David Blackburn

The ’22 bares its teeth

The ’22 bares its teeth
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Tim Montgomerie reports that the 1922 Committee is to launch its own inquiry into the Tories’ election campaign. This, as I understand it, is in addition to the party’s official inquiry, and therefore suggests that the backbenches want to assert their independence by criticising Steve Hilton and George Osborne’s strategy.

After May’s ruptures between Cameron and the backbenches there is a chance that this story could snowball. There is a sense that some of the ’22 haven’t yet buried the hatchet. And the feeling’s mutual. Some Cameroons and modernisers are disdainful – ‘self-indulgent farts’ was how one put it.

But the ’22 must assert itself and I welcome this review. This is a three way coalition and the Tory right counts for more in practice and principle than the beleaguered gaggle of social democrats surrounding Simon Hughes. (Although that is not to endorse either body.) The noises emitting from No.10 are that the Tories fought a good campaign. It was not necessarily a bad campaign – there were some notable victories in Kenwood and Richmond for example. But the Big Society was as enticing and as intelligible as Brown’s specious technocracy; activists report little else. Coalitions are inherently unstable and it’s vital that the party maintains an internal dialogue – the ’22 exists for that purpose.