A BLESSING IN DISGUISE?
The Somerset Guardian, 8th May 2019
‘Never glad confident morning again’ was the line quoted at Macmillan about the Profumo scandal, applied to John Major after the departure from the Exchange Rate Mechanism and now hangs over Theresa May as her time as Prime Minister ebbs away. Local election results, which have been especially weak in Somerset, are a symptom of a party that has forgotten how to govern, why it wants to govern and what it promised voters when offering its services to govern.
The Prime Minister promised to deliver Brexit, she said we would leave on 29th March, that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, that Brexit means Brexit, that we would leave the Customs Union and the Single Market. None of this has happened; as the Liberal Democrats were punished for capitulation on tuition fees so the Tories suffered at the recent local elections.
This is deeply unfair on swathes of councillors who have worked tirelessly for their communities. They have been swept away not because of anything that they have done but because of failures at of the top. People who normally vote Tory either stayed at home or voted for a protest party, although the Liberal Democrats deserve congratulations on the success of their campaign and good wishes as they take control of the local council. Labour suffered too because it has also failed to deliver on its Brexit promises. Thus, the warning shot has been fired and the Conservative Party needs to take stock.
While the importance of local government must not be understated this could possibly be a blessing in disguise as it now gives the Tories the opportunity to make the things right that have gone wrong. Mrs. May has already announced that she will retire before the next election but it must be someone who will advocate Conservative principles and ensure that promises and deeds match so that faith is restored on both local and national levels.