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David Cameron as Peter Sellers

The Tories could simply abolish entire government departments that the ‘man in the street’ really does not give a damn about (such as the DTI for example) and save huge amounts of money… but far from cutting pointless state expenditures, Cameron is in the process of making it politically impossible for him to do anything but ape Blair. Why? Because there has been no meaningful attempt by the Tories to even make the idea of a smaller state something that is simply a feature of normal political discourse. They have left the thinking to the other side and now have to fight every battle on ground Tony Blair has chosen for them.

The Tories have had more than a decade to put in the intellectual ground work for cutting the scope of the state and to argue their positions on the basis of several rights, and yet have done nothing of the sort because that is not what most of them believe. That is hardly surprising given the pathologies of the sort of people who are drawn to politics: they do not get involved because they want to wield less power than the previous guys who ran things. Understanding politicians and what they are likely to do is much easier once you realise that almost everyone in politics (even the ‘nice guys’ who wear sensible cardigans and remind you of Wallace and Gromit) have more in common psychologically and morally with your typical member of a street gang than with most of the people who actually vote for them.

However where does that leave people who do want a less intrusive state and cannot bring themselves to believe the Tory party does not give a damn about them? Well it leaves them trying to convince themselves that Cameron is just playing a clever game because the alternative is just too dreadful. He is the man who will save us from those who are incrementally destroying our competitiveness and strangling our civil liberties because, well, he has to be, who else is there?

But even if his conversion to ‘soft socialist’ economics is because he is going after LibDem voters who think high taxes and regulations are a good thing, it would at least require Cameron to also make a pitch based on civil liberties, the one differentiating issue where the LibDems make sense, and yet the main thrust of the inconstant Tory opposition to ID cards is based on their cost.

Those of you who think Cameron is just being clever should go watch Peter Sellers in ‘Being There’ and realise that what you are mistaking for cleverness is in fact just emptiness.

44 comments to David Cameron as Peter Sellers

  • Michael Wharton is dead. ‘Dave’ Cameron leads the Tories. There is nowhere to turn.

  • Max

    There is nowhere to turn

    And only when enough people realise that and put aside their David Cameron comfort blankets can things start to improve.

  • GCooper

    Perry de Havilland writes:

    “…it leaves them trying to convince themselves that Cameron is just playing a clever game because the alternative is just too dreadful.”

    This has been puzzling me for weeks. Since ‘Dave’ was catapulted from the ranks, several commenters here have repeatedly rallied to the lad’s defence – yesterday’s ‘Vote Tory so you can pay nice high taxes’ thread has some prime examples. But on what, other than speculation and perhaps some vestigial sense of British fair play, do they base this faith?

    So far, Cameron has yet to say anything that isn’t sub-Bliarte centre ground waffle. When the lack of clear policy is mentioned (as it was by St Rupert of Murdoch) Dave’s defenders counter with ‘oh, but it’s too early for policies, yet’. When he talks like Gordon Brown eyeing a blind man’s collecting tin, we’re told ‘Oh, he’s just saying that. He has to so he can win the election. It’ll all be different once he’s got his toes in the shag pile’.

    Why? Why does anyone believe this? Is Perry de Havilland right, when he suggests it is because the alternative is too ghastly for words? Is it because you’re all nice chaps and believe everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt?

    Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’m damned if I can find anything in what Cameron, Letwin, Osborne or any of this touchy-feely cohort says that sounds any different from the sort of lukewarm Conservatism that backed us into the mire when Macmillan and Heath ran the shop, or what the average Bliarite says today.

    Where’s the evidence damnit? Why shouldn’t we simply take these people at their word? Where is there even a scintilla of a hint of clue that the Conservative Party under Cameron is anything other that the triumph of social democratic sentimentally-driven nonsense over rational thought?

  • Ted

    Perry

    Great post and spot on. Tory Lite is disappointing, weak and will not win government.

    All Cameron does by imitating Blair is to give the voter a choice between the devil they know and someone pretending to be like the devil they know. They will take the former.

    By failing to distinguish themselves from Labour and their leader from Blair, the Tories play into Labour’s hands. Add to that Cameron’s clear link with Eton and public school luvvies such as Goldsmith. The voters will turn away.

    As the Canadians have just reminded us, voters do not want environmentalism, big government departments, multi-cultural nonsense, pieties from ‘their betters’ or higher taxes. They want a leader to drive hard on the real issues of the day: educating and protecting children, reducing government interference into their lives, lowering the cost of daily living, reforming sentencing to balance it with the rights of the victim, reforming asylum rules, cracking down hard on islamic extremism, protecting sovereignty and preserving british tolerance and humour. In a word, security is the key issue.

