Garry Heath is the Chairman of Wycombe Conservative Association. He is also currently the Director General of Libertatem, the Impartial Advisers’ Trade Association.
The current US political scene is the gift that just keeps on giving. Try to sublimate the fear that its new President could have us all of glowing in the dark by next Thursday, and you will find the machinations and language of Capitol Hill fascinating. There, they have RINOS – no, not those horned African beasties that hate Land Rovers, but those rather gentle politicians who are “Republican In Name Only”.
These creatures are the bane of Washington politics. During the eight years of Obama’s reign, the Republicans had the numbers and should have had delivered their promises to their electorate. But thanks to the RINOS, many of which were positioned in the upper echelons of their party, any meaningful opposition always melted away at the last moment. This created the public frustration that brought Donald Trump to the White House
This got me thinking. Do we have our own British equivalent: CINOS – “Conservatives In Name Only” and are they combining with others to deliver BINO – Brexit in Name Only?
If the forthcoming general election is to count, the Conservatives need to present a profoundly different type of politics. We must move away from division politics and return a voice to the white working class, the self-employed and other small business people who have had no voice in government for decades. We must be the unashamed voice of unity across the UK; as a country, we have been divided too long.
We need to project a new post Brexit world in which a confident UK takes its place in the world as a sovereign state. A new brave post-Brexit politics that takes on the vested interests and seeks to deregulate industry and commerce, create proper democratic structures, and reforms a civil service that is demonstrably not fit for purpose.
My question to my fellow Association Chairmen is: Do you believe that your candidate can deliver such a message ,or does or she belong to the SPAD-heavy, inward-looking professional political class who believe that they have been personally blessed with exclusive knowledge and wisdom?
As the Conservative battle bus rolls towards June, the passengers must all be looking out the front window – not peering out of the back, telling the incumbents how nice the last town was and how we should have stayed there. So before constituency parties are too quick to re-nominate existing candidates, let us make sure that they can deliver the post-Brexit referendum message. If they cannot, maybe it is time for your constituency to leave them on the pavement, and recruit people who can.