Concerns of the public are of little importance to the leadership candidates as their campaigns focus on appealing to a greying membership, says Robin Prior
Martin Kettle nicely identifies the frenzy that has taken over the Conservative party (Forget the ‘natural party of government’: these Tories are headless chickens, 13 July). Like overtired children, this mania is a sign of Tory exhaustion. The leadership candidates’ brutal signalling on things like refugees and human rights are desperate appeals to two small electorates – the most illiberal caucus of MPs in at least 50 years, as well as an ever greyer body of middle-class reactionaries who form the party membership. The concerns of the public are of very little importance at the moment.
This is a shame, as the Brexit fever that swept David Cameron from office, transformed the Tory party into an English nationalist party and gave Boris Johnson his large majority has clearly subsided in the country, even if it hasn’t in Westminster or Fleet Street. Just as clearly, the Tories have run out of steam, as they did in 1996-97.
Continue reading… July 14, 2022 at 10:39PM Letters