Thanks to Brexit, the Tories have forgotten what's important

British Prime minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister Questions session (PMQs), after she suffered major defeat in Parliament, over her Brexit Deal, London...

The Government has become so preoccupied with Brexit that it has forgotten to govern in accordance with core Tory beliefs.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street ahead of a vote of no confidence in government on January 16, 2019 in London, England. The government suffered a historic defeat in the...Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street ahead of a vote of no confidence in government on January 16, 2019 in London, England. The government suffered a historic defeat in the...

Theresa May has a remarkable ability to do one thing- survive. Last night, the House of Commons defeated Jeremy Corbyn's vote of no confidence motion by 19 votes. She has also succeeded in presiding over a minority government for nearly two years, which is somewhat remarkable given the Conservative Party's mutinous history. 

The Prime Minister might have felt justified in calling a general election in 2017, but its outcome has left her paralysed, with her supply-and-confidence agreement with the DUP and the Brexit negotiations merely keeping her in power - but without effectively enabling her to govern.

The Conservatives, of course, have become so distracted with Brexit that they are neglecting other important issues facing this nation. Without a majority, it has been difficult for this Government to implement any radical reforms in areas of key concern. Considering the Conservatives claim to be the party of economic stability, law and order and property democracy, they are also failing to abide by most of their beliefs. 

Housing remains one of the most fundamental challenges that faces this Government, and they are not building enough homes to keep up with demand. The Tories have set themselves a target of building 300,000 new homes throughout the country every year, with measures to improve the safety of high-rise buildings. Last spring, then communities secretary Sajid Javid was meant to publish a green paper on building new social homes. Yet it was delayed twice in 2018, as was a separate plan to tackle rough sleeping. The Federation of Master Builders slammed the Government for failing to increase house-building levels to pre-2008 levels, with 52 per cent of councils seeing fewer homes built last year than in 2007. It was reported in November 2017 that a record number of 20-34-year-olds are still living at home with their parents. 

There are many reports that crime is on the rise in the UK. Sir Craig Mackey, deputy commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police, pointed to a rise of 'volume crimes' since 2017, such as thefts from cars. Admissions to hospitals for violent crime increased by one per cent in 2016-17. The number of homicides increased by 12 per cent in March 2018. Burglaries in London alone were up by 10 per cent. These are embarrassing statistics for a party that once prided itself on championing law and order. Furthermore, Dave Thompson, the chief constable of West Midlands Police, blamed government cuts for failing to stem a rise in crime. 

In 2005, the Tories campaigned on a 'are you thinking what we are thinking' slogan, claiming to be the party that would be tough on immigration. Yet academics from the Centre of Migration, Policy and Society conducted interviews for a report called 'Does Immigration Enforcement Matter', and found that tightened immigration controls have failed to prevent immigrants from gaining illegal documents to enter the country. A former immigration enforcement official told the Daily Express the number of people here illegally is likely to be more than a million, a rise from 430,000 in 2001, according to Home Office statistics. The Prime Minister's former aide, Nick Timothy, accused her of failing to reduce mass immigration. Border force officers blamed the Government for under-resourcing them. 

There are other areas where the Government could also do better. 2018 saw delays to the construction of new railways like Crossrail. Since 2011, waiting lists in hospitals have risen by a staggering 62 per cent. The Tories are yet to turn their attention to the £1.6 billion funding gap for services designed to help children with learning difficulties .

Once the Brexit debacle is behind us, the Tories must continue with the job they were elected to do - governing. He called what would later become the Conservative Party 'the party of governors.' This is also the same man who claimed conservatism was about property democracy and law and order. But the Conservatives have failed in almost every area they claim to be competent in by focusing almost exclusively on Brexit. 

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