Tory civil war
22 March 2016 7:43 pm
In Britain, the ruling Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron is now caught up in a civil war after the resignation over the weekend of Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the government’s welfare reforms and a former Tory leader.
In his resignation letter, Duncan Smith attributed his decision to cuts in disability benefits that Treasury chief George Osborne had announced in his budget for the 2015-6 fiscal year last week. The cuts, he said “are a compromise too far,” and “not defensible in the way that they were placed within a budget that benefits higher-earning taxpayers.”
As the referendum on the EU looms, the Tories are becoming increasingly rattled. The Chancellor’s hopes of following his friend and becoming Prime Minister look all but dead.
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell, a former Conservative, said Mr Osborne now had “all the credibility of a Greek government bond”
Now Osborne and Cameron need to survive the EU referendum. And they know that even if they get the result they want — a resounding vote for ‘Remain’ — their positions are not safe. The Eurosceptics will remand a recount.
The departure of Duncan Smith, who was pushing for a Brexit, is likely to give the Eurosceptics campaign some momentum
It has seen the Daily Express headline gloat: Tory split 'HELPS' fight to free us from Brussels.
It forecasts that Cameron will face a leadership challenge from his divided party after the June 23 referendum, even if a majority heed his advice to vote to stay in.
Cameron’s tactical gamble to hold an EU referendum has backfired in spectacular fashion.
The bottom line is that Europe has long exerted a ruinous influence on the Conservative party, going right back to Margaret Thatcher’s defiant stand against Jacques Delors’ calls for greater central control which marked the beginning of the end of her prime ministership.
History is now repeating itself with Cameron.