. It could go many ways, but for the moment there’s little to complain of.
Well, bar the not insignificant fact that the Tories and the Liberal Democrat’s remain in government.