If one wants to know the kind of trouble David Cameron is in right now, a good place to look is the Content Partner of the Guardian.
Partner Montgomerie of that parish has finally decided that establishment klingon Peter Oborne – having previously said Cameron has the makings of a truly great PM, before going on to say it was impossible to assert Cameron was properly grounded with a decent set of values, but now saying he feels certain that he is genuinely filled with sound and decent values – is ‘inconsistent’.
It’s not that Partner Montgomerie is bothered about Oborne being inconsistent per se, just inconsistent when it comes to showing the love to David Cameron via the inane scattering of words that passes for his columns. That is part of the Conservative problem. But to understand the problem one needs to look at the party itself.
The Conservative grassroots is now made up of four key constituencies:
- Those confused ‘Conservative in name only’ quasi socialists who comprise the ‘wet’ wing of the party, who would be Labour supporters but couldn’t possibly be because papa and mama were lifelong Tories and besides, charging around the estate on horseback hunting foxes and picking off a grouse or two doesn’t fit with the ideals of the comrades – and besides having been members of the Young Farmers they couldn’t possibly be anything else.
- Those cynical ‘Conservative in name only’ types like Cameron who studied PPE at Oxford and were never ideologically drawn to politics and couldn’t care less about principles, values or policies, but who simply see politics as a good gig that will help them to achieve some personal success and financial reward if they scale the greasy pole, and who realise that their demographic classification meant they should join the Tories if they wanted to get anywhere and tap into wealthy backers from type 1 above.
- Those who are angry and frustrated at having handed Cameron the opportunity to mount his coup d’etat of the party; yet who stood by ‘for the good of the party’ and did nothing as Cameron migrated it leftwards into the meaningless void of the centre ground, where it continues to shed all vestiges of conservatism and instead absorbs Fabian DNA to this day. They don’t like it but they accept it because they are told by the party elders this is the only way to win and hold power. Never mind that ‘power’ will never be used for conservative aims, it is the illusion of it and the trappings that come with it for the party elite that matters.
- Those Telegraph reading useful idiots who could be stunt doubles for Harry Enfield’s ‘Tim, nice but dim’ character, who believe anyone leading their party is an arch Conservative who will at any day reveal himself to be the messiah who will deliver Britain from the EU, but for now continues to parrot the arguments for staying inside the EU and walks around muttering about pragmatism and consensus while offering total loyalty and support to the leader and attacking anyone who dares offer dissent.
Everyone else who was a member and fell outside these categories has either died of old age or left the party as a matter of principle. So, what does this tell us and how does it help us get to the root of the issue? The conclusion is clear:
The heart of the Conservative problem is that the interests of the party and its leading lights are always put before conservative values and, crucially, the interests of the country.
That’s it in a nutshell. That’s why the Guardian’s Content Partner is more concerned with stories from the butterfly mind of Peter Oborne than the weighty, serious matters of state. That’s why the site doesn’t get serious about the issues that affect this country. It won’t challenge the leadership because, like the media, it relies on ‘access’ to put articles by ‘names’ on its site and therefore doesn’t want to be shunned by the party elite. The line is clear, ‘the party’s in power and being good Conservatives we shouldn’t rock the boat’.