Tories in straitjackets?

by Harry on October 9, 2003

Melanie Phillips has been at the Tory party conference and has some interesting things to say about it. Basically she distinguishes two conferences — a public conference with great ideas delivered in a voter-appealing way; and a lunatic asylum of Tory MPs conspiring semi-publicly against their leader. She says that

Duncan Smith, fights for his political life against malevolent libertines, intellectual snobs, resentful has-beens, insanely ambitious opportunists and other malcontents. The parliamentary Conservative party needs to be put in a straitjacket.

I can’t share her enthusiasm for the Tories newfound localism; but am all for straitjacketing the parliamentary party. But that leads me to wonder what would be left of the Tory party if we locked up the lunatics. A handful of shadow cabinet members (well, two, Letwin and Willetts) and some old age pensioners? Is Phillips a closet LibDem?