Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Change We Need

While the cuckoo Brown parasitically remains in the Number 10 nest, and the country's real Prime Minister, David Cameron, gallantly waits and, with refreshing integrity, allows the defeated demagogue a window of opportunity through which he can choose to leave with some semblance of dignity intact, on the near horizon the storm clouds gather.

The country, and the economy, cannot wait on Gordon Brown's - and Labour's - wake-up call. He and they are now so divorced from reality that, so the left press seems to be reflecting, they imagine there is some way they can remain in power without a democratic mandate by doing some sort of deal with the Lib Dems. They are deluded if they think that will work, even if Cameron rejects the Yellow party's demands. They are even more deluded if they think, as the equally unelected Mandelson does, that a change of leader will sweeten the pill. It won't. If Labour wants to commit final suicide, that would be one of methods.

But this is all equally devastating for the hard core Tory right. They can't enter into a deal with anyone, on principle. They think Cameron has failed, so he must be punished. No, Heffer-types, you irrational, Thatcher-fetishists, Cameron triumphed. Not by quite enough, but he triumphed.

So I'm one of those people who believes that, yes, with hindsight, Cameron might have stuck to the tax-cutting guns a bit more. But I also believe that what was more important is exactly what Cameron has delivered: weaning the country off the lies, spin, bribes and decadence of New Labour, a horrible cocktail of expensive deceit to which it had become addicted. He's achieved that, so he's done what we needed and what he promised.

So now I will bow to his judgment on the final strategy for removing the cuckoo incumbent, including, if necessary, a deal with the Liberal Democrats and, if necessary, a well-equipped army detachment to get the job done on our behalf at gunpoint. It might yet come to that with a lunatic like Brown.

But that deal with the Lib Dems. What, precisely, is worrying about it? If you are an honest Tory, then the answer is "nothing", including a voting reform referendum (as Iain Dale explains) and cabinet posts for the likes of Cable. If you think the Conservative Party belongs, somehow, to you, then you are hyper-identifying (like Heffer) and need to move out and along. Join the Heffer Party for all I care. Just don't pretend you're a Tory, or that you're a grown-up.

As Michael Portillo says (he who seems to be a bit of a last-minute convert to Cameron, amazingly):
If the result is that the party gains power, the internal argument is over before it starts.
True Conservatives need to get real if they want Brown gone once and for all time. Otherwise, that Scottish criminal will exploit the self-indulgence of the leading, Tory party, ignore the fact that he has just devastated his own party in Westminster, and continue to "lead" - squat - by some miracle (also known as "constitutional loophole"), from/in Number 10. Cameron understands the change we need, and he's about to deliver it (he's going to eject Brown once and for all, one way or another. First principles!)

In other words, priority one is to kill this Brown zombie. And what Cameron is doing now with Clegg will achieve that core, common aim. Criticise this, and you are either a world-class numbskull (like Heffer) or a political fetishist who thrives on discord.

Only, while you're deciding, do remember your country. Cameron seems to have.

But if you can't do that, then next time just vote Kipper and be done with it. Only don't expect anyone to take you seriously - being the over-starched, self-important Hefferite that you clearly are - ever again.


  1. The strategic aim, in fact for both Clegg and Cameron, is to see the Lib Dems replace New Labour - that party has no reason to exist if the Lib Dems are a credible alternative government.

    Clegg would do his party immense harm if he dealt with New Labour since it would set back achievement of that overriding strategic aim. (In any event, a coalition which is itself a minority is fraught with problems ab initio.)

    Further, there are bad times ahead for the country - and Dave would be wise to call in the IMF next week, for political not yet economic reasons. This suggests that sitting in opposition for the next 10 months or so until the sovereign debt crisis is in full flow would be no bad thing.

    Accordingly, Clegg has a very weak negotiating position, provided Dave et al are prepared to be patient. Clegg's main consideration maybe the relative merits of being shown to sit in government (thereby to (hopefully) confer credibility on future claims for more) as opposed to the freedom and non-responsibility of a voting pact. His other concern will be that Dave could call a fresh election at any time to suit - he may wish to cut a deal to frustrate that. His other main problem is the appalling Vince Cable.

  2. A very fair assessment, CR, especially the parts about the IMF (and Cable!).

  3. I agree too. If the Libs don't deal with Cameron, there'll be another election in short order (Labour and Libs together still wouldn't have a majority). In that election, the Liberals would be crushed.
    Tories shouldn't want a new election either - for the reasons given by CR, and also because it would delay grappling with that deficit.

  4. The self-righteous in our party are already very tempted to generate the ultra-cynical, ridiculously tribal "let the country burn under a Lib-Lab coalition" scenario followed, they imagine, by some inevitable Tory landslide in the autumn when the whole thing goes tits up in a fireball of sovereign debt default and economic armageddon. They are wrong to imagine that that political outome is guaranteed, because it's based on the vague idea that Labour will somehow carry the can for it. They're dangerously underestimating the public's capacity for scattergun anger and blame if they do. Has the expenses scandal taught them nothing. (No, it hasn't.)

    I want pragmatism, intelligence and, yes, compromise so that we can tackle the debt/spending crisis immediately, and at the same time show the rest of the world (especially the Eurozone) that we are at least as serious about this disaster as they need to be. I want Cameron to lead not just his party, but the country and parliament too. I want him to inspire and create a crisis-management consensus. I think he can, and will, the Heffers of this world be damned.

    In short, and to be clear, I think I seem to agree with both of you. And that makes me feel pretty confident that we have a chance.

  5. The only thing I don't agree with is any possibility of giving in to Clegg on PR.

    PR is a logistical nightmare voting system which will only ever deliver permanently hung parliaments - just ask the people of Northern Ireland what they think of it.

    Cameron just needs to even out the playing field and get rid of all those tightly clustered Labour seats in the Northern cities - you know the ones - three or four seats where only one is necessary - Labour gerrymandering! That way FPTP will become a much fairer system for all with no need whatsoever for the introduction of PR.


Any thoughts?