It’s Easter, so it’s only fitting that a someone be crucified. Not for our sins, but for those of his political party. I am enjoying the latest crisis in the Conservative Party enormously. Howard Flight (I’d never even heard of him until this story broke, but he’s going to go down now in history as the man who guaranteed Tony Blair a third term), an ex-City-whizz turned politician with a penchant for Thatcherite, free market economics, made a speech to some other Thatcherite Conservatives and said (Shock! Horror!) that the £35 billion cuts to government spending that they propose as an election pledge was “only the tip of the iceberg” and that the party were holding back their most radical ideas until after the election. In one fell swoop, a senior Tory has publicly admitted that Labour’s central charge – that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for massive health/education/welfare cuts – is correct. Labour’s army of electoral strategists can just put their feet up now, as they have no further work to do. Michael Howard, meanwhile, terrified that people might not like the truth, sacked Flight from his post as deputy chairman, then banished him from the party altogether. Not a popular move with the right wing of his party. So at a time when they should be pulling together and gearing up for the general election, they are instead (once more) at each other’s throats.
It’s strange, you’d think I’d be bored of watching the Conservatives disintegrate by now, but not so. It’s highly entertaining. Gruesome, but required viewing. Encore! Encore!