Sunday, October 03, 2010

 

How Much do Tories Believe in Cameron?

One of the few really good things I always reckon New Labour did was to drag the Tories out of their 'nasty ghetto' into the 21st century. After three defeats they finally realised the hated Blair had managed to capture something of the zeitgeist - something they had ignored through Hague, IDS and Howard. Cameron, the assiduous student of all things Blairite, adopted the rhetoric and ostensibly at least, some of the policies. But one always wondered how far the writ of Simon Heffer, Norman Tebbitt and other assorted rightwing headbanging bigots actually ran.

People like Michael Gove. arguably even more a Blair lover than his leader, and Ken Clarke, a Tory I cannot but admire and like, clearly had no great distance to travel, but one wondered how much suspicion of Cameron clustered on the right of his party, especially after so many allegedly Thatcherite new MPs flooded in after May this year.

As usual, Andrew Rawnsley has some perceptive things to say about the party whose conference begins today. Ken Clarke confesses himself wholly comfortable in the coalition, but there are other voices muttering less happy sentiments. Many Tories were confidently expecting to romp home over the unpopular and frankly disastrous Brown with an overall majority. That their party only mustered 37% of the vote was deemed by some to be tantamount to a defeat, especially when the price of power was co-operation with those awful Lib Dem oiks. Cameron was thought by some to have messed up his mission big time: embracing the opaque Big Society ihnstread of more robust Tory policies on crime and the EU; and giving the green light to the TV debates which allowed Clegg his big chance. As Rawnsley comments:

David Cameron has never really settled the hash with the right in his party. His argument with them has largely gone subterranean since the election, but it waits to erupt again when times get tough for the coalition. Indeed we can already see it being played out in some of the battles over spending. The truly ferocious internal struggles are not being waged between Lib Dems and Tories, but between Tories and Tories. The most significant disputes are between Conservatives with differing priorities, temperaments and philosophies.


Rawnsley cites the arguments between osborne and IDS, Osborne and Liam Fox to prove the biggest fault lines lie not between the parties just now, but within the Conservative Party itself. My interest over the next few days will lie in spotting how the party whose 'secret weapon is loyalty' as was once famously noted, deals with the potential fissures within its ranks.

Comments:
Things change life goes on, who would I vote for it the coalition broke down, I do not think I would bother to be honest.

You have Newer labour or as they call it New generation labour, a new branding tool to make us think this is not old Labour not new labour but a new generation.

We have the Tories with basically an open book to do as they like, because people around me are saying ah well labour would have done that anyway.

I've never seen a lack of political feeling people are fed up with expecting one thing and getting another.

The loss of child benefit yesterday would have made me angry twenty years ago, it just makes me numb now.

Tories, labour the difference is in the leaders not the ideology anymore.

I expected labour to come out screaming yesterday about child benefits, did you hear anything, nothing, New labour old Tories the change we need is to get somebody in to the party that has a bit of old fashioned guts.
 
Talk about new labour, people who are single earning £43,000 who now lose the child benefit will or might get Tax credits to make up for the loss.

they already get tax credit or non working tax credits, so i think we can take it people on more then £43,000 will lose tax credits under the Tories, but if you are single and lost out on child benefits you might get credits, which can be worth double.

Anyone think this whole idea is lot of serious shite.
 
Talk about new labour, people who are single earning £43,000 who now lose the child benefit will or might get Tax credits to make up for the loss.

they already get tax credit or non working tax credits, so i think we can take it people on more then £43,000 will lose tax credits under the Tories, but if you are single and lost out on child benefits you might get credits, which can be worth double.

Anyone think this whole idea is lot of serious shite.
 
Very interesting post. The Tories remain divided, and the party conference, whilst it didn't in the end result in any outbreak of division, certainly exemplified those internal fault lines. the right-wing fringes (eg "The Freedom Zone") were well attended, and we're back a little bit to coded messaging, of the type used during the Thatcher era. References to Europe ('we should leave') and AV are now codes for 'Cameron needs to become a Conservative', and receive huge applause on the fringe. David Cameron's Big Society ideas receive only limited applause in his conference speech, where his reference to Margaret Thatcher brings the house down.

A One Nation Tory may now be in charge, but the One Nation Tories do not hold anything near a majority in terms of party memebrship and activism. Cameron may prove to have been more canny - because unknown - than the TRG, but he may yet not prove to be any more successful in holding back the Thatcherite Tendency that was unleashed in the 80s.
 
GM
Thanks for that very thoughtful and perceptive comment.
 
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