Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Coming Schism

Readers of this blog might be surprised to hear that the louche and idle author of it was, until late January, a deputy chairman of his constituency's Conservative Association and Chairman of Trustees for the capital that underpins it (some loyal old bugger left the association a six figure sum a few years back, which hardly ever happens).

When I resigned, I did so with the Conservatives on average nine points in the lead and with a respectable working majority to look forward to. GDP from the last quarter of 2009 had been announced at +0.1%, which sounded like that Classic Brownism "a 0% increase", whilst America had bounced back at a fecund +5.7%. The 'news' that Brown was a foul-mouthed bastard who shouted and pushed and threw things was due to dominate the weekend papers. All in all, it seemed unlikely that Labour would start pegging back the Tory lead. Cameron, even if by default, would win. I was not a rat leaving a sinking ship, I felt. More like a rat on a floating ship who discovered that the other rats had started to pong a bit, and was happy to take his chance elsewhere. To git while the gitting was good, as an American cowboy would have it.

So I was asked why on earth I was resigning. Did I not want the Tories to win? Would victory not taste better if I continued to spend some of my spare time working for such an end? Was not the overthrow of the Brown Terror the one thing that simply had to happen?

Let me say at once that a Tory failure at the election would be a total fucking disaster. If you think that the way the country looks right now is bad, just wait until after another Labour election win, even if only as the largest party in a hung parliament. Sterling, interest rates, enterprise, job creation, tax receipts, public services all depend upon getting the Socialist incompetents out of power.

I resigned because, when I look at the Tory position on the size of the State, economic policy, Europe, climate science, the NHS, immigration, public sector pay and conditions, schools - well, I agree with only one of them. The last one, since you ask, and only then with the very big qualification that they made a monstrous fuckup over grammar schools and they are lucky to have Michael Gove riding to their rescue with a credible policy that champions the rights of parents and pupils and reduces the political grip of central state bureacrats.

I can just about vote for the Conservatives with a clothes peg on my nose, and doubtless I will do so in a few weeks' time. But I won't work for it. The frustration is simply too great. I would much rather offer criticism and praise from the sidelines, according to mood. It is not a good thing to be contemptuous of any organisation whilst an officer (however lowly) within it.

And whilst on the subject of contempt, how better to describe the attitude of Cameron towards his grassroot supporters? He takes them completely for granted, speaks over their heads, and thanks them not one bit for keeping the sandwiches coming and for re-filling the teapots during the dark years. He makes no attempt at all to stop them flirting with UKIP, let alone the BNP. Those millions who voted for Thatcher (even for Major in 92), but who NO LONGER VOTE - what of them? Does he try to encourage them back with a re-statement of the basic principles that transformed this country for the better after the disaster of late-70s Labour? He does not. He chases liberal votes, and does so brazenly. Some deluded folk think that he is a Tory in Liberals' clothing and will shed the cloak after an election win. Well he won't. He is a metropolitan liberal, on the left of the Tory party. The truth is, Cameron and his top table have much more in common with rootless West London professionals than they do with dentists or ditch-diggers or retired Colonels at the end of their drives in their rural constituencies. He is simply not an attractive choice for many of the old Conservative types who no longer vote. It is left to us (ex) Deputy Chairmen in the sticks to rally the troops. No longer.

The poll lead has more than halved, has all but disappeared in the Sunday Times this morning and there have been enough polls this week to suggest that this is not a freak. Momentum, unbelievably, is with Labour. Failure to beat this lot, as unpleasant, dishonest and incompetent as they are, would be an epic achievement. But don't let the Tories tell you that it is very difficult to unseat a ruling party, that the odds are stacked against them because of flaws in the Boundary Commission, that the message is clear but hasn't been put across well enough, yadda yadda....

The reason is that they are shit. They have pursued an idiotic strategy of liberal appeasement. No one who wanted a liberal, left-of-centre government ever voted Conservative. Why would they?

What this country needs is an identifiable right-of-centre political party. One that is not confused about where it stands on matters of sovereignty, democracy, the size of government, educational elitism, personal responsibility, sentencing and prisons, policing, immigration, the erosion of individual liberty.

No such party exists. But if, as seems increasingly likely, the utter pricks at the top of the Tory Party miss the open goal, then I will bet you a pint of Wadworth's 6X and a pork pie that such a party will be created. And it will transpire because the Right half of the Tory party and UKIP will create something that will immediately appeal to 30% of British voters and might, if well run, be at 35% for a 2014 election. If it appeals to those who have not voted since 1992, then make it 40%.

And I'll be a deputy chairman of a constituency association for the new party whenever anyone asks. And I won't resent a moment of spare time I give to it.

