Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Hard Right Has Captured My Old Party - and Boris Johnson’s Victory Proves It

THE GUARDIAN: The Tories always used to put pragmatic economics first. British voters should not forgive them for abandoning this

Around 92,000 members who no longer even represent Conservative voters have crowned the “clown prince” as our prime minister. Just when we need a prime minister to bring us together, lead us through the Brexit crisis and on to tackling the serious issues we must confront, the party serves up Boris Johnson. His lifelong ambition has finally been realised; no one and nothing was going to get in his way this time, least of all integrity and truth.

The leadership hustings, far from allaying profound fears about Johnson’s ability and mendacity, went further than merely confirming them. Under friendly fire, he revealed he is actually worse than we had thought.

The hustings also revealed the real Conservative party and its drift to the right. It wasn’t simply that the members don’t look like today’s UK – 71% male and 97% white – it was more about what they said. And the regular applause for Johnson’s dog-whistle rightwing rhetoric proved – as did the election result – that Tory members were prepared, indeed pleased, to lose jobs and the union rather than lose their precious no-deal Brexit. That move to the right, away from the centre ground inhabited by One Nation Conservatives, was the major reason I left the Tory party, after serving it as an MP for nine years. » | Anna Soubry | Tuesday, July 23, 2019