YOU must never underestimate the Tory Party. Whenever you think they can’t find new ways to muck things up, they invent some.
Never forget, this is the party that gave us John Major as a Prime Minister — the party that led us into the European Union and Maastricht mess.
Then, two decades later, the party had another internal war to correct that mess.
And then a whole new civil war after that.
The Conservatives are the party that, after the country voted to leave the EU, came up with the bright idea of electing a Remain Prime Minister.
They are the party that thought Theresa May was a good idea.
Then, when they finally got a Brexiteer at the helm and won a historic General Election, they turfed him out mid-term.
Now they are offering their members the chance to vote for two candidates for Prime Minister. And once again they are offering a candidate who campaigned to stay in the EU in 2016 — Liz Truss.
We are now six years into Brexit and the party continues to stagger along, carrying out regular internal knifings.
But they have still failed to take advantage of the opportunities Brexit opened up. It is strange to watch a party with such history have ambitions that are so small.
Thanks to Penny Mordaunt, in the early rounds we actually had to watch the candidates arguing about what a woman is. At least now it is down to the final two, the debates are less absurd.
But the candidates are on the “impossible promises” part of the campaign.
As they try to woo the 180,000 members of the party who will vote for them, both need to sound more conservative than they are. And say things they can’t possibly do. For instance both are now insisting that they will carry out tax cuts and spend much more money.
Rishi Sunak is in a particularly tricky position here. He is the Chancellor who just last year raised taxes, through National Insurance and more.
Now he must pretend that he only really wanted tax raises for a year, and that the moment he moves from No 11 Downing Street to No 10, they won’t be needed. What a difference a door makes.
Both candidates will once again pretend to confront the UK’s housing crisis, promising to protect the countryside and also provide more housing.
And they will both pretend to be incredibly tough on immigration before getting into office and doing nothing new.
Truss claimed the other day that she would like to send more illegal migrants to Africa but I’d bet that she will encounter exactly the same problems that Boris Johnson and Priti Patel did.
Like them, she will fail because the Conservative Party has still not removed Britain from the jurisdiction of all European courts.
Meaning that we will be forever trapped by meddling “human rights” lawyers and foreign laws.
It isn’t a terrific outlook. Neither candidate has developed a serious programme for how to address the cost-of-living crisis.
And neither candidate seems to have a grand plan for how to seize advantage of the post-Brexit world and make our country boom again, as it did under a previous Tory government in the 1980s.
There are still many weeks of campaigning ahead. And during that time one or both of the candidates had better start to show some hunger. Because whoever it is that gets into office is going to have to move fast.
Both Sunak and Truss are relative unknowns. Neither has the star appeal and name recognition that — for all his faults — Boris Johnson had. The public is going to have to get to know them.
And we are going to judge them on their performance. And they won’t have long to prove themselves. The next election will be in two years.
And that is all the time the new leader will have to start bringing home some successes.
In 2019 the Conservatives had a lot of advantages. Not least was that they were facing a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn. If Corbyn had won, that would have been it for our country. Curtains for Great Britain. But the public smelt his dangerous Left-wing extremism and discarded him.
Keir Starmer is a more moderate face. But he still leads a party full of people who — like himself — campaigned to make Corbyn our PM.
It is a party still packed full of radical know-nothings. People who make strong stances on whatever woke issue is on that day’s Twitter while not bothering to address the real problems faced by families.
They are a party wholly unfit for government. But there is only one way in which they will get into government.
And that is if the Conservative Party doesn’t sharpen its act radically.
We’ve had quite enough blue murder. There better be a blue dawn coming.
Clinic needs inquiry
THE Tavistock Clinic is going to close. This is fantastic news.
For years it has been Britain’s leading NHS facility for “transgender youths”. And it has been a national scandal waiting to break.
I noticed years ago that the clinic had a wildly high turnover of staff.
Gradually whistle-blowers started to emerge.
These included medical professionals who had seen what the clinic was doing and had deep ethical problems with it.
The truth is that we know almost nothing about why some people feel they are born in the wrong body.
Most of us have nothing but sympathy for such people and wish them well in adulthood.
But the Tavistock led with the idea that children can be diagnosed as “trans” or “gender dysphoric” and encouraged into treatments which would alter their lives.
It was child abuse, pure and simple.
When writing about this years ago, I spoke to people who were encouraged by the Tavistock to take hormone drugs and undergo other procedures to “become” the opposite sex.
Many had no idea what they were getting into. Few had any real guidance.
Everyone was only meant to “affirm” their new identity.
Children who weren’t old enough to smoke or drink were being encouraged to make life-changing decisions.
The Tavistock was a national scandal. We urgently need a full inquiry into what went on there. I can guarantee the truth is worse than almost anyone realises.
Future generations will look on what we were trying to do there, in the name of kindness, and think we were mad.
Power trip no shock
BAD decisions have consequences. And Germany made some bad energy decisions in recent years.
It tried to go green far too fast.
And it chose to rely on gas provided to the country by that kind old thug Vladimir Putin.
Then Putin surprisingly recently decided to strangle supplies.
Now, as The Sun reported yesterday, the lights are going off in Germany.
In the city of Hanover, public buildings are having the lights and hot water turned off to conserve energy.
That’s the problem with relying on despots. They are not very reliable people.
And as for short-term thinking? Well, the problem is that it catches up with you awfully fast.
One brave way to earn your stripes
SOME much-needed good news from Nepal.
The country has managed to bring its tiger population back from extinction in the past ten years.
It is an amazing feat, though locals admit that the return of tigers to the wilderness is a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand there are more tigers. On the other there is an increase in tiger attacks.
A captain in the local army gave an interview to media outlets this week in which he talked about the “honour” of being on tiger protection duties.
“It’s a privilege to be part of something that is really big,” said Captain Ayush as he reportedly kept glancing around “through the thick forest”.
Good luck fellas.
Worry? Just try silence
PRINCE Harry is reportedly “worried sick” about his forthcoming memoir and the possibility it will “lead to a new war” with the Royal Family.
In signing his multi-million-dollar deal, the reclusive Californian prince has said “I’m writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become”.
It’s a strange sort of privacy that he and his wife seem to be after.
So here is a thought. If Harry was half the man he ought to be, he wouldn’t write a book spilling secrets about his family.
He wouldn’t be signing huge deals for tell-all memoirs. Or tell-nothing memoirs, come to that.
He needn’t actually have any of these worries on his mind.
The best way not to be worried sick about falling out with your family is easy for him.
Keep things in the family. Don’t sign multi-million-dollar contracts to blab about your grandmother.
Oh – and don’t make out that your family are racists just to pose as a victim and suck up to your new mates in Hollywood.