Dan writes in to the Virtual Stoa:
Did you see the Telegraph editorial yesterday? It concludes with the line (repeated on the front page), “Yesterday was the most desperate day in the history of the Conservative Party.” Now there must SURELY be some competition for that particular title…
Does anyone have any alternative suggestions? Do send them in. In fact, I hadn’t read that particular leader – and I’m very glad Dan pointed it out. Near the end, Charles Moore (or whoever) writes this:
It’s a remarkable passage. First, in the way in which it transplants the rhetoric of “Tory democracy” out of its nineteenth-century context (and the notion that the Tory party might in fact do rather well out of the extended franchise of 1867) into a purely internal party matter. Second, because it itself illustrates the depth of the crisis in the Tory party – still in agonies about the removal of Mrs Thatcher in 1990, all those years ago. The parliamentary party conspired to get rid of Thatcher, against the desires of the grassroots, because they were terrified that they would lose the 1992 election with her in charge. And they were almost certainly right, and the party won the election that followed. Similarly, today, elements of the parliamentary party – with their finely developed instinct for electoral survival – want to get rid of IDS for the single reason that they are already convinced they will lose ignominiously if he leads them into an election, in the manner advocated by the leader column. And they are almost certainly right, again. And it is the Telegraph and the party grassroots who seem to have the most developed death instinct – which would be comic, if it weren’t so comic already.