A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Leader of the Band!

Can the Tories get the leader they really want? Michael Howard did the honorable thing and chose to admit that he felt he was too old to lead the party to a further General Election. However, he must have known that this would have led to a vacuum into which would go only leadership talk. A meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs was described as "fiery and angry", with some saying they had been given a fait accompli. Now they have the proposals for a new election process -

  1. Any MP with the support of 10% of parliamentary colleagues would be proposed as a candidate to the Conservative national convention
  2. The convention, which includes about 900 local party chairmen and other senior party figures, would rank the candidates in order of popularity
  3. MPs would have the final say on who becomes leader.

This all sounds fine, but what if the 900 worthies chose a pecking order of David Davis, David Cameron, Malcolm Rifkind, Alan Duncan, and Ken Clarke taking up the rear, and then the MP's go and pick Ken Clarke! Surely it would be the exact reversal of the leadership of IDS. Duncan Smith had the backing of the party in the country but not parliament. Ken Clarke, if he was picked, could have the backing of the Commons party, but not necessarily the constituencies. Case of deja vu looking at a mirror?


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