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Yet again, the utter pointlessness of the Tory Party…

Just as Gordon Brown steers the UK full throttle into the ground for the most spectacular economic crash since the 1930’s, far from fighting the culture war in order to set the nation up for an alternative, yet again the utterly absurd David Cameron and his lemming-like party are bending over backwards to show that they represent kleptocratic continuity with the Labour Party.

Demos, a leading thinktank, is today launching a major project to develop “progressive conservative” policies. David Cameron, the Tory leader, will be speaking at the launch of the initiative, which will explore ideas such as how the market can be organised to alleviate poverty and what policies can bolster civic autonomy. Demos, which is independent but which used to be closely associated with New Labour, will have up to four staff working on the project, which will be funded by outside partners, but not the Conservative party.
As Tory leader Cameron has pledged to pursue “progressive ends”, such as social justice and poverty reduction, through “conservative means”. But this claim has been challenged by Labour and the Liberal Democrats who have questioned his credentials as a true progressive.

How “the market can be organised to alleviate poverty and what policies can bolster civic autonomy”… When politicians ‘organise’ markets, that is always high on political organisation and low on markets. And what policies can “boost civic autonomy”? Dave needs a think-tank to tell him that? Less state policies, taxes and interference generally. Anyone want to make a book on the chance Demos offers that up as a solution? Fat chance.

“But this claim has been challenged by Labour and the Liberal Democrats who have questioned his credentials as a true progressive.” This is like members of a cartel howling about other members competing with them as a way of hiding the fact there is actually no competition going on at all. Labour, the LibDems and the Tories make a fetish of the minor difference between each other to hide the fact there is actually very little between them.

My theory? They have no interest whatsoever in the traditional Conservative voter, whose ovine voting can usually be counted on anyway, but rather plan on gaining power via the strategy of simply waiting for Labour to lose rather than planning to pro-actively win themselves. Therefore they are working up policy statements calculated to appeal to the same Guardian reading looter class seeking more of the same only this time with ‘a sensible safe pair of hands’, to use nauseating Tory-speak.

A vote for the Tory party (I refuse to call them the ‘Conservative’ party) under Cameron is a vote wasted because even if they win, nothing changes. Even if you ‘win’, you lose. They are beyond salvage.

Want to vote? Then vote UKIP. I do not support all their policies but there simply is no meaningful choice any more and at least they have a more or less nationwide political organisation. Is a vote for UKIP a wasted vote? Well at least you will be wasting your vote on a genuine alternative rather than the illusion of change under ‘Dave’ Cameron and his dismal shower of ‘progressives’.

And if enough people do that then it was not a wasted vote after all.

19 comments to Yet again, the utter pointlessness of the Tory Party…

  • Michael

    Vote for anyone except the 3 main parties. The system has got to be broken before it can be mended.

  • Perry writes:

    I do not support all [UKIP’s] policies but there simply is no meaningful choice any more …

    While agreeing with Perry that this action by Cameron is dire, I think that there is a much better choice than a minority party like UKIP.

    One should vote ‘None of These’ and we should all lobby hard and long for ballot papers that allow such official abstention, different from a spoilt ballot paper. Then the number of such abstentions would be reported as part of the poll result. I see it as untenable, in our western democracy that, where official abstentions (or currently spoilt ballots) win the vote, the ‘second-placed candidate’ can take up office.

    Perry’s suggestion of protest vote for a minority party (of tolerable but not favoured policies) is, really, a wasted vote. [In any case, I also support the Single Transferable Vote, that effectively does away with this possibility of protest votes for minority parties.]

    The problem we have is actually the coming failure of representative democracy: its corruption by monopoly through over-strong political parties and ‘village/beltway’ dominance, with a sideline in gerrymandering and vote-buying by the party in power.

    Best regards

  • mike

    “The system has got to be broken before it can be mended.

    Agreed, but nobody has any idea how long that will take or what will be lost in the meantime. And what is the standard by which you or I judge the ‘system’ to be broken? My penny’s worth is that it’s broken now.

    I’m all for fighting the culture war by disseminating the relevant principles and abstractions, but christ on a bike, more or less my entire generation is in some measure actively, and often consciously, against those very abstractions because they have already accepted contrary principles.

    And I don’t want to be squirreling away in secret for a libertarian Earl Browder. Fight openly and for principles, I say.

  • UKIP have never amounted to much outside of the issue of the EU. I’d vote Libertarian once they start fielding candidates.

  • martin

    They actually need a “leading” think tank to tell them how the markets can be organised to alleviate poverty! It’s beyond sad! How abaout a look at India and China, even Viet Nam The more the State got out of running the economy, the more people found the proper einvironment to lift themselves out of poverty, millions of them. Simple. 10 cents worth of brain can figure it out.

  • Many thanks Perry, and we do try our best despite the inevitable growing pains.

  • UKIP have never amounted to much outside of the issue of the EU.

    Then you have not been paying attention over the last few years as they have developed into far more than a single issue party.

    Although I was a life long Conservative Party member, I now vote UKIP across the board. Interestingly my brother, a Labour man for many years, then a Lib Dem in more recent times, also now votes UKIP and we both find it mildly disturbing to find ourselves on the same side politically after a lifetime of arguments across the dinner table.

  • The point of having two parties with identical policies but different brand names is to make people think there’s a choice.

  • RAB

    Well, as I’ve said before, I Will be voting for UKIP.
    It is indeed a spoiled vote, as they got about 490 votes in Bristol West last election… Not a snowballs chance but…fuck it!
    I have to vote for the principal problem.
    Unless we are out of the EU and take back the power to make our own laws, then the rest of policy doesn’t mean jack shit!

