Monday, 19 April 2010

Tory BSE

The wheels are coming off Cameron’s bandwagon.

Some of the cleverest people on the Right have been taken in by him, but will it last?

How can someone who’s so right about the political class and all they have wrought against us be so wrong in the conclusions he draws about what needs to be done?

Here’ Peter Oborne earlier this year.

There is a certain type of bovine political intelligence which hates David Cameron. It cannot forgive the Tory leader his popularity, his beautiful wife, his upper-middle-class ease — and above all his astonishing success in rebuilding the Conservative party. The core criticism works like this: David Cameron is an empty and opportunistic former PR executive, interested only in power for its own sake, utterly devoid of ideas let alone principles, morally indistinguishable from Tony Blair, and in the pocket of Rupert Murdoch.

Moo, I suppose.

He goes on…

But it is partly for these very reasons that Cameron has been able to rescue Conservatism from the angry factionalism and relentless search for ideological purity of ten years ago. Cameron recognises that great political parties tend to be coalitions.

So he has created an environment where Kenneth Clarke and William Hague can both occupy major positions in the same shadow Cabinet, and where social liberals like Michael Gove can rub shoulders with social conservatives like Iain Duncan Smith. Of course, this kind of co-existence involves compromise and, sometimes, lack of clarity.

And on…

David Cameron has also substantially repudiated the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. He calls himself a ‘one-nation Tory’ — the label chosen by her opponents. It is worth recalling, however, that circumstances obliged Thatcher to be a centraliser, who worked against the grain of the traditional British state..

And on…

Cameron’s own political philosophy predates Thatcher and, for that matter, Heath. It can be traced back to a purer school of Conservatism which was first articulated by Burke, reached its apotheosis with Disraeli and Baldwin, and appeared to have died out when Macmillan left office in 1963. This kind of Conservatism sees itself as above class or faction and profoundly believes that it acts only in the national interest. This is why Cameron says again and again that he feels as profound a sense of responsibility for the poor and the unprivileged as New Labour claims to do. It’s just that he believes that New Labour’s target-setting, centralised edicts, and top-down government have failed miserably.

So a Cameron Tory party will seek to restore the local structures of the British state that have been wiped out over the last 50 years, and rebuild our great institutions, above all the family, which have been undermined by New Labour. He believes that only society, and emphatically not the state, can solve Britain’s most wicked problems of crime, poverty and so on.

He has come into politics out of a sense of personal service and duty. He believes in self-reliance, patriotism and personal independence. He will not, as Tony Blair did, abuse his office for personal enrichment. He will not be intoxicated, as Blair was, by power for its own sake. He will not go weak at the knees when he meets an American president or international tycoon. He may very well fail, but he is rooted in a very clear and purely British set of values. I can think of no Conservative leader who stands so squarely in the Tory intellectual, social, moral and political tradition.

Actually, I can only guess that somewhere along the line Oborne went native and started accepting the liberal/statist flummery that he has anatomized so well in The Triumph of the Political Class.

I mean, if Cameron had indeed spent the years of his leadership above class or faction exposing the uber-centralism of the New Labour state and its fans throughout what passes for the liberal intellectual world, or acting as if he profoundly believes that it acts only in the national interest by recognizing those institutions such as the European Union and international Greenery as hostile and repudiating their internationalist and anti-freedom missions, rather than parachuting further representatives of the urban elite into constituencies as ‘Conservative’ candidates, he might have spread the message to the actual voters.

He might have done what Mrs. Thatcher did and make national bankruptcy seem like a bad thing that we need radical action to overcome , and that welfare dependency and the bureaucratic takeover of much of what passes for family life in Britain as a result of Left-liberals’ ideology of relative poverty was causing more problems that it solved, and so he might have built up a constituency of people in this country robust enough in their recognition of reality and their understanding of what needs to be done despite the hurt and the opposition from the state producer-groups in the unions, ministries, and quangos. Such a constituency might have stood by him, and helped him out when things got tough.They might have had the gumption to hold to common sense and stand with a truly conservative Cameron.

Instead, he plumped for the whole liberal mind-set in order not to upset anybody and get other, non-conservative people on-board and so his would-be ministers were allowed to side with the social workers and praise what they actually do.

And if you make yourself out to be a phony liberal, and you don’t try to make other people appreciate actual conservative policies by, you know, actually leading, then what happens when a real liberal with a pretty face and a slick line of patter gets on the telly?

A YouGov poll for The Sun showed the Lib Dems on 33 per cent, the Tories on 32 and Labour on 26.

It is the first time that the party has been ahead in a poll during a general election campaign.

It will cause further concern for Labour and the Conservatives. Both parties have turned on the Lib Dems after Nick Clegg’s success in the first of three TV prime ministerial debates.

