Well, the Tory leadership contest is once again making the news, and we might get an idea about who is in charge at some point before Christmas. Musings from Middle England has aan amusing round up here. The scary thing for me is that I grew up under Thatcher, and I had no doubt whatsoever by the time I was old enough to vote that the Tories were the enemy and must be defeated. It wasn't, really, the economic policies that bothered me about them, it was the illiberal lock them up, hand 'em and flog 'em approach they took to all crime, criminals, people with long hair, young people who like to party, etc.
I knew we had to get them out of office, as did every other liberal, socialist and fed up middle grounder in the country. We all voted (in many cases tactically), for the candidate best placed to defeat the local Tory, and get them out of office we did. I was up for Portillo, and I did cheer when Twigg stood there with that little grin. Only now, when I see it repeated, I just see the grin of a smug New Labour git. They're not just the new Tories. They're worse.
I'm a soft LibDem supporter by inclination, they're the only viable party that pretty much across the board supports the ideals of individual freedoms that I most value. So why is it when I read the platforms of half the Tory leadership candidates I agree with them? Why is it I find it very hard to disagree with any of the recent entries on Boris's blog? Dead Men Left is running a series of articles on the 'danger' of a LibDem vote, but, to be 100% honest, this lefty would rather a Tory in office than Charles Clarke. As long as that Tory isn't Howard, Davis or Fox.
Then someone like Howard or Davis stands up, or Fox is quoted somewhere, or I look at the Cornerstones website. And I'm torn, they're everything I grew up despising in politics. Fox, it appears, has no chance. That's probably a good thing. Davis is supposedly the front runner, with Cameron having the support of Boris and Duncan. Duncan would've been my preferred choice overall, he is, essentially, an Orange Book LibDem who joined the wrong party. And so we come to the point.
Do we want a strong, rejuvenated Tory party led by someone like Clarke, that is able to challenge Labour and get the Nanny Staters out of office? Even if it means having authoritarian Island Staters in the Cabinet again, possibly in charge of the Home Office, and running the "anti-terror" state take over in pretty much the same way?
Or do we want someone like Davis or Fox to win, the 21st Century equivalents of Michael Foot for the "modern Conservatives"? Because, let us face it, they're not going to win. They're never going to win. But they're popular with the membership rump that's still there.
Let them win. Let the Tory party write its own Suicide Note. But let the sensible half of the party split off to form a new party, a party able to form an alliance with the economically slightly left but otherwise freedom loving LibDems. The present day Conservative and Unionist party was formed by a merger with many who left the old Liberal party when it fragmented in the first half of the 20th Century. That broad church alliance has had its day. Let the liberal wing of the Tories once again split off. They lack a name? In the run up to the celebrations of the Act of Union 1707, given that the Scottish wing is already semi-detached and stressing its Unionist credentials, why not call themselves the Unionist party?