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The Tory party is descending into madness – but it will be back

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Has anyone seen the old Conservative and Unionist Party lately? You know the one. It had a diverse membership, a clear voter base, an ideological homeland to call its own. It was a coherent, disciplined, drug-free, election-winning machine. Today it is none of those things. To the casual observer it appears to have morphed into the Monster Raving Tory Party. Is this a temporary descent into madness or are we watching the beginning of the end for the party of the British establishment?

There are two big reasons to think this is just a phase. For one, there is a leadership election taking place in troubled times. Candidates are keen to get those skeletons out the closet before others do. A bit of class A for Gove and Stewart, class C for Raab and Hunt, and "I didn't inhale" for Johnson.

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They are also desperately trying to distinguish themselves in a crowded field of mostly unknowns (11 today but who knows tomorrow?). That means no teaching LGBT relationships in schools for McVey and Corbyn-baiting for Hancock. But, most of all, it means sounding more macho on Brexit than Farage or the other Screaming Lord Sutch contenders. Hard deal, no deal, no backstop deal, and now, prorogued parliament deal. Post-election, the hope is that the next leader will sound less........

© Independent