Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tebbit Questions Major's Motives

Sir John Major has added his voice to the growing chorus of Conservative movers and shakers calling for the continuation of coalition politics beyond 2015 regardless of whether or not their own party can achieve the Parliamentary majority which would allow them to disepense with the Liberal Democrats.

Former colleague Norman Tebbit has suggested that Sir John – none too keen on the sort of dissent from Ministers the coalition government has recently seen over tuition fees in his own Cabinet – is motivated by lingering resentment "of the true Tories who opposed his Maastricht surrender":

As Prime Minister, Major referred to backbench Conservative MPs who opposed the Maastricht Treaty (for which he had no mandate) as “bastards”. Now it seems he is an admirer of coalition politics in which ministers are entitled to abstain on measures which they do not like. ... I suspect that at the root of Sir John Major’s admiration of coalition government is a rankling resentment of the true Conservatives who opposed his surrender at Maastricht.

Lord Tebbit's assessment comes with the following warning, however:

That is sad rather than important. However, if he was flying a kite for the Prime Minister, who dislikes the conservatives in the Conservative Party as much as John Major did, that is more worrying. I strongly suspect that Mr Cameron wants to make his coalition into a merger between “centre ground” Conservatives and “centre ground” Lib Dems.

That would leave many Conservative voters with no choice but to support UKIP and many Lib Dem voters no choice but to support Labour.

I am not sure that is smart politics.

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