The tragic decision by around 10 of the Tory MPs who had supported Rory Stewart on Tuesday evening to cancel their votes last night and the lack of any additional support means that any prospect of the Tory Party being seen as credible by many people outside of the party membership for a generation has been lost. The third catastrophic Prime Minister for the party in a row is about to measure up the curtains and carpets for No 10 Downing Street and all three of the realistic contenders will achieve more or less the same disaster with differing degrees of catastrophe. Todays Torygraph is full of celebration.
“Rory has provided entertainment and bewilderment in equal measure, but ultimately his eclectic campaign was held back by the fact that it played far better outside of the Tory Party than within it” Hugh Bennett
“It ruled out Rory Stewart for his undoubted charisma: “centrist”, Remain obsessed metropolitan voters loved him, especially those who would never actually considering voting Tory” Allister Heath
“Rory Stewart is out at last. The established candidates can breathe again. Thankfully for them the threat has passed” Michael Deacon
Of course the truth is that many members of the Tory Party, let alone the rest of society will be left uncomfortable by whichever of the three candidates win the contest. The most likely candidate once claimed “I have as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as of being decapitated by a frisbee or of finding Elvis.” Of course the Telegraph has no intention of finding its way into the centre ground. It makes plenty of money by attracting a modest number of far right readers who then appeal to a large number of powerful advertisers. However the nature of Downing Street is that it is supposedly obliged to try to serve the whole nation. The fact is that the three contenders for No 10 along with the three journalists listed above will all refer to the United Kingdom as being a nation that is obliged to unite behind the views of a very small cohort of privileged and wealthy people. Thankfully for a few days we had a window open that offered a different approach. A man who I disagree with on many matters, but who took the time and the trouble to travel across the nation to meet ordinary people, who are not and never will be members of any political party, let alone the Tory Party. My own career included a 13 year post as Mission and Unity Coordinator for Churches Together. There are a number of people in many churches with a view similar to that of these three candidates, that unity involves forcing people to accept your point of view. Thankfully there are many more people who understand that adopting and embracing many of the the views of other people improves the quality of life for everyone. It is bound to be a a bit chaotic and a bit eclectic but it is sustainable in a manner that our Brexit will not be.