Monday, October 08, 2007

You May Not Be Interested In Culture War, But Culture War Is Interested In You

Not the least ludicrous of the left's charges against the right is that we 'moralise'. This apparently means that we treat, say, adultery as a bad thing, rather than chill out and relax the way leftists do when they see a fox hunter driving his 4x4 to a job in the City.

Nevertheless, there is no charge against conservatives so ludicrous that the Nu Tories will not take it on board - although there may be other reasons why Call Me Dave's big bag of aristocratic wastrels and yuppie scum don't feel comfortable talking about morality. Whatever the reason, the Tory top brass would rather take a job in the real world than talk about morality. The only problem is that, as Janet Daly points out, that reluctance undercuts the rest of their platform.

It's all very well to construct logical arguments why, say, school vouchers lead to a better educational system overall, but as long as leftists can cast these policies as an excuse for the filthy rich to abandon the poor and hapless, it's going to be an uphill struggle bringing them in. You need to explain why vouchers are morally right - for example, they change taxpaying parents from forelock-tugging supplicants to valued customers.

That word again: metacontext. As long as the left is able to define the terms of engagement, conservatives are going to lose. For proof of just how far down the rabbit hole we've gone, consider the issue of paedophilia. How on earth did we get to the point where the left was able to portray setting predators loose to strike again was the compassionate option ? Actually, I have a few ideas, but I'm not sure anyone in the Tory Party does.

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