So, second day of the Boris for MP, for PM, for Mayor and MP/PM show rolls in to town and the teams are starting the mind games How the FOBs, FOGs and FOTs could trip themselves up in the Tory leadership fight, which raises an interesting point (but possibly/certainly unintended). Could a fresh faced candidate sweep in, stage right, and steal the curtain call?
I previously said that I saw the race of Conservative leadership between Boris and May (Theresa, not Brian); Boris for the way he would be expected to best Miliband across the dispatch box and May because she would be expected to offer the party credibility but that raises the question, what would the Conservative Party want from a new leader? It might be thought that a fresh face will add weight to Conservative efforts to convince the public that the party itself is fresh and offers something new and deserve another crack at governing the country. That’s not a concern when it comes to attracting their dyed in the wool supporters, who are happy with the traditionally self-interested politics of Conservatism, but the undecided and marginal voters will need convincing.
But, I think, it would be a false strategy. The Conservatives already tried the fresh face with Cameron and two things should have been learned. First, the public weren’t convinced and he didn’t win office of PM by election but by doing a deal with the LibDems. The public did not want Gordon Brown as Prime Minister but they did not want Cameron either. Secondly, once in government, the Conservatives have followed traditional Conservative political process by giving away national interests through privatisation, as witnesses by the Post Office sell off and by the continued efforts to sell off parts of Education and the NHS, welfare spending cuts, and tax cuts for the wealthiest.
It isn’t just new leadership the Conservatives will need when they are removed from office but new ideas. Pursuing policies which ultimately benefit the wealthiest of the population because they are the only people that can truly exploit them means the public get what we have had for the past four years; a government of incompetence or wilful neglect. People will catch on that that is what happens when you elect Conservative governments (even when you don’t). It took 13 years for the public to forget 18 years of Conservative governance last time, hopefully the public have learned their lesson and will force the Conservatives to learn theirs.