In 2002, Theresa May popularised the idea that the Conservative Party was the “nasty” party. She wanted to change this connotation. But she’s abjectly failed to do that.
Now, even MPs from her own party have had enough. Apparently, there is only so such much nastiness one former Conservative cabinet minister can take.
Nicky Morgan is the Conservative MP for Loughborough. From 2014 to 2016, she also served as Secretary of State for Education.
In 2016, the National Union of Teachers staged a one-day strike over a series of funding cuts. Instead of listening to their demands, Morgan slated the striking teachers. She claimed they were “playing politics with children’s futures”. Furthermore, she argued the strike would “damage the profession’s reputation”.
She also offered an extremely shaky defence of the £4.4bn cut to Personal Independence Payments on BBC‘s Question Time.
But despite her record of defending Conservative policies, it now appears enough is enough.
No to refugees
As The Canary previously reported, the Conservative government caused uproar on 8 February by scrapping a promise to help thousands of vulnerable refugee children — setting the limit at 350. Moreover, the Home Office confirmed that it had also placed a temporary halt on accepting refugee children with disabilities.
This is just too much nastiness for Morgan. And she’s taken to publicly questioning her party’s motives.
In a blog post on Conservative Home, Morgan writes:
The Home Office has been explicit in saying that the number they have set… has been agreed on the basis of the capacity that local authorities say they have to deal with the care of such children. I hope they can be strongly encouraged and challenged to take more, given the financial support on offer, and the moral case for doing so.
She goes on to question what her party stands for:
While the issues of immigration, integration, how we treat those seeking refuge and, in particular, how we look after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children matter as policy questions in their own right, our approach to them also goes to the heart of the kind of Party we want to be.
Morgan also addresses how the Conservatives appear in the public eye:
As a party known for strong economic management, the Conservatives must work doubly hard to avoid appearing to know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
It’s exactly this “knowing the price” but not the “value” that has made the Conservatives the nasty party. As May said herself in 2002:
there’s a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies.
While Morgan may have had enough, the way May’s going, the Conservatives will remain the nasty party for a long time yet.
– Write to your MP to share your views on this decision to cap refugee intake.
– Join the Refugees Welcome campaign.
Featured image via US Embassy London/Flickr