"The future of Conservatism lies in our own beliefs and values, not by throwing them away."
- Iain Duncan Smith.
At the time of writing, newly elected*
leader of the Conservative Party
in the UK, and leader of the official opposition (although not for long, the Lib Dems
Often referred to as IDS
, Iain Duncan Smith was born in Edinburgh
in 1954, and at various points in his career worked as a company director and served in the armed forces, until he became MP for Chingford and Woodford Green in 1992.
IDS seeks to define the Conservative Party, and make it more popular, by adopting an extreme right wing posture. The idea is that a hardline stance on the euro, as well as certain other issues will distance the Tories from New Labour
- creating 'Clear Blue Water
'. This is very much in opposition to the desire of the likes of leadership contender Michael Portillo
, who think the party can only win back support if it regains something more closely resembling the middle-ground.
In the previous parliamentary term, we witnessed the Ann Widdecombe
Effect, the phenomenon whereby Jack Straw
(AKA The Demon Headmaster) was able to pursue the policies he did and still come across as a moderate, given the standard set by his opposite number in the Tory
party. This has been repeated this time within the Conservatives, with Duncan Smith's newly appointed shadow cabinet making those to the left of him (most people) yearn for the good old days of William Hague
, who now seems a lot more akin than he did to a cuddly liberal.
Also known by the Private Eye
as Iain Duncan Cough
for his speaking style, and Mr Thing by The Independent's Simon Carr (presumably for his lack of household-name recognition), the leader who dubbed himself the "quiet man" of British politics hasn't set the Tory party on fire, and it is hard to imagine he will ever be Prime Minister.
* And at the time of updating, newly sacked, a mere two years later