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  • Same old, same old …

    Posted by Helen on October 4th, 2006 (All posts by )

    With this posting I shall break my resolution not to write about the Conservative Party, its Boy-King leader or the preternaturally boring conference in Bournemouth. The reason is that I am a little tired of the accepted wisdom (when am I not tired of that?), which says that the Tories have no policies. They do, too, have policies.

    Back in the days of the Cold War many of us grew hoarse repeating the same thing over and over again: if the Soviets say that they are at war (hot or cold) with the West and their aim is victory, then let us give them credit for telling the truth and accept that this is so. Then let us ensure that it does not happen.

    If the Islamists insist that their aim is, at the very least, to destroy our culture, undermine our liberties and effectively enslave us, then let us give them credit for telling the truth and accept that this is so. Then let us ensure that it does not happen.

    If the high panjandrums of the European Union insist that they want to see an integrated European state, which is run along managerial rather than political lines, then let us give them credit for telling the truth and accept that this is so. Then let us ensure that they do not succeed.

    So it is with the Conservative Party. They have been shouting their policies from the rooftops (though, possibly, those windmills have been too loud).

    What are those policies? Well, dear readers, to start with, a Conservative Government under Cameron would be a high-tax, high-regulation government with extra controls of the fiscal and legislative kinds imposed from an outdated understanding of environmental matters: not new technology but taxes and controls.

    It will be a government that will insist on keeping health and education in its hands and try to abolish the few remaining choices (except for choices for the rich, such as … errm … Cameron, Osborn and others). They will, of course, “ensure that the money is spent in the best possible way and is directed to those who most need it” but we have heard all that before. Same old, same old. The people are not to be trusted with their own lives but to be governed, wisely or otherwise, by those child-faced politicians and the bureaucrats.

    It will be a government that will veer from repressive measures against all of us in the name of the war against terror to appeasement towards all existing criminal and potentially terrorist organizations.

    It will be a government that will not be able to grapple with the concept of national identity or deal with the problem of generations of youngsters who are uneducated and frustrated by the fact that they are not given any education or pointed towards any possible achievements. Be nice to everybody is not an adequate aim in life.

    It will be a government that will flounder in its foreign and defence policies, making sure that they are not accused of being too American and, therefore, being members of the Anglosphere but waffling on about “not being ruled by Europe”. And, in the meantime, the country will go on drifting into an ever closer and more expensive integrated European defence structure. Then, when it is too late, they will squeal.
    How do I know all this? Because, dear reader, I have been told by the Conservative leaders, the Boy-King and his acolytes. Told, loud and clear. It is time to start listening to them.

    You, dear reader, may not like these policies. I certainly do not like them. But there is no point in pretending they do not exist. This is what every single person who votes Conservative in the next election will be voting for. You have been warned.

    And now, that’s enough Tories. (Ed.)

    (Cross-posted from EUReferendum)

     

    14 Responses to “Same old, same old …”

    1. Mitch Says:

      Bring back the Whigs.

    2. Liar Says:

      “If the Islamists insist that their aim is, at the very least, to destroy our culture, undermine our liberties and effectively enslave us, then let us give them credit for telling the truth and accept that this is so. Then let us ensure that it does not happen.”

      This is an attitude, not a policy. A good measure of that is that no one outside a tiny radical fringe would disagree with the call to “ensure that it does not happen.”

      A policy would describe tactics, strategies and principles for ensuring national security, not merely attempt to state the need for it. A policy would provoke opposition among legitimate political counterparts. And such a policy would surely have to make a few more things clear:

      1. By “Islamists” do we mean a majority of Muslims, a significant minority or a tiny fringe of divided, desperate, suicidal radicals?
      2. Do the people making these threats have a plausible chance of success?
      3. What is the likelihood of overreacting? It’s worth noting that the Red Scare that Tories were, in your estimation, better prepared to deal with, never stood a chance. Take them at their word, indeed. Communism collapsed under its own contradictions–from the weakness within, not from the strength without.

      If anything, the more militarily aggressive responses to communism helped prolong it by giving its leaders plausible excuses for economic failure and political repression.

      Perhaps this explains why Vietnam, Korea and Cuba–all landmarks of Western military aggression, remain under the boot. While places like Poland, Romania and so on, which were left to fight it on their own, were the first to break free.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      This is an attitude, not a policy. A good measure of that is that no one outside a tiny radical fringe would disagree with the call to “ensure that it does not happen.”

      It is neither an attitude nor a policy. It is a political and military goal, and one that has been very clearly expressed and justified by its proponents. That you are so quick to dismiss the threat, and to jump on the West for various imaginary crimes, suggests that you yourself are a member of the not-so-tiny leftist fringe that disagrees with the call to “ensure that it does not happen.” There were many like you who objected to every western initiative against the USSR, who argued that the USSR was right about many things, that it wasn’t a threat to the West, that life there wasn’t so bad, etc., but who, now that the USSR has fallen, insist that its fall was inevitable because its weaknesses were obvious.

      Why don’t you visit Cuba and tell some Cubans that their unfree status is the fault of the West and not the communists. See if you make any friends that way. Or tell South Koreans that they would have been better off if the West had never intervened against the eastern military aggression of the Japanese and the communists.

    4. Lex Says:

      “Bring back the Whigs.” Hear, hear.

      Free trade, no foreign entanglements, a strong navy.

