Ukip in charge
Theresa May is three months into her premiership, and while her One Nation rhetoric sounded genuine outside Downing Street, it is clear that she is moving sharply to the right. All Tory party leaders have sought to perform this trick, just as free-market Indian leaders have to give a nod and a wink to Ghandi. Yet there is usually an odd morsel of compassionate conservatism that is thrown to the baying masses. In Cameron's case, it was gay marriage, a concrete achievement, as opposed to hugging of hoodies and riding with huskies. Yet it is hard to find a crumb of comfort when we look at the specifics of May’s speech to the Tory parry conference. She wants to increase selection in the state school system by supporting more grammar schools. She is flirting with "hard Brexit" by abandoning the EU single market, and is engaging in yet another round of immigrant bashing. Indeed, I am waiting for a YouTube whiz to overlay a voiceover of Donald Trump.
“Like a butterfly turning into a caterpillar, the Tories have finally become Ukip”, writes Ian Dunt of Politics.co.uk. “The great party of government has become a right-wing fringe group installed in No.10. Diane James' resignation as Ukip leader is just the cocoon being shed. After all, what's the point of Ukip now? Its entire political mission has been adopted by the Conservative party and its emotional instincts have been internalised.”
“The Tories are adopting Ukip's frenzied obsession … during just three days they have pledged to phase out foreign doctors, cut down on the numbers of foreign students, put landlords in jail for not checking their tenants' residency papers and 'name and shame' companies for hiring foreign workers.”
And to conclude, a chilling assessment:
“This is the great and final victory of Ukip. They have taken their economically catastrophic EU agenda, their bizarre sense of thin-skinned personal victimhood, and their culture-war poison over immigration and embedded it in the guts of the Tory party… We are entering a profoundly dangerous moment in British political history. Ukip appears in disarray. In truth, it is in charge.”