THERE is one area the Conservative Party can always be guaranteed to unite on and that is . . . law and order. So when all about are losing their heads over the comments of Margaret Thatcher on John Major, there is one good way to keep its party conference happy, a right-wing Home Secretary issuing forth with a barrage of measures designed to gain the high groundagain. Of late it has been Labour which has dominated the law and order debate. The Tories, traditionally the party of law and order, tried to play this card at the recent by-elections in Newbury and Christchurch but to no effect. Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Tony Blair has made the running over its failure to stem the crime rate - charging that the Government still has no strategy to fight crime, its roots and causes. The Tories know they cannot be proud of their record there. In the 14 years since they came to power, the number of crimes reported has doubled while the clear up rate has fallen from 41 per cent to 26 per cent. Burglary is one of the fastest growing crimes, with an increase of 11 per cent this year alone. So, on the one level, something needs to be done. Home Secretary Michael Howard announced 27 new measures at Blackpool, and it generated more passion than anything else, Lady Thatcher included. The abolition of a suspect's right to silence had been predicted and conditions for bail will be tightened. Secure training centres for 12-to 14-year-olds will be set up, and there will be new powers to deal with terrorists. There will also be new parishconstables in the countryside and the rules of evidence will be changed in rape cases. Six new prisons will also be built. TEDDY Taylor, the popular right-wing MP for Southend has protested that ''democracy is dead'' within the party over the way the debate has been kept in check by party managers. Back bench MPs have stayed away in droves, they don't want to be near those who will carp and moan at them from the constituencies a moment longer than they have to. Never one to be out of the limelight for long Edwina Currie has also featured quite prominently in Blackpool - claiming Junior Transport Minister Steven Norris tried to seduce her. Tory MPs are demanding his resignation after allegations of a string of affairs. Paddy Ashdown should take heart. While the Tory conference usually reserves all its venom for Labour, you will normally search in vain for any reference to the Liberal Democrats. They are just never mentioned. This year there is a real recognition of thethreat they pose after successes at the Christchurch and Newbury by-elections. Agriculture minister Gillian Shepherd summed it up. The Liberal Democrats, she said, were more dangerous to the party than Labour. They were ''more devious. . .making their bid for power through rural Britain. . .masquerading as a country party and the farmers' friend.'' GERRY Adams never took his seat in the Commons when elected Sinn Fein MP for West Belfast representing the political wing of the IRA. The law forbids television and radio in Britain to even broadcast his voice. Such are his links to the terrorists. Yet Tony Benn, the left-wing Labour MP ousted from the National Executive last week has invited him to speak in the Commons soon. Labour has urged its MPs not to attend and the Tories say it is inconceivable that any of theirs would be present. The only step the Government can take is to ban him from the mainland under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. It would cause a furore but it would be worthwhile.