Monday, July 30, 2007
Has Cameron Used up his Political Capital with Conservative Members?
I was amused by Tim Hames' metaphor for David Cameron's dilemma in The Times today. He compares it to the film Nine and a Half Weeks (see pictures) in which the pneumatic Kim Basinger submits herself totally to the bullish attentions of Mickey Rourke:
The affair blazes until, 9½ weeks in, she has to decide whether she is content to enslave herself to him. At this point, partly to her own surprise, she chooses to walk away, leaving him shattered. David Cameron is Mickey Rourke and the electorate Kim Basinger. After a swift but red-hot relationship, it would appear from the polls that the Party is distraught at this development with parts of it pondering whether it, too, should flounce away from a leader in whom it was interested only because he looked like a winner.
He goes on to list Dave's mistakes: his failure to reshuffle the ineffective Osbourne while Hague's formidable talents are being wasted; his inconsistent line on taxation; and his shrill, angry tone when dealing with Gordon Brown, who, in contrast has confected the perfect slogan for himself: 'a serious man for serious times'.
I suspect the Tory Party has already shed much of its Neanderthal tendencies, thanks to Cameron's commendable revolution, but in the process he seems to have used up his political capital with Conservative members: they have taken the medicine but ended up going off their doctor big time. I'd love to see a polling company test what percentage of them would now ask for the mega impressive William Hague to come back as all is now forgiven.
Without principle let alone policy you're left with a shaky skeleton that collapses the moment anyone sneezes: the brutal truth is the tory party MUST stand firm in what it beleives because it happens to be RIGHT (in both senses of the world): right on taxation (lower), right on immigration (controlled), right to give support to the family, right to generate an enterprise economy, right to demand a referendum on Europe, right to want to reform our public services to give greater control to both producer and consumer in a cost-effective manner, right to de-centralise power to the regions of Britain so we don't become an ever increasing bunch of welfare junkies.
Labour is shaky on all these fronts but gets away with it because the economy is STILL growing (thanks to previous tory reforms) and interest rates remain low, affording cheap money for millions. When these circumstances change then and only then will the precarious foundations upon which NLabour is built, will start to crumble. The surprise is that it hasn't happened earlier. It normally takes a term and a half for a Labour government to implode
Maybe Labour built on Tory changes to the economy but to manage 10 years without a recession is something the Tories have never managed in my lifetime. I agree Cameron has in sufficient clarity in his messages to the electorate but do not think there is any real market any more for the kind of right-wing programme you sketch out. You are probably right over the economy and Gordon's chances of a proper term in power will depend on him keeping it ticking over until next spring at least.
I do of course disagree with the so-called empowerment of the regions. By this you no doubt mean Scotland and Wales being allowed to subvert the union and unbalance the entire political system(the West Lothian swindle). People need to wake up and realise that "devolution" is simply a lefty racket to establish perpetual socialism in these regions. The Parliaments should be knocked down, and no apology should be made for it. If these people don't like it then they can vote Labour or Nat(NB they do anyway).
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