We should expect Mr Duncan Smith to go out and campaign volubly for
Brexit in a way about which he felt restrained hitherto. Other ministers
may follow his lead. Some may come to regard, as he has done, the whole
construct of a Conservative Government led by a clique that is not
really conservative, and which is increasingly out of touch with opinion
at the grassroots about Europe and a whole range of other questions, as
unsustainable: and they will resign too. Mr Cameron says he is
“puzzled” by what Mr Duncan Smith has done: if that is a true statement,
then the Prime Minister proves his detachment not merely from his core
supporters, but from some of his colleagues.
For Mr Osborne the week has been disastrous: a dismal Budget compounded by a resignation that humiliates him and damages Mr Cameron.
The Tories are lucky that the official opposition is about as competent
as a blind drunk driver: it has been left to the Conservatives to
attack and undermine their own Budget. A half-decent Labour response,
rather than the Marxist claptrap Mr Corbyn spewed out last Wednesday,
would have put Mr Osborne in the departure lounge before now.
Three things are certain. We have not heard the last of Mr Duncan Smith;
the Brexit campaign will now become louder, more aggressive, less
compromising and more focused on what the public really care about,
which is immigration; and Mr Osborne can forget becoming leader of the
Conservative Party. One hates to resort to cliché, but every cloud has a
silver lining: and poor George’s eventual downfall would appear to be