Thursday, January 05, 2006

Laying Down The Ground Rules

Thinking about yesterday’s post, it occurs to me that what’s happened in our schools is a microcosm of what’s happened in the wider culture. Just as the femiloons succeeded in establishing female supremacy simply by warping the definition of success to the point where boys can only succeed in so far as they act as ersatz girls, so the broader mass of Gramscians have managed to capture the public debate by redefining the issues in a way which traps Conservatives into the rhetorical equivalent of being forced to answer whether or not they’ve stopped beating their wives.

Look at issues like the environment: the L3 have cast the debate in the public mind as one between Liberals, who propose harsh but necessary restrictions on freedom, and moustache-twirling Conservatives who only want to make a quick buck before flying home to Mars. There are real question marks over the L3 position, for example whether anthrogenic global warming even exists or the efficacy of their proposed solutions, but they’ve managed to evade that by framing the debate as one between those who ‘care for the environment’, and us nasty Conservatives.

Lord Snooty’s response appears to be the political equivalent of our hypothetical schoolboy getting a sex change. Cameron has swallowed the Liberal agenda whole. This is supposed to make the Conservatives electable, but why would we need Conservative Liberals when we can have actual Liberal Liberals ? In adopting Liberal policies without adopting the underlying philosophy, Cameron manages to offer the worst of all possible worlds. Look at welfare: previously, Tory policy was heavily tinged with Social Darwinism, now suddenly redistribution is in. So instead of ignoring our dysfunctional underclass, the Tories are instead trying to buy them off with other people’s money. Neither approach speaks of a party with any long-term interest in rebuilding British society.

In contrast, Gordon Brown gets a lot of stick from Conservatives, but buried under the rubble of his policies there remains at least a half-formed suggestion of the idea that people are better off working – even makeworking - rather than being paid to watch Celebrity Dog Molestation, or whatever’s on daytime TV these days. Certainly, the Tories have no equivalent figure to Frank Field, a man who is at least as unblinking in his criticism of the state of modern Britain as he is determined to use the power of government to fix it.

So it is with much of what Cameron proposes. He promises not to reform the NHS ? Well, Duh! It’s not like he’s going to have to use it, is he ? At least with Nu Lab there is a vanishingly small probability of reform. In contrast, Cameron is a prisoner of his own rhetoric. Having implicitly accepted the central tenets of modern Liberalism, Cameron is left with literally nothing to say, save for the dreary rhetoric of managerialism.

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