37 comments:

Nick Drew said...

we may all have to adopt EK's motto: this GE is the one to lose ...

the consolation prize will be to watch Brown dealing with (a) the Cabinet and (b) the economy

thin consolation, I accept

but chin up, chaps !: I remember 1979, and by the time that election was called, Callaghan's tail was up and he persuaded himself he might win after all

the patient queues I saw in '08 waiting to vote to eject Livingstone, will be there for Brown too

Sackerson said...

Well said, well done, if I may say so, Idle. I never expected that we would pass from the queasy dreamworld of 1997 - 2010, to another that is essentially the same.

Elby the Beserk said...

This former "primitive" Socialist of many years ("To each..., from each... seems to me a good place to start from) had, for the first time in his life, been considering voting Conservative in a general election.

The slide towards Labour, with the Tories becoming some sort of Labour Light Blue means that will not happen. I shall be voting - not for his party, as I think Clegg a twat, and a bastard for backing away from a referendum on the EU - for David Heath, who is as good an example of an MP who works for his constituency and is responsive and responsible (and did not claim one penny of expenses that he was not fully entitled to).

UK FUBAR, I'm afraid, and god knows what state it will be in if we have Brown for another five years. Ireland, broke, another third world country, with a corrupt political system, but with a state that is not all over you like a rash, seems increasingly attractive. Indeed, my application form to confirm that I can apply for Irish Citizenship is on my desk as I write.

A country that votes Brown back into power has lost its marbles.

Scrobs... said...

I think you have a point here Iders, and the electorate are now fed up with ordinary 'replacement politics' i.e kicking out one lot and letting another bunch in for a spell.

I'm 62 now, and while I'll continue working for many years now, because my pension was raped by Brown and co, whatever happens at the next election will not actually take much more away from me and my family, because they've already done it!

So, my dilemma is whether I say 'Sod the lot of them', and take all I can from the state, which I don't ever want to do, or say 'I'll beat the bastards at their own game', and get even better at my job and make/screw a few squillion to tide us over until we drop off this mortal coil. Actually, I've answered my own question!

So why do I really need to know which flavour of politician takes over, because they're all pretty poor at doing their respective 'jobs'.

May be that because I'm so old now, I just may vote for a principle I admire, which is to kick the Europe dreamland into touch for ever.

Now that is a legacy I could tell the kids ...(possibly grandkids if this week goes well);0)

El-Kevo said...

Nick - I don't suggest losing the GE with glee in my heart, I can assure you of that.

Idle - "And whilst on the subject of contempt, how better to describe the attitude of Cameron towards his grassroot supporters?"

The way the broadcast media is set up in Britain it would be suicidal of him to appeal directly to grassroots. Not that I'm sure he wants to. The real enemies are to be found in the the upper echelons of the middle class - they attack the country by assaulting the aristocracy and the aspirant working class. They have done for decades. It is they who occupy the higher reaches of the BBC.

In truth if Brown gets back in Britain is finished. I think the same will hold true for Cameron as well - he's not nearly angry enough to be a true Tory. In fact he's not angry at all. That's what gives him away.

He's acceptable to the BBC.

Brown is acceptable to the BBC.

This is a surefire indicator that they should be unacceptable to us.

Britain is fucked. My only satisfaction will be being able to say I told you so if Brown stays in. If Cameron wins then I am denied even this small consolation.

Perhaps we can serve as a warning to other Anglophone nations of the insidiousness and potency of leftism and its main weapon - political correctness.

Bill Quango MP said...

I'm so nearly with you on this one.
Nearly. Read the post on an abandoned fair for all.

we seem to be of similar minds but with different conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Just how big an open goal do the Tories need?

Absolutely unbelievable that they can't pick out a handful of policies that would galvanise the jaded public sick of Brown and his tawdry hangers-on.

idle said...

Everyone should read Bill's wonderful rant (link above).

And then read Boris in the Torygraph today. He's right - Betfair is far more likely to be right that a bunch of bored telepollsters ringing up 1000 random punters who can barely spell their own names, let alone be trusted to vote.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Wow! Idle, I've not heard such a rant from you in a long while. You must really have been frustrated by the party!

I'm thinking of waiting until the election night, then unleashing my army of evil flying monkeys to kill everyone in power, before I take over the government and become sole dictator.

I think I'd do as good a job as any, but won't have to worry about expenses scandals. Monkeys get paid peanuts - and enjoy it, too.

idle said...

The idea that the Mermaid has a secret army of underwater evil flying monkeys is hard to envisage but it would be wise not to discount it.

The end of a relationship with a dog is a terrible thing, Mermaid, and one which has dominated my life for a couple of months. It saps the creative juices. No blogpost is better than a poor blogpost, I think we can all agree.

