The Tory Party is experiencing difficulties in recent days, to say the least. Lord Andrew Feldman is said to have insulted the support base of the Tory Party as ‘swivel-eyed loons’. Mr Cameron has circulated an apology letter of sorts, hoping to restore what remains of Party unity that’s rapidly slipping away. Signs are pointing to meltdown, and why would this be? Despite over a 100 Tory MP’s voting in favour of an amendment to the Queen’s Speech just to express regret that a referendum bill was not passed, the motion was defeated in the Commons, while the Tory leadership remains indifferent to the signals from within the party and from its voters.
Instead, we are graced with the spectacle of Tory leaders expressing contempt for their supporters, and the demonising of Eurosceptics as ‘little Englanders’ by politicians who are quick with insults but not with their rebuttals, the Tory leadership is hesitates to do what it takes to win back support. They cannot think of a good reason to stay, so they bury their heads in the sand.
All of this is a clear illustration of how the Tory leadership is ever more disconnected from its grassroots base of support. The recent controversy over comments made that insulted this base of supporters reflect the growing divisions and tensions in a party that no longer knows what it stands for. The era of conviction politics has become eclipsed by a new epoch of bait and switch promises. The promise of a referendum cannot be taken seriously. They could have fixed the mess they are in by holding a referendum while they were leading the government, but their reluctance betrays their disdain towards the will of the people.
Seeking a referendum on EU membership meshes with the ideological foundation of the Conservative Party, and Cameron cannot justify his reluctance on the issue. Instead, his close supporter insults their base, just as the Tories had previously insulted UKIP. The latter party is at 22% approval on the polls, just two points behind the Tories. It is clear what the mood in Britain is, just as it is clear what the mood all over Europe.