The English Conservative imperative
According to The Sunday Times, based on these voting patterns, the Conservative Party would win a general election by 54 seats. Despite the carping of the biased-BBC, this was a good result for Mr Cameron. However, with Mr Blair due to announce his departure this week, the next general election is not likely to be until 2010. Gordon Brown has not waited a decade for power in order to call an immediate general election and risk going down in history as one of Britain’s all-time shortest serving prime ministers. The electorate is fickle and forgetful, and the era of tribal loyalties has passed. Three years is an age away, and this election was more a vote against Mr Blair than it was a vote for any alternative.
The SNP must be reminded that two-thirds of the Scottish people voted to retain the Union. It might help too if Mr Salmond understood that the Union between Scotland and England was the work of a Scottish king, who inherited the English throne, and chose Westminster as his seat of power. As Mr Salmond claims the ‘moral authority’ to be Scotland’s first minister, he will make incremental independence demands upon the UK’s new Scottish prime minister, and these wranglings will dominate Mr Brown’s premiership. The West Lothian leitmotif will be a constant refrain which Mr Salmond could deploy to make Labour and the ‘anti-Scottish’ Mr Brown increasingly unpopular.
But amidst all this politicising, Mr Cameron needs to study this map very carefully indeed, for it confirms Cranmer’s English thesis. The Conservative road to power lies in understanding the history, literature, traditions, institutions, laws and customs of the English. If Mr Cameron were to offer the English something to forge and reinforce their sense of identity, his walk into No 10 would be assured.