David Cameron is not the best leader for the Conservative Party or for the country. His friendships with Andy Coulson and Mrs Grant Mitchell are reason enough for us to get rid of him. But he’ll survive the scandal no doubt. This is why we need either of two proper Tories, George Osborne and David Davis, to whet the blade and aim for Cameron’s spleen, writes Ventilator Blues.
When in times of national emergency it is vital that a proper sense of perspective is developed and that national interest is put first. To that end it is vital that George Osborne or David Davis stick the knife in Cameron’s back ASAP and knock some sense into the Conservatives. It will also negate the piece I wrote detailing why I think why we should give the Cameron led Tories a miss at the next election.
Many moons ago it was rumoured that a certain Labour Prime Minister was weakened and susceptible to toppling. Unfortunately, the challenger – possible from the Treasury area of Government – lacked the cojones to pull off this masterful piece of treachery. That was bad for the Gordon Brown who is now regarded as little more than some delusional narcissistic freak. When he finally made the grade, his premiership was the worst in recent British history (itself no mean achievement given the competition).
Brown was close to toppling but the main challenger backed down for the sake of country, party or whatever his baby brother told him. Look where it got his PM, party and challenger. Reputations were shot and the chance at the big one gone for good.
UK politics if very forgiving up to the very highest level. Councillors who couldn’t run a raffle get re-elected for decades. MPs who spend most of their time making George Best look sober get five figure majorities. Ministers can resign and get reappointed after sufficient time in purdah; look at Mandelson: he resigned more often than the sun sets yet still hung around high office until the very end. Even now, if not liked, he is respected among our political elite. (I’m trying my best not to retch typing this).
But once your chance for the top goes belly up – that’s it. In the US-of-A Richard Nixon made a bigger career out of trying to be President rather than actually being President. Not here. British history is littered with people who failed to take their chance, and, invariably everybody involved loses out.
John Major should never have been PM – Thatcher or Heseltine should have gone into the 1991 election as PM and then let the public decide. It would have been better for all – instead Major’s government collapsed around him and the Tories are still stuck in that post Thatcher rut.
Brown as PM in 2004 would have been better for him and Labour. Distanced from the messianic one and freed from his poisonous legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am not saying he would have been any better as PM per se but he would have more chance of leading a united party to an electoral success probably a year earlier. As for Milliband Major how much better would Labour have done with him at the helm as opposed to Milliband Minor? How much more likely would the Liberal Democrats have gone into coalition with a Labour Party with him at the helm?
These three events, to a varying degree, all have the same string running through them. Each time the plotter failed for various reasons – party dislike, cowardice, insufficient ruthlessness, loyalty or whatever. And each time the result was bad for everyone – party, incumbent, challenger and resultant victor.
Will Cameron have to go because of his idiotic loyalty to Coulson and friendship with WadeyBrooksyKemp? I hope so but I can’t make that decision. I think Cameron is weak enough and the threat great enough to see him topple but it will be up to his challengers to make this happen.
There are only two people in the Conservative Party with the power and kudos to make that happen and they are the Chancellor Osborne and former Shadow Home Secretary Davis. Though Davis tilted at the top job and failed it was during a leadership election; there was no implicit challenge or usurping involved. He made one poor speech and lost. This would be his last chance at the top job and events of the recent past demonstrate he should take it. He must not waver in his determination. No back must be left unstabbed on one’s way to the top. So what if everyone hates you on the way down?
As for Osborne he should realise what a poisoned chalice it is to be a Chancellor permanently stuck in his job. All other positions are demotions bar one. And Gordon Brown’s cowardice in challenging Blair should serve notice to him. If he wants it, really, really wants to be PM. More than anything. He should not hesitate or waver or delay. He should see his old friend in need on the ropes and vulnerable and kick the silly bastard so hard that he can’t get up.
The Tory party has money, the Liberal Democrats and Labour do not. Clegg is widely disliked. Milliband is neither trusted nor liked. He will forever be associated with the phrase “we got the the wrong one”. The British electorate will not vote for the Wrong Brother again.
An Osborne or Davis led Conservative party could actually set about doing what Conservative voters want it to do. So my advice would be to do it and do it right. Ride Rodeo Challenge and do not let grip of the reins. Do not let some other MP sweep through the field and take it by default like Major. Do not let a spineless PR spiv remain in the hotseat, do not let allies talk you out of the fight out of loyalty or party allegiance.
Pony up George and David! Your country needs you and damn what everyone else in the party says. Ask yourselves three questions and if you get Yes thrice start sharpening the blade. Do you want to be PM? Do you think you can win? Will you give no quarter in this quest? If you get one No or even a maybe then don’t bother. And don’t ever bother again.
To read Ventilator Blues’s other articles visit Ventilator Blues’s Politics On Toast blog. This article is (C) Politics on Toast and Ventilator Blues.