Monday, 25 May 2009

A clue has landed

Like a schoolyard gang leader who has been caught out and punished by the teachers and with worse threatened and an angry and vengeful schoolmates, David Cameron is trying to make nice and promise to be good to the First Formers and to let anyone join his gang - his reformed gang that is no longer smoking in the toilets and pushing kids' head down the pan and stealing their tuck money.

David Cameron is reopening the list of candidates
so anyone can apply to stand even if they have not had anything to do with the Conservative Party before...
He also backed more "open primaries" where everyone in a constituency can vote at public meetings to select the prospective Conservative MP.

This is typically half insane and half sensible.
Primary selection was how the useless but liberal-media backed Republicans selected John McCain to be the cherry on the top of the Bush administration's destruction of conservative rule in the USA. The otherwise lovely Daniel Hannan supports open primaries and his respectable arguments for them are
here. I think that having electorates which contain large numbers of socialists, Left-liberal public-sector Global-warming bed-wetters and Muslim fundamentalists selecting who the Conservatives put up for the constituency for general elections has obvious faults.
I'd expect anyone who told Mister Cameron that to receive short shrift in today's climate as he scrabbles to distance himself from a despised system of which he was until recently an enthusisastic beneficiary and in which he was a willing and ruthless participant.
You can still smell the cigarettes on him, and searching him for tuck money might still produce pocketsful of stolen dinner money envelopes.

But - and it's a big but - there is the non-insane part. It's the idea of representative government.
He claims ( and I'll believe it only when I see it and even then only if and when independent-minded candidates are chosen and get stroppy with the Westminster Tory hierarchy) that he'll allow public-spirited people to stand for selection in Westminster constituencies and therefore cease to micro-manage the potential choices for local parties. This is important because constituency parties do the work of supporting conservatism locally and recruit and train some of the leaders of the future and are the backbone of the Conservative Party.
Constituency parties is where actual conservatism happens in Britain; now that the churches and the papers and the academy are Red to the core.
Without them, we might as well form a London-down national Christian Democratic Party and accept our tiny place in a centralized Europe.

Professional politicians - also known as party hacks - have been toeing whichever is the party line (or stamping on it in the case of the federasts) for two decades now. They have been part of the political and media class that has homogenized and Left-centralized and corrupted public life since Tony Blair's election victory and some would say earlier. Most are university graduates and have not had jobs and lives outside politics and the media in various opinion-forming organizations.
They live very far removed from wealth-creation or law-enforcement or trouble-shooting which ought to be the main beneficiaries of practical politics.

I recommend Peter Oborne's The Triumph of the Political Class as the briefing document for those who want to see what's gone wrong with government that allowed all the parties to bleed us dry twice: once to pay for over-large and stupid government and once more to pay their damned expenses, and in so doing to spray the underclass the bloated bureacracy the statist fake charities and quangos and the Europe Union with our wealth and to decorate their false altars with our hollowed-out freedoms.

But if Mister Cameron allows in retired doctors who've not been party hacks, and recent ex-soldiers who've met the enemy and who don't dine with their 'clerical' apologists, and angry, over-taxed businessmen and scared and determined housewives and mothers and non-PC policemen who fear for our children's safety in Britian's poorly-policed streets, then he might just have something like a democratic party on his hands.
It might have greater appeal than the thirty-something male solicitor or the forty-something think-tank alumnus or financial journalists that constituency elecorates might otherwise be offered.
He will have to overcome his Political Class control-freakery if any of these people ever gets past the selection meetings and into the Commons.

That's two big 'ifs' again - constituency parties tend to be composed of determined women who prefer to choose married and male candidates, and especially lawyers, and thus who are potentially recruits to the Political Class. Then they'd have to presuade the electorate that they're serious about doing the right thing and not being sock-puppets. But that's not necessarily too complicated a task - shouting 'I've not been involved with party politics till now' at every opportunity would be a good start.

It would be good for the country and the constitution if Burke's idea of the 'little platoons' flourished once more in the Conservative Party. If the dream could be revived of locally-based politics stemming from and strengthening and improving neighbourhood and country life, then such a process in turn would generate affection for and loyalty to the great, distant and frugal institutions of the State and Nation, then we might be back to a place where the good life could occur.

Independent-minded, locally-loyal Tory MPs who owe their seat to the party and people of that constituency are less likely to rubber-stamp a centralizing party line at Westminster or to kowtow to federast quietism in the committees over European 'legislation' as it's catapulted past Commons 'scrutiny' in 24 hours.

They are less likely to be part of the elite, permanent talking-and-voting caste that has allowed the Marxian long march for the institutions to enter, subvert, and destroy our institutions becasue they'll be less scared of being defamed by the Left's ever-growing list of curses, slanders, and unacceptable beliefs and policies.

They'd be much more likely to tell the Tory leader he's dining with the Revolution again, instead of hunting with the hounds.

It might to be good for us social conservatives, too.

Who cares if you can't dine anywhere in the Westminster village's tofu-eating Islington bubble if you're too busy listening to and persuading the people of Truro or Bury or Pocklington that vouchers will save the local grammar school and also grow more grammar schools? Why worry if the Today Programme calls some ex-soldier MP a racist if his constituents are grateful that he's taken on the Police Authority and persuaded them to swop their speed camera budget for more patrol cars and more Saturday night overtime for the towns, and to adopt a zero tolerance policy for violence, theft, and property damage? Who's afraid about being lumped in with the nuclear-armed phallocentric patriarchy for opposing partial-birth abortion when you helped steer the new bypass away from the hospital that you yourself helped to keep open in the face of NHS bureaucratic empire-building five years ago?

And think of all the talent and knowledge that would be brought to Westminster if people who'd actually had proper jobs were let back in?

It's such a good idea, that I'm surprised that David Cameron thought of it; but then he is in deep trouble.

For a moment yesterday when I listened to Mister Cameron announce this, I felt a little bit of hope for my country and for my old party for the first time in years.

Now watch some bastard spoil it.


James Higham said...

If the dream could be revived of locally-based politics stemming from and strengthening and improving neighbourhood and country life

It doesn't accord with the centralized EU driven agenda.

North Northwester said...

Well, yes; that's all part of the plan, isn't it?

The long march for the institutions and all that.

There are occasions even within my beloved home town of Castle City, where local people manage to organize and prevent the local politicos having it all their own way.

Its' a small amount of hope - but hope it is.


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