Is the parliamentary Conservative Party trying to commit political hara-kiri?
Floundering in the opinion polls, it already has a mountain to climb to win the next general election. But instead of knuckling down to the onerous task of beating Labour, the party seems bent on self-destruction. It is simply mind-blowing.
Let’s be clear: It’s not a mystery why Right-wing Tories are both furious and disenchanted by Rishi Sunak‘s reshuffle.
They worry that Mr Sunak is recklessly abandoning the ground-breaking voter coalition which propelled the Conservatives to a landslide victory in 2019 in the hope of minimising losses in the Tory shires.
That instead of keeping the promise to cut taxes, reduce legal and illegal immigration, level up the left-behind regions and curb wokery in our institutions, he is pursuing a vacuous metropolitan liberalism.
Brexit, too, is in danger. Lord Cameron is the epitome of the Remain establishment.
The anger of the Tory Right was burned across every sentence of Mrs Braverman’s excoriating resignation letter. The ex-home secretary blasted the PM for weak leadership, dithering and dishonesty.
She accused him of undermining the Rwanda asylum scheme, the fight against the threat of radical Islam and the issuing of badly needed trans guidance in schools.
Having been dismissed for infuriating No10 with a string of outspoken interventions, she clearly feels she has a grievance.
But the key question is, what is to be gained from last night’s outburst?
Rebel Tories are once again talking of going to war against Downing Street. Have they learned nothing from the pantomime of the past two years?
For months, the Mail urgently warned that overthrowing Boris Johnson – the mastermind of that electoral triumph four years ago – would end in tears. The party’s horrific poll ratings prove that in spades.
Do they really think that another self-indulgent bout of infighting will enhance their chances at the ballot box? Or that the voting public will welcome a new Tory leader – the fourth in less than 18 months?
In constituencies across Britain, volunteers work tirelessly for their local Conservative MPs. They knock on doors, stuff envelopes and raise funds. Given the behaviour of their representatives at Westminster, they must wonder why they bother.
As this column made clear yesterday, right now Mr Sunak is the party’s best and only hope of seeing off Labour.
With the economy slowly turning a corner, the party must focus on exposing Sir Keir Starmer as not just an ocean-going dud, but a dangerous one. In an interview this week, Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly refused to call Hamas a terror group. But never forget Sir Keir strained every sinew to get this odious Marxist into Downing Street.
Forget regicide. To avert that catastrophe, the Tories must offer a credible alternative. The parliamentary party needs to park its internal differences and start behaving like a government rather than a clown show.
If it can rediscover its sense of purpose and ambition, all is not lost. But it must offer the public a genuine reason to give the Tories another stint in office.
That means cutting the cost of living and slashing the tax burden. Stopping the small boats – no ifs, no buts. Tackling crime and coming down like a ton of bricks on the anti-Semitism that is terrifying British Jews. And restoring common sense to the issues of sex and gender.
In her parting letter, Mrs Braverman scornfully said the PM was averse to rocking the boat. To avoid a shattering electoral defeat, boat-rocking now becomes a must.