I am not over the departure of my faithful hound - damn it, I went for a RUN this weekend, which would never have happened when there was an old dog to walk. Furthermore, I stood in a wood on Sunday late afternoon until dusk for 2 hours, slotting pigeons, crows and the odd squirrel. But it was not the same without one's dog. Thank heavens for a hipflask and a pouch of Golden Virginia.

lilith said...

Gruesome with no Piper, Idle, I am sure. Woods without a dog are a lonely place.

I don't trust Cameron and that is why I won't vote for Annunziata. If he said: we will repeal NuLabours anti liberty laws, disband ACPO and get out of the British peoples' faces then I might have done.

Osborne is distinctly unimpressive. They are more of the same, which is probably why Mandelstein offered to work for them.

Call me Infidel said...

I have said it before and it is worth repeating. Your blog posts are invariably quality and not quantity (or frequency). Though there is plenty of meat in the latest one.

I feel your sense of despair Idle at the Conservatives inability to score against open goal that is Labour.

The Obnoxious Clown recently posted that he intends to vote Labour in order that they can eat themselves as economic reality sets in. I'm afraid I can't countenance voting for socialists. So I would not be prepared to give my vote to those scoundrels. It is also the reason why I will no longer be voting for the Conservatives.

Today we have seen the markets reaction to the possibility of a hung parliament or worse still a Labour win. They don't like it. Who can blame them? If Labour do win it is in my view going to be substantially worse for the country than 1979. The demographic shift and increases in numbers of welfare dependents since that time will make it much more expensive to fund. IOU's all around if they carry on as they are. Seeing Brown and the Sewer Party attempt to fix this is scant consolation.

I think your view that a true conservative party will emerge from the ashes of defeat are probably correct. Another Labour win will create a schism in the Tories that they will not be able to repair.

Alceste said...

Idle, that image of you standing with a wood for 2 hours slotting pigeons (and crows and squirrels) will live with me forever.

idle said...

You have a filthy mind, alceste.

Philipa said...

Storming post, Idle. I agree with you except on the applause of Gove. I don't like Gove and I don't like his plans for education.

BQ - I am a despised 'floating voter' and take exception to the denegrating protraction of the term. I see no problem with not being bound by party loyalty. Political parties are what they are staffed by and evolve over time to be something other than they started out to be. At the moment there is little difference between the two main parties, not enough to secure my vote. So the decision I am making is to vote for one of the others or not to vote at all. It is this decision - not to vote at all - that I have difficulty with. Women died to give me the chance to vote. If there was a 'None of the above' option it would be an easy choice.

idle said...

I happen to think that Gove is one of the brightest shadow cabinet members. Also, that he is instinctively a conservative.

The evidence of the success of his philosophy is available for inspection in Sweden, which is an unlikely place for a consumer-friendly revolution in schools, given its deep socialist tendency.

Yet, it is so.

One thing is for sure - for 30 years and more, local education authorities and the bureacrats in Whitehall have done a good job in ensuring that, when it comes to international league tables for literacy, numeracy, discipline and equality of opportunity, England certainly CANNOT be accused of elitism.

Bill Quango MP said...

Philipa: That sentiment crops up all over. Look here at Terrible Tory Girl. Plenty feel the way you do.

All I will say is this.
Coming up is an election, not a protest. If you use your vote as a protest by not using it, burning it, blowing your nose on it or writing 'none of the above' in green ink on it, then it is not counted.
Neither Brown nor Cameron is concerned with a non vote.

By and large, at the end of the night, the clerk counts up the votes of all those who did make a cross and whichever pile is the largest gets the keys to No 10 for 5 years, whatever promises they make or break.
The votes of those who didn't make a choice are never tallied and make no difference to anything.

Philipa said...

Idle - I believe you about Sweden, I do. But I asked Gove myself, in person, if he would recind some of the things Labour has done negatively to education (I object to schools being used as a propaganda machine for instance in 'educating' children as young as four about homosexuality) and he told me, in person, that the Tories had no plans to change anything other than what was specifically described. I read what was specifically described by him on Conservative home and wasn't impressed. he may have taken Sweden's good example as inspiration but like all good government initiatives I can't see the implementation of this one working well. i suppose time will tell but for me his plans are not conservative enough.

BQ - that is precisely my difficulty. Nail. Head. Thanks for the link. Much appreciated.

William Gruff said...

2014 (recte 2015)? That one's already been cancelled as it won't be necessary.

Nice to see you swearing Idle.

Philipa said...

