By Alex Story.

We started the year with Boris and ended with Sunak.

Boris won 14 million votes to get to Number 10; Sunak got just over 150.

The former won the largest political majority since Thatcher in 1987; the latter is set to lose more seats than John Major did in 1997.

Boris is recognisable; Sunak is invisible.

Boris, voted in by a landslide, was removed from office by a handful of Conservative Members of Parliament, aided and abetted by a hyper partisan media.

Boris, voted in by a landslide, was removed from office by a handful of Conservative Members of Parliament, aided and abetted by a hyper partisan media.

Sunak was beaten by Truss, the second of our Prime Ministers in the unforgettable year of 2022, during the long summer Conservative leadership campaign in a membership vote.

He would have been beaten again had Boris decided to make a comeback in October after Truss’ resignation. It is only because Sunak threatened to make his life impossible in office that Boris backed down from making a Lazarus like comeback.

Having forced the issue, ignored the 2019 election results and convinced themselves that Boris was the problem, a small number of Conservative MPs forced Sunak on a stunned British People – our third Prime Minister in the year.

In short, Sunak won office against the ballot box. He was chosen neither by the people of the country nor by the membership of the Conservative Party. In so doing, the small coterie of irredentists took their party to the verge of electoral oblivion.

What had been implicit before, that is to say that the ballot box meant increasingly little, was made explicit. To them, the ballot box is incidental.

Democratic principles are only sacrosanct if the results are expedient to them. Election results can be ignored if they go against what they, the experts, believe must happen. They alone should really decide how and by whom the country should be led.

Competence, they told us, was what the country needed: Sunak had that key attribute. He was also honest.

From their perspective, Sunak bares no responsibility for the situation our country now faces despite having overseen her finances for over two years. His record though is there for all to see.

Under his watch as Chancellor and Prime Minister inflation skyrocketed to an eyebrow raising 10.7%; Great Britain became one of the highest taxed countries in the Western World, and, our national debt grew greater, at over £2.5 Trillion, than our gross domestic product – a tripling since the Conservatives took office in 2010 (And yet, nothing seems to work).

Further, more personally, he was also fined £50 for having broken lockdown rules, having denied having done so beforehand.

Paradoxically, while the notorious 2020 birthday party led to the defenestration of Boris, it was no impediment to Sunak’s ability to measure the curtains at Number 10, in preparation for his anointment.

Paradoxically, while the notorious 2020 birthday party led to the defenestration of Boris, it was no impediment to Sunak’s ability to measure the curtains at Number 10, in preparation for his anointment.

However, if competence and Sunak were synonymous to them, once again the British people seemed to disagree.

In what must have felt like another slap in the face, the MPs who forced Sunak on the Great British people heedless of the irreparable reputational damage they did their party, a recent survey seemed to show that a great number of people felt Boris to be more competent than Sunak by a margin of 62 to 22 per cent among Conservative voters.

It is a staggering difference of over 280%. People just do not think much of Sunak.

Since July, the Conservative Party, through the actions of a few short-sighted intemperates, has destroyed its reputation, killed the trust many of our countrymen bestowed on it in 2019, and, perhaps more irresponsibly, removed most barriers to Keir Starmer’s progress to Number 10.

While much of the legislation and spending habits have been markedly New Labour since 2010, regardless of the Conservative Party’s official stance, the current Labour Party has no desire to compromise and take the slow road to a socialist paradise – they are in a hurry to change our country for good and mainly for ill.

The current Conservative Party grandees forced us down this deplorable cul-de-sac; They cannot be trusted in finding a way out.

The current Conservative Party grandees forced us down this deplorable cul-de-sac; They cannot be trusted in finding a way out.

There are some political options other than Keir Starmer’s innate ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

The first, and perhaps most obvious one, is to ditch the Conservative Party completely and cast its empty shell onto the dustbin of history. The argument here is that the baggage of betrayal is so heavy that it cannot be salvaged – something new is required.

From this perspective, a new party, such as Reform UK, should be given a chance. Richard Tice, its leader is a gifted individual with a solid set of policies. Reform recently polled 9% – nearly half of what the Tory Party did – making it potentially the third largest party in the United Kingdom.

However, the current electoral system might reward Reform with many votes but few parliamentary seats. In other words, a solid showing from Reform would kill the Conservative Party but immeasurably strengthen Labour’s hand.

Reform would need a Giorgia Meloni style landslide. We live in interesting times. These days nothing can be discounted.

The other option is to bring back democracy at the heart of the Conservative Party and dismantle the Democratic Centralism that was established by William Hague in the late 1990s. This gave Central Office all the power and stripped the membership of its historical role. The “experts” thus garnered the power to decide the calibre of candidates standing at elections. They went for docility and PR rather than gumption and intellectual depth.

Inevitably, candidates with conservative views were seen with suspicion; those with New Labour ones were given preferential treatment. Such a cleansing exercise is a long shot but doable.

It has surprising momentum. Its genesis came in the shape of the Bring Back Boris Campaign, launched by Claire Bullivant and supported by Lord Peter Cruddas in July this year. It started with a petition which was extraordinarily successful.

Its genesis came in the shape of the Bring Back Boris Campaign, launched by Claire Bullivant and supported by Lord Peter Cruddas in July this year. It started with a petition which was extraordinarily successful.

It highlighted the huge disconnect between the electorate and members of parliament. It came within a whisker of succeeding last October. The Bring Back Boris campaign has metamorphosed into the Conservative Democratic Organisation.

Its purpose is to ensure that the membership, not the paid apparatchik, who wouldn’t know a voter from a phone box, is in full control of the organisation at every level. It distrusts centralisation deeply.

The idea here is that the membership, closer than many suspect to the electorate, will steer the party towards the path of salvation – That is to say, to fight for the implementation of conservative solutions to high government spending problems.

The elegance of this solution is that it uses the current political system to its advantage. The flaw? It relies on the people of the United Kingdom forgiving and forgetting what has been done in the name of Conservatism over the last two decades.

Is it too much to ask? We won’t know if we don’t try.

Alex Story is a former Olympian and Conservative parliamentary candidate and one of the organisers of the Bring Back Boris petition.


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