The Conservative Democratic Organisation: If Sunak isn’t centre right, then where exactly is he?

How many fell in the water and drowned?

The Conservative Democratic Organisation

That might be an oxymoron, but it is true. I only came across it the other day, though it was published in the National last weekend –

“Priti Patel and billionaire Tory donor launch campaign against Sunak”

(https://www.thenational.scot/news/23183885.priti-patel-billionaire-tory-donor-launch-campaign-sunak/).

The report concerns the launch of a campaign, headed up by Priti Patel, and funded by Lord Cruddas (no relation to the Labour MP of the same name) “in an attempt to ensure members can “take back control” of the party”

Reading it, the thing that pulled me up was that the campaign had been launched, we are told to “steer the party’s direction back to the centre-right.” This was one of those WTF moments. I mean if Sunak isn’t centre right, then where exactly is he?

Worry no more for later on we are informed that the group has already “garnered the support of “prominent” grassroots figures and senior politicians, including those who are annoyed by the perceived left-of-centre position of Sunak.” Sorry! Whit! If Sunak is left of centre, how far has the political spectrum moved? He might be closer to Starmer than the unlamented Truss, but that’s not saying much.

It does though illustrate an important aspect of politics within the Tory Party. Sunak is labelled not just “left of centre”, but financially incontinent because of the rise in debt during the pandemic. Its why he has to have Hunt as his Chancellor. But what was the boy to do otherwise at the start of the pandemic? Refuse any lockdown. Keep everyone at work (though perhaps with social distancing recommended since it was hard to enforce). Let the hospitals fill up in the way we watched in Italy or France? Tell everyone not to go to work but without any financial support and allow the economy to tank (probably the least of the problems that would lead to)? For this, he is centre-left.

I’m no fan. To be honest he doesn’t look to me to be up to the job – sort of like the head prefect promoted to running the whole school. But it’s who the beneficiary of the campaign might be if successful at defenestrating him.

There is a clue in this description of “Johnson-loyalist Patel”. Even considering its aim – to get the leadership to listen to the grass roots – will happily (for its backers) produce much the same outcome. The reinstallation of the greased piglet to 10 Downing Street.

A poll prior to the declaration of the result of the Truss and Sunak beauty contest found that 43% of the membership would have put Johnson back in power. No questions asked about pesky things like parties – sorry “gatherings”!  There was even a “write in” campaign being organized to encourage members to indicate support for Johnson on their returned ballot papers. To be fair, he distanced himself from this. No wonder when he had four speeches lined up that earned him a million quid. (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/dec/14/boris-johnson-makes-1m-from-speeches-after-leaving-downing-street)

Cruddas claims that “It is time to restore the democratic rights of Tory members, not least the right to choose parliamentary candidates without being hectored and bullied by party headquarters.” Of course, given the political position of the party membership, this will probably mean the election of an even more right-wing group of Tory MPs than we have now, evidenced by the target being “the political views of Tory MPs elected under David Cameron’s leadership”. Johnson got rid of many Brexit opponents at the 2019 election (eg Ken Clarke). Now it looks as if they plan to finish the job.

So twin aims – get Boris back (“he’s a winner”) and stop party HQ forcing politically correct candidates on local associations, thus pretty much assuring a group of Conservative MPs even more right wing than the current crop, and led by the great populist whose truth is whatever it has to be.

What odds would I be likely to get that Sunak – faced with strikes all over the place, energy costs, continuing poor opinion poll results, an NHS on the verge of collapse (not helped by the strikes that his ministers simply refuse to resolve) – will be able to withstand this?

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4 thoughts on “The Conservative Democratic Organisation: If Sunak isn’t centre right, then where exactly is he?

  1. Random thoughts.

    If Sunak is “left of centre” where does that put Starmer?
    And Starwars?
    And DRossie?
    And Union Jock Murray?

    If all the members of the SNP, joined the Scottish Tory party, could they insist on an independence referendum on the grounds of—
    Democracy, old boy?
    Or does Tory democracy only extend to Engurland?

    Like

  2. So , another Tory-inspired ”Take Back Control ” campaign .

    Have they hired the big red bus in order to write their manifesto on the side ?
    How much Dark Money has been acquired to fund this ”democratic” movement ?
    Has the BBC been alerted to give prominent Conservative Democratic Organisation nonentities plenty of airtime to gaslight the populace ?
    Is Truss making a comeback too ?

    Like

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