Can you remember Boris Johnson playing rugby with kids when he was Mayor of London and sending a child one fifth of his size sprawling, or when, at the last minute, Michael Gove stabbed Boris in the back with regard to his leadership bid?
What about Geoffrey Howe and his speech regarding broken cricket bats about Margaret Thatcher? Its widely regarded that that speech was the final nail in the coffin of the Conservative and Union parties best and most successful leader, after Churchill.
The sniping and constant briefing against Iain Duncan Smith when he was leader must have been intolerable, especially when it came from his own side.
Yes, the Tories are a dangerous bunch of predators and have no boundaries when hunting a prey: stalking it for months and then striking when the time is right. Recently the failed motion of no confidence in the current leader and Prime Minister was a total disaster. For once in the main they had no appetite for the kill. Luckily for her because under different circumstances she would without a doubt have been toast.
The recent complete disloyalty by Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen have raised a lot of eyebrows. Sarah Wollaston left, too, but she has barely raised a blink among the pack. Such is the alpha in the first two female MP`s, they have, it seems, managed to elude any such hunting – or are the Tories playing the long game, saving them for when it is a time of slim pickings in the future, only to turn on them with such voracity they couldn’t possibly survive? These three ladies will have to sleep with one eye open come the next general election!
On Friday 29th March we were supposed to leave the EU. Thousands, including this writer, attended Parliament Square to vent our anger at the current state of play in Westminster Palace. It was a lovely day in the sun and the speeches were fabulous, the atmosphere so terribly English with ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Jerusalem’ being sung with gusto.
Further away though in Beaconsfield a shock wave was about to reverberate through the Tory family. Also, and less reported, in East Staffordshire a quiet revolution took place. The start of the collapse of the House of Cards? Time will tell but the Tories have already started to circle the wagons.
In Beaconsfield Tory Grandee Dominic Grieve, an ardent remainer and previously the Attorney General, stood in front of his constituency party to defend his actions and words throughout the Brexit debate. He did not fare well and was constantly heckled and shouted at. The love and respect for this man is lost within his own group. He was there for a vote of no confidence and he lost 182-131. This was a seismic shock.
At virtually the same time not too far away in Staffordshire Andrew Griffiths lost his vote of no confidence by a clear margin, but on other issues to do with sleaze.
Largely ignored for the Grieve issue, Griffiths has, it seems, escaped the wider media hunt-and-kill that would have normally followed such an event. His day will come.
Back to Grieve: the Tories, in a herd mentality, surrounded their fallen friend and came valiantly to his aid, fighting off the hyenas that are the press. The Chairman of the party Brandon Lewis came out in full support saying that the vote had no bearing. Other people to note came to his defence and shouted loudly that this was a travesty and how the party would be a poorer place for his demise – of course he has gone nowhere as of yet and doesn’t look likely to.
Calls for the actual constituency party to be suspended are doing the rounds. These are the envelope stuffers, the leafleteers and the people who are the very life and soul of the party. Bear in mind too that there are not that many of them nowadays. To suspend this group of people could be a fatal blow to the party for the sake of a very unpopular MP, they should think very long and hard about this course of action.
Nick Bowles MP dodged his vote of no confidence a couple of weeks ago, the one of which he was certain to lose. He bottled it though and resigned from the constituency party, yet kept the whip of the party. This does not bode well at all and he will not survive a general election. No one likes a dodgy self-serving public servant.
Grieve is now crying foul in that Ukip have infiltrated his local group. No evidence exists for this apart from one ex-Tory, ex-Ukip, now again Tory member who stood against Grieve in 2017, who has now rejoined the Tories again and played a part in the bringing about of the vote. But to cry that this was an orchestrated campaign to oust him is weak. Of course, to arrange a vote of no confidence within a constituency party would require some orchestration, that goes without saying.
So, the Tories have a dilemma greater for them than Brexit: sacrifice a constituency group for the sake of an unpopular outspoken MP who is actually very wrong and suffer the enormous fallout that will ensue, or take him down in the dust for the sake of party unity and those valiant supporters without whom the herd couldn’t possibly survive.