RECENTLY I have received two communications from the Conservative Party: first from my local branch asking me if I would be available to sell raffle tickets in aid of floundering finances, followed by an email of a couple of days later from the director general of the Conservative Party inquiring whether not I would be ‘around as the party was defending 5,000 council seats from the Labour and Liberal Democrats’? Surely, I must understand that the local elections are due on May 2 across England and as a member I would ‘know better than anyone what the choice at these elections is’. The candidates have been selected and (heaven help them) ‘are ready to campaign’ but ‘need your help’.
My second reaction to this email (the first being unprintable), was to suggest that this person read Thursday’s excellent article by Rebecca Ryan, founder of the StandUp4Brexit Campaign, on the Brexit Central website. She eloquently articulated grassroots Tory Brexiteers’ ‘Seething anger at Prime Minister Theresa May’s subcontracting Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn’. Today a further message from those ever-vigilant minions at Tory HQ notified me of an ‘Early bird discount at the forthcoming Conservative Party Conference’ in Manchester. Whoopee! I am assured of hobnobbing with all those nice Tory MPs, the majority of whom have been just been party to one of the most shameful episodes in British political history, namely constitutional vandalism as they attempt to block Brexit whilst maintaining their utmost integrity as our elected representatives in upholding the manifesto commitment upon which they were elected – they have just ignored the one important bit about maintaining democracy.
For those of us who have slogged away on a wet Tuesday evening in winter, knocking on doors only to have them slammed in our faces, or set upon by barking dogs as we tried to shove leaflets though minute letterboxes as soon as it was discovered that ‘Tory Scum’ were in the vicinity; called deranged for actually believing in the Tory mantra of low taxation, light regulation, living within one’s means and personal responsibility, not forgetting loyalty, patriotism and democratic rights for all. Now this. Mrs May having tea and biscuits with dear old Marxist ‘Magic Grandpa’, who whilst not pottering around his allotment and strewing veggies to his legions of adoring, naive fans, is busy cosying up to terrorists and praising Britain’s enemies; whose terrifying economic agenda would bankrupt the country, leaving the armed forces reduced to a ‘peace corps’ before running up the white flag. This is the final nail in the Conservative Party coffin for most long-suffering Tory activists.
For years they have been ignored, sneered at by all those earnest, clever, privileged, slick twentysomethings, resplendent in their tight, shiny suits with gleaming pointed shoes, who have never done a day’s work in their young lives except emerge from PPE at university, moving effortlessly to intern jobs whilst ridiculing the ‘blue rinse brigade’ of stalwart Tory ladies of the shires. Poor old things, seemingly forever stuck at the vicar’s tea party, still nibbling cheese balls and quaffing warm white wine, muffled in hand-knitted cardies in some freezing village hall, whilst the really important people are there to run the Head Shed of the well-oiled, modern Conservative Party machine, as anyone who troubles to glance at Central Office’s current list of non-job vacancies will soon discover.
The recent shenanigans of the hypocritical and mendacious MPs have assured the total evaporation of public trust in politics. Tragically Mrs May has lacked the flair, intelligence, imagination, belief and courage to lead the Conservative Party and somebody, somewhere with integrity and drive has to rally the foot soldiers once again, even if it means yet another cup of tepid tea and a stale vol-au-vent.