Recent political discussions among my friends and acquaintances in Britain have been rather depressed and depressing. We all start off by saying that we absolutely have to get rid of Blair for all sorts of reasons, too numerous to list on this blog.
Then somebody asks rather gloomily what will happen when (and if) he is succeeded by Gordon Brown. We all groan. The idea of that prissy Scot who oozes hard core socialism as well as misery as Prime Minister fills everyone with loathing. (And I do mean everyone. Gordon Brown managed to lose Labour a safe seat recently in a by-election on his own doorstep in Dunfermline.)
Of course, Blair may well not leave until Brown had completely discredited himself. That is my own reading of the situation and I rather regret not putting any money on that before Blair said that he now regretted saying that he would not be leading the party in the next election.
What many people forget is that the Labour Party elects its leaders and, given its slightly crazy view of the world, it may not elect Brown but go for someone else, like the egregious Prescott. Probably not, but you never can tell.
On the other hand, somebody says, brightening momentarily, Brown will not win another election. (Prescott could not win a three-legged race against arthritic tortoises.)
And that will do what, another says. Well, we shall have a …. um … a Conservative government …. that is to say … the Conservative Party will win an election …. perhaps. That’s when the real groans start. For there is no doubt in anybody’s mind. The government that this Conservative Party with the Boy-King David Cameron and his court in charge might form will not be a Conservative one. Actually, it will not be anything but a tie-less version of a possible Liberal-Democrat government.
So, there we are. What is one to do? In my case, the obvious answer is turning to conservative history (with a small c as it is not just about the party and past governments).
Some time ago I took over the editorship of the Conservative History Journal and, having published three issues, have just finished proof-reading a pamphlet on the career of Sir Michael Hicks Beach.
That is not enough in the modern day, even for a Conservative History Group. So, I have started a blog, which will, in the fullness of time, be turned into an all-singing, all-dancing website.
In the meantime, I anticipate lots of ideas, suggested postings and (hey, if you dream, dream big) even articles for the Journal from my co-bloggers and readers.
(Link to Conservative History Blog)
Cross-posted from Albion’s Seedlings
8 thoughts on “Publicizing a new(ish) venture”
Sorry to say it, but the UK Conservatives seem to be in a similar position to the US Democrats: there is widespread uneasiness with the incumbent party, but the opposition doesn’t seem to offer much besides a change of faces. They will probably be unable to capitalize on Labor’s declining popularity if they cannot offer a positive reason to elect them. Where are their ideas? What do they stand for? What about packing the House of Lords with Blair’s friends? Why is the concentration of power in the prime minister’s hands such a great idea?
They can’t even speak coherently about the EU, which should be a natural issue for them. The current government has outsourced the making and interpretation of law to Brussels. NewLab stands for nothing but retaining power. If the Conservatives can’t do better than that, they deserve to be the permanent opposition.
I agree with all of that Mitch.
There is a problem about the EU. It is not the current government that has outsourced legislation to Brussels but all of them since 1972 and that means mostly the Conservative ones. They have given more powers away than the Labour lot, though, for various reasons, the most recent ones were more noticeable. So the Tories are stuck. In my opinion, they could draw a line and say that was then, this is now. The European project has not worked out and we must rethink it all. And not just that feeble mewing about reforming and making it more business-friendly, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. They have no concept of how that reform could be accomplished because they do not understand how the EU works.
The problem is that the present Conservative leadership is unable to think in any radical way and they have abandoned what ought to be Conservative principles: individual freedom and responsibility, small government, national independence, constitutional democracy.
We are in fact faced at the ballot boxes by one left of centre party (Lib-Dems), one centrist party (Labour) whose aspirations to swing hard left are reined in by the need to stay elected, and one wanna-be-in-power party (Cameron’s Conservatives, who haven’t even got a decent set of proposals to place on the electoral altar,; mainly because they have yet to figure out what will pull the core Labour (who used to vote conservative) voter away from the likes of Blair and Brown without frightening the horses!
At least in the States you have a fairly clear choice, with our bunch of sleazy criminals-in-waiting, we ain’t got no choice at all!!
The biggest problem the Conservatives face (and one that they are refusing to do) is not the people who have gone over to Labour. That is a relatively small number and many of them have moved away. Figures from the last election show that. It is the people who are staying at home or vote for small parties, such as UKIP. The first is a sizeable proportion of the population (turn-out has fallen to around 60%), the second is not but big enough to swing seats and will possibly grow.
They have no concept of how that reform could be accomplished because they do not understand how the EU works.
Most junior high school students in the US – at least those who’ve been lucky enough to have had a decent civics instructor – can explain, in theory at least, how the US national government works.
By contrast, rarely does one encounter anyone who claims to understand how the EU works, even in theory, much less encounter anyone who has read and understands the proposed constitution. Doesn’t that something important?
Have you seen the size of the proposed constitution? Sheesh, you need several very free days to get through it.
Seriously, though. The way the EU works is very complicated and the details (wherein lies the devil, needless to say) are dull beyond belief. But there is also the problem that people are rarely taught it except as a separate subjecgt. In so far as British Constitution is taught at school and even university (and the former is very rare) it is always given in the old version: highest legislative power rests with parliament, highest court in the land is the House of Lords etc etc. Few people know even how legislation is supposed to work. But none of these course say that betwee 50 and 80 per cent of our legislation comes from Brussels and Parliament has no right to throw it out; that the House of Lords can be overruled by the ECJ etc.
So the ignorance is a combination of factors.
The intellectual bank of the collectivists has been overdrawn and bankrupt for decades.
But, perhaps due to the moral and intellectual courage required to discard flawed but comfortable tenets, the tired old slogans and envy-based nonsense continues to be chanted, mantra-like, by those for whom nothing is more frightening than the idea that ordinary people might be allowed to live as they see fit without permission from their “betters”.
To paraphrase Nappy, the crown of a theory for legitimate governance is lying in the gutter—pick it up and put it on. Only those who stand for individual liberty and freedom have any right to wear it, anyway.
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