Judy Terry is a marketing professional and a former councillor in Suffolk.
Calling the Prime Minister a “liar” (as happened on the Peston Show on Sunday) or accusing him of “corroding public trust” (in The Sunday Times) not only undermines confidence across the country, but internationally.
It is selfish and destructive of those Conservative MPs many of us previously respected for their clever individuality and wit, now exposed as thinly disguising massive egos; people who only care about themselves and their ambitions, rather than the people they are supposed to be representing in their constituencies, and the future of our country.
When people resort to personal abuse it is evidence that they have lost the argument. This especially vindictive behaviour is abhorrent to the general public beyond the Westminster bubble, who will only remember the headlines, and remember that the man being defamed is our Conservative Prime Minister, which means this affects everyone associated with the Conservative Party, including those at the heart of the abuse.
Although many across Parliament are millionaires, the PM is singled out as ‘rich’ (by one abuser) but, contrary to what she said, he undoubtedly understands the threats this country faces. Any normal person would never sleep at night worrying about those threats, clearly defined in his security briefings. So, as the country’s representative in a dangerous world, the PM deserves our respect and support in difficult negotiations and debate around the globe, to ensure our safety and security, and to develop our economy. We may not agree with him on many issues, but aggressive humiliation is not the answer; it only serves to undermine our country and the future of the Conservative Party.
The protagonists engaged in this infantile name-calling seem confident that challenging his authority and demanding his ‘orderly departure’, whilst also threatening to vote against any legislation in the knowledge that the Government’s small majority in the Commons is vulnerable, will resolve their personal bitterness, taking them to the sunlit uplands of continuing election success. Such confidence, however, is misplaced; it is they who are corroding public trust, and we will all pay the price. The electorate is not stupid, and it despises divided parties.
Yet one MP is even calling for a general election before Christmas! With this behaviour, winning in 2020 will be sufficient challenge, I can assure you.
In the meantime, may I remind you that 2017 is another important election year – for the County Councils.
As Blue on Blue wrangles over Brexit/Remain not only divert attention from the EU Referendum, they also distract from Labour’s woes and the fact that Red on Red is not confined to Westminster. Labour’s woes are evident in towns and cities across the country where local elections saw Labour losses and they are trying to regroup before fighting next year’s County Council elections, with the outcomes crucial to the success of our communities.
Consequently, Labour are understandably jubilant at the current headlines because it means that disaffected Conservatives will stay at home, rather than vote, enabling them to win council seats by default, especially if their younger supporters turn out and they attract more Greens. This would be disastrous because too few socialists can add up, and their policies are all about spend, spend, spend and, instead of encouraging new development for private buyers, they are only interested in social housing, adding to their demographic to ensure that the towns and cities where they hold (and gain) power can never become truly affluent and desirable to the aspirational, attracting entrepreneurs and the best retailers.
The Northern Powerhouse, alone, is evidence that more and more public money always has to be invested in Labour-run areas, at the expense of places like Suffolk, which is a net contributor to the Treasury, but also has areas of major deprivation and poor infrastructure.
Members of the Conservative party are very, very angry at this petulance because it undermines everything supporters do to get Conservatives elected: delivering tedious leaflets in all weathers, knocking on doors and fundraising. Whatever their stance on the EU Referendum, they want reliable information on the benefits of in/out, without misinformation and grandiose comment.
I suggest the leaders of both campaigns take the Treasury Committee’s recommendations on board and stop the woeful infighting – and, whatever the outcome on the 23rd June, the party must regroup without further malice. If they don’t, the Conservative Party will surely take such a bashing in 2017 that it goes into oblivion for a generation, losing hard-working councillors and, eventually, MPs. We deserve better from our highly educated political ‘elite’ which otherwise seems to be doing a pretty good job in rebuilding Britain’s place in the world (most of the time).