What the others should learn from the Tories

Posted 8 May 2017 by Walaa Idris


People who say Labour is finished because they are a very divided party, or UKIP has no reason to exist anymore because they are a one issue party (leaving the EU) and the issue has now been achieved, or the LibDems are on the way out because they only have nine MPs and most their traditional voters are in strong Leave constituencies, are bad students of political history.

Time and time again, history has shown, that although some parties after going through a turbulent time finished and died, most did not. The majority of political parties used their stormy times to access and rebuild.

Take my own party, the Conservatives, many wrote us off after our 1997 defeat. But in less than ten years we rebranded and became a viable opposition. Granted, as conservatives, we are far more disciplined than most, and the hungriest to lead and govern, but nonetheless we were written off, decommissioned, and relegated to the past. After Tony Blair’s landslide victory, most pundits confined the Tories to the wilderness and filed us under ‘has been’. Looking back, our time in obscurity could have been much longer had we not, very early, accepted our defeat, assessed where we went wrong and what needed to change. Being honest with ourselves and going through a root and branch reform is the reason, twenty years from that defeat, Tories today are a very united party and have under their belt, a Conservative led coalition government in 2010, a small majority government in 2015 and now in 2017 stand as the only viable government to negotiate a successful Brexit deal with the European Union.

Now, will we have a Conservative landslide in four weeks’ time? Who knows. Will the others suffer even worst defeats than they did in 2015? Maybe. Will they all or any of them suffer a total wipe-out and become extinct? ONLY if they allow it to happen.

A wise person once said: “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.” And since we are in the business of knocking each other down, those of us who quickly get back up will never die or vanish. Also, it will be good to remember that the person who might lead any of the other three parties to its electoral success is probably hasn’t been elected yet.

Just think about it, David Cameron who reformed the Conservative Party and led it to it’s first victory in 2010 was elected in 2001. Theresa May, the godmother of more Tory women in parliament and the current leader was elected in 1997. That could very well mean, the person who could change the fortunes of any of the current opposition parties probably hasn’t been elected yet. This might not be what those in agonising opposition now want to hear. But this is politics. It goes in cycles, up and down, causes loads of frustration and demands tones of staying power.

In closing, my advice to the other parties, is to be a good sport and gracefully accept defeat, regroup, rebuild, and don’t rush the natural process. Respect the pain, it will ultimately strengthen you and your resolve.

As Conservatives, if next month things change negatively for us, we will do it all over again and comeback even stronger.