Drive the wedge

The weekend’s media was full of reports of bitter disputes between No 10 Downing Street and The Treasury. Hitherto buried tensions have surfaced publicly, following the Chancellor’s NI debacle. Hard Brexiters, we learn, want to see Hammond off and have him replaced by one of their own. The Tory party is as split on Europe as ever it was. It is up to us to exploit those divisions. It is up to us to remind the public that the ruling party is a split party. Split on EU policy, economic policy, foreign policy and social policy.

In the very near future – perhaps even before this piece sees the light of day – Mrs May will trigger Article 50. More Tory splits will emerge when details start to be known on negotiating policies with the EU. Tempers will fray. Old loyalties will be tested. The press will feast on the fractious nature of the Tory party’s existence. All that will be nothing – a mere sideshow – compared with the lacerations that will happen when the Brexit Right begins to seek repeal of European legislation brought into UK law when the Great Repeal Bill is passed. The real political colour of the Brexit Right will become clear. The party’s Centre and Left will fear for its electoral future as the voters wake up to the extremity of the Right’s plans.

If we are serious about winning power we need to be serious about undermining Mrs May’s government. Not because of power per se, but because if left unchallenged the Tories will take from the country two centuries of social and economic advances. The post referendum phoney war is about to end. The hard fighting comes now. We must plant the seeds doubts about the governments competence. Above all about the government’s unity. Because disunited parties don’t win elections.

* Martin Roche is a member of Canterbury Liberal Democrats

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  • “if left unchallenged the Tories will take from the country two centuries of social and economic advances”

    Many of those social and economic advances have happened under Tory governments – why would they take them away?

  • Little Jackie Paper 14th Mar '17 - 3:57pm

    It feels as if I’ve been promised a Tory explosion every few months since about 1991.

  • malc,
    Name a few?

    NHS nope
    National insurance nope

    Go on fill in the ones I’ve missed!


    Self interest holds the Tories together, always has always will, so not much chance of them exploding; stabbing May in the back now that’s much more likely.

  • @malc – “Many of those social and economic advances have happened under Tory governments – why would they take them away?”

    Suggest you ask them why they are dead set on taking away the economic advances made by Margaret Thatcher’s government in establishing the Single Market…

  • nigel hunter 14th Mar '17 - 10:20pm

    Tim must show he is a leader that can LEAD and be trusted by the voter. Yes, they are self interested and will unite. If May turns out to be a liability they will get rid of her. We must show we are party of Government.

  • But what Thatcher did was the necessary evil at that time. I have no idea what was Liberal’s alternative plan to Thatcherism to combat stagflation, inefficiency (especially among nationalised sectors) and labour militancy?

  • David Allen 16th Mar '17 - 6:10pm

    Tories never split, because they have found the elixir of permanent unity – Mutual self-enrichment!

    What Tories do, whenever they fall out amongst themselves, is sack their leader, ditch their promises whenever they can, bury their mistakes, and find a scapegoat to blame. We should not let them get away with it.

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