His article on 'Everyman Conservatism' in today's Indy is a paean to one nation Thatcherism. He evokes a Toryism that was at its best when they connected with the aspirations of working class people up and down the land. With a dollop of Disraeli, he suggests Tories need to positively discriminate in favour of working class candidates (like him?); undertake a policy drive to find out what warms the cockles for proletarian and lower middle class voters; and lastly, a meritocratic makeover that identifies Conservatism with the virtues of hard work. Then the Tories have the best chance of clearing their true blue lawn of EdM's unsightly tanks.
If this is the line of march Bozier wants to pursue in the Tory party, then he has got an uphill struggle ahead. Unlike the clueless aristocrats that pass for Conservative leadership today, their forebears from Churchill to Heath quickly learned the lessons of the depression and the post-war settlement. They had to pursue policies that did not outright serve the naked interests of the rich and powerful to get themselves elected and ensure British capitalism stayed on the straight and narrow. Thatcher, and to a lesser extent Major understood this too even while they were dismantling the welfare state and carving up the labour movement. They appealed to a minority of working class voters (like my family) and convinced them they could look out for their interests better than their traditional party. It was just enough to keep them in power for a generation.
The Tory Party of today however is a very different beast. It appears all the lessons its best minds and activists learned during the latter half of the 20th century has fallen down the memory hole. Dave, Gideon and the rest don't even pretend to speak to or for the whole nation. The aspirant Tory worker who wanted dignity in employment, security in old age and a future for their families instead finds their party hammering their rights at work and eligibility to benefits, forcing them to stay at work for longer with less money at the end, and throwing their children onto the unemployment scrap heap (sometimes with tens of thousands of pounds in student-related debt). The connection that served post-war conservatism well has almost entirely broken down.
With nothing positive to say to this section of Tory support, Dave and co. have turned to divide and rule - employed vs unemployed, able-bodied vs disabled, non-claimants vs benefit claimants. The odd rhetorical flourish against the Maoists of Brussels and Strasbourg doesn't hurt either. Unfortunately for them, if you poison the well long enough truly foul things start a-stirring.
The Tories didn't get this way only because its leading cadre were born with the proverbial silver spoon. The Tory party as a whole is ageing and its grassroots associations decomposing. For a number of reasons it does not attract young political activists in the same way Labour does (whether careerist or not). The rot that is seeing it become an outright sectional party of the wealthy ultimately finds its wellspring in the counterrevolution Thatcher unleashed. The social solidarities her policies burst asunder eroded the activist base of the Tories as much as it did with Labour. But whereas Labour recovered part of its strength through the labour movement and being more in tune with wider political and cultural shifts, the conservative movement has floundered. All it has left apart from its withered body politic are the old boy networks and interlocking patterns of near-incestuous directorships.
As we have seen, the liberal make up Dave assiduously daubed the Tory party in was quickly wiped off after the general election. It's hard to see a worker-friendly makeover in the Bozier mould doing much better now the Tories are in full toxic effect. It would, in fact, be running against the grain of long-term social processes. And this is something that should have every socialist, trade unionist, and progressive person celebrating.