The Tory leadership election campaign rumbles on and daily seems to throw up new horrors and ‘policy’ promises that seem out of touch with the problems facing the country.
The problem for all of us watching on from the sidelines is precisely that we are having to watch hopelessly from the outside!
Now MPs have whittled down the list of candidates to just two for the membership to choose from the only people Sunak and Truss care about are the 160,000 Tory Party members and their votes.
You can tell the two leadership campaigns have polled this membership and what ticks their boxes. The answers to the numerous crisis facing the country are missing in action. Instead we get the sort of drivel that appeals to the core issues of this small and unrepresentative group of the electorate. This week I’ve spotted Grammar schools and now dumbing down on woke again! These people do know what woke means don’t they? Of course not. It has been turned into a form of meaningless abuse for anybody not on the far right of politics these days! Care about poverty – Woke!
As we have weeks of this campaign still to go and with Truss clearly having a lead in the polling amongst party members we are likely so see more desperate attempts by both camps to grab votes. For Sunak he apparently is too left wing for the Tory membership!! He will therefore be trying to sound as authoritarian and right wing as possible over the coming weeks. But where does this stop… it’s become an arms race to the bottom.
‘We’ can’t do anything about this. As part of our unwritten constitution how Party leaders (and therefore in this circumstance the Prime Minister) are chosen is down to the individual Party rules.
For me this problem – and Johnson seemingly clinging onto power until the bitter end because of his claimed ‘mandate’ – has thrown up the question of our constitution and that relying on the past custom and practise has been shown to be unfit for the 21st century and a Populist PM wanting to break these ‘rules’. The Tory party shifted during the Brexit years and became far more Faragist.
This is not just a Tory party problem. Let’s be honest Labour was in the grips of a faction for a time.
So is it time to think again about the role of parties in the selection of leaders when parties are in government?
And there is a wider problem. Let’s be honest the choice facing the Tory party is pretty woeful. How on earth Truss got here and is probably just a few weeks away from becoming our PM is beyond me. What are we going to do in the long term to make politics an attractive and fruitful path for really talented people capable of running a government and inspiring a nation?
The problems facing the country after 12 years of this Tory party require an open and honest conversation. Nothing I am seeing goes anywhere near addressing the challenges of the next decade.