In my Telegraph column today I suggest that Tory backbenchers need to get more aggressive in atttacking the government. We need a new band of Eric Forths, harrying the government to distraction in the Commons and irritating the hell out of them.
Since the sad death of Eric Forth and the cuddlification of John Bercow - who both tormented the Labour benches in the late 1990s - the Tories have lacked backbenchers who will sink their teeth into the Labour Party when the occasion calls for it - and sometimes when it doesn't.
Tory MPs have avoided attack dog politics for fear of being painted as the "nasty party". The post-2005 decontamination strategy has been so successful that even those with aggressive tendencies appear to have been injected with liquid valium.
David Cameron's bipartisan approach over the economic crisis was laudable but never destined to last long, opposite a Prime Minister who is the most tribal political leader this country has had since Margaret Thatcher. The rehabilitation of Peter Mandelson should signal to every Tory that bipartisanship is at an end. The gloves must now come off. The PM wants a fight and the Conservatives should now get up off the ropes and hit back. Hard.
Read the whole column HERE.