I wonder if there will ever be a play written about the political turmoil of this year in Britain. It would be called something like The Year of the Three Prime Ministers. Makes it sound rather dashing doesn’t it? Evokes images of Errol Flynn swinging around on a chandelier, fighting off hordes of enemies with nothing but a rapier and a witty retort. This lot are the very opposite of that. The faffing and floundering about that we have seen from the Tory party for the last four or five months has been nothing short of a national embarrassment. Firstly, the lies and hubris of Boris Johnson became too much even for those who had enabled him in the first place. Then, the great libertarian experiment that was Liz Truss flamed out in such spectacular style that they had to end it before it could do anymore damage after just six weeks. And now, we have our third Conservative leader and Prime Minister in the last three years. And only one of them ever contested a general election. The next was voted for by a wildly unrepresentative constituency that in no way reflected the nation as whole. And the latest incumbent was chosen by default after no one else could get on the ballot.
If ever the case for a General Election was to be made, now is the time. We have a party with a parliamentary majority that should be more than large enough for them to easily pass any law they wanted to, they could have dominated the political agenda for the next generation. Instead, what we’re seeing is a party that is exhausted, out of ideas and at war with itself. The reason for the internal conflict is not hard to spot. It’s the same thing that has been tearing the party asunder ever since David Cameron pledged to hold a referendum on the subject. The Tory is now split down the middle. This is not a party capable of serious governing at the moment. This is a party at the end of a cycle. They need to go into opposition and have a proper internal free-for-all intellectual punch up, to sort out what their direction is going to be going forward. What we have at the moment is a party lurching about drunkenly from one disaster to the other, all while still trying to govern the country.
Labour increasingly look like a government in waiting. It has taken a few years, but the party is truly starting to form up behind Keir Starmer. They look organised, like they have a vision that they are ready to execute. More than that, they look stable. Now, an immediate General Election is very unlikely, for the simple reason that the Conservatives know they would be wiped out, if you look at the current polling. As the saying goes, turkeys don’t vote for an early Christmas. But it is crystal clear that the country needs a new government with a new plan to take the country in a new direction; one that can hopefully begin to redress the awful damage that has been done to the country over the last twelve years. The rich have got a lot richer, and the poor have literally gotten hungrier. And now, just as families are really set to feel the full effects of the cost-of-living crisis over this winter, the government is warning of what will essentially amount to Austerity 2.0.
Now, if Labour do come to power at the next election, whenever that may be, they will certainly make mistakes and there will be arguments within the party. But that is the cut and thrust of politics. It is my firm belief though, that the country needs to sweep the Conservatives out of power. They have made too many mistakes and have been in power for far too long. The country deserves better than to be governed by a party that can’t even work out what it even stands for anymore, other than the permanent and escalating enrichment of those who already have the most.