Monday, July 23, 2007


Hitchens Camp's Rightwing Delusions

I never used to have much time for Peter Hitchens' ranting rightwing analyses, but his Despatches programme on David Cameron a few months back was a good critique and entertained me royally. However, my faith in the clarity of his insights suffered more than a bit yesterday when I read his piece(sorry, no link possible) in the Mail on Sunday. It was headlined: Clapped out Cameron: A Wreck Ready for Crushing and asserted that:

i)Cameron completely messed up the lost by-elections, despite Dave making winning Southall his personal project. He pleads: 'Please stop pretending David Cameron is a success'.

ii)Left-wingers warm to him as 'after all, he is one of them'; he cites a conversation with pollster Peter Kellner, ('veteran Labour supporter whose wife is Labour leader in the Lords') who claims the Tories are the "best bulwark against(the) nasty politics of a substantial Far Right nationalist xenophobic party in Britain."

Hitchens concludes that 'If the Tory Party were your car, you'd be broken down; if it were your fridge, all your food would go bad; if it were your accountant, you'd be bankrupt; if it were your lawyer, you'd be in jail. And in all cases you'd get rid of it and get another one.'

Good, stirring tabloid rhetoric but surely meant for one which supports Labour? Yet even a Labour supporter like myself cannot quite go as Far Left as these criticisms:

i) Cameron's Conservatives cannot be that incompetent. They may be mistaken or misguided perhaps, but I'm sure they would be no more or less competent than previous administrations under their banner.

ii) Hitchens' (presumed) assumption that a 'new' party dedicated to genuine Tebbitt- like right-wing policies like withdrawing from the EU and halting immigration has been disproved no less than three times in the last decade and yet Tories like him and Tebbitt still cling absurdly to the idea that modern elections can be won from the rightward fringe of the political spectrum and not the centre-ground.

For me the most perceptive piece on the ailing Tories yesterday was Nick Cohen's in The Observer. He argued that the Conservatives had done so well out of the Blair years that they could not now muster Labour's passion to kick them out in the nineties:

New Labour's rule has been very good for most Tory voters and it shouldn't be a surprise that they can't find the passion and the single-mindedness to drive Labour from power. As for the poor, their state remains pitiful. But they don't vote, so few politicians care what happens to them.

An excellent post Sir, I've never been a fan of Cameron but find myself in agrement with you here.

I liked that, perhaps you'll like this..

Have you seen Newmania's post about Cameron? Check out 'Living in a playground' and Bitter, Funny and True' if you will, here

All best.
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