    It’s awful strategy and Cameron will lose because of it, but that has been consistent with Tory thinking since Thatcher.

  • “He has to say that so he can win the election”.

    Quite. Therein lies the problem: people, so it seems, actually want this tripe and the Tories have no backbone to face the wilderness years of persuading them of the merits of other ways of doing things.

    Time to elect a new people.

    But seriously, the British public will get what it deserves. We must find what consolation we can from being Cassandras. We should drink good wine, smile wryly, minimise our tax liabilities and consider emigrating. Let the Devil indeed take the hindmost of our benighted countrymen, since that is what they all seem to fear: how will they fare when so many Atlases have shrugged by moving elsewhere?

  • pommygranate

    Two different views here – one probably right, one completely wrong

    GCooper – as one of Dave’s ‘defenders’, i believe this is part of a grand strategy to return the Conservatives to power. You may well be right though.

    Ted – completely wrong. This is the platform Hague, IDS and Howard campaigned on. All were thrashed (two by the electorate and one by their own party). People may worry about education, crime and immigration but they are scared of aggressive right wing campaigns. They want to feel good about themselves and feel “caring”. They thought Howard and Hague were racists and IDS a fogey. They dont want to be associated with racists and fogeys.

    Cameron’s skill is in giving people that warm glow.

    This is the central fact that most on the right still fail to grasp.

  • esbonio

    Cameron does not give me a “warm glow” and I do not think he ever will. A lot has gone wrong with this country thanks to New Labour but the success of the economy has kept them in power. As and when the economy falters the floating voters will cease giving Labour the benefit of the doubt on both the economy and other issues.

  • Ted

    pommygranate

    Who said anything about an aggressive right wing campaign?

    Hague didnt win because we were still indulging in post Thatcher/ Major revisionism and no one was going to touch the Tories during this period. Howard didnt win because he was useless. IDS was too bland and no match for Blair.

    My hunch is that Australia (centre right), the USA (right) and Canada (right) have turned to the right for a reason and it isn’t anything to do with ‘caring’. The leaders of those countries came to power on the issues I listed but linked it to a sense of nationality, self-interest, entrepreneurship, small government and common sense. People understood this message and it worked.

    My other instinct is that in a straight fight between Blair and Cameron, the former will win, especially since Cameron is failing to distinguish himself from Blair.

    Cameron doesnt give people a warm glow, he makes them cringe. He gives them that awful cringing feeling when someone of privilege who understands very little about real life starts lecturing. Or when someone of extreme wealth starts waxing about how life is really great. How you think this approach will win people over is beyond me.

  • pommygranate is correct in that Cameron’s skill is in giving people that warm glow, but he does so on the basis of the ‘givens’ (meta-context) set out by the other side.

    And if Hague, IDS and Howard (Howard!!!) campaigned on a platform of smaller less intrustive government, I must have been off on holiday in some parallel universe at the time.

    The point I think pommygranate might be missing is that the reason issues like civil liberties, less regulation and capitalism are not ‘warm fuzzy glow’ issues is that no one in the Tory party has been trying to make them that way. If someone says “people are greedy because they want to pay less tax”, the Tory response has been “oh, but we will only reduce taxes if it is ‘sensible’ to do so” and thereby TOTALLY validate the arguement that low tax = greed. The correct responce (and one you will never hear) is “Surely the greedy one is the person doing the taking, not the person doing the giving! Why should common people be forced to pay more to fat cat bureaucrats and their regulation protected buddies in big business? Have you guys got csomething against the man in the street?”

    Hell will freeze over before the Tories try to intellectually shift the place the battle is being fought and THAT is why they are worthless.

  • Ted

    pommygranate

    Who said anything about an aggressive right wing campaign?

    Hague didnt win because we were still indulging in post Thatcher/ Major revisionism and no one was going to touch the Tories during this period. Howard didnt win because he was useless. IDS was too bland and no match for Blair.

    My hunch is that Australia (centre right), the USA (right) and Canada (right) have turned to the right for a reason and it isn’t anything to do with ‘caring’. The leaders of those countries came to power on the issues I listed but linked it to a sense of nationality, self-interest, entrepreneurship, small government and common sense. People understood this message and it worked.

    My other instinct is that in a straight fight between Blair and Cameron, the former will win, especially since Cameron is failing to distinguish himself from Blair.

