'The Tories are struggling for survival... don't vote for a damp lettuce,' warns Nigel Nelson

Nigel Nelson
Nigel Nelson
GB News
Nigel Nelson

By Nigel Nelson

Published: 06/06/2024

- 14:55

"Polls predict to be the most cataclysmic rout of the Tories since 1906," says Nigel Nelson

When Parliament dissolved last month the UK suddenly had no MPs. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And the country seems to be ticking along perfectly well without them.

Those who were MPs are now just candidates and the lucky ones won’t become MPs again until D-Day. That's decision day on 4th July.

That means they and their staff are not allowed into Parliament for the duration of the campaign, which is where I went for some peace and quiet to write this piece. That turned out to be a mistake. The place was heaving.

Police, posties, government civil servants, House of Commons officials, contractors and caterers all scurrying around the place to make it ready for the arrival of the newbies, the wet-behind-the-ears, freshly-elected MPs who will, like boys and girls at a new school, spend their first few days asking where the lavatories are.

They will come to Parliament for the first time thinking they can change the world - only to discover their universe is an office the size of a broom-cupboard in a corner of the Palace of Westminster no one can find. It’ll be all that’s left over once older hands have snaffled the best ones.

And instead of beating a path to glory they dreamed of, they will find themselves for the first few years languishing on the backbenches under the lash of the whips who will tell them where to go - in both meanings of the phrase.

But there were a few retiring MPs about allowed in by the Speaker to clear out the offices they will never use again. At one table I found a trio of old friends - Labour’s answer to Compo, Clegg and Foggy.

Sir George Howarth, John Spellar and Barry Sheerman have combined Parliamentary service of 115 years and a combined age of 233. It looked like they were having a moan about something or other when I arrived - the last of the summer whine.

Unless Keir Starmer has the good sense to elevate them to the House of Lords I’m going to miss them.

I was even able to give the bravest man I know, Bionic MP Craig Mackinlay, a hug. Such a shame for him and his constituents the election was called too early to enable him to fight it. But as we live in the same county at least we’ll keep in touch.

If the polls are right there will be other familiar faces missing when Parliament returns next month - Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Home Secretary James Cleverly, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and GB News' very own Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It is when I see big names like that threatened with the chop I have to wonder what on earth has happened? How the hell the once mighty Conservative Party is now struggling for its very survival?

Some credit must go to Keir Starmer. In five years he has turned Labour’s worst defeat since 1935 into what the polls predict to be the most cataclysmic rout of the Tories since 1906.

Neither can all the blame be laid at Rishi Sunak’s door. He reportedly said he was given a hospital pass when he became leader and prime minister. And it was Boris Johnson and Liz Truss who sent that blighted ball his way.

Public opinion is more like an oil tanker than a speedboat - it takes a long time to turn round. And having turned, it takes equally long to turn back. The tanker began changing course over Partygate when Boris was at the helm, and when Liz Truss followed him she did no better at the tiller.

She blames her downfall on a deep state out to get her, yet what really got her, also by her own admission, was not knowing something she should have if her mini-budget was to have any chance of success. The letters LDI will be engraved on her heart forever.

It stands for liability driven investment funds worth £1.5trillion which is a lot of wonga not to know about. Put simply, these are used by pension funds to meet liabilities by buying gilts - government bonds usually considered the safest form of investment.

To maximise returns pension funds use the gilts as collateral to raise cash to buy more gilts which they use to buy even more and so on.

When Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng crashed gilt prices their collateral value collapsed putting the pensions of millions of retired folk in jeopardy. The Bank of England had to intervene to spend £65billion buying up gilts to put that right.

I mention this example because it is mind-boggling with all the financial expertise at the PM’s fingertips, Truss walked straight into this one and fell flat on her face. It serves as a warning at this election.

Take a very close look at the candidate you are thinking of voting for. And If you suspect they have all the intelligence of a damp lettuce past its sell by date, vote for someone else.

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