What's so great about seeing Idle swearing? Apart from the fact that passion doesn't have to come wrapped in an expletive I'd really rather Idle was happier. Given his politics and values generally that would be an indication that all was right with the world. Sadly we are up shit creek. Acknowledging that doesn't make me feel nice at all.

idle said...

The Gruffster is one of those who calls a spade an effing shovel, pip. It came with his mother's milk and all that Lancastrian black pudding. He might consider me to be an effete southern jessie, all after-you-claude and cravats.

Actually, I am an Aberdonian, more of an after-you-donald, tam o' shanter wearer. But hard as nails, obviously.

Philipa said...

Obviously.

And licenced to kill.

Thud said...

Idle...you state my own position and worries much better than I ever could..ta!

Thud said...

Idle...you state my own position and worries much better than I ever could..ta!

Thud said...

Twice as well it seems.

Blue Eyes said...

"I can just about vote for the Conservatives with a clothes peg on my nose, and doubtless I will do so in a few weeks' time. But I won't work for it. The frustration is simply too great. I would much rather offer criticism and praise from the sidelines, according to mood. It is not a good thing to be contemptuous of any organisation whilst an officer (however lowly) within it."

Yup. Where is the party calling for a free-market economy, sound money, individual freedom and responsibility, firm but fair law and order?

All we have is Cameron calling for social responsibility which is another word for "nicer" state intervention.

The Tories should have split after 2001, then there might have been a suitable centre-right party ready for action by now. Instead we've had three parliaments with no anti-socialist opposition. No wonder we're screwed.

idle said...

G'day Thud, Blue.

I now read that the key marginals' poll lead is also down to 2%.

Deeply worrying. I cannot go along with E-K's 'this is the GE to lose' proposition.

When one is heading into banana republic territory, one slams on the brakes as early and fully as possible. A GE win may be a hospital pass to 'our' party, but I'll take hospital over death in this instance.

I keep thinking about Argentina's fall from grace. The way we are going, the Falklanders will be pleading to join up with Buenos Aires and flipping the finger at London.

Philipa said...

Well that's one of the things that annoys me - both of the main parties will invade a country that offers no threat whatsover then goes on to war with Afghanistan, yet what of the Falklands, our own land? Why should I vote Conservative? It'll all be governed by Europe soon! Grrr.

The only, ONLY reason to vote Tory as I see it is because the £ will fall in a hung parliament I suppose? Dunno.

I'd vote for Boris.

Trubes said...

Well said Idle,
What you did by resigning was courageous and honorable, the actions of an 'Officer and a Gentleman'.
I applaud you.
I am tempted to vote LibDem this time, just to oust NuLab from the seat held by the hapless Jane Kennedy, (former Treasury Minister), who is stepping down, only to be replaced by a 28 year old, Labour groupie and friend of the Blairs.
This young, naive woman, knows nothing of the ward, or even the City of Liverpool.

I'm sorry that you're mourning the loss of dear old Piper.
Grief is an unfathomable thing, it can hit you any time and, in any place.

Take care Dear Idle,

Di.xx

circus monkey said...

Language, dear boy, language. We don't want descend into the gutter like the most of the rest of the country, now do we?

idle said...

fucked if i know, circus monk.

William Gruff said...

Philipa:

It's nice to see Idle swearing because that sort of language is used by influential gentlemen, of however lowly a degree, to demonstrate the level of anger that initiates fundamental and seminal change. If a gentleman of Idle's calibre is angry enough to swear improvement is not beyond hope.

Idle:

The Gruffster is one of those who calls a spade an effing shovel, pip. It came with his mother's milk and all that Lancastrian black pudding. He might consider me to be an effete southern jessie, all after-you-claude and cravats.

What have I done to forfeit your good opinion?

To correct you, I live in Lancashire but I am not from or of Lancashire; I am a Kentishman (not a Man of Kent), and the recently deceased Mother Gruff was not inclined to feed me on anything other than a strict diet of intolerance, opprobrium and severe discipline. Malign me if you will but do not misrepresent me. I enjoy black pudding but I knew pease pudding and faggots and jellied eels long before, and never tasted mother's milk.

idle said...

I only just saw your comment, Wm.

Do not be misled, I have a high opinion of you. All that stuff about you being no-nonsense was meant as a compliment.

I do apologise, however, at suggesting you were a a Lancy when you are a Kentishman.

I still haven't done a CD of Meddle for you. But I will.

William Gruff said...

Idle:

My tongue was very firmly in my cheek when I submitted my comment, although the information I gave is true. I was laughing, in an abstracted way that was almost figurative, as I wrote.

I should not have asked for a copy of Meddle, please forgive me.

In my boyhood Kent was still the garden of England, now it is just a fucking cess pit filled with Londoners, criminal immigrants and steel and concrete.

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