You must have noticed how tame the entire conflict in the British Conservative Party has been and how quietly Mrs. Thatcher has been disposed of and Mr. John Major elected the new party chief and prime ministr. If the entire episode lacked excitement and drama, it is because the British, though they may have the mother of parliament, are not half as politically mature as our Indian parliamentarians are.
Now, had they followed the Indian pattern, the situation would have been quite different. I visualise the following scenario.
To begin with, Mrs. Thatcher would have sacked Mr. Michael Heseltine for eyeing her chair and ploting behind her back. The sacked Mr. Heseltine would have tried to get 20 party MPs to back him, got the signatures of another 120, then gone with 15 MPs to Buckingham Palace and paraded them before the Queen.
Meanwhile, Mr. Douglas Hurd, through his friendly Conservative MPs, would have given an ultimatum to Mrs. Thatcher Ė either she makes way for him or he joins Mr. Heseltine.
Mrs. Thatcher, Iron Lady as she is supposed to be, would have refused to quit. The majority issue, she would have said, can only be decided on the floor of the house, never mind if the ruling party split by then and the Labour Party walked in.
The Labour Party would be active behind the scenes, though the press and the public would be knowing what it was doing, move after move. A deputation would have been sent to Mr. John Major, offering him the support of the Labour Party to become the prime minister. Mrs. Thatcher's supporters would at the same time have been meeting Labour Party leaders, asking for their support for her government. In return, she would have offered to talk peace with Saddam Hussein andwar with George Bush.
Mr. Hurd would be parading his supporters on the lawns of Buckingham Palace.
There would be dinner diplomacy. Mr. Hurd would have a dinner at which Mr. Heseltine would be present but not Mrs. Thatcher. Mr. Heseltine would be having a dinner at which Mrs. Thatcher would be present, but not Mr, Hurd. Mrs. Thatcher would be having a dinner at which both would be present, though Mr. Heseltine would leave in the middle to host a dinner for Mr. Hurd.
Mrs. Thatcher would be wooing the black and brown community in the country by passing orders providing them with special facilities.