Coming to a Box Office near you….Tory Wars.
One of the things that you do miss about the Conservatives being in power (in fact, the only thing) is the constant backbiting and the almost permanent state of open warfare that plagues the Party and thus the government. You see, the Conservatives right-wing is a lot less shy than Labour’s left and feels a lot less moral obligation than the latter does to keep its collective mouth shut.
Much has been made of Boris Johnson’s intervention on Housing Benefit which for all its appearance of clumsiness was a bit of shrewd politics. Johnson knew perfectly well what he was doing when he told David Cameron he was against ‘Kosovo-style cleansing’ in London, ie, the Coalitions Housing Benefit reforms. Johnson knew his remarks, brutal as they were, would grab instant headlines and be around long enough in the news to generate the impression he was again ‘standing up for London’ until the inevitable retraction was forced which came with an implied, knowing wink at the electorate.
Also, they are so extreme they create the impression of being possibly clumsy or misrepresented which covers him against his own Party. Expect to see a lot of Conservative help for his campaign as Mr Cameron tries desperately to keep Johnson occupied with the mayoralty. If Johnson loses (and Ken will have to be on his game to win) then he will be a proper menace and a lightening rod for Conservative discontent.
Johnson is attacking from the left because he knows this is the only way to keep his current job. However, he could easily flip-flop. Mr Cameron is the only thing keeping the Liberal Democrats in their high office so he will be able to rely on them for support. One feels that one of the first things the Conservative right would like to do is dispense with their irritating Coalition partners and throw them to the wolves ie, the angry electorate. Fasten your seat-belts; do not adjust your sets and don’t hog all the popcorn; the Tory wars have only just begun…..