Will we wait another 11 years?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Charlotte Chase


Read the original article at Generation Conservative

Andrea Leadsom stepped out of the Conservative leadership race on Monday 11th July. Launching her campaign just over a week earlier, for some, this came as a shocking twist in an election process almost resembling a game of snakes and ladders – candidates came out of nowhere to climb the ladder to new found recognition; those well known and almost at the finish line came sliding down on the back of snakes (make of that analogy what you will).

As a young conservative, this phenomenal period of political turmoil will not be remembered for the life changing vote to exit the European Union, rather the injustice of the persistence of the political elite dictating the future of our nation.

For the first time in 11 years, Conservative Party members were promised a leadership election to select not only the party leader but the new Prime Minister. This equivalates to over a decade passing in which the Conservative party leader has been determined solely in the dark corners of party HQ. Such a notion only oozes the image that the Conservative party remain in constant denial of: white men, educated at Eton, determining which of their own will succeed the leadership next.

Finally, on the promise of an elected leader, the ‘nasty party’ (so eloquently put by its very own new leader Theresa May) was rejuvenated - new members signed up and focus turned to policy proposals over famed candidates.

However, this illusion has come crashing down. The electoral rules devised by the 1922 Committee determine that once a single candidate stands alone, they will automatically assumed the leadership, and in this case the premiership.

This provides a dangerous route to the demolishing of the democratic principle this country has sought to protect.

Only weeks earlier, did the nation vote to exit the EU: a supranational body, slowly degrading our country's sovereignty, without legitimate mandate. Yet, the Conservative Party has now supported the attack of a candidate contesting the traditional narrative.

Clearly, threatened by such a debate and change to years of concentrated power, proved too much change all at once.

Leadsom left the race under a barrage of criticism, not only from those well famed ‘mother’ comments, but persistent accusations of her lack of experience, recognition and parliamentary support.

Comparatively, May, whilst abstaining from any serious debate of the EU referendum was met with mountains of praise, despite voting in opposition to the majority of the population on the issue.

Ultimately, ceasing debate regarding the suitability of the respective candidates, the automated nature with which the Conservative leadership is now dictated is startling.

Conservative Party members have once again been denied an election of their party’s leader. Even more poignantly, the country now has a leader with the mandate of effectively 199 Conservative MPs - those who voted in support of May during the final parliamentary ballot.

Unlike the prevailing thought, I believe we should not rejoice in this act of party unity. The easiest and least daring path is not usually known to bring the best results.

Such support of this claim was supported by the millions of people who only weeks ago voted to leave the largest and most extensive free trade union in the world, against the recommendations of world leaders and economic experts.

If we are able to dare to regain our sovereignty, despite threats of economic self-destruction, so should we reinforce the democratic political system that supports this very nation on which we have renewed pride of. 

Charlotte Chase is a member of the Bow Group and co-lead on Generation Conservative