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The deep state, tropes, and Khan’s mates – a week in the life of the modern day conservative party

By Frank McKenna

By Frank McKenna

Has the Tory Party been taken over by loonies, fruitcakes, and closet racists?

The Conservative Party has been the most successful election winning machine of any liberal democracy. It has governed Britain for 50 of the past 75 years. During that period, it has had twelve Prime Ministers, compared to Labour’s four (although, it should be noted that three of those have come in quick succession since 2019), and it has done so, largely, by adopting a pragmatic and centre -right approach to its policies and its narrative.

A little like Liverpool football Club in the Eighties, Manchester Uniter under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, and now Manchester City led by Pep Guardiola, the Tories are not used to losing.

Maybe, in part, this explains the collective nervous breakdown the party appears to be having, as it loses a record number of by-elections, changes its leaders like Chelsea changes managers, and finds itself staring a General Election defeat in the face, trailing the opposition by around 20 points since the Partygate scandal broke two years ago.

From the outside looking in, it really does look like the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Just in the last month we have witnessed the former Home Secretary Suella Braverman claiming that Britain has been taken over by Islamist extremists. The former Tory Vice Chair Lee Anderson didn’t go quite that far, suggesting that only London has been taken over by Islamists extremists – or as he like to call them Sadiq Khans ‘mates’, and the former Prime minister Liz Truss took herself over to the United States to tell an American Trump-supporting audience that one of the key reasons for her rather short stay in Downing Street was because of the UK’s ‘deep state’ – among the conspirators, that well-known left wing rag, the Financial Times.

More alarmingly, she sat in silence as the host of that event, former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, waxed lyrical about a convicted criminal and one of the UK’s most prominent far-right activists, Tommy Robinson, as a British hero.

Back in 2006, the then Tory leader David Cameron described the Independence Party as “fruitcakes”, “loonies”, and “closet racists”.

To many, it appears the Conservative Party of 2024, under the leadership of Rishi Sunak, the fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists may have taken over the wheel of a once- election-winning machine – and they seem intent on crashing it to smithereens in the run up to the forthcoming General Election.

I wonder what Lord “Just call me Dave” Cameron – now our Foreign Secretary of course – makes of it all?

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