Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chutzpah, Thy Name Is Tories

The Tory meltdown accelerates. The latest meme is that the party's doing badly because people keep unfairly focusing on David Cameron instead of on their policies. Yes, it's a mystery alight - perhaps this guy can shed some light on it. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy a back flip of Olympic standard.

The Cameroonatics never offered the public anything like a coherent program or even any kind of overall vision. Au contraire, they sneered at anyone who did have actual convictions as a member of the 'Tory Taliban' and such like. Instead, they offered us Call Me Dave as the Princess Di of politics. It's a bit late for the Tories to complain about people focusing on Cameron's personality, when that's the ground they themselves chose to fight on.

We can't hardly talk about any actual ideology anyway. What few policies the Tories did introduce, were chosen purely on the basis of whether or not they helped Brand Cameron. Take the very policy that Dale claims the press should have focused on: abolishing the independent panels that hear appeals against school exclusions. Whether or not you think there should be independent oversight, there does exist a legal right for parents to have exclusions reviewed by an independent body - you can either have the panels, as now, or you can abolish them and have the case heard before Mr Justice Moonbat. In other words, the sole effect of Cameron's policy would be to have legally-aided lawyers facing off against school-funded lawyers in a court room. And yet people still don't take him seriously ?

Ditto, the flip-side of the charge - that people aren't giving Gordon Brown as hard a time. Maybe not, but that's because he's a serious, substantial politician. Or, as Janet Daly says:

Am I not aware that I do, in fact, disagree with him on almost every fundamental point of political and economic principle? Yes, of course I am.

So why then do I persist in my admiration, not just for his performance over these recent weeks, but for the person who seems to be emerging from it? Precisely because all those things on which I (and most Tory supporters) would disagree with the Brown philosophy are just that: legitimate areas of serious, substantive argument.

Exactly. You may like Brown's policies, or you may not - I mostly don't - but you can't claim that this isn't a man engaged with the problems of Britain. He has his principles and he prepared to stand up and fight for them. In contrast, how does Call Me Dave propose to, say, fix the NHS ? Oh - that's right, we're still waiting to hear. There you have it, the true barometer of the Tories decline into irrelevance:

Sir Winston Churchill:
You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
Call Me Dave:
You ask, what is our policy? Beats me. I can't say until the policy review groups have told me what to pretend to believe. But vote for me anyway because I'm so loveable and, besides, I went to Eton so I'm much smarter than you peasants.

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