    Cameron doesnt give people a warm glow, he makes them cringe. He gives them that awful cringing feeling when someone of privilege who understands very little about real life starts acting like he is their chum. He gives me a perfect insight into what a Tory Lite luvvie dinner party must be like – terribly polite, terribly sincere, terribly well meaning and do good, and horribly naff. How you think this approach will win people over is beyond me.

  • pommygranate

    In case anyone is not sure about the Cameron ‘warm glow’ factor, these are the MORI polls before and after Cameron was elected leader

    pre

    Labour…36%
    Tory…….33%
    LibDem…20%

    post

    Tory……..40%
    Labour …31%
    LibDem….18%

    and this was conducted before the Kennedy/Oaten debacle, so i suspect he’s taken another couple of points from the LibDems.

    Whatever you think of his motives, that’s quite impressive

  • Derek Buxton

    Cameron is as impressive as a month old dead fish. No way will he stand up to the phony PM in parliament, he does not even understand where the power lies. As for the guff about “social justice” and green energy, no doubt he can afford it, most can’t. He leaves me totally disgusted that such a man can become the leader of the Conservative ( should that be CON -servative) Party

  • Rob

    I think Hayek nailed this point some 45 years ago, when he described a typical conservative as “hold[ing] merely a mild and moderate version of the prejudices of his time”.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Perry nails it. The problem with Cameron and his colleagues is intellectual cowardice and laziness. They have conceded the grounds of debate to the social democratic left. They concede that tax cuts are “selfish”, as if the desire to retain as much of one’s wealth as possible is somehow terrible. Well it is terrible if you are a collectivist looter.

    Until and when people start to defend the right to pursue one’s self interest, within the framework of law, and stop conceding the high ground to the looters, the arguments will not be won. The case for small government, tax cuts and the like cannot be simply won on pragmatic grounds. We have to win the moral argument. Very few Tories have bothered to do this, apart from Maggie in her prime and a few others.

    I have developed Verity-like contempt for this man.

  • Verity

    Cameron is installing a wind turbine, for green energy, on the roof of the house he is building. Says it all. Lofty, luvvie, cliquey, condescending, disconnected from ordinary people. The guy is smug and clueless. He also, in his heart of hearts, does not think Tony Blair is wrong.

    Where is Cameron’s Mandelson? Let’s hope he hasn’t got one.

    Edward Lud says people seem to actually want this tripe. Well, the Aussies, the Americans and the Canadians have proved that they, at any rate, don’t want this multiculti, transnational, socialist paradise that their hardline socialist leaders had planned for them.

    There is no opposing evidence, GCooper, because what you see is what you get. There is no Machiavellian plan to lull people into a false sense of security and then suddenly slash welfare, dismantle the NHS, introduce a flat rate tax and bring back the death penalty.

    Dave’s a public schoolboy from an ancient family with lots of famous ancestors. There’s nothing wrong with that; families like this formed many strands of our history. But he is not a man of the people. He has never striven for anything in his life and doesn’t understand what it is to strive. He hasn’t even been in the military. He doesn’t understand the misery of people who have been laid off when their company shuts down because over-regulation, or new directives from Europe have made it too expensive to continue.

    He doesn’t understand the energy that goes into applying for work – the hope, the despair. In Cameron’s world, another Old Boy will always find a spot for Buffy. Mortgages. School fees. The worry parents must feel sending their children to comprehensive schools where the teachers have had all their ability to keep order in the removed. Where they teach media studies and green studies and black history and parents know instinctively that this isn’t what their child needs to get a good start in the world. The worry about mass immigration from alien and aggressive cultures.

    None of this is Cameron’s fault. He is the wrong man for the job, that’s all. He’s way out of his depth and I suspect he is not overly bright. If Dave wins on this programme, Britain will continue to sink into obscurity. If Dave runs against Grim Gordon, he will win. But so what?

  • Russell

    I just thought I’d point out it *is* Lib Dem policy to get rid of the DTI.

  • Spike Milligan

    Just to nit-pick: It is Peter Sellers. There’s no A in the surname.

  • Verity

    Stop that, Neddy! There is no a, but there’s a yin ton niddle nad nu.

    Actually, I’d missed Perry’s clever title the first time I read his article. It’s perfect. Cameron as the Pink Panther. Or Cameron as I’m All Right Jack?

  • guy herbert

    Rob,

    I think Hayek was talking about conservatives, which I could never be, and we are talking about Conservatives, which (at least provisionally) I’m prepared to be.

