Tories: how bad can it get?

Daily Mail effective proprietor Viscount Rothermere’s shot across the Conservative Party’s bow will almost certainly come to nothing, but is nonetheless remarkable for showing how far the Conservative Party’s fallen. Seven years into a Labour government and few people over age of thirty can think of them as anything other than the natural party of power. A desperate idea that implies voting for prejudice over reason is the natural thing to do. And yet…

Just before my holiday, Michael Howard was fighting to keep the faithful (average age 65) alive with a ‘war on political correctness’, one of the great myths of our time. By the time I’d returned, it had inevitably fizzled out, as the only alternative would be for Howard to have put his racist MPs in charge of community relations, renamed ‘special needs’ children ‘retards’ and the ‘disabled’ ‘spastic’, while wearing a ‘Call me yid!’ t-shirt to show he calls a spade a spade, even when he’s the spade.

Before that choice was the great idea; here they whinge at the ease with which Labour neutralised them. They said people should choose which school or hospital they use. Labour said, ‘okay’ and the entire Tory manifesto had to be binned.

Now the anti-political correctness campaigners say they’re being bullied by the government’s new right-wing friends. The Conservative Party’s always been aligned to US Republicans and senior Tories have always enjoyed the convention. But this year, the Tory leader was left squealing after a series of phone calls from Bush aids telling him to get back in his box and not to question Blair on Iraq. Whenever he did so, a senior Republican would phone him up, ultimately reducing the would-be prime minister to tears by threatening that he ‘would never meet the president’.

And now country’s most self-righteous newspaper is flirting with Labour. How bad can it get?
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