It’s been a peculiar week here in the hallowed halls of the York Tories, and I think it can be attributed to one thing in particular – the Annual General Meeting. The current committee, as I’m sure you, dear reader, are readily aware, is almost entirely made up of current third years, and, since we’ve had one or two parting of the ways over the last year, now more so than ever. Facing, as many of us are, the eternal oblivion know as ‘real life’, we aren’t disposed to run again in our society elections, and so it feels like something of the end of an era, as the society high command is condemned to be strip of its ranks, and set into the wasteland, allowed only to watch as the next generation takes us on into pastures new. That sense of hopelessness, then, is perhaps what spurned your columnist’s Committee-backed censure last week. I shan’t go into it to much, or they’ll do it to me again, but a brief summary is thus; certain members of the York Tories committee got bored, and, wishing to have something to do, decided to formally reprimand yours truly for things that I recall calling “petty and a complete waste of everyone’s time”. My protests fell on deaf ears, however, and I lost the vote, three to twelve. The phrase “fallen at the final hurdle” springs to mind.
Which, as I’d like to think is my fashion, brings us neatly on to developments in the wider (Conservative) world. The Chancellor has failed his first test at playing Prime Minister quite thoroughly. Cameron, it appears, stepped back and gave Osborne the reins on the issue of tax credits, and not only has he startled the horses, he’s overturned a lorry and caused a six-car pile-up on Waterloo bridge. The problem began with committing to not do something before an election, and then promptly doing it, but extends far further. First, the use of a ‘statutory instrument’ to pass the cuts in tax credits, which have the dual effect of not going far enough, and enabling a constitutional crisis by enabling the Lords to vote down the measure. The inevitable u-turn has done him no favours, and even amongst high-up supporters of the Chancellor, your columnist has heard rumblings of discontent
Whilst I have just about made it through my period of power, dear George has, it seems, done a serious dint to his chances of making it at all. Tune in next week for further tips on how to look like a draconian feudal Lord whilst simultaneously imitating a man with a rapidly fleeing grasp on reality from your beloved Chancellor.
Oliver Wilson is the Internal Vice Chairman of the York Conservative and Unionist Association.