Alexander Temerko, a reasonably large Tory donor, has announced to the world – via that well known, right-leaning outlet, The Guardian – that whatever happens in the EU referendum, David Cameron should step down as quickly as possible after June 23rd.
“The Conservative party is fracturing following the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith and the infighting that’s likely to follow the referendum could be disastrous without any uniting influence. With a majority of just 12, seven to 20 rebel MPs are all it would take to cause a hung parliament and trigger another general election. My recommendation would be a leadership election immediately after the vote in June to unite MPs and members.
He said that George Osborne was a “very boring, very tedious, a very cold personality”, and added:
“We may be on opposite sides of the referendum debate, but more than ever I believe Johnson offers the best hope of restoring unity to the Conservative party and of re-establishing the UK as a strong voice for openness and international cooperation. He can count on my backing – and hopefully that of other business-minded Conservatives – as the next party leader and our next prime minister.”
This proves several things. One of which is, asking party donors about anything to do with real politics is always a bad idea. Going further, it acts as an example of why democracy is so important. Many may decry the way political parties are funded in this country, but imagine one in which the donors are the politicians. The fact that one of them actively wants Boris Johnson to be prime minister despite thinking he is wrong on one of the principle issues of our time says a lot in this regard.
Anyhow, let’s get to the substance: should Cameron step aside whatever happens post-June 23rd, post-IDS, post-all of that? Furthermore, will he have to? The answer is: no and no. More to the point, are any of you as weirded out as I am that Boris is now supposedly the “unity” candidate? Really? So he goes and stomps on a Tory party fault line as hard as he can and that gets him the sobriquet of “unifier”? We live in a stranger era than even I had previously imagined.
The idea that David Cameron could be called upon to vacate his role as leader of the Conservative Party – regardless of result, let us recall – not even a year after winning a majority no one thought was possible and, let us remember, all because of a referendum the far-right loons pressured Cameron to hold in the first place is happening, amounts to political madness reaching its apex. I feel like saying everyone needs to get a grip, but we’re long past such a suggestion. Is there some sort of mass quaalude that Westminster village can collectively imbibe?