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By what reasonable definition are the Tories “conservatives”?

Yet again the utterly dismal David Cameron is being generous with other people’s money:

David Cameron’s plan to offer workers three days’ paid leave for volunteering has come under fire from the business world. The Prime Minister has pledged that if the Tories win the General Election up to 15m workers in the public and private sector will be able to take paid time off for volunteering. In the private sector, only companies with more than 250 employees will be subject to the scheme. Communities secretary Eric Pickles got a rough ride on the Today programme this morning as he struggled to explain who would bear the costs of the scheme and what level of compulsion would be involved.

Is Labour even worse that this dismal shower? Yes, without a doubt, but the only difference is how fast the state marches, not the direction in which it marches. I am old enough to remember when the Tories under Edward Health nationalised companies, so even historically it is hardly like comparing chalk and cheese. No wonder there is talk of making voting compulsory, given there is hardly any difference between the main parties.

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21 comments to By what reasonable definition are the Tories “conservatives”?

  • […] And back again… Via Perry. […]

  • Flubber

    ITs been clear for a long time that Lab/Con are two cheeks of the same arse. I have for a long time felt no alternative but to vote for UKIP.

  • Lee Moore

    The only good thing to come out of this election will be Mr Cameron’s departure from Downing Street.

  • The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.

    — G.K. Chesterton

  • TDK

    This isn’t conviction politics – this is searching for the centre ground. Cameron judges that those to the right have no choice, so he just has to capture so more on the centre ground to win.

    This won’t work. People will judge that if it is a sensible policy then (a) why wasn’t it done earlier – lose (b) train operators are greedy bastards and guess who privatised the railways – lose.

  • Cynwulf

    Cameron judges that those to the right have no choice

    And he is wrong, which is why I’m voting UKIP rather than for that party of worthless amoral cunts. In truth I’m voting against David Cameron’s Tory Blairites rather than for UKIP really.

  • Laird

    Great quote, MSimon.

  • Patrick Crozier

    And he wonders why he’s going to lose a second general election. Really, he could not have asked for better economic conditions or better opponents and he still manages to lose both times.

  • And he wonders why he’s going to lose a second general election.

    I don’t think he’s going to lose a second general election, because I doubt if Labour will win a majority either.

    What may happen is that he fails for form a minority or coalition government because Labour/SNP are prepared to do the one thing he is reluctant to do – buy a government with 180 billion pounds worth of UK taxpayers money.

  • Is there not at least some hope that the Tories might do something about the national debt, though? Or are UKIP really the only hope on that front?

  • Is there any hope on that front? All the ukip billboards I see are promising £billions for things (none of which are paying off the debt). I’m planning to vote UKIP though, just not with any illusions.
    The day they make voting compulsory though, is the day I don’t vote for anybody.

  • Lee Moore

    I’m going to have to disagree with John Galt

    I don’t think he’s going to lose a second general election, because I doubt if Labour will win a majority either.

    The way to tell if you’ve lost an election is if the removal vans start moving your stuff out of Downing Street, and you find that you’re looking at the world from on top of a spike rather than from on top of your shoulders. It is not necessary for the other side to win a majority. See Gordon Brown.

    What may happen is that he fails for form a minority or coalition government because Labour/SNP are prepared to do the one thing he is reluctant to do – buy a government with 180 billion pounds worth of UK taxpayers money.

    I don’t think he’d be remotely reluctant to spend 180 billion of taxpayers money to stay as Prime Minister. 1,800 billion would not be too much. His problem is that there is no bribe that he could offer the SNP that would make them want to commit suicide by propping him up. He could offer them – and certainly would offer them if he thought they’d take it – immediate independence, the Queen’s head on a plate AND 1,800 billion and they still wouldn’t go for it.

  • There is nothing inherently unconservative about either state ownership or government spending. It is a common failing of Libertarians to believe that somehow a ‘conservative’ party should be a ‘liberal’ party. In my view David Cameron is, in traditional English terms, the most Conservative (High Tory if you prefer) leader since Stanley Baldwin.

    For a longer view, here’s a blogpost I wrote a while back on Cameron’s Consevatism:

    http://theviewfromcullingworth.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/david-cameron-conservative-and-lets-not.html

  • It is hardly just a ‘libertarian’ thing Simon, as I would not have called Maggie Thatcher a “libertarian”. A great many conservatives do not think being socialist-lite actually conserves much of anything other than the civil service and state, because it sure as hell does not conserve civil society.

  • Rational Plan

    There is a great deal of difference between Cameron Tories and Miliband Labour. Just look to Labour and see people with no business understanding the private sector at all and that all economic activity is a zero sum game. We face disaster if Labour get in.

  • Lee Moore

    There is a great deal of difference between Cameron Tories and Miliband Labour

    Of course. Milliband’s Labour do not accept arithmetic as a concept. Cameron’s Tories may privately acknowledge its validity, but know that the electorate is firmly in the Labour camp on this one. And so they will disregard it too. In a way, the Labour position is more honourable – surely it is more contemptible to steer the ship onto rocks, knowing they are rocks, merely because you fear mutiny; than to steer the ship onto rocks in the belief that they are porpoises.

    But I agree with your final point. Stay near the lifeboats.

  • Lee Moore
    April 12, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Well put sir. Here in the US we have a similar problem with our “conservatives” although the conservatives are the ones with a belief in porpoises. Our “conservatives” are convinced you can substitute police for doctors and that such a substitution will have a beneficial outcome. This despite the proof from alcohol prohibition that such substitutions are worse than worthless.

    And if you remind “conservatives” that prohibitions are a progressive idea they either bristle or ignore you. I think that is in part what Chesterton was alluding to in the quote I posted at April 10, 2015 at 12:24 pm.

  • Lee Moore

    Indeed. I have no pretensions to put things as well as Chesterton.

  • A Swiss

    Simples. They are CONservatives.

  • JC

    They still hold fast with George III?