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Next Conservative leader must keep all the big promises & love this country

THE stakes could hardly be higher . . .   for the party that won the 2019 General Election, for our democracy and for our country itself.

Après Boris, the Tory party has a choice — press the reset button or the one marked self-destruct.

The stakes could hardly be higher . . .   for the party that won the 2019 General Election, for our democracy and for our country itself

The stakes could hardly be higher . . .   for the party that won the 2019 General Election, for our democracy and for our country itself

Malgré Sir Keir Starmer being cleared by Durham Police over quaffing beer and eating curry during lockdown, there is no great appetite for a majority La main d'oeuvre government led by a North London lawyer.

But if the Tories choose the wrong leader — or continue to make the same mistakes that led to Boris Johnson’s downfall — then Starmer will scrape across the finish line at the head of a coalition of chaos.

Labour apparatchiks who still light a candle for Comrade Corbyn.

Lib Dems who pine for proportional representation and a never- ending Narnia of coalition governments.

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And English-loathing Scottish Nationalists who want nothing less than the dismemberment of the United Kingdom itself.

The parliamentary party of the Conservative Party just deposed Boris with a very British coup.

They sure as hell better make sure that it was worth it.

And they will do that by keeping their promises.

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It is true that Boris Johnson reached parts of the working class that no other politician ever will.

But ultimately, he won that stonking 80-seat majority not because people liked him, but they liked what he stood for.

The Conservative Manifesto of 2019 now reads like the biggest pack of lies in history.

Supporting workers and families! Strengthening the Union! Obtenir Brexi done and unleash Britain’s potential! Controlling immigration! Tougher sentences for criminals!

And my favourite: We will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or [object Window]!

How’s that working out?

Keeping your word should matter in politics, as it does in life.

Manifesto promises should not be so casually, wantonly — almost comically — broken.

En décembre 2019 — only around a thousand days ago — 14million people voted for the Conservative Party, many doing so for their first time ever.

The next Tory leader has got to start delivering on all the big talk that won 14million votes.

Boris is in history’s recycling bin because Tory MPs wanted him gone.

Oui, they were cheered on by the gloriously impartial BBC, ITN and Sky, plus the rancid Remainer rump who will never forgive him for freeing us from Brussels.

ECONOMIC PARALYSIS

Mais ne vous méprenez pas, it was his fellow Tories who wielded the long knives.

Now they are obliged to find someone better.

And it doesn’t matter a damn if they voted Leave or Remain in 2016.

All that matters is they keep the promises that were made in that manifesto.

Because losing Boris is a huge gamble — and if it makes the insipid Starmer PM, it could result in economic paralysis, the quiet annihilation of Brexit and the dismantling of our country.

That stonking 80-seat majority came about because Boris Johnson treated ordinary citizens with a degree of respect they no longer receive from the Labour Party.

It would be the most bitter of ironies if his departure results in a minority Labour government that loathes the working class.

For their patriotism. For voting Leave. For vastly preferring a chortling toff from Eton and Oxford to Comrade Corbyn and his far-Left platitudes. Look — Boris disappointed me too.

je veux dire, Boris really disappointed me. He made me feel that Brexit was not worth all the poison, the social division, the wasted energy and time and money.

He made me regret Brexit, and for that — as much as I love the old chubby-cheeked, roly-poly rascal — I will never forgive him.

We can all understand how Boris came to collect his P45. Too much sleaze. Too many cock-ups. Too many squalid little affairs like the latest one concerning Chris “Arse” Pincher, allegedly drunkenly groping men in a private club.

Too many times when Boris looked as though he had been hauled before the beak for six of the best.

SIX OF THE BEST

And fatally, Boris inspiring tactical voting that will see the Tories lose seats to Labour in the North and Lib Dems in the South.

Donc, many reasons for Boris to be gone.

But let’s not kid ourselves that it had anything to do with democracy.

