Monday, November 15, 2004

Just Die Already

Laban Tall gives a pointer to another excellent slice of Theodore Dalrymple. By now, everyone knows what to expect. Still, I think he misses an important point in his analysis. Dr Ted rightly blames our alleged cultural elite for its role in the disintegration of British culture. Too true. To take an example at random - suppose you have a guy who cheats on his wife, marries his mistress, cheats on her with a subordinate, pressures the girl to have an abortion, then lies about it to his boss - Tory MP or chav ? Who knows, but he hates Scousers 'cause they ain't got no class.

The thing is though, Hollywood is no paragon of virtue. The US elite is full of examples of sleazy low-life. Who'd have thought that the most significant legacy of the Clinton years would turn out to be changing forever the way we look at cigars ? But large parts of the US remain manifestly unaffected by Liberal lunacy. How so ?

In the US there remains a significant divide between Red Staters and Blue - brilliantly parodied here by Iowahawk. The elites in Manhattan are free to blather about obtaining self-actualisation through abortion, but real Americans ain't listening - they've got their own culture. In Britain, it sometimes seems that if the government did manage to push through a North East Assembly, it would set it up in Chelsea.

As long as government persists in trying to run the country from inside the M25, the elite will be able to impose their views on normal people. Equally, nothing would improve the quality of journalism in this country like a Guardian journalist being sent alone onto a Leeds council estate to explain that smackheads are really just exploring an alternative lifestyle.

That's the challenge for the Conservative Party. Forget the Liberal babblings about social exclusion and poverty. The people most disenfranchised these days are the people who hoover their own floors. If you're a scrote, who cares ? If you're Cherie Blair, you have people to do that for you. But if you're just an ordinary, working bloke, you're getting it both ends up. You got scum breaking in to steal your TV, while Her Majesty's Government explains why you can clearly afford to pay yet more tax. If the Conservatives are to win the culture war, or even elections, then they need to mobilise these people.

But don't expect anyone in the modern Conservative Party to see it that way. In fact, they're going the other way.

The Conservatives are thinking of reducing the role of party members in selecting a leader, reports suggest.

A Tory spokesman has confirmed the party's board has been consulting about changes to its constitution.

But the decision would rest with senior Tory volunteers and would not be taken before a general election, he said.

The fate of Iain Duncan Smith, dumped as Tory leader after a no confidence vote from MPs, prompted many to question the current system.

Some would say that's a chicken and egg situation. Did the MPs turn against IDS because of the lack of public support or was the lack of public support at least in part down to the parliamentary party's tantrum about serving under a leader who was (gasp!) selected by the ordinaries ? Whatever - but if we're supposed to be impressed by the contrast between loser IDS and Michael "not necessarily" Howard, I'll have what they're drinking.

It needs to be emphasised that the people they're talking about are party members, the envelope stuffers, doorstepers and phone bashers that the Party relies on. If Tory MPs are prepared to shaft these people, there's nowt down for Joe Public.

That's what's wrong with the Conservative Party. Not only that's it's disengaged from the culture wars, it's disengaged from the actual culture. There was, and is, a certain breed of Conservative who thinks it's a scream how Lady T was supported by so many taxi drivers. Funnily enough, the time the Party moved on from appealing to taxi drivers was also the time it moved on from winning elections.

Given that the Conservative Party shows such contempt for actual conservatives, why shouldn't the public reciprocate ?

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