Saturday, 5 September 2009

Is This a Progressive Party?

The Conservatives seem to think that a few key placed, if misused, words can help the branding of their party. They have been using the words 'clean' and 'honest' in the Norwich North by election then they were far from transparent but successful. So they are repeating the mantra in Glasgow North East.

They are also attempting to use the word 'progressive' to describe their past, present and future. Though interestingly seeing as the Lib Dems don't do well in polling to come equal top of the parties with the Tories in one poll on progressiveness slightly above out voting intention level, with them well down is a telling sign.

Heck there is even a piece in today's Torygraph by Antony Sheldon who has an upcoming book called Trust which tries to highlight Cameron's progressive theme. He opens by saying that Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli, the Marquis of Salisbury, Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher are rare in Conservative history in being prime ministers who changed their party and the direