Lost: One ConservativeHome columnist, last seen on these pages on June 14th.
Appearance: Thoughtful mien, Archimandrite-type beard, Aston Villa scarf.
Reward: Please e-mail Lord Ashcroft with your opening offer via the ConHome contact details.
WARNING: IF SEEN OUTSIDE DOWNING STREET, DO NOT APPROACH. RUN, HIDE, REPORT.
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On Conservative EU divisions
“1846 and 1906 also tell us that when a divided Conservative Party leaves office, there can be profound consequences for decades. The division between the Peelites and the protectionists after the repeal of the Corn Laws put the Whigs in office for nearly 30 years, in which time free trade became an almost inviolable policy: division meant that the protectionists were even further away from achieving their objective. In 1906, MPs behaved as though their identities as free traders and tariff reformers were more important than as Unionists, and the consequences of their defeat continue to be felt even now. The Lloyd George ‘People’s Budget’ of 1908 introduced a non-contributory pension system – unlike the contributions-based proposal made by Chamberlain that was rejected by Salisbury and Balfour – and our welfare state to this day remains non-contributory (a fact that is, coincidentally, relevant to the debate about EU nationals claiming benefits in Britain).” – February 23
ConHome summary: Tory splits don’t just lose us elections; they mess up the country.