Sunday, December 04, 2005

Who They Are

As an example of what the Conservative Party should be doing, consider events last Friday. When a government with a massive majority chooses to filibuster a bill, then that’s usually a hint that there’s something going on. Even by Nu Lab standards, the tactics used to block Anne McIntosh's Householder Protection Bill were exceptionally slimy. But who seriously expected anything else ?

Few issues expose Nu Lab's gap between image and reality like crime. They certainly like to talk tough, and they’ve even passed some good headline measures, like ASBOs, but when it comes down to the day-by-day stuff ? Forget it – whatever cosmetic changes Blair has wrought, when it comes to the war on crime large parts of the Party still instinctively favour appeasement. Now along comes a bill that is a perfect litmus test of attitudes to crime. Of course they couldn’t risk it coming to a vote. This would throw into sharp relief the gap between what these people say publicly and what they actually believe.

Nu Labour are telling us who they are. They’re admitting that behind all the faux reasonableness, the L3 are still a major force in the Party. When they block votes on topics like this, they’re admitting that if the public knew what they really believed, their popularity would crash like a stone.

That’s what the Conservative Party needs to be doing, forcing the Left to either reveal its true self or indulge in desperate evasions. Either way it’s a win. The trouble is that this strategy requires the Conservative Party to actually know what it is that the public is saying. Does anyone seriously believe that the Notting Hill Party does ?

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