Sunday, October 17, 2004
Go To Hell And Take Your Party With You
True confession - every now & then, I get the feeling that maybe banging away at the keyboard isn't enough. The country is suffering from a nasty outbreak of Liberal lunacy - surely I should put aside my own prissy scruples, rejoin the Conservative Party and help them rescue the country. Fortunately, given the nature of the modern Conservative Party, it is inevitable that long before the insanity has built up to dangerous levels some Tory MP will say something so utterly foul as to remind me that whoever this Party represents, it isn't people like me. Which brings me neatly onto Boris Johnson.
Certainly, there are good articles to be written about the whole cult of sentimentality which surrounds happenings such as the murder of Ken Bigley but the only people worse than those who wallow in mawkish sentimentality are those exploit tragedy to push their own prejudices.
The Spectator's Leader tries to spin reaction to the death of Ken Bigley as proof of some uniquely Scouse mental illness, to which all that need be said is 'Soham'. Perhaps fearing that this line of argument is somewhat weak, The Speccie then brings up an old libel, namely the 'drunken fans at Hillsborough' myth.
I never expected to see The Spectator attempt to cite the Sun as an authoritative source. As it happens, one reason for Liverpool's "failure to acknowledge" this libel may well be that Lord Justice Taylor, in his authoritative report on the disaster, specifically debunked the drunken fans myth. By 1993 even the Sun editor at the time of Hillsborough, Kelvin McKenzie would tell the House of Commons National Heritage Select Committee that his paper's reporting was 'a fundamental mistake'.
Lest we forget, the headline of that notorious story was 'The Truth' with the subheadlines 'Some fans picked pockets of victims'; 'Some fans urinated on the brave cops' and 'Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life'. No sign there of the Sun hinting at 'the wider causes of the incident.' - except in so far as it hinted that all the dead were scum anyway. Resenting this sort of thing is what Johnson means when he talks of wallowing in victimhood (the line seems to be drawn a little differently for other people - what price a Conservative MP telling these people to 'move on') ?
A vote of thanks too for the Tory modernisers, whose deafening silence in the face of outright bigotry has confirmed once and for all that they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the gay rights movement.
It occurs to me that this case sums up exactly what's wrong with the modern Conservative Party. They're too small for the issues of the day. An MP considers the Dianification of Britain, and reveals his hatred of Scousers. We are embroiled in a War on Terror and the Tories claim 'Blair Lied!'. The education system has collapsed and the Tories reveal that Blair has hired private tutors. Maybe there's room for this sort of thing in some cases, but with the Conservative Party at the moment that's all they have.
Conservative MPs talk openly of a 'post-ideological era' where governments will be chosen on the basis of their managerial skills, rather than any deep convictions. Really ? Liberals believe schools should operate cartels to ensure that each manages to obtain regular supplies of children. Is there no Conservative alternative ? Liberals believe that when intruders break into a home, the householder should merely call the Police, then wait to die. Can the Right suggest something better ? Und so weiter…there are no end of issues to which the same point applies. When Tories talk of a post-ideological era, they mean that they have moved past ideology - or to put it another way, they don't have the slightest idea how to fix Britain, so they hope that by a combination of carping, sneering and sniping, together with their good looks and personality, they hope to bamboozle the public into voting for them. Yet t still they wonder why they're down in the polls.