After a seasonal interlude, rival Tories are back to doing what they do best: warring over the heart and soul of the party.
In the cuddly corner, we have Bright Blue; a think tank of hoody-huggers who are imploring the PM to be nice to immigrants. The Guardian has been purring with approval since Bright Blue’s director Ryan Shorthouse ‘specifically called for the Tory Party to adopt a Liberal-Conservative manifesto for the election’:
‘At the moment, the messaging is quite negative and uninspiring – it’s not enough to win voters and gain momentum. We need to be more inspiring and bigger picture than that and we need a positive vision, not just pandering to prejudice and uncertainty and anger. There has been a surge in Ukip, but you can’t outdo Ukip. I often think the more you make an issue out of things like immigration and benefits, the more you make an issue out of things like benefit tourism, people will think it is a really big problem and Ukip are the ones that benefit.’
In the red-blooded, tub-thumping, hang-em, flog-em and bring back hunting corner, we have the Bow Group. It published a press release at midnight on Friday evening, accusing David Cameron of only ‘appealing to metropolitan sensibilities and Liberal Democrats’:
‘In railing against UKIP Cameron risks ceding all claim to conservatism, and degrading the philosophical integrity of the Conservative Party beyond repair.’
The Bow Group has compiled a late wish list to Father Christmas, urging the prime minister to ‘ignore Left-wing Conservatives and abandon modernisation’. The group also fired a venomous parting shot at Bright Blue:
‘Both in policy and philosophy UKIP is a conservative party, and genuine conservatives should have nothing to fear in joining forces with them. For Bright Blue, Shorthouse and many of their ilk however, it is simply the case that they are, at heart, Liberal Democrats who have found their way into the wrong party.’
One Tory accusing another Tory of being a Liberal Democrat is about as insulting as these tedious battles get.Tags: Bow Group, Bright Blue, Conservative, David Cameron, UKIP