Tory MPs can inspire the politically homeless if they get leadership election right, says Mercy Muroki
Tory MPs voting this week have the future of the Conservative Party in their hands. It's a huge burden to bear, and it's one they should take incredibly seriously
I’m not a member of a political party. But back when I was about 16, I joined the Conservatives, and remained in the party for many years.
Now, there are many people out there who would ask why on Earth would someone like me join the Conservatives? The party of the so-called pale, stale, male – the nasty party.
In fact, I was (and in many ways still am) the walking talking antithesis of what a Tory member should be. Well, according to the left wing view anyway.
My mum worked, and still does, in a care home; we lived in a council house – a council house I did and still consider home – I was at a rubbish further education college. We're from ordinary working class stock.
Not to mention, I was an immigrant, and – I don’t know If you noticed but… well, I’m not white. I know, shocking stuff.
And everyone knows the Tories hate poor people, immigrants, brown people, right? And God forbid you’re all three!
I’ll tell you why I decided to join the Tory party as a teen.
I was fed up of being told what I couldn't do by people who considered themselves ‘progressive left-wingers’.
“Society is out to get you, we need to overthrow this patriarchal, white supremacist, misogynist, institutionally racist system. Britain is history's villain. We need a revolution!”
I was confused about why people on the left seemed to dislike so much about this country, why they wanted to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Every immigrant I knew – and I know many – would much rather be in this country than the vast majority of others in the world.
And one day, as a 16-year-old, I read the book On Being Conservative, by conservative philosopher Michael Oakeshott.
And I came across this, and I quote: "To be conservative is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery...the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss."
And that was it, there was no turning back.
I wasn't after a perfect country, I was after a country where people could just get on with their lives.
I wasn't interested in untested sociological theories about how society should work, I was interested in what had proven to be of value to those before us – tradition, delicate social hierarchies.
I didn't want a social revolution like those on the left, I wanted stability and commonality.
Present laughter – making life work in the here and now – was certainly preferable to me that some utopian idea of an equal, socialist utopia where everyone would hold hands round the campfire singing kumbaya.
There was no turning back once I figured out which party represented my views. Or so I thought.
Sadly, the Conservatives lost me along the way. I just wasn’t inspired anymore. They didn't represent my value, and they certainly weren't conserving anything.
Not least our sanity. I looked around, what I saw was a decline in decency, a complete disregard for the core values the party was built to espouse, a lack of backbone, lies, deceit, debauchery.
I loved, and still love, this country, not because it’s perfect but because I believe it’s worth defending – it’s worth conserving.
And in fact I feel such an affinity to this country, such a profound respect, that I have found the conduct of politicians on all sides recently, quite frankly – offensive.
I've been offended by their contempt for the British people. And it takes a lot to offend me, trust me.
So here's what I think: Boris’ exit may just be the best thing to have happened to the Tories in a long time.
You don’t have to agree, but I think what the party needs is a huge shake-up. They need an internal crisis, an existential crisis, to remind them what they’re supposed to stand for.
They need someone with a big vision for what Britain should look like for this generation, but more importantly, the next and the next.
Not someone who just muddles through quarter to quarter narrowly focused on fiscal policy.
The party could get it catastrophically wrong and put in a continuity, status quo leader – and in which case, they deserve to lose the next general election if things continue as business as usual.
What I think is that they need a leader for change, a new face, someone who isn’t afraid to back Britain, to tell us the truths we may not want to hear, to unashamedly restore order and respect.
To bring us back to the values we seemed to have strayed so far away from.
Tory MPs voting this week have the future of the Conservative Party in their hands. It's a huge burden to bear, and it's one they should take incredibly seriously.
If they get it right, they may just find that those who have been made politically homeless in the population – may be inspired by the party once again.