The heart of the Conservative problem

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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’.

13 Responses to “The heart of the Conservative problem”

  1. 1 Brian H 09/07/2011 at 10:57 am

    There’s a parallel problem in the US. The left pundits etc. have managed to sell the concept of “the undecided middle”, or independent voter, to the Republicans, and thus the need to “compromise” with the left and the Democratic platform. In practice, this allows the left to stay far left of center and induce ambitious or wobbly Republicans to continuously move in their direction.

    What they are desperate to keep attention away from is the track record of solid wins by forthright conservatives who don’t pander to the “undecided middle”, just offer them a clear choice. Without that, all they’d had to choose from is a fake leftist or a real leftist, and rejected the fakes.

  2. 2 Westie 09/07/2011 at 5:16 pm

    I agree with Brian, these fake/neo/progressive conservatives are more damaging to conservative principles than the left. Give the electorate a stark choice and the left will be defeated almost every time bar wide spread fraud.

  3. 3 orkneylad 10/07/2011 at 12:42 am

    “A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement. This is how it starts, and before you know where you are, you’re a fully paid-up member of the rat-pack. The price is too high. It entails the loss of your dignity and human spirit. Or as Christ put it, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”


  4. 4 Jeremy Poynton 10/07/2011 at 11:08 am

    “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.”

    The same could also be said of Labour, that’s for sure. It took me 40 years of voting to vote Conservative – and I can’t see myself doing it again.

  5. 5 thespecialone 10/07/2011 at 9:03 pm

    Well I am one ex-Tory party member so disillusioned with Cameron and his lefty friends that I have now joined UKIP.

  6. 6 Lesley 11/07/2011 at 8:44 am

    Trouble is that the UKIP is not for me either. I have to hold my nose when I vote.

  7. 7 Corin Vestey 11/07/2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hang on, there are still one or two members of the Tory party remaining who literally pray for an end to the wets, an end to the social democracy agenda which is now called modernisation and an end to our EU government.

    What the hell are we supposed to do though? The thought of Labour getting back in is even worse than experiencing Cameron’s lies. Are we seriously supposed to vote for UKIP? I mean really, UKIP?

    There may be little or no chance of an intra-party coup from the right with the Tories but that is still a damn sight more than is available with any other party.

    Referism? Yup, I agree, he who controls the money controls the power, OK, fine. While I applaud the sentiment is it really any more realistic than praying for a right-wing Tory leadership coup?

  8. 8 jameshigham 11/07/2011 at 3:32 pm

    Well, you know where I am in this. What it’s done is exile true conservatives who now will never return because their eyes have been opened to the whole sad scene of party politics.

  9. 9 Dusty 11/07/2011 at 11:34 pm

    Ideally Mr Cameron’s successor will have the following qualifications:

    a) A good science based degree
    b) Will have served in the forces, preferably in a senior operational role
    c) Will have held a senior management appointment in a successful commercial business
    d) Will refuse to have ‘yes men’ on his team
    e) Will be able to listen to and analyse advice and not be dogmatic
    f) Will be able to delegate


  10. 10 John Payne 12/07/2011 at 11:39 am

    ‘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’

    I have been saying this for some time. The problem we have with the media is all-important unpopular policy decision issues are always blamed onto the elected politicians, when the party machine and their parliamentary whips should be held responsible and attacked by the press.

    Unelected party machine tactics are clearly designed to keep the party name well away from disputes and on neutral ground, by allowing individual elected MP’s to take the criticism. The biggest example we have today is the promised referendum on the EU, which was at one time in all party manifestos.

  11. 11 Jeremy Janson 16/07/2011 at 6:50 am

    I disagree with Brian, with the exception of New England. Outside of New England, the GOP is split in to two crowds, largely determined by whether or not they support Palin:

    Pro-Palin – Elite-fearing popular conservatives who see both a great liberal conspiracy and the sheer filthy disgustingness of aptly named group “number 2” and the reality of where the elites are heading our country. Namely, certain doom.

    Number 2 – Suburban house owners who are paranoid about “weird people” coming in to their neighborhood, about “dirty stuff” being near there house, force their children at the point of a gun to become lawyers, and think that the mark of a great town is the total lack of any useful enterprise. They are afraid to stand up for themselves and so rely on elites and the illusions of a working society to keep their own disgusting ugly self in check. These people love to call everyone else and idiot and extreme but offer no ideas of their own as their country sinks in to a pit of total destruction, and really could care less about anybody but their pathetic little selves, They would turn America in to an endless row of identical houses ruled by a predestined Ivy League elite. The fact that the Emperor wears no clothes does not bother them, nor does anything logical, sensible or practical.

    Oddly enough, Britain doesn’t have a problem with a number two because their “old money” has already been well disgraced. In America, though, country of revolution, it gets more complicated and nothing is ever quite as it seems.

  12. 12 Chris Palmer 23/07/2011 at 1:27 pm

    This is why, as Peter Hitchens constantly says, the Conservative party needs to collapse. Until that happens, we will never be able to solve this country’s problems.

  13. 13 ME! 05/09/2011 at 7:53 am


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