    Jonathan, Perry,

    Politics is not about exhibiting intellectual rigour, any more than warfare is. It is a matter of destroying your opponent with the materials that come to hand. When you talk about “cowardice and laziness” you are not really detecting any such thing. Cameron and his team are energetically and courageously doing what they reckon it takes to win. They may be wrong, about strategy, but it looks plausible so far as a political strategy.

    Criticising Cameron for acting as a politician rather than a political philosopher or commentator seems to me rather the same sort of waste of energy as criticising ducklings for not being tadpoles.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    “Politics is not about intellectual rigor”. Given the mental capacity of most folk in politics, that is indeed the case. I disagree strongly however, that being a politician means that one is only ever concerned with what gets you into power and nothing else, such as trying to offer a coherent alternative to the government of the day.

  • John K

    My other instinct is that in a straight fight between Blair and Cameron, the former will win, especially since Cameron is failing to distinguish himself from Blair.

    But it won’t be a fight between Blair and Dave, it will be Brown v Dave. Dave agrees that Blair will win, that’s why he’s positioning himself to be the Blair in this contest. He seems to think he will pick up enough NuLab and LibDem voters to win. He also seems to think he can alienate all the Daily Mail reading retired colonels because they will always vote Conservative come what may. I can’t see it working, but that seems to be what passes for his strategy, no doubt the result of lots of brainstorming in Notting Hill.

  • Guy. All that is true, and from the perspective of a political professional whose objective is not to ‘do x’ but rather to ‘get political power’ as an end in and of itself, it all makes perfect sense.

    However, that is like looking at the German and British armies in World War II and ignoring the reason it is better to support the British that the Germans. The German Army existed to win wars, that is true, but a German might well come to the conclusion that the result of winning that war would actually be worse than losing it. Similarly it makes no sence to work for a Tory victory is the result is going to be more of the same policies you oppose.

    Even if Cameron was making sound political judgements that taking a left turn will advance HIS career (and I have my doubts), how does that help people who want a smaller less intrusive state? It does not and provided enough people both want a smaller less intrusive state AND realise that advancing David Cameron’s career is not automatically in their interests, a weathervane like Cameron will simply turn in the other direction if he thinks that will suit him better.

    But to assume he will just be ‘sound’ after gaining power when everything suggests otherwise makes no sence at all. I am not really critical of Cameron for being anything other than a politician, I doubt he has the wit or moral fortitude to actually do somethiong productive. I am critical of other people for treating Cameron as a source of hope for something better when he is just offering more of the same and has been loudly stating that fact for some time now.

  • Verity

    Well, let’s raise a glass to Harper. What an accomplishment. Looks like the immigrants all voted anywhere but liberal. You have to laugh.

  • GCooper

    Verity writes:

    “Well, let’s raise a glass to Harper..”

    Indeed – further proof that being an avowed Conservative and advocating Conservative principles can win elections!

    On R4′s PM this evening there was a brief interview with the new MP for East Moosejaw West. Asked what his advice would be to his British opposite numbers, he was very clear: stick to your principles.

    Somehow, I got the impression that radios were, at that very moment, being switched off, all over Notting Hill.

  • Ted

    John K

    Cameron assumes the fight will be against Brown and, in that context, his strategy makes sense and will probably work.

    However I think there are enough Labour old timers who know they cannot win with Brown. I also think Blair guessed it a long time ago. Brown will not be the next leader for that reason.

    I predict Blair to be heading into the next context as leader, after a cull of the old lefties (eg Short) who are causing him a bit of a headache right now. He is ruthless enough to get rid of Brown, as well – the economy is starting to turn, after all.

  • Johnathan P

    What intrigues me is how long can Wonderboy keep this up before some Tory MPs start getting restive, particularly if the polls start to show Blair regaining a bit of momentum?

  • Verity

    I’m not sure Tony gives a crap either way. I think he ‘n’ Cher are itchy to get on to greater glories. I read that Tone’s been put forward for Secretary-General of the UN, which would suit him on every level. And it’s about time they gave it to whitey, after the string of corrupt third worlders. Time we had an corrupt first worlder.

    I do agree that Labour cannot win with Brown as leader and there are enough astute members of the party who know that. Cameron’s counting on fighting Brown – and if it happened, he would win. But I don’t think it’s going to happen. Brown’s another Scot, the economy is failing under his ideological stewardship, he has all the charm of lichen and by god he is ugly.

