Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Exactly Right

Mark Steyn calls it exactly right:

The lesson of current dissatisfactions is that conservatives need to start
thinking as the left does. The left keeps losing elections; it has issues that
are electorally disastrous (gay marriage, abortion absolutism, racial quotas)
but are advanced through the broader culture, from Hollywood to the grade
schools. After 12 years, conservatives should understand that winning every
second November is insufficient. We have to take the battle to the other arenas,
too – to the point where narcissist satraps like Lott and Specter are

Obviously, he's talking about America, but the lesson holds even more true for Britain. How we laughed back in the mid-80s, when we heard of loony London boroughs bringing in anti-racist maths and the like. Who's laughing now ? The Conservatives might have been in government, but it's these loonies who won the culture war. All of which brings me onto, yep, the Class A list.

The excuse for the Class A list is that it's a reasonable compromise to make as the price of power. This only holds true if, like 1980s Conservatives, you have a monomaniac obsession with Westminister. Looked at in a broader context, the Class A list is nothing more than a squalid surrender to the insanity of identity politics.

How exactly can Conservatives oppose quotas for police recruitment when they themselves have brought in quotas for party candidates ? Well, logically, they can't. The Class A list means the de facto acceptance of not only quotas, but also equally unattractive corollaries, such as the idea of group rights, the balkanisation of British society into mutually-antagonistic groups and the elevation of grievance-hustlers into power-brokers, no matter how tenuous their claims to leadership. Recall that one of the excuses for the elevation of Margo James, who is a lesbian, was that not only did she have an uncanny ability to go to bed with women, but she was also a millionaire former PR agent in the City. Or to put it another way, the guiding philosophy behind the Class A list is that 'female game teachers' in Preston can only really be represented by moneybags metropolitan ex-flacks, who are lesbians. This used to be the sort of thing Conservatives mocked.

The bottom line is that there is not a single area of modern culture where Cameron would take on Liberalism. In so far as he swallows whole the Liberal agenda, a Cameron victory at Westminister would be a massive defeat for Conservatism in the wider culture war.

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