Does the Conservative Government Really Have an Opposition?

By: James Spencer-Boyce, Politics Student | @spennabee

Is Theresa May properly opposed in the House of Commons? (Source:

Amongst a tidal wave of political fiascoes currently being showcased in the UK, in what resembles a slapstick comedy from the 1920s, I can’t help be wonder who is who? We currently have; a Conservative party as divided as fraction, a Labour party as reluctant to follow instructions of its leader like a stroppy three year old, a Liberal Democrat party claiming to be more relevant than they actually are, a UKIP party that changes its leader like a league two football team changes its manager – not least crawling back to Nigel Farage like they are a clingy girlfriend. The question I have to ask is, who is the opposition to the Conservative government?

Historically when the Tories are in government, Labour are the opposition and vice versa. However, surely I cannot be alone in suggesting a party cannot be a credible challenge to another if a significant number of MPs do not support the leader? It’s ludicrous! Imagine leading a cohort of soldiers with guns over a trench, fighting a war, and yet half of them would rather shoot you than the enemy! In addition, what do they even stand for? Nationalisation of railways. Nationalisation of the NHS. Nationalisation of everything? And, where do they stand on Brexit?  I get the feeling if they want to have any chance of being at least half electable, they need to pull together and make some actual policies that oppose the government! As for now, they are not a strong resistance of the government. 

So not Labour? What about the Liberal Democrats? I suppose they must be doing well under Tim Farron – especially winning last weeks by election? Incorrect. We are talking about a party that has less than ten members of parliament. Yes, you have more fingers on both of your hands than they do MPs. Also, half of their policies are basically the same as the conservatives – not least because they were in coalition with them from 2010-2015. They do have clear aims regarding Brexit, Health and Education, but they do not differ really in any way to the Conservatives. In addition, because of their stance of leaving the EU, they have single handedly lost the vote of a large number of the electorate who wanted to leave. They are on the rise, but have limited their electoral chances because they are too similar to the Conservatives and Labour, so why would anyone vote for them when the other two are bigger? Also, a lot of voters will not want to vote for the Lib Dems because of their policies regarding Europe. A sincere title opponent? I don’t think so.

Not red or yellow, how about the purple of UKIP? They have said, under new leader Paul Nuttall, that they will seek to replace labour as the new party for the working class – but only a decade ago they self-branded themselves as the party for disgruntled toffs. Furthermore, what is the difference between a tandem bicycle and UKIP? A tandem bicycle has two seats! UKIP have only one MP! One!! Admittedly the electoral system arguably went against them, but still, one seat.  In addition, apart from Brexit and HS2, what do they actually stand for? It is just like Labour, they have provided no real policy ideas, and even if they were to, would they be so different from say, Labour or the Conservatives? It must have something to do with the parties that want to represent the working class that causes them to have no policies. And, without being too harsh, UKIP have a poor track record regarding demeanour of party members – does anyone remember a certain fight between a couple of UKIP MEPs? What fight they say? Indeed, certainly not a fight to mount any successful election battle come a general election.

There are the Green party, SNP and Plaid Cymru, but without being too disrespectful, Greens just do not ever have the support or financial support or organisation skills to challenge nationwide – they regularly do not contest every seat. Furthermore, SNP and Plaid Cymru can only be voted in constituencies in their respected nations of Scotland and Wales, both together totalling just over of 100. Again, hardly a huge threat to any party in government when the maximum number of seats you can obtain is less than a sixth of the total available seats.

So on that premise, Theresa May is looking great for now, and for all the world would be fine to call a general election if she wanted. What an easy time she is having as P.M. huh? Who said Brexit?

Of course, if it all falls through, there is always the monster raving loony party to vote for. I heard they take politics very seriously indeed.
Does the Conservative Government Really Have an Opposition? Does the Conservative Government Really Have an Opposition? Reviewed by Student Voices on 13:51 Rating: 5

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