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Peter BonePeter Bone is Member of Parliament for Wellingborough.

Yesterday the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister announced the re-launch of the Coalition government, again! Dave and Nick would have us believe that there are only two options, a Coalition government or a snap General Election. However, I believe that there is a Third Way: a Conservative Minority Government.

The last minority government in this country was a Labour administration between March 1974 and October 1974. After 7 months governing as a minority government, Harold Wilson went to the country and was returned with an overall majority. Labour then continued to govern until May 1979.

It is currently argued that minority governments cannot get laws passed, however the Wilson minority government passed at least 27 new laws in 7 months. Not only did it govern effectively, it led to 5 years of Labour majority government.

There are three key reasons why a Conservative minority government is the best way forward:


First, the National Interest

With a Conservative minority government we could focus on the bigger issues facing this country, the issues that affect the lives of our constituents. We could then drop irrelevant Liberal Democrat legislation such as House of Lords reform. Nobody seriously believes that a Conservative government led by David Cameron would bring forward, at this time, proposals to reform the House of Lords.

Without being shackled to the Liberal Democrats we could introduce real Conservative policies relevant to the nation, the list could include…

  • A British Bill of Rights, which would end interference from the European Court of Human Rights and reinstate the rightful supremacy of the UK Supreme Court. This would allow us to deport dangerous individuals such as Abu Qatada, ensuring the safety of the nation.
  • We could reform employment laws to encourage growth and employment in the economy. In particular we could exempt small businesses from the excessive burdens of these regulations.
  • We could bring in legislation to ensure that a referendum on the European Union would be held in the next parliament.
  • We could bring in measures to restrict immigration from both outside and within the EU, honouring our pre-election pledge to massively reduce net immigration.
  • We could ensure that effective and real reform of the Welfare system took place.

These and many other Conservative measures could be rejected or accepted by Parliament. Defeat on any particular issue would not lead to a snap General Election. However when a subsequent General Election was called, after a Conservative minority government had put forward true Conservative policies, the people would remember what the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties voted for and what they voted against.

Secondly, new Conservative Ministers

A Conservative minority government would bring in talented and qualified Conservative MPs as ministers, replacing the lack lustre set of Liberal Democrat ministers forced upon us by the Coalition agreement. No objective judgement could conclude other than that there are far better potential ministers on the Conservative backbenches than the actual Liberal Democrat ministers. These new Conservative ministers would run their departments more efficiently and better, with the added bonus that when any problem came up it would be dealt with by someone with Conservative instincts rather than Liberal Democrat ones. The intake of new Conservative ministers would give a great boost to the morale of the parliamentary party. Overnight, the roadblock to ministerial progression would be removed. No less than 23 ministerial posts would be opened up by taking the red boxes away from the Liberal Democrats.

Thirdly, reinvigorating the Conservative party

The final reason to embrace the third way and have a Conservative minority government would be that it would reinvigorate the Conservative party across the country. Currently, Conservative members are depressed by the Coalition government. However, they realise it is not the Prime Minister’s fault but our Liberal Democrat partners that we are producing wishy-washy, irrelevant policies. A Conservative minority government with real Conservative policies would lead to people not resigning from the party but joining in droves.  Conservative members, who have campaigned hard over many years, feel that the Coalition government is letting them down. However, a Conservative minority government putting forward Conservative policies would reinvigorate them. They would fight the next General Election with enthusiasm and confidence.

Being in government with the Liberal Democrats is like being in a forced marriage: nobody benefits and you stagger along day by day snapping at each other. There is only one solution: a clean break! The sooner we are divorced from the Liberal Democrats the better. It is both in the national interest and the party’s interest.

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