IDS was out of his depth as leader (we are told), but at that moment (2001) the Conservative Party was in danger of falling into europhile hands – whether the openly europhile Ken Clarke – or the cryptically europhile Portillo. We should be eternally grateful to IDS that he barred the way to Clarke and Portillo for over two crucial years from his election in 2001 until his assassination in October 2003. If he hadn’t done that, the Party would have been finished.
IDS founded the Conservative Social Justice movement, and it was during his leadership that the Policy of Direct Democracy and Localism came to the fore. Cameron is son of IDS. It is thanks to IDS that we are still here. Was he a great leader?
He lead us through our time of greatest danger. Isn’t that the key role of leadership? I rank him as one of the Party’s greatest leaders, although apparently he was out of his depth. He was strong becasue he had unmoveable values and beliefs, while everyone else around him was tradeable for position. He will be seen as the crucial link between the Thatcher Conservative Party and the more ‘modern’ Party that comes along now. People are far more interested in values again now chastened by war experience and terrorism. In 2001 no one gave a toss. The good times rolled.
IDS crucially won and equally crucially held on just long enough to see off Ken Clarke and Portillo, and we now have a chance of winning power once more and rebuilding the damage done by NU Lab to our country. It will be IDS’ achievement as much as anyone’s when we do.