But if the results were repeated at the election it would mean (that Labour would mean)sic that the Tories would have the most seats, with 244.

Despite being six points behind the Tories and seven behind the Liberal Democrats, Labour would have 243 seats.

The Lib Dems would get just 134, leaving them the powerbrokers in a hung parliament.

Support for the Lib Dems has surged since Mr Clegg’s performance in the first televised debate on Thursday.

That’s what you get for pretending to be something that your supporters don’t really want in the hope that someone else’s constituency (soggy Liberal Democrats) will vote for you.

When the Real Thing comes along, they’ll vote for that.

Vote for me, I’m a liberal really is now looking, even in the mainstream media, as exactly what we on the gun-nut rec-room armoury Right said it would become all along: about as successful a rallying cry as Let’s get out there men, and die like flies, and Cameron’s environment where Kenneth Clarke and William Hague can both occupy major positions in the same shadow Cabinet, and where social liberals like Michael Gove can rub shoulders with social conservatives like Iain Duncan Smith seems set to end up resembling the utterly self-deluding wishful thinking enterprise that it is.

And so after the General Election is over and proportional representation threatens to put the Lib Dems into power forever, we can relax at last for a night in front of the telly courtesy of Bob’s Betamax Emporium and feast on a fast food takeaway from Bernie’s World of Liver.

And the world burns.

Picture from here.


GCooper said...

The shocked tones of the Tory idiocracy (are you paying attention at the back, d'Ancona?!) is almost worth the price we're going to pay.


TDK said...

I imagine you might have some trouble stifling the gaffaws over Oborne's contention that Cameron is the heir to Burke.

But you are right about Oborne. "Triumph of the Political Class" is a good description of the problem. I too felt that he understood and was someone to watch but I had my epiphany with his Islamophobia and Pro Israel Lobby programmes.

Umbongo said...

Absolutely spot on. Moreover, what came as little surprise (to us punters out in the political sticks anyway) is that it took so little for Dave's bandwagon to crash and burn: an "X Factor" heat where Dave couldn't compete with the SuBo of British politics.

North Northwester said...

GCooper. It's rude to gloat, I know. Mea culpa.

Mea MAXIMA culpa.

TDK. Oh yeah, all those 'little platoons' in their swish London offices and PR company communications suites....
Oborne - deffo gone to the dark Side, alas. And off my link list: the ultimate snub from Britain's littlest-known blogger.
And I just bet it's a cinch on the doorstep 'So, Mr. Voter. Which voluntary community organisation do you intend to work for like Mr Cameron span? The Scouts? The allotment association? The Parish Council?

Actually,that makes me think... When Adam delved and Cameron span, who then was the gentleman?

Umbongo. Spot on yourself. Talk about House of Cards!
One good puff of hot Liberal air and down he fell.

And I'm not apologising for the metaphor. What do you think this is: Facebook?

James Higham said...

What absolute bollocks in that blue quote.

Kenneth Clarke and William Hague can both occupy major positions ...

They're both Europhile so what's the statement meant to mean? Hague said only recently he opposed a referendum.

Core Conservative values? Core Labour values.

Confused, Angus said...

Having always been a natural Tory supporter and living in Scotland (not a nice position to be in) I'm in a quandary. The Angus constituency should be a straight fight between the SNP and the Conservatives. Normally, it would be a no-brainer. But I'm as pissed off as everyone else with Cameron and had intended voting UKIP. Should I vote UKIP to help their share of the vote or go for the Tories to get the Fife f*$@wit out of power? If a Lib-Lab coalition delivers PR, what would be the point in future of holding centre-right or right wing views?

GCooper said...

I was thinking about the PR issue just today. While I'm not happy with the idea, it would at least add some pepper to the mixture because UKIP would be likely to gain seats.

Unless Farage manages to unseat that toad Bercow (please God!)I can't see any other UKIP MPs being returned, sad to say.

It would be worth it, just to see the smile wiped of fthe faces of the Lib-Dums if UKIP benefited too. I might even be able to smile a little if the BNP won a seat or two... just schadenfreude, y'unnerstand...

North Northwester said...

James, yes indeedy!

It’s like the cowboy bar where the Blues Brothers get booked by mistake: “We’ve got all kinds of music – country and western.”
Translation for UK English dialect, we’ve got Kenneth Clarke and another Wet.

Anonymous Confused, Angus.Welcome.

Thanks for dropping by and asking an interesting question to which my pompous answer’s in the new post.

Spot on,though I think that it might just occur in Buckingham, anywhere I operate ;-), and who knows where else.
Love to see the United Left squirm. Not that that'll help the country, but I'm only human, after all. My next post looks at PR outcomes for UKIP, fwiw.


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