Ten months alone in government and the Conservatives are already falling apart at the seams. When long-term architect of misery Iain Duncan Smith resigns citing the unfairness of welfare cuts, you know something’s gone horribly wrong. With a massive divide forming over the EU referendum, the austerity narrative crumbling and “compassionate conservatism” all but dismissed as a myth, the Conservative Party are in real trouble. A vote for the Tories this May is now surely a vote for chaos, instability and cruel inequality.
On the EU referendum, the Conservatives are caught between their love for big, multinational business deals and their hatred for so-called “red tape” such as the working time directive and human rights laws. We’ve seen the “Remain” crowd talking about jobs, stability and better business deals, and we’ve seen the “Leave” crowd talk about tackling immigration and liberating ourselves from laws made in Brussels. On the whole, the Conservatives tend to avoid talking about the EU’s environmental, consumer and worker protections, you know, the things that actually help out the average European citizen. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, it’s already clear that the ideological split it has created in the Conservative Party is disrupting their unity, making their weak majority in Westminster even less effective.
The Conservatives are also finally coming under fire for their record on the economy. Despite their appalling record of missing their own deficit targets and doubling the national debt, polls consistently show that the Conservatives are generally more trusted with the economy than Labour. I put this, in part, down to mainstream media’s lack of interest in reporting George Osborne’s failures in office. Now, however, media and public opinion seems to be on the turn, and in a recent car-crash interview on Radio 4 George Osborne was finally asked the question I’ve been waiting for since around 2012: “What’s a bloke got to do in your job to get the sack?”
On top of this the idea that “we’re all in this together”, a lie the conservatives have been proudly spreading for years, is now being brought into question by their own callous actions. With an effective, anti-austerity opposition, the Conservatives have had to back-track on their cuts to Tax Credits and are finally coming under heavy fire for their assault on disability benefits. The sacking of Zac Goldsmith, the Tory candidate for London Mayor, from his position as patron of a disability charity, feels like the start of a big turn in the tide against the Conservatives – increasingly by their own allies and friends.
The general election in 2015 was a disaster for many on the left, but now the time has come for the opposition to pounce. The SNP, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, Plaid Cymru and The Greens are formidable opponents of the Conservatives’ entire economic narrative. With few allies left in other parties, and their own MPs rocking the boat, the Tories are no longer a safe bet to govern a local council, let alone a national government. Their own Orwellian word-games are now coming back to haunt them, and for the sake of national security, economic security and your family’s security, your safest bet this May is to vote anyone but Conservative.
By Office of the PM/Arron Hoare – https://www.flickr.com/photos/number10gov/18192238560/in/photostream/, OGL 3, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44108853