      The problem is the voters over thre are not Whigs anymore.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Yeah.

    6. Knucklehead Says:

      1. By “Islamists” do we mean a majority of Muslims, a significant minority or a tiny fringe of divided, desperate, suicidal radicals?
      2. Do the people making these threats have a plausible chance of success?
      3. What is the likelihood of overreacting? It’s worth noting that the Red Scare that Tories were, in your estimation, better prepared to deal with, never stood a chance. Take them at their word, indeed. Communism collapsed under its own contradictions–from the weakness within, not from the strength without.

      What a fat load of silly twaddle!

      Few, if any, people claim that the majority of Muslims are “Islamists” – at least not of the “kill the infidels” sort. It does not matter if the Islamists among Moslems are a significant minority, a tiny minority, or a lunatic fringe. All that matter is that among Moslems the Islamists have gathered unto themselves sufficient coercive power to render the “non-Islamists” irrelevant.

      The Islamists have demonstrated to their fellow Moslems that they are willing and able to use violence to keep those fellow Moslems from interfering with the salafists intentions to wage violent war upon infidels.

      They have, in effect, achieved the monoploy on violence necessary to exert their will.

      Why is a “plausible chance of success” any requirement for fighting those who wage war upon us? The salafists have no greater “plausibility of success” in re-establishing the Caliphate and making “all men submit to the will of Allah” than did the Nazis of establishing a “Thousand Year Reich”.

      Sitting around with our thumbs up our arses while they go about proving how “implausible” their goal would be silly were it not so stupid. Who will be the one to remember to say, “See, told ya so, their goal had no plausible chance of success” a hundred, or two, or three hundred years from now.

      All that is necessary – and the salafists have thoroughly demonstrated this capability – is that they have the intent and ability to commit mass murder upon those they have chosen to wage war against. That there is no “plausible chance of success” in the achievement of their disgusting goal is completely immaterial.

      What has the “likelihood of overreacting” got to do with anything? Given that the salafists have been pursuing their goal since Mohammed first hopped upon a pony with sword in hand I’d say there’s precious little likelihood we infidels are going to “overreact”. We barely reacted at all between 1979 and 2001 to repeated acts of war by the salafists.

      As for the communists collapsing from the weaknesses within their system… Gee, I guess we should have just sat back and watched, unconcerned and unmoving, until they achieved control of all of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America because, after all, we all knew all along that it was such a weak system that it would eventually collapse under its own weight and, therefore, was never a “real” threat.

    7. Ginny Says:

      Liar chooses to ignore the result of decades of Communist rule. An argument which implies the only problems with communism arise from the West’s attitude or actions may make fellow travelers & academic communists feel better – but it is neither intellectually nor morally honest.

    8. Liar Says:

      Jonathan: I’m all about making sure bin Laden doesn’t get his way. We merely disagree on the best policy to achieve that goal. Your assertion is a rather simplistic false dichotomy: Anyone who disagrees with a militarily aggressive approach doesn’t care enough or wants to do “nothing” about the threat.

      We can have a legitimate debate about tactics in confronting the tiny, divided and isolated fringe of Islamic militants who threaten terrorism. But it isn’t meaningful to portray the only options as military aggression or “nothing.”

      Ginny: I specifically referred to political repression and economic failure. How do you then assert that I “ignore” the result of communism. I’m every single bit as anti-communist as you are. As with Jonathan, we merely disagree on what worked and what didn’t in confronting it.

      Knucklehead asserts that it doesn’t matter whether the Islamists stand a plausible chance of success. Same fallacy. The choice is not between fighting Islamic terrorism or not. The choice is among many policies, strategies and tactics for doing so. And it seems self-evident that knowing the enemy, including the plausibility of threats, is essential to formulating a response.

    9. LotharBot Says:

      “The choice is not between fighting Islamic terrorism or not.”

      With some of the political parties (or individual politicians) today, it very much is.

      Beware those who give lip service to fighting terrorism and make token gestures of resistance on their way to surrender.

    10. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Is Liar a truth teller? Is he a Cretan or a cretin?2

    11. Jonathan Says:

      Liar is a troll. Let us stop taking the bait, so that this thread may return to its original topic.

    12. Helen Says:

      Sheesh, I was just going to say that Liar proves my point about the need for taking our enemies seriously, but now that he has been outed as a troll, I shan’t say so.

      As for the Whigs, I am not convinced we have got rid of them. What are those rich paternalistic Conservative leaders if not old-fashioned Whigs? As for no foreign entanglements, what of the post-1688 Continental wars? They were seen, entirely corrrectly, as Whig wars. Wait a moment, did you mean American Whigs, Lex?

    13. Lex Says:

      Helen, no British Whigs.

      I think the English Whigs became the conservative wing of the old Liberal Party in the 19th, and I think died out with the old Liberal Party. Gladstone would have been a “whiggish” liberal.

      By foreign entanglements, I mean foreign alliances, what was called a “continental commitment”. The post 1688 wars were Whig wars, but they were fought for fairly specific security reasons with alliances of convenience, not permanent commitments. It was, for example, I would say, un-Whiggish, for Britain to enter the entente with France in 1904. However, I may not have this exactly right. My knowledge of British politics is good for an American for the 20th Century, and OK from Peel and Palmerston to Balfour — but going back before that it gets sketchy.

    14. Lex Says:

      This book on the Whig Party got a good review in National Review. Yet one more I’d like to read.