David Cameron faces calls to resign from a handful of Conservative MPs who have lodged formal requests for a vote of no confidence in his leadership.Well, I consider myself to be an enemy of Cameron (what else could any decent person be?), and I am seizing upon this as evidence that his project is unravelling. Not, of course, that I believe this to be the beginning of the end; this isn't Thatcher on the steps of the Paris Embassy time. Far from it: I believe that Cameron will lead the Tories into the next election.
The bid to destabilise the Tory leader comes after months of dissent over his modernising strategy, including a revolt over grammar schools, and his party's humiliating third-place defeat in two by-elections last week.
At least two MPs, and possibly as many as half a dozen, have written to Sir Michael Spicer, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, to call for a vote of no confidence, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
The letters are the first concrete evidence of rebellion since Mr Cameron took over in December 2005 and will be seized on by his enemies as evidence that the Cameron project is unravelling.
But this move, even coming from a small minority of MPs, shows that at least some Tories are beginning to see what they've let themselves in for. For the first year and a half of his reign, Cameron seemed to be a winner, someone who could beat Brown, Blair, or anyone else at the next election. For that reason, the majority of Tories allowed their lust for power to override their principles, and accepted a leader who made no attempt to hide his disdain for conservatism. Now, however, behind in the polls, and with a Hamas supporter who believes that illegal immigrants have too few rights sitting in the shadow cabinet, they are in the invidious position of witnessing their party spinning ever closer to left-wing insanity, while at the same time (and, in part, because of the descent into liberal madness) its poll ratings slide. Without the prospect of impending electoral success, those Tories who sold out their principles in the search for votes have no further reason to accept Cameron. For this reason, I predict that over the coming months and years he will face increasing, and increasingly vocal, resistance from within his own party. And when he loses the next election - as he will - he will find himself swiftly and unceremoniously dumped.
Personally, I greatly look forward to that day. While the Tory Party has problems which go beyond Cameron (ultimately, I do not believe that they have anyone in their senior ranks with the vision and ability that this country desperately needs), the damage that this man personally does to political debate in parliament and in the country, by shutting down discussion of so many vital issues, and taking the whole debate substantially to the left, is particularly dangerous, and the whole country will be better off once he's sent packing.