Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ConservativeHome embarrasses David Cameron

The other day I endorsed the suggestion that we should be terribly nice about David Cameron while pointing out that, sadly, he does not speak for the bulk of the Conservative Party.

A good example of this is an editorial posted on the ConservativeHome website this morning - the site known to its detractors as "The Continuity IDS":

We know this isn't going to be popular among a great many ConservativeHome readers and 92% of adopted Tory candidates but we ought to publicly nail our colours to the mast and stand up with Ann Widdecombe, Norman Tebbit, Matthew d'Ancona, Melanie Phillips and Frank Field as supporters of the Government's attempts to introduce a period of 42 days' pre-charge detention.
Leaving aside the fact that if you find yourself in that company it is probably a good idea to re-examine your conclusions, this tells you a lot about the psychology of Tory activists. They see themselves as the pro-police party, and cannot stand the idea that Labour can be keener to give the police wider powers than they are.

Similarly, this kind of Tory is so Atlanticist that they believe the only possible foreign policy for a Conservative government is to be more pro-American than even New Labour has been. This is the position of Dr Liam Fox, for instance.

It is all a long way from traditional Toryism, but it is the strange area that many Conservative activists now inhabit.

Gordon Brown tried to embarrass David Cameron with this editorial at prime minister's questions today, but let himself down by seeming to imply that the site had some official endorsement from the Conservative Party.

Nevertheless, it did emphasise that there is profit to be gained from exploring the differences between David Cameron and the bulk of the active members of his party.

But there is a difference in the Liberal Democrat and Labour approach to these differences. We Liberal Democrats would say that while David Cameron is right on many things, his membership consists largely of far-right headbangers. Gordon Brown wants to emphasise that the far-right headbangers agree with him.

1 comment:

Miller 2.0 said...

"A good example of this is an editorial posted on the ConservativeHome website this morning - the site known to its detractors as "The Continuity IDS"

This had me in fits.