Tuesday 31 July 2007

The Tories- Stuck Between Stools

Well, David Cameron's honeymoon period is over.
It has to be said, he's frittered away a fair amount of favourable public opinion.
How he has acheived this, is a mystery.

Or is it?

I don't think it's so much the fact that Gordon is popular, as that less people feel inclined to answer these polls. When Cameron got in as leader, people felt that here maybe was the chance for the sort of opposition they wanted.

It wasn't.
They didn't want Old Tories.
They didn't want Blue Labour.

Up until the last election, the Tories had shown themselves experts at selling their message.
To Tory voters.
But not to many other people. This was a bad habit they picked up during the Thatcher years, when Labour hadn't much sensible to say, but became disastrous during the Major years.
None of us who voted for the first time in 1997 actually remembered rubbish in the streets or 'Labour isn't working' any more than we remembered Dunkirk.

But Cameron forgets what Gordon hasn't.
Most 'One nation' Tories are dieing off. They form the bulk of party membership, and are seen within the party as its moderate wing.
It's moderate in that it doesn't want to privatise everything.
It doesn't realise that what it sees as the extremists, have already won that argument.
Even Labour buys that argument now.

There is a large group of people, in their twenties and thirties, that favour radical, minimalist, economic policy.
Thatcher's Children.
But many of them are uncomfortable supporting the Tories.

To this electorate, who is sick of state interference, but doesn't want to vote for the Hang em and Flog em lobby, won't vote for policies that seem to have a xenophobic tinge to them, Cameron offers nothing.

In fact he doesn't even offer the key points that are attractive about the old Tory way.
He hasn't stood up to the government over its plans to turn this country into a police state, he has defended the burgeoning public sector, he refused to stand up to the bullying of Catholic adoption agencies and he has refused to oppose the smoking ban.
Some defence of liberty.

All this in the name of 'moving to the centre.'

But on everything else they remain very conservative with a small 'c'.

So basically, the only reason to vote for him, is if you think he's more competent to run the country than Gordon.
And he doesn't really carry that clout, does he?
We hate Blair now, but didn't he so much look the leader in 1994?

It's the old patrician Tories that put Thatcher's Children off from voting for the party.
What Cameron has done is make the wrong moves, change the wrong policies.
He has given ground that few wanted to see given, but not moved to sieze the fertile ground unrepresented by the current narrow spectrum of opinion.

Until the Tory party can stand firm as a truly liberal party (the Liberal Democrats are sometimes neither), in the original sense of the word, they will get nowhere.
Maybe they can't. Maybe Thatcher's children will get fed up first.

As it is, a whole generation finds neither side gives it what it wants.

Minimalist state, liberal social policies.

For that is what the country is crying out for.
Policies that are truly liberal.


Anonymous said...

My sister was named after Margaret Thatcher!

Anonymous said...

So was I!!

Anonymous said...

And my parents managed that I was born October 13th. :)

Anonymous said...

Me too!!

Anonymous said...

Great analysis Crushed. You beat me to a post on this, I have one brewing too. I hope it's half as good as yours.

(Is that a good enough schmooze for you?)

Anonymous said...

Dunno what can be said abt the iron lady, but she did leave a print on history.

and oey muts, down boy!

Anonymous said...

Mutley, would you please be so kind and explain this "Me too"?! I wish to read all details.
What was your share in managing my date of birth? :)

Anonymous said...


Won't that cause confusion at the doctors and other places. You know when they were after the next of kin for her and her mothers name was not Thatcher. Although I suppose it was not too bad back then.

Nowt stranger than folk.

Anonymous said...

Hey Crushed, I'm just wondering what the voting record of the "M's children" demographic is, and how that demographic compares to other generation's records. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

I can see what you mean about there now being a generation that doesn't want to vote Labour but doesn't want to vote for the "Hang'em, flo 'em" brigade either and I would agree with many of your criticisms of Cameron. But don't criticise him for refusing to oppose the smoking ban - it's long overdue! Why is it a "freedom " to pollute the air for everyone else, Crushed?

Anonymous said...

Because it only pollutes people who choose to be there - if there was demand for non-smoking pubs then entrepreneurs would have set them up!

Remember when Wetherspoons said they would make their pubs smoke-free? Went down a treat, didn't it!

Anonymous said...

Jenny- I pity the poor children who were named after Tony in the heady days of 1997. And have to admit it later.

Mutley- Hmmm. Is this true?
In any way, shape, or form?

Sean- I disappointed any plans my parents had. I turned up unexpectedly six weeks early.

Ed- :) People slated Teresa May when she said people saw the Tories as the nasty party, but she was right.
Cameron has made changes here, though not enough and done badly (see the fiasco of the A list), and not stood by the reasons why people under forty voted Tory in secrecy, in spite of their image.

Crashie- She will certainly be remembered. She was lucky in a sense, the Falklands allowed this country to regain a pride it lost during the Suez crisis.
People voted for her because you knew what you were getting.
And she'd follow it through.

Bag- I'm getting confused by the whole who was named after who thing...
And anyway, I didn't post on who you lot were named after!

Helen- I'd say in '97, most young people voted Labour- though many voted Lib Dem and a good few quietly voted Tory.
They weren't voting Socialist, they were voting for Thatcherism without the stigma, which Blair offered.

Many of my friends are very receptive to Cameron, though that seems to be wearing off, because he isn't really offering what was hoped for.
He forgets that there is a generation which doesn't live the old Tory family values way, is sick of hearing minorities being bashed, but otherwise is natural Tory territory- in the sense of Minimal state.

Welshcakes- Ed answered my point.
It might amuse you to know that the Great British Tradition of lock-ins is reviving.
I'm sure you can guess why.
And I tell you, after a month, it's BEAUTIFUL to stand at the bar with a pint in one hand and a fag in the other.

Anonymous said...

Ah Crushed - that depends on what you mean by liberal. classic liberal, meaning libertarian?

By the way, like your poll result. Are you converted yet? :)

Anonymous said...

what do you mean by xenophobic. You buy the Labour spin here methinks.

Not voting away our democracy to unelected european bureacrats who think deomcracy begat Hitler is not racist.

Neither is saying that 5 million immigrants in 6 years is too much too quickly.

or am I a little Englander in your view?