My view of the political arena is from the outside, I understand some of the intricacies and read various media on the subject.
I guess that in order for Parliament to function properly, there needs to be diversity in the views of politicians. Multiple angles of an argument need to be heard to reach a healthy conclusion. That doesn’t mean that I have to agree with others views, but appreciate that others have an opinion.
Keeping the above statement in mind, for a Party to win the populist vote, which let’s face it is what you have to appeal to to win an election, the leader of that Party has to knit together the extremes, in terms of views, of their party to form one that is viable and elect-able.
In 1997, or just before, Tony Blair did just that with the Labour Party and formed New Labour. The Left didn’t like it much but hey it got them elected to Government. It was a viable option, to the electorate, to beat John Major’s Conservatives. It didn’t mean the extremes of the Labour Party weren’t represented in Parliament, we know they were and still are.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen David Cameron do the same with the Conservatives, except this time he has had to drag the Right towards the centre ground. It is not for me to say whether centre right, centre left etc. is the correct positioning, guess time will show that.
I read an article during the election campaign regarding the age of voters likely to vote for the Tories. It basically said that people that remembered the difficult times during the Thatcher years would find it hard to vote for a Conservative Government , whereas younger voters who had only known Labour, would not have those misgivings. Again, not for me to say, but it seems that article may have been right, perhaps that is why the Conservative’s didn’t get a majority share of seats.
Now in my simple view, it would seem that David Cameron did as much unifying as he could, but not quite enough, couldn’t convince enough of the population that the Conservatives were a changed Party. Joining with the Liberal Democrats in coalition has helped with covering this populist area (added together they have 60% of seats). But as previously stated there has to be extremes to be healthy.
I do fully understand that it is backbench MP’s duties to keep Government in check, but cannot understand how such intelligent people can’t appear to see why David Cameron has taken the stance he has. The Conservative Right has a place in our politics, but just as Tony Blair realised, with the Labour Left, will never ever be electable in their own right.
As many have said there are tough times ahead with the Coalition, economically and politically, but thus far I am willing to keep an open mind. It is too early for the knives to come out for David Cameron and I think the backbenchers should give him a chance, because without his repositioning we would still have a Labour Government and Gordon Brown, in my opinion.