As mad as a Mad Hatter’s tea party would be a good description of the antics playing out within the Tory Party. Once the envy of Europe’s ruling classes, the Tories have now become a laughing stock.
Conservative grandees, such as Lord Hesseltine, have warned that “the party is tearing itself apart”. Other senior figures are alarmed at an impending Tory implosion, or the prospect of a complete “meltdown”.
“The Conservative Party is finished if it succumbs to a Trumpian-style takeover,” stated former cabinet member Matt Hancock bluntly.
They thought that Rishi Sunak’s premiership might rescue them. But these hopes have quickly turned to dust.
The Tories are still licking their wounds after haemorrhaging support in the recent council elections – “a bloody awful result”, as one put it. They have been trailing far behind Labour in the polls for months. Defeat at the next general election looks inevitable.
Downing Street officials still believe there is a “narrow path” to victory. But the party is currently on a course that is more likely to hurtle them off a cliff.
The coronation provided a welcome distraction, temporarily postponing the Tories’ local election post-mortem. But this delay has only made the introspection and infighting all the more savage. Panic has gripped sections of the party.
There is a growing hysteria in the ranks, with internal critics blaming multimillionaire Sunak for being too ‘socialist’.
The Tory leader has lost control of his increasingly anarchic party. Former ministers openly denounce the direction of policy, whilst dozens of backbench MPs plot a new rebellion over Brexit.
According to Ed Vaizey, the Conservative peer: “Whatever the outcome of the election, there will be a battle for the soul of our party in the years ahead.”
The rabid grassroots of the Tories are plotting another takeover, in order to restore the party to ‘true blue conservatism’.
Mutinous groups – which nobody has ever heard of before – are springing up every two minutes. This includes the misnamed ‘Conservative Democratic Organisation’ (CDO), which wants to give more power to the unhinged Tory membership, and the ‘National Conservatives’.
“Many colleagues from all wings of the party are deeply baffled by not just one, but two splinter groups engaging in this act of self-harm,” quipped Tory MP Tobias Ellwood.
The recent ‘NatCon’ conference in London, a three-day affair organised by the American Edmund Burke Foundation, gave a platform to prominent headbangers in the party. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove, and Suella Braverman were amongst those present.
The conference was marked by “indignation and anger”, according to one former Cabinet minister, with many attendees asserting that the party has gone too far to the left and become too ‘soft’. Culture war rhetoric was the only dish on the menu.
For Braveman, the event was an opportunity to launch an early leadership campaign. In her bid for the top spot, she has positioned herself further to the right than Attila the Hun, in the hope of securing the support of Tory members in any future ballot.
This included tub-thumping demands from the Home Secretary to bring net-migration numbers down to zero – just at a point when the bosses are looking to use migrant labour to fill gaps in the UK workforce.
Other Conservative backbenchers, such as evangelical Christian Miriam Cates, issued a call for Britain to boost its birth rate, echoing similar appeals from reactionary leaders such as Hungary’s Victor Orban and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni.
Fellow Tory MP Danny Kruger, meanwhile, lashed out at “Marxism, narcissism and paganism” – all in the same breath.
The audience at the recent CDO symposium in Bournemouth was similarly swollen with fuming Tory Brexiteers and Boris Johnson allies, hell-bent on recapturing the party.
Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns opened the gathering with a rendition of ‘God Save the King’, before telling the assembled crowd: “I look around [at my Tory] colleagues and think, ‘you belong in the Lib Dems, actually’.”
Former home secretary Priti Patel also spoke, implying that Sunak and his supporters had “done a better job at damaging our party” over the past year than Labour. She also attacked those MPs who had helped remove Johnson, “our most electorally successful prime minister since Margaret Thatcher”.
Brexiteer ultras in the European Reform Group are also up in arms, furious that the government has broken its promise to scrap a swathe of EU laws and regulations that are currently on the statute books.
ERG members are planning to take a stand over this betrayal, creating further mayhem for Number 10.
These Tory MPs represent not the sober-minded wing of the bourgeoisie, who are desperate for stability, but the crazed petty-bourgeoisie, driven to a state of madness by the decline of British capitalism. The stage is set for a rapid slide into internecine warfare.
After the turbulence of the Johnson years and Truss days, the ruling class hoped that, with Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt at the helm, sanity and control over the Tory Party would be restored.
But this strategy seems to have flopped. The patients are about to seize control of the asylum once again.
Disaster at the general election will cause the ranks of the party to shift even further to the right. This deranged Tory rabble will look back nostalgically to when they had an 80-seat majority under Boris, yearning for more ‘red meat’ policies, in line with their migrant-bashing, hang-‘em, flog-‘em mentality.
This could even lead to a split within the Tory Party, with the one-nation Conservatives peeling away, and those remaining moving further rightwards – a reflection of the wider polarisation in British society.
Big business has now given up on its traditional representatives, the Tories, and is preparing for a Starmer Labour government.
Given the mess in the Tory Party, Labour has stepped in to become the ‘party of business’, as well as the ‘party of law and order’. Starmer is in the pocket of the establishment, and has promised to do their bidding.
The Labour leader is quite prepared to jump into bed with the Lib Dems, and to draw them into a coalition government that could jointly do the dirty work for the capitalists.
A Starmer government, in short, will be a government of crisis, loyally carrying through the austerity and attacks demanded by the ruling class.
This, in turn, will provoke a massive backlash in the working class – sickened and angered by thirteen years of Toryism, and by Starmer’s paltry offering of a Tory-lite agenda.
There will be huge resistance from workers and youth. The trade unions will be pushed into outright opposition. Starmer and his ilk will be quickly discredited.
In this turmoil, even greater layers will be drawing radical and revolutionary conclusions. Rather than calls to patch up capitalism, there will be a deafening demand for fundamental change. The entire landscape of British society will be explosive, with combustible material everywhere.
Revolutions begin with splits at the top. The developing civil war inside the Tory Party is a reflection of this process.
A stormy period has opened up in Britain. This will intensify in the coming months and years. Consciousness will quickly catch up with the calamitous objective situation.
This is no fairytale, but simply the cold reality that workers face.
It is our responsibility as revolutionaries to prepare for these titanic events. As Marx explained: the philosophers have interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.