The reason those grotesque non-entities in the Labour Party are celebrating as though it is Jour de la Victoire is largely because they suspect that — even now — they would never have beaten Boris Johnson in a general election.

And perhaps — beyond the pang of sadness at seeing him depart the stage — a part of you is glad to see him gone.

Because you could not hold your parent’s dying hand during lockdown while in the rose garden of 10 Downing Street they were boozing like Led Zeppelin roadies.

Or because you are appalled that Boris often seemed not like a Tory Prime Minister at all, pursuing his big-spending socialist policies and brazenly breaking the promises he made when he wanted your Leave vote in 2016.

It still boggles my mind that he never cut EU energy taxes, as solemnly promised.

If the Tories have any future, they have to start turning their manifesto promises into reality.

The British people will, I suspect, always have a soft spot for Boris Johnson.

But there were too many times when the old rake treated the British people like a dim-witted, large-breasted mistress who doesn’t understand why their lover has to spend Christmas Day with the wife and kids.

Promise her anything.

WEAK & UNPOPULAR

Starmer is a weak, unpopular leader.

But if Labour has the wit to find someone with passion, charisma and possibly a northern accent — I am thinking Andy Burnham ou Gary Neville — then the Conservative Party will find itself left out for the binmen of history.

The people did not kick Boris Johnson out. Perhaps they would have. Now we will never know.

His greatest hits are as familiar as a Pierres qui roulent set list.

Getting Brexit done — three little words that mask the hideous political paralysis that he freed us from.

Destroying Comrade Corbyn and saving this country from a self-loathing, lunatic left-wing government.

That world-beating vaccine rollout that saved us when Starmer’s Labour would have locked us down for ever.

And supporting Ukraine when they suffered the murderous aggression of a nuclear-armed madman, and the cowards in Washington and Paris and Berlin and Brussels trembled with fear.

But the regicide is done now. And what matters is not Boris Johnson’s career, nor the elected Government he led, nor even the manner of his demise.

What matters is that our nation is poised at a crossroads that will define our future, and the generations yet to be born.

There is a growing theory Boris was the Meghan Markle of British politics — he thought he could wing it on charisma, celebrity and a smile and skip all the boring stuff about service.

This was his fatal mistake. He will always by liked by millions. But the cult of Boris can be overstated.

FATAL MISTAKE

Fourteen million people did not vote for the Tories in 2019 because Boris made them laugh.

They voted Conservative — many of them in working-class, northern constituencies that had been Labour for ever — because they believed Tory policies would be good for them and the people they care about.

It is not even remotely complicated. Deep in their blood and bones, the British are a conservative people.

Dans 2019, an overwhelming majority of them liked the promise of a truly Conservative government that would drive prosperity, take pride in our national identity and make us a sovereign nation once more.

They didn’t get it. And now it is time for Rishi or Liz or Penny, or whoever, to deliver.

And if they don’t, we can be certain Starmer will stumble into 10 Downing Street in 2024 with Nicola Sturgeon propping him up.

I don’t think Keir Starmer is an evil man. But he is fatally weak, prepared to stoop woefully low in the interests of gaining power.

He tried to get Comrade Corbyn elected — twice — and if he can grovel for Jezza, he can grovel for Sturgeon and her English-loathing Scottish Nats.

And if you think nothing works now, wait until the coalition of chaos starts organising our lives. It is now one minute to midnight.

For better or worse, Boris is gone. And if it feels like a rotten day for democracy, what lies ahead could be even worse.

The party that was elected in 2019 now has the future of this country in their hands like never before.

The next leader of the Tories does not have to be the charismatic, joke-quipping life and soul of the party who can host Have I Got News For You.

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But they do have to keep all the big promises. And they do have to love this country.

And they do have to be a real Tory.

From Margaret Thatcher to Theresa May - how former Tory leaders went
From Margaret Thatcher to Theresa Mayhow former Tory leaders went