Between the year-long Downing Street Festival of Covid and Monday’s chaotic Commons aftermath, it’s been suggested that we’re witnessing the unravelling of the Conservative Party. I’m not sure though, that ‘unravelling’ is entirely adequate here. It suggests that the party is in a state of chaos from which it will take several years to recover. The Conservatives though, rarely allow themselves to be paralysed in such a way.
At the first sign of turbulence they’re usually quick to do what needs to be done to correct the situation without much fuss. Just ask Margaret Thatcher. More recently, David Cameron and Theresa May didn’t need to be told to quit. They knew what was coming and that it would be short, brutal and entirely without sentiment. Boris Johnson’s time is drawing to a close and all that remains to do is organise the firing squad. Many more political weeks must pass before the next UK election, and well … you know the axiom.
Rather, what we’re seeing here is the essence of this party being revealed: an unmasking if you like. Prior to the 1997 UK election, the Conservatives ran an advertising campaign created by the evil geniuses at M&C Saatchi. It featured Tony Blair with demon eyes and the slogan “New Labour, New Danger.” Although the advert was praised by industry professionals it didn’t actually help the Tories who would disintegrate in the New Labour sunrise. What Saatchi mischievously sought to convey would actually be more apt for Boris Johnson’s administration.
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