On Thursday, Graham Brady announced that the nomination threshold for the leadership of the Conservative Party will be 100 MPs. This will significantly limit the potential number of candidates and according to Pippa Crear, could rule out Boris Johnson, although it now looks as though he will get the necessary numbers.
The threshold “should be reached by any serious candidate who has any real prospect of getting through”, said Brady to the press pack. Nominations have now started and will close at 2pm on Monday. Hustings will take place later that day. If MPs can’t agree on a unity candidate, and pick two candidates, there will be a quick online vote by Conservative Party members to decide the winner.
Yep, you heard that right. The people who gave us Liz Truss will be given the same opportunity to totally mess up again. If you want to repeat the same mistakes, just carry on doing the same old thing. These people just handed us the 44-day prime minister and we are sleepwalking into letting them do it again.
Online voting – a dangerous business
And then there is the prospect that a quick online vote would be an invitation for overseas bad actors to take part in the poll – although it’s not so clear who Russia would back this time.
So, an online vote will be given to 170,000 people (remember, with no manifesto and no economic plans) who will now decide our next prime minister. This is beginning to make the People’s Republic of China look like a functioning democracy.
Many Tory MPs seem tone deaf to what has just happened and are talking about finding a unity candidate. Within hours of Brady announcing the details of the contest, some Tory MPs said they would leave the party if Johnson came back. Just in case you need a refresh, here is the list of Tory MPs who called for Prime Minister Johnson to resign back in July.
Déjà vu: another Conservative leadership race
Back in July I wrote that the current mess the Conservatives are in is of their own making.
I mused about how much the outcome of the leadership contest will ultimately be decided by members of the Conservative Party who are not representative of the British public. This is a party that has been infiltrated by groups like Britain First and former UKIP members.
What I wrote in July remains true today: whoever wins this leadership race will have no mandate or handle on the issues facing the British public and will be forced to rely on the support of the right wing of the party for their survival.
“It really doesn’t matter who wins, as none of the contenders have a grip on the issues facing the electorate or offer any solutions to the tsunami that will hit us all over the coming months.
“We will undoubtedly end up with a leader who has no mandate but is locked into tax cuts and little else. More importantly, they will be reliant on the continued support of the arch right-wingers in the party, the European Research Group (ERG), for their survival.”
So here we are. The lunatics really have ‘taken over the asylum’.
Time’s up for the Conservatives
The polls show the Tories are in an existential crisis. They are clinging on. It’s not even dignified. It’s grubby, and it’s desperate.
“I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take”, said backbench Tory MP David Davis in January of this year. “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go”, Davis told then prime minister Boris Johnson.
This was a reference to a speech from Cromwell in 1653, later repeated by Lord Amery to the then prime minister Neville Chamberlain.
The Tories have lost any sense of what is right, or what is in the interests of the country and what helps us globally. They fight like ferrets in a sack and then tell us that they are the Party of stability.
Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.