Friday, July 11, 2008

Guardian of (Some) Public Morals

Am I the only person unimpressed by David Cameron's sudden discovery of morality ? Sure, it is nice to see a soi-dissant conservative prepared to speak out on moral issues, but not when the speech itself reads like the rhetorical equivalent of a chimps tea party.

If nothing else, this should at least dispose of the argument that The Dave is a political genius. Poor people deserve what they get ? Liberals have spent years twisting Lady Thatcher's line about society, now Cameron has done all but claim poor people are evil losers ? Apart from anything else, has he seen what's happening to the economy ? Are those folks evil now, or will they just become so when they lose their jobs ?

But aside from the bad politics, there's also the bad philosophy. Take the yawning great hole in his speech. What, for example, does our new moral leader think about this ? Having people demanding that local councils refrain from landscaping parkland so they can continue to perform lewd acts in public seems like a fair old barometer of moral decline, but somehow Dave's own Henry-V-At-Agincourt speech forgot to address it.

There's the obvious point here about Dave's supposed conversion to social conservatism. As his refusal to confront you-know-who shows, his morality is really just about him boldly confronting stuff he doesn't agree with anyway. Hey, if he's going to denounce smackheads, why not spare some condemnation for those meija luvvies who promote drug abuse as glamorous, rebellious and hip ? Nope - too close to home.

There's a wider point though. Take the usual suspects. As the Bristol fiasco shows, what's so toxic about the gay rights movement is not the actual specifics of boys-who-like-boys, it's their wider philosophy of life. The gay rights movement argues that the most important thing in the world is their right to act out, and the hell with anyone else. It's hard not to notice a certain philosophical incoherence in a man who attacks fat people even while defending folks who argue that they have a right to perform oral sex on each other in the High St and if anyone objects, they should be arrested for 'homophobia'.

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