As our new glorious leader, a one Rishi Sunak, comes into power and the superficial renewal of the Tory party is supposedly fully underway, it is impossible to deny that the Tories are now fully off that proverbial precipice and it is only a matter of time till the number in parliament is diminished at the next general election. As the twilight of this era fast approaches, I’d like to take the time to recount the continuous failures of each Tory premier so far!
David Cameron never really fit as a Tory, indeed he much preferred the company of his own pretensions and couldn’t really countenance what a Tory really was. Instead, like many Tory leaders before him, he used the party apparatus merely as a means for his own nauseating self-promotion. Clearly believing history began with Tony Blair, Cameron did everything in his power to conserve the social, economic and foreign policy legacy of that once-hegemonic figure in British politics. He followed too in his tendency to utter failure in foreign affairs, and in 2011 ordered the British Air Force to crush the Libyan forces under Colonel Ghaddafi; a job that was easily performed with American and European support and soon enough the regime fell and Ghaddafi was dead. Our belligerence and the local opposition crumbling due to obvious internal divisions has meant the revival of an enormously profitable industry, cattle slavery, and the often-unmentioned fact that to this day Libya remains a failed state. Such abominable consequences however are, if anything, in modern discussion about Mr. Cameron, a novel background sub-topic, and it is Brexit that dominates the conversation. However, that has been covered to death and I need not labour over his legacy here much more than to say, he called the referendum because he didn’t really have a choice so he can’t really get any of the blame or credit.
Following Cameron’s resignation came Theresa May, a walking holiday enthusiast and pitifully weak premier overall, whose legacy is primarily one of her utter failures. May started out as Prime Minister with a somewhat strong hand but decided to call a general election; this decision cost her her majority and ultimately any scrap of power or influence. The 2017 Conservative manifesto should be considered by all the longest suicide manifesto in history, utterly hysterical to re-read with such howlers such as bringing back the ivory trade and legalising fox hunting, presenting how she viewed it as an easy win, yet, she was proven horribly wrong. Her painfully protracted rule thanks to a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP, ended up as a sisyphean struggle to do at least something about the whole Brexit malarkey that was going on. Yet, her refusal to do anything novel or interesting, combined with her failure to get her Brexit deal through meant she shouldn’t really claim that anything was going right for her – and it really showed. Especially as her personality was so uncompelling, and her weird dancing related gaffs meant that even among a cabinet including charisma-vacuum Phillip Hammond, she was somehow still uninteresting and cringeworthy in comparison. Her soon to be successor, Boris Johnson, couldn’t have looked more like a superior leader in comparison.
Boris Johnson became leader and everything at first seemed to start moving. The Remain Tories threw their tantrum, the parliament was prorogued, the election was held and Boris won a large majority. Once in power, Boris did what he campaigned on and delivered a form of Brexit, however, with the remaining years he felt he had left he decided to do nothing – nothing but party that is. Indeed, Boris Johnson’s personality and personal issues were all that seemed to stick to him in terms of moving popularity against the bumbling oaf, showing really where the country feels politically is now more centrally located on whether the candidate is interesting. His lax attitude to policy bordered on negligence and the totally random volcanic eruption of some obviously “red meat for base” packaged policy of his era always bordered on tedious and insidious considering their utter lack of substance. Labour for most of this era nipped meaninglessly at the heels of the Tory party, hoping perhaps that one day someone would take them seriously; and I guess that time has only really just come into view especially with the premiership of Liz Truss.
Liz Truss came into office: the Queen died; she gave a speech; presented a budget no one thought she could cost, nor justify to international markets; was kicked out by the MPs who sided with her leadership election rival Rishi Sunak, and lost to a literal head of lettuce.
Sunak has just become PM as I am writing this, however even from this fledgling stage of his premiership, some things are blatantly clear. His cabinet just has all the old washed up hits of the 2010s and I expect no difference from prior policies, though some more taxes are definitely incoming.
Overall then, I think it’s fair to say we haven’t had the best Tory era and I’m not hopeful that Sir Keir Starmer is lining himself up to be much better.