    Incredibly well written piece, by the way, Perry.

  • Sam Duncan

    Cameron has pledged to pursue “progressive ends”, such as social justice and poverty reduction, through “conservative means”

    First we had Brown chanelling Sunny Jim Callaghan, now Dave’s taking the Tories back to the 1950s.

    Is it me or has the entire political world gone completely barking mad? (As opposed to only partially barking mad, as it was previously.)

  • I’m with mike, the system is broken now and I won’t countenance its continued existence by participating.

    I would vote if the option put forward by Nigel was available but I will not waste my time with a broken democracy and corrupt system.

  • tdh

    Most people still want health, happiness, prosperity, and if not intelligent enough to want full freedom at least would like to preserve their accustomed civil order against all enemies. So, there are, in fact, common ends that can be used as a basis for arguing for appropriate means of achieving them. It just happens that, in the long run, ironically-named “progressive policies” achieve the opposite. (Please, no ends-do-not-justify-the-means equivocations; ends and means remain vital even in dumbed-down, lie-infested political discourse, so they cannot be completely dispensed with whether you, um, agree with them or not.)

    The lobotomized Tory is thus at once misstating shared ends and choosing non-means to reach even those.

  • Robert Speirs

    Why can’t an eligible voter get a “rain check” when there’s an election in which no candidate he likes is running, save up his rain checks and then “spend” them all when a reasonable proponent of freedom is, however accidentally, nominated? I’d have fifteen or twenty piled up by now and I think there are a lot of people like me. The threat of such an overhang might be more effective than abstentions.

  • Laird

    That could be an interesting thread: proposed modifications to the current voting system.

    A “rain check” is certainly one idea, as is requiring “None of the Above” on all ballots. There are several variations of “ranked” voting or “instant runoff” methods. How about some form of proportional voting: everyone eligible (by age, citizenship, etc.) gets one “base” vote plus one more vote for each (say) $1,000 of tax paid in the previous year to the relevant voting district or jurisdiction? And why is it wrong to sell your vote (after all, politicians “buy” them routinely, and with our own money no less). Could we create a market in votes? Frankly, if someone offered me $50 for mine I might just take it, since I would just be “wasting” it anyway (voting Libertarian). I’m sure there are lots of other ideas floating around.

  • knirirr

    I saw an interesting system some time ago but I can’t remember who came up with it (perhaps someone would remind me). It involved the ballots being cast as normal, but the returning officer pulling one slip out of the ballot boxes at random after the poll had closed. The candidate marked on the slip would be elected and the voter who voted for them would win the other candidates’ deposits.
    This system is not likely to be a popular one but it would certainly be entertaining and would produce a crude form of proportional representation.

  • Slightly OT/

    The first order of business is to deny anyone who works in the public sector the vote. When the government writes your paycheque they basically own you and your political affiliations. This would include, the police, The armed forces, the civil service, local authorities, and any department of national government. When a sitting government can basically say “if you vote for us we’ll see that you’re looked after” and mean it in a very direct way (pay rises, better pensions, greater benefits/perks) there is something drastically wrong. It also works the other way around; Public sector workers can threaten strikes and ruin a sitting gov’ts chances of getting re-elected if they don’t get their own way.

    The rationale could be given that as public sector workers they have far more influence over the actions of the government and its policies than non-public sector workers, and so don’t need any representation. If they have a problem with the way their employer is doing things then they can take it up directly.

    I await the volley that shoots holes in this argument. 😀 /slightly OT

  • F0ul

    I would like to suggest something a little radical

    There is about 18 months before the next election.

    Would it be grand if every minority party came together and put one candidate in every area under the collective name of None of the Above parties?
    The only aim of this party of parties would be to change the selectional system to be fairer to everyone. They would all agree to drop any political agendas they had and that they would resign their seats as soon as their task was done

    Now – that is how you do revolution in the UK!

  • Paul Marks

    It is difficult to deal with people who do not define the terms that they use.

    “Social Justice” is a good example. This term has always been used to mean a distribution of income and wealth by government on an egalitarian or semi egalitarian principle – i.e. all stuff is regarded as the property of the government to be divided up on the basis of what it thinks “fair”.

    This is why Hayek entitled the a volume of his “Law, Legislation and Liberty” “The Mirage of Social Justice” and denounced the use of the word “social” for sucking the traditional meaning of words like “justice” (to each his own) and leaving them meaning the opposite of what they had meant (“social” acting as a “weasal word” an animal sucking out the yoke of an egg leaving only an empty shell). As with the “social rule of law” replacing the “rule of law” in German legal thought – sucking out all the real limits on government power and leaving only a formal facade of “law”.

    Now conservative thinkers (such as M.J. Oakeshott) have understood all of the above well – so what was going on.

    I tried to find out – and found that people who used the term “social justice” did not know what it meant or did not regard meaning as important when using words.

    At that point I gave up trying to communicate with them.

    As for “using the market to….”

    A market is civil interaction – i.e. people cooperating to achieve goals without orders from government.

    To try and “use the market to….” misunderstands the very nature of what the term means. But then I am using words with a regard to their meaning.

  • Zevilyn

    The only way out of this economic mess is to rebuild our manufacturing industry.

    British companies need to emulate the likes of Nintendo, a Japanese company whose innovation, creativity, and business sense towers over our incompetent, talentless companies, who don’t make any products of their own because they have no creativity or vision.

    The British do not have the creativity of nations like Germany and Japan. We are a worthless, shallow, and short-sighted people who have nothing to offer the world other than trash.