  • Pommygranate:

    Whatever you think of his motives, that’s quite impressive

    The MORI poll showing a nine point Conservative lead is a rogue poll, that’s why its results haven’t been mirrored by a single other poll before or since.

    Cameron’s polling better than Howard because he doesn’t seem freaky in the way that Howard did. Even though Howard fought a timid centrist campaign, he was (falsely) seen as right wing.

    Cameron’s kept the “up public spending” mantra of Howard and Letwin, he’s just less offputting. Well, except for Conservatives.

  • Ted

    Verity

    Sorry, but Blair will have to wait until Clinton finishes his term. Clinton has been eyeing that position for a number of years and is the perfect reform stooge for the US Republicans, which is why he’s been brownnosing them in the last couple of years. Either Rice gets in or Hilary – either will support Clinton.

  • HJHJ

    One of the dangers of Cameron’s strategy is that he might just win the next election with it.

    I am not as crazy as I sound. If he wins, he will be left with Brown’s disastrous economic legacy (which is not yet fully apparent) and whatever he does, most likely the economy would be in bad and declining shape for the whole parliament – such are the time lags in economic policy. So the Conservatives are then blamed by the electorate and Labour win the following election under the slogan “We ran the economy better – we told you you couldn’t trust the Tories”.

    If he loses the next election, then NuLabour’s disastrous economic legacy will become apparent under a Labour government – which will then, correctly, be blamed by the electorate. It will be apparent where the blame lies. The Tories could then go on and win a series of elections with proper free market policies as Labour will be discredited on the economy.

    So in the long term, I’m not at all sure that I want Cameron to be successful at the next election, much as I detest the damage being done by the present government.

  • GCooper

    HJHJ writes:

    “So in the long term, I’m not at all sure that I want Cameron to be successful at the next election, much as I detest the damage being done by the present government.”

    I could almost agree with you, were it not for the fact that one more term of government for this pack of totalitarians and we won’t have much of a country left for the Tories to take over. Civil liberties gone, the economy in ruins and the status of province in imperial Europe.

    We simply can’t take that risk.

  • GCooper

    Ed Lud:

    “Michael Wharton is dead”

    When I read this comment earlier today, I thought it was joke in poor taste. Sadly, it turns out that it isn’t.

    I apologise if this seems off-topic, but readers who aren’t aware of Wharton’s writings as the Telegraph’s Peter Simple have a treat in store, if they can find any of his books.

    His is a great loss to anti-idiotarians everywhere.

  • Verity

    Rice will not run. She has stated categorically – no. For years.

    She is not a politician. She is an academic. She has no fascination with the rough and tumble of politics – I guess being better suited to the backstabbing of the academic world – but she has never stood for office. Never. Not even of a local schoolboard. She doesn’t like courting opinion or popularity. She’s not a gladhander. Surely y’all have noticed, she’s a very private, solitary individual.

    There is no way someone who had never been through the mill of standing for any political office could suddenly be catapulted into running for president of the United States. She only copes with talking to the press because she is in a position of great authority; she’s not a contender begging for attention and having to please the press and a constituency. Condoleezza Rice is a loner. Why can’t people see that?

    But yes, I can see Slick Willy as the UN Secretary-General. In fact, he would be hilarious and contribute greatly to the gaiety of nations. He would be perfect for the last Secretary-General of the UN.

    By the end of his regime there, they wouldn’t even have to hose the private elevator down, because the whole building would be demolished. In another 10 years, which is about all I give the UN, India and China will be powerful enough not to need it. So the first world and India and China won’t need the UN.

    So to support the first class plane tickets for armies of advisors, rents on suites in office towers in junk countries, salaries, SUVs, pretend militaries, not to mention keeping the NYC cell going … who’s going to pay? Hmm? OK, the EU will stick around for awhile, bleeding their populations further to try and keep this sad Thames whale afloat, but it won’t work because nobody needs it but the weak. The pretence that is a forum of equals will finally be laughed away.

  • Understanding politicians and what they are likely to do is much easier once you realise that almost everyone in politics (even the ‘nice guys’ who wear sensible cardigans and remind you of Wallace and Gromit) have more in common psychologically and morally with your typical member of a street gang than with most of the people who actually vote for them.

    This REALLY needs to be a ‘quote of the day’!

  • Verity

    Seconded for Quote of The Day!

  • Exguru

    Bravo! The Tories today are like the ungodly in the First Psalm. (Not so.)

