When David Cameron held his referendum to “settle the issue of Europe for a generation”, I wonder if he envisaged a Conservative party conference like this one taking place more than two years after the fact. It is the third conference since the EU referendum, and the second since article 50 was triggered. The Tories are still fighting their forever war; we all just have to live in it. MPs who should, years ago, have been relegated to the status of taxidermal curiosities, still stalk these lands. “I see some people are here who were part of the original Maastricht referendum campaign,” bellowed Bill Cash at some deranged fringe event. “Give them a clap!” Give them the clap, more like. “Last week was the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech,” ran another rallying cry. Somewhere at this gathering in Birmingham, it was always turn-of-the-1990s o’clock. It’s as if there’s some tear in the Tory-bastardry continuum. Who’s going to fix it? Theresa May, who mostly resembles a Quentin Blake drawing of an unravelling postmistress? Boris Johnson, the Cabbage Patch Draco Malfoy, who turned up for about an hour and bottled his big fight? Or perhaps you prefer some of the… Read full this story
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