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October 16, 2009

Comments

Chris Williams

At this rate they'll be appointing a comedy sassy talking puppydog sidekick for each minister before 2010 is out. "The Home Secretary, accompanied by Scrappy-Secretary, today visited Wormwood Scrubs".

Phil

This is the stuff you do when you’re old and weary and have run out of ideas.

The trouble is, for party renewal you need a good long period in opposition thinking about what went wrong and why - not waiting in the wings while all your old policies get stolen by the government. By running the neo-liberal/communitarian/authoritarian/spectacular package into the ground, New Labour have actually destroyed the Tory Party as well as their own.

Alex

Kirstie Allsopp? And all the drivel about debt? She was still frantically urging the public to pour their life savings into Bulgarian property in the spring of 2008!

Tom

"New Labour have actually destroyed the Tory Party as well as their own."

Long been my view that the Tories are dead, but it's fucking hard to get them to realise it and actually keel over.

jamie

" By running the neo-liberal/communitarian/authoritarian/spectacular package into the ground, New Labour have actually destroyed the Tory Party"

and by occupying the same ground they also find it difficult to oppose them when the undead begin their rise, cometh the full moon.

ejh

it does add to the sense that the Tories seem to be disintegrating even before they take power.

Is this Ludicrous Optimism Day and I never saw the posters?

jamie

Nothing optimistic about it: they'll shamble over the finish line fizzing and puking and then it'll be like a fucking souk.

Charlie

What's going on with these little pictures next to our comments?

jamie

Typepad appear to have hired the Ghost of Tony Hart, or Rolf Harris in his "doing adverts for spirograph" period.

Ken MacLeod

Phil's comment is one of the shrewdest remarks I've seen in some time.

What I'm trying to get my head around is a striking difference between (at least a sample of) the left-of-NewLab blogosphere and the right-of-Cameron blogosphere. The Tory bloggers are mutually supportive and full of bile and rage against 'Zanu-Lie-bore', whereas the Left bloggers are, well, not, but are at least a tad more analytical.

Tom

"whereas the Left bloggers are, well, not, but are at least a tad more analytical."

May be showing my bias here, but the right show loyalty and achieve station by the fierceness with which they defend/advocate complete lunacy. I'm not sure this is helpful.

Alex

Ken - that's one of the things I'm genuinely bitter towards Iain Dale and Paul Staines for. They essentially invited all these horrible talk-radio wannabes into the UK blogosphere in 2006 and set up their own little subsidy economy to amplify their self importance.

It's also very true that the Tories are converging on the modern thinking package as the election comes closer. Having been very cool on the Olympics, frex, a lot of them are now talking about keeping the stadium at full capacity afterwards. Boris Johnson is talking about road pricing at the same time as he's failing to end the WEZ.

And they keep having ugly accidents; David Wilshire's cashfart is just the latest. However, it's depressing how much the media consensus deadens the reverbrations. Tory MP paid £100,000 of public funds to himself...crickets.

Tom

It's not clear whether Boris actually had anything to do with putting road pricing in his transport strategy, large parts of which are completely at odds with everything Boris says and does. I'm half-inclined to think it's a clever move by the Continuity Ken faction at TfL.

Ken MacLeod

Alex: They essentially invited all these horrible talk-radio wannabes into the UK blogosphere in 2006 and set up their own little subsidy economy to amplify their self importance.

I didn't know that - could you point me to the rest of this story?

ejh

I don't see this "the Tory Party is dead" business at all. It doesn't make any sense to me.

The Conservative Party, assuming that is what is meant, is an electoral machine. It's not, particularly, an ideological vehicle, although the people who support it are of course of the Right: but it privileges no particular group, constituency or viewpoint among them. It exists in order to win elections, so that people who possesses wealth and privilege in society may also wield power directly in Parliament and elsewhere - and since being created by Disraeli for this purpose it has been, in general, enormously successful. Moreover it is on the cusp of another such success, and a very substantial one at that.

So where's its death? What, if anything, is disintegrating? It can't be the Party's core beliefs, because it doesn't have any: nor can it be the Party's purpose, since as I say, that's about to be, once more, fulfilled. So what's supposed to be going on?

Tom

What I meant was that the central Conservative Party is weaker, even with a hideously mangled government in power, than Labour was in 1996 after longer in opposition. Otherwise they wouldn't have to keep shoring up the Right against UKIP or engage with the public solely through PR stunts *even when they're in office*, as we've seen in London. It's as if they themselves don't have confidence in their own arguments.

Furthermore, I don't think the country is full of ordinary conviction party Conservatives, unlike 25 years ago. They've died, and the new blood that's come into the party aren't Conservatives, they're wingnut/libertarian loonies who essentially play the part of maggots in rotting meat, presumably in the hope that one day they'll succeed in eating the brain and then by some kind of magic reanimate the corpse of Reagan from the bones.

What's slightly more worrying is that these people aren't just in the Conservative Party - they're playing by the Republican 1990s playbook:

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/100policies/2007/01/gareth_knight_a.html

Chris Williams

I'm with Justin. That blogospheric lot are the booster stage, destined, like many an S1 before them*, to crash unnoticed into the mid-Atlantic while the real action happens elsewhere.

Remember _The State We're In_, and/or _Bring Home the Revolution_? The useful idiots were good for (a) flying kites, and (b) not getting in the way while the real work was done.

*Sorry, Jamie - but most of the rest of the audience appreciates a good spaceflight reference even if the host doesn't. SIL.

Alex

I thought the whole 18 Doughty St/Fawkes/YouGov/YBF nexus was fairly well known in blogging circles?

Ken MacLeod

I guess I'm not in blogging circles, despite losing many hours to reading blogs.

Alex

Basically, the short answer is "dig into Tim Ireland and Richard Bartholomew's archives." You might try this google search.

Ken MacLeod

Thanks!

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