Any brand that ignores their core customer base will, eventually, receive a rude awakening. We can cite a litany of examples from Volkswagen, appealing to reliable middle class aspiring individuals, who destroyed trust with the emissions scandal, to KFC, who ran out of chicken, appalling those customers who enjoy licking the Colonel’s secret blend from their digits.

Political parties are little different. The parties offer a product range as they attempt to appeal to the electorate in the pursuit of power. They tempt with promises that can be soon forgotten when in power and, on occasion, as is happening now, there can be such a seismic policy change that stands against everything your electorate stands for. It is then that the death knell begins to toll.

That death knell for the Tory party is planning. Now neck deep in their ‘local plan’ policy madness, where swathes of previously sacrosanct green belt is now under serious threat from the concreters, they are doing little but upsetting their core voter base. Now the issue is not only the plans to annually build 300,000 unneeded homes across the UK (there are more than enough brownfield sites to plug the questionable gap), but the hypocrisy of those in government.

Recent planning reforms show that Hertsmere, itself 80 per cent green belt, will suffer from government plans to strip committees of planning decisions input. Labour, rightly, objected to the silencing of individuals regarding opposing planning proposals, yet the Government point blank refused to engage in the debate.

In effect the ‘developers’ charter gives planners carte blanch to build where they like, when they like. With little to no objection, it does nowt but appease the huge Tory party donors, as we bid au revoir to not only the green belt, but fields, playgrounds and social spaces that do not currently exist for monetisation. It’s as if cash is the only yardstick that now matters, despite huge increases in mental health issues and the government aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Not the most seismic political event of the decade, but notable nonetheless, was the recent Lib Dem taking of Chesham and Amersham. It has been par for the course in recent times where national issues such as Brexit, trumped local ones, and folk voted accordingly. In Amersham, however, we witnessed a 25 per cent swing from Tory to Lib Dem where the localised, real, tangible, concerns about HS2 and planning were communicated loud and clear via the ballot box.

In Hertsmere there are proposed local plans to concrete over green space around towns and villages such as Borehamwood, Shenley, Potters Bar and London Colney. London Colney, a charming village of 10,000, is challenging a ‘Bowmans Cross’ development the size of 32,000 tennis courts on solely green belt land that threatens to swamp the village, its infrastructure and way of life, exponentially.

With Labour a busted flush, drifting rudderless under the ‘direction’ of Starmer, and with the Lib Dems going against public opinion with their attempts to block Brexit, the path should be clear for the Tories to remain in power for years to come.

But the reality is they are blowing it: They are Chelsea’s Werner, standing on the goal line and ballooning it over the bar as they fail to pleasure their core middle class voter base. By continuing on this trajectory they will be in for a nasty surprise come the next general election as its one thing to oppose your kingmakers, but another to actively ignore them.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher