If a week is a long time in politics, then a year is an eternity. In such a short space of time the party that so many voted for, myself included, is barely recognisable. It was not so long ago that David Cameron stood on stage at the Conservative party conference promising an end to discrimination, but yet a year later and Amber Rudd, on the very same stage, gave a speech that was treated as a “hate incident” by the police. A year ago the Conservatives were lead by a man who once branded UKIP a party full of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”, today Nigel Farage and Suzanne Evans praised Prime Minister Theresa May, claiming she had been “using words and phrases they’d used for years”, and it had been as though May was “channeling UKIP”. Quite frankly, the party the country voted for in 2015 barely seems to exist, any notion of “One Nation Conservatism” has been replaced with a short sighted, ideologically driven surge to the right, to the extent that 48% of the population are barely viewed as citizens of this country at all.
However, there is an alternative. Just over a century ago, the Peelites, Conservatives who argued passionately against protectionism, with a firm belief in free trade, broke with their party to form the Liberals; today that path must once again be trodden. Between 2010 and 2015, the Conservative / Lib Dem coalition provided this country with both a stable government and a strong economy, whilst also delivering liberal outcomes ranging from gay marriage to taking the lowest paid out of income tax. As Theresa May, with all the zeal of a convert, takes this country ever closer to the economic abyss, those alliances must be redrawn, and moderate Conservative voters must desert their traditional party in favour of its former coalition partner, to best provide the opposition this country needs, and to put a stop to an impending disaster. During the coalition the Lib Dems proved their economic competence, as the Brexit government pushes for a hard, damaging departure from the EU, its seems as though the current crop at the top of the Conservative party have lost theirs. Now is the time for liberals of all colours to unite, and to return home to the party that historically has always been their own.