Social and political commentary from a conservative perspective

Conservative principles

Just wondering why the sudden and eager adoption of conservative principles by Gordon Brown and New Labour is not being described in the media as a ‘lurch’ to the right. Or is that language only reserved for the Conservative Party?

Still, one good thing about this new-found conservatism among the Labour leadership, is that it makes it harder for Labour to accuse the Conservative Party of extremism. They can hardly accuse the Conservatives of ‘lurching’ to the right, when they themselves are speaking the language of conservatism.

The Conservative Party should therefore be bold, and use next week’s Conference to restate the core principles of conservatism. There is nothing to fear. The real conservative message is an attractive one; if it were not so, Labour would not be preaching it right now. And the Conservative Party can be confident of one thing: in the mouth of a Labour politician, the conservative message sounds inauthentic, opportunistic and hypocritical. Only a true conservative can convey his beliefs with sincerity and conviction. If there is such a person still left within the Conservative Party, may I suggest they hunt him down, and give him a platform to preach the word?

12 Responses to “Conservative principles”

  1. Letters From A Tory Says:

    Cameron has a lot of work to do. I’d like to see him stick to conservative principles but there is no reason why he can’t talk about the environment and our ‘broken society’ as well.

    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com/2007/09/28/poor-polly/

  2. Bel Says:

    Very true. As George Osborne notoriously said the other day, a ‘balanced message’. :)

  3. fidothedog Says:

    They are planning to elect Mc Stalin. Then all the new policies will be dropped an it will be waste, quango’s, lies, hype and bullshit as per usual.

  4. Garbo Says:

    You nailed it here Bel - the Labour party core supporters are happy for their party to sell out their values to the right, but core Tory voters are not happy to sell out to the left. Hence the Labour party hold the middle ground, have the greater support and are more the united as a party.

    Would you rather your party was in power but not idealogical or true to its idealogical beliefs but not in power?

  5. Bel Says:

    Garbo, an interesting observation you make there.

    I have no problem with the Conservative Party reaching out to the Left, but can they not do so without ditching core conservative values?

  6. jameshigham Says:

    Good point - why isn’t it being described as such?

  7. Cassilis Says:

    There are voices that describe Brown’s speech (not to mention Labour’s 10 years in office) as a lurch to the right - they’re just not as vocal and sustained as those that make the charge against the Tories and we just need to deal with that.

    New Labour have been phenomenally successful in creating this meme that the Tories are at heart distrustful and nasty, not there for ordinary people. It’s grotesquely unfair but there you are. What this means is that if ‘policy A’ is advocated by a Tory it can be labelled extreme (and be broadly accepted as such by apolitical ordinary voters) but if the exact same policy is adopted by someone on the left people actually say ‘well, if he thinks that there might be merit to it’.

  8. Bel Says:

    New Labour have been phenomenally successful in creating this meme that the Tories are at heart distrustful and nasty, not there for ordinary people. It’s grotesquely unfair but there you are.

    Well said, Cassilis, but the Tories, by their apologetic words and deeds, are acquiescing in this vile meme. Why the timidity? Why the readiness to see themselves as New Labour are keen to paint them?

  9. Cassilis Says:

    I think the acquiescing is because intelligent Tories recognise there’s some truth to it - whatever successes Thatcher achieved ealy on (and there were many) by the early 90’s we were dogmatic, heartless ideologues, determined to ignore clear investment needs in public services etc.

    Labour had to undergo a similar process in the mid-90’s when Blair virtually defined himself against the party he led - he’s on record as saying their ‘83 manifesto (when he was elected as well!) was nonsense.

    I take the point that there’s a limit to this self-flagellation but I’m just not sure if it’s gone far enough yet and the 11pt gap in the polls wouldtend to back that up….

  10. Bob Piper Says:

    ‘And Smith must score …’…

    As election fever builds amongst journos and political hacks, the latest favoured date appears to be 1st November. Terrific. I looked out of the window at 7.00pm last night as the rain blew in on a cold north easterly… and……

  11. CalumCarr Says:

    Bel

    That’s an interesting observation about “lurching”.
    Lurching can be applied to both parties but only in the following way:

    A Labour move to the left is a lurch.

    A Tory move to the right is lurch.

    A Labour move to the right is seen as talking the centre ground as is a Tory move to the left.

    On the more substantive point about Labour’s “new-found conservatism” I am very cynical. I think that policy-making is driven by the desire to make one’s own party look good and/or to beat - or make things difficult for - the other main party. The actual policies themselves are largely irrelevant to the leadership although not to the rank-and-file. Labour will adopt whatever policies it believes will make it more electable even if those are Tory policies. Power / winning is so important that principles are optional. I imagine that, because power/winning is so important that the Conservatives would act in similar fashion

    Finally you say, “Only a true conservative can convey his beliefs with sincerity and conviction. If there is such a person still left within the Conservative Party, may I suggest they hunt him down, and give him a platform to preach the word?

    It’s too late!! He left for more lucrative roles in June. :)

  12. fake consultant Says:

    the us republican party has found itself splintering between the most conservative (”i support double guantanamo and no abortions-ever!”) and the giuliani supporters.

    i note with interest your comments that only a true conservative can articulate conservative principles, and your question as to whether such a person exists in the party.

    is it possible that labour’s changes are grabbing party-uncommitted voters that some conservatives don’t feel are “true” conservatives, to your detriment?

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