Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Opinion: Ride The Lightning

With the Conservative party in complete disarray, is this the beginning of the end for David Cameron's premiership, or will the man in No. 10 withstand the onslaught?

Say what you like about David Cameron- And believe me, I'm certainly no advocate- but you cannot fault the man in one area: his absolute durability in the political arena. Even if the entire world was to disagree with him (it feels like that sometimes), his wholehearted, unquenchable conviction in what he believes would carry him through, or so it would seem. Even if he was coming from entirely the wrong side of the moral standpoint (depending on your opinion, of course), he would find some way to turn it around and crush any hopes of reconciliation. We've seen it plenty since he was elected in May 2010; the Tuition Fees Crisis and Ed Miliband's consistently vicious verbal attacks on the PM's regime in the House Of Commons are just two examples. It is essential for politicians to be excellent talkers, and David Cameron is certainly one of those.

However, it would be hard even for Winston Churchill to withstand the enormity of the barrage of anger and emotion that the Conservative party has faced over the last couple of weeks, and as a result, no matter how un- crushable, it will be a monstrous task for Cameron too. Such a statement is especially prominent when considering he has been thrust into the limelight in recent outrage- sparker the Cash For Access scandal.

Needless to say, you probably don't need me to go into great depths about the acts committed by the Tories that have induced such widespread displeasure. There was the Cash For Access scandal, in which co- Treasurer Peter Cruggas was seen offering reporters access to the Prime Minister and George Osbourne for vast amounts of money. There was also MP for Cabinet Office Francis Maude's fear- mongering that lead to the rush of panic buying for petrol endorsed in by half the population. That's not to mention the news that surfaced yesterday that plans had been unveiled to introduce new legislation that would impose on citizens' privacy in the most acute manner. To say that the Tories are having a rough ride at the moment is like saying George W. Bush had a few minor blips.

The Conservatives have a long history of being ridiculously hard to break (see Margaret Thatcher, Harold Macmillan), and although the news this week goes some way in disproving that, their tendency for emotionally hard line leaders has, mostly up until this point, been continued by Cameron. And after all, it's not like they've never seen it before- Thatcher's reign was dogged by in- party fighting and outrage from the general republic and she persevered by relying on her own internal moral grounds for 11 years. But alas, David Cameron is a different entity from that which dominated Britain in the 1980s.

From a left- wing perspective it would be far too easy for me to simply say that Cameron will never recuperate, but that's not looking that unlikely anyway. Unless he brings about change, racks up the rebel supporters and even remotely pays attention to a slightly more liberal conjecture, it's likely that the civil war he currently faces within the Conservative party will see him out. The next three years will be the REAL test of Cameron's character, and with plans to impose more dangerously controversial legislation in the near future, it's going to be a lengthy, arduous  three years for the man in No.10.

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