Is David Cameron losing his grip on the Conservative Party?
After the latest rebellion by Tory MP’s over Europe over the proposed EU budget in which “53 Tory MP’s joined Labour to call for a cut in the EU’s overall budget” . It would seem that David Cameron is rapidly losing his grip on his Prime Ministership and as leader of the Conservative Party.
The Conservative government likes to consistently blame the crisis in the Eurozone for Britain’s continued economic woes. Britain thanks to David Cameron’s courageous use of Britain’s veto were not included in the renegotiation of the European Treaty which opened the way for the European Finance Stability Mechanism.
This means that really although Britain feels some effect from the Eurozone in terms of the markets being jumpy really the Eurozone crisis is a bit of a misnomer. According to the Daily Mail “the proportion of exports going to the 17 nation Eurozone fell to 43.6 percent the lowest since records began in 1988” . This means that with the increase in non EU exports which got the UK ‘officially out of recession’ people are increasingly wondering why the policies of the Coalition vis a vis growth do not seem to be working as anticipated.
As the constituents of the new intake of Tory MP’s get increasingly worried about their positions we see the now all too familiar refrain of the last few months, this is namely that the Conservative leadership is kowtowing too much to the Lib Dems and Europe is a familiar issue upon which the backbench MP’s destroy the leadership. A Com Res poll for the pro EU referendum group the People’s Pledge showed that one in ten Tory supporters in David Cameron’s constituency would back another party if it offered a in out referendum and the Conservatives did not.
Cue the almost ritual backbiting and infighting in the Tory ranks that happens whenever Europe is mentioned. The last time the Conservatives were in power with Sir John Major as PM the fighting was so intense that lead to thirteen years of Labour government who let us not forget have completed a complete U – turn in saying that will not reverse some of the Coalition cuts despite voraciously opposing them this parliament and warning shots are already coming over the bows of Downing Street from Ken Clarke saying “it is absolutely ludicrous for the UK to go to Brussels intending to veto the EU budget” . Clarke later tried to clarify his remarks but they will be seized upon by the Eurosceptic MP’s.
It should not be forgotten that the Coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems is a marriage of convenience. The referendum even if it does not come off will sour relations between the parties but Cameron needs to break with the Coalition policies and offer something to the Tory right in order to stop a bloodbath like we had from 1992 -1997 and stop the party from imploding.