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Ambiguity surrounds May's regime

Tory conference is a watershed moment for the party and their divisions over Brexit

Ambiguity surrounds Mays regime

At Conservative Party conference, keynote speeches from senior cabinet members have shown that the Tories have simply run out of things to say. The consistent attacks on Labour and Jeremy Corbyn are so devoid of substance that any actual critique of Labour policy, particularly on the economy, is non-existent.

Instead, they focus their unfounded attacks on personalities — that of Jeremy Corbyn and members of his front-bench team. Believing this will cut through with the public at a time when Tory divisions are painfully obvious over Brexit is misjudging the political atmosphere hugely.

Churning out the same old sound bites and justifications for an austerity agenda just won't cut it anymore. In the face of Brexit, the British public want big ideas, ones which make a difference to their lives, whether that be financially or socially. However, taking to the main hall stage to announce nothing but further narrow-minded attacks on the leader of the opposition seems to be all senior Tories can bring themselves to discuss.

The reality is that this Tory conference is a watershed moment for the party and their divisions over Brexit.

The fact that one-third of Tory MPs have now publicly attacked either the Prime Minister or her policy on Brexit shows that the party is split down the middle, with many more almost certainly raising concerns privately. With over 100 Tory MPs criticising the government in the last year, it is hard to believe Theresa May will get her Brexit deal, or no deal, through Parliament when the time comes.

Brexit has paralysed this government to the point where it is no longer fit for purpose. Working people are worse off now than they were in 2010, simply because the government refuses to properly invest in our economy and raise the minimum wage to an actual living wage. They are preoccupied with their own internal crisis and that is not good for democracy or the national interest.

One of the few unique moments so far has been Chancellor Philip Hammond's fresh attack on former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. The fact that a public slagging match between two senior Tories is getting more attention than their actual policies shows what dire straits they are in as a collective, as they fail to cut through with the electorate and be dogged by constant civil war.

Instead of developing new ideas, the Tories have now resorted to accepting Labour's suggestions on policy. For example, one of the few announcements at Tory Conference was to ban employers from taking workers' tips. While this is absolutely welcome, surely it would be much simpler to call a general election so the party that wrote these policies can develop them in government and implement a full plan to transform the economy and rebuild our public services.

As much as she would like to, Theresa May cannot ignore the divisions in her party and trying to bypass them through attacking Labour is putting this country's future at risk.

Leaked dossiers show that the Tories have already started preparing for a leadership change after short-listing several prominent figures as potential candidates. A party divided cannot rule and the only option now is for Theresa May to face up to her own reckoning and go to the country in a general election.

(Courtesy: Morning Star. The views expressed are strictly personal)

Tom Hinchcliffe

Tom Hinchcliffe

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