  • pommygranate

    Perry, Johnathan

    I agree it is sad that the politics of less government have become associated with an ‘uncaring’ and ‘pro-rich’ attitude. Labour has been totally successful in equating more spending and more government with a more caring atittude.

    Where i disagree with you is to whom we should look to reverse this attitude. I think it is the job of individuals and groups to change and educate public opinion. For example blogs such as this, think tanks like Civitas and the Adam Smith Institute, and radical schools like the EYLA are where ideas are generated and opinions formed.

    For those who truly believe that Cameron is a statist grandee, then there is no other option but to form a new political party and use this vehicle to intelligently and passionately raise awareness of libertarian ideas.

    I for one would definitely be willing to contribute.

  • Hmmm. Hedgers v Trimmers, that old chesnut.

    I wonder which Attlee was when he introduced a centrally-planned system of healthcare. Was Harold Laski a Hedger, or a Trimmer?

    And when, as we are told, New Labour made its accommodation with ‘the market’, where, pray tell, is there is a market in this country, in anything, for it to have made accommodation with? For is not every single conceivable market either regulated by government or banned by the criminal law? What kind of accommodation is that with ‘the market’?

    Hedgers and trimmer, hedgers and trimmers.

    Seems to me the cultural and political dominance of the Left derives in large measure from its self-styled claims to moral superiority. The work of trimmers?

    Sorry, but even as a matter of utilitarian politics I cannot buy the notion that agreeing with everything you are supposed to detest is a viable long-term strategy for success.

    Perry de H. is right: why is it selfish to demand to keep more of your earnings but altruistic to demand the power of law to dip into someone else’s pocket? Frankly the British people need a rather puritan lecture about the iniquity of their electoral impulses and if that makes the little darlings feel bad in the short term, so be it. Politics as therapy is just another way of buying into the Left’s world view.

  • John K

    I believe that it is unlikely that a national from one of the five permanent members of the Security Council could become Secretary General. Bliar and Clinton might actually have to get real jobs! Only joking. Somehow I doubt the Dear Leader will have to sign on at the Jobcentre Plus when Gordon’s day eventually comes.

  • Verity

    John K – Yes. Of course you’re right. I hadn’t thought of that. So that lets Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Lily Savage out.

    OTOH, if Tony Blair gave up Britain’s place at the Security Council, he might get in. No sacrifice is too large to further the intersts of Emily and Cherie. Besides, aren’t they talking about having one seat for the EU? So either Britain or France will have to give up their place, and you would have to pry Jacques Chirac’s cold dead fingers off that chair. He may be a shit, but he loves his country.

    So Tony Snakehips could still slither in.

  • Luniversal

    I am shocked, shocked, to see Michael Wharton being praised in this universal post-human metacontext.

    Don’t you know he was an evil racist Nazi (tr. traditional British patriot) like me?

  • Paul Marks

    Total agreement with the posting (and I am not shy about telling Perry when I do not agree with him).

    One can not go into an election having said for years – modern Britain is wonderful, we do not need to cut government spending, in fact we will give you all the nice increases that Labour is promising you (and has delivered over the last several years).

    And then cut government spending.

    Politics may not be an honest trade – but there are limits.

    Try and govern in a free market way having campaigned AGAINST such things for years (Mr Cameron to Mr Blair on Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s question time “you have sucked up to the rich” – not a wonderful display of either reasoning or command of the English language) and the media and the public will rip you to bits.

    Not that Mr Cameron is really engaged in a “cunning plan” to con the voters that he is a leftist and then (the day after the election) come out as Mr Roll Back The State.

    Mr Cameron would not recognise a principle if he fell over one.

    And NO politics does not have to be a totally corrupt and unprincipled activity – that is just the excuse that corrupt people make for their corruption.

    “It is not me, it is the world and I did not make the world”.

    If someone is going to tax, spend and regulate the nation to destruction at least they could spare us the rationalization for their crimes.

  • Luniversal

    All political parties nowadays hug what they believe to be the middle of the road. It’s a career, not a vocation, and you can’t jeopardise that lovely £160,000 pa in pay and expenses an MP gets, with a fat pension for a few years’ service to follow.

    It would never do if the electorate had a real choice. They might get drunk with power and start interfering in politics!

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with Luniversal says here (both about politicians and about Michael Wharton – whose work I have always held in high regard).

    It is odd to agree with someone strongly on one posting and disagree with someone someone stongly on another.

    I also see Luniveral is British – I had assumed he was American.

    Perhaps it was the use of the word “neocon” in the other thread. But, of course, the whole topic was bound to make me see red.