The Tories should reassess their priorities.
Why is the Tory party tearing itself apart? It seems to be divided on a number of important issues, many of which are of its own stupid making.
And, to compound their woes, people close to David Cameron are provoking the rest of the party by labelling grassroots Conservative activists ‘mad, swivel-eyed loons’, who are forcing Tory MPs to take a hardline position against gay marriage and the EU.
Grassroots campaigners are utterly shocked and dismayed by these remarks, and have clearly responded by claiming that such language shows utter disrespect for the party’s membership and confirms their suspicion that David Cameron is out of touch with his own party and the electorate.
Let’s start with gay marriage. Public opinion against the legislation is gaining momentum. Over a hundred Tory MPs are rebelling, and will certainly give the coalition government a hard time before it becomes law – and there are indications that its passage through the House of Lords is doubtful, and is bound to cause a constitutional clash between the two houses after a call for peers to defy the elected chamber because of the way the issue has been handled.
Lord Dear, an independent peer and former West Midlands chief constable, has written to hundreds of members of the Lords arguing that they would be justified in blocking the bill because it had been rushed through in a ‘most undemocratic and shameful way’.
It follows remarks by Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, who said that there was a ‘real sense of anger’ among grassroots Tories about the proposals, which would ‘redefine’ marriage for ‘millions and millions’ of people.
A storm is certainly brewing when the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, is expected to mount a wide-ranging attack this week on the coalition’s family policies, accusing David Cameron of undermining marriage in a way that ‘no intelligent government’ would do.
David Cameron’s stance on the issue of gay marriage is incomprehensible to many people. Why commit hara kiri for a legislation that will play havoc with Christian family values for generations to come. His beliefs must have evaporated since attaining power and he is now courting controversy likely to bring an end to his political ambitions.
He must therefore stop listening to these so-called reformers, whose influence has landed him in no end of trouble. Gay marriage will not win him the next general election. Whoever told him otherwise should be banished from his inner circle and sent somewhere where he could do the least harm.
As for Europe, we must avoid being in a position of total isolation. We must take the middle course and renegotiate some of the issues that give us grave concern.
But getting out of Europe will in my humble view do us more harm than good. We can ill afford as an island to bat on our own in a world where competitiveness is incredibly fierce.
I think David Cameron is aware of the intricacies of the situation, and must resist the right-wingers in his party who clamour for total independence from Europe.
In the meantime, this can wait. Our biggest challenge is the economy and that’s where our ultimate power lies.
We have the will and the expertise to triumph where others have failed. Let’s be bullish and forge ahead without being diverted from our task by ideological nonsense brought about by the misguided concept of political correctness.