Parties are always coalitions, but extra-parliamentary campaigns have to be even more soby Emma Burnell / September 10, 2019 / Leave a comment
Is Amber Rudd a hero—or villain? There has been a lot of friction recently between FBPE-types who think Rudd is a hero for resigning the Tory whip, and her cabinet job, over Johnson’s extremist behaviour, and those to their left who blame her for a series of wider societal issues—in particular, the Windrush scandal over which she had to resign after misleading the house of commons (what a long time ago that seems).
The problem is that both have a point—and both are missing the point.
Under normal circumstances, it is perfectly reasonable for someone on the left to believe that a moderate Tory is still a Tory, and therefore politically suspect. And of course, hardcore-Remainer types whitewashing a politician’s support for the very austerity that contributed to Brexit in the first place can feel very galling.
Yet so, too, can the zealous converts, now leading protests, who until recently took their lead from what were only lukewarm anti-Brexit sentiments from the leader of the opposition.
It is frustrating to see such people lionised, and both sides of this divide have reasons to feel aggrieved at the behaviour of the other.
The truth is, though, the only chance the left has of ousting the Tories is of working with MPs like Rudd and the centrist Remainers who admire what she has done. Equally, the only route Remainers have to realistically stop Brexit lies through the Labour Party—and that means co-operating with its left-wing leader and his supporters. As easy as it is to lash out, it’s not helpful to either side’s wider cause.
There has over the last few years been a lot of consternation about what moderate Labour MPs should do under the more radical leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Yet just as the move leftwards in the Labour Party was not as sudden as it is often painted, nor is what has happened to the Tories that different. Compared to the socially-progressive Cameroons, Johnson’s radical agenda is as far from the centre-ground as Corbyn and McDonnell’s would be at their most unleashed.
In spite of this, there has been little commentary to parallel the Labour discussion about what liberal Tories should do. Even when three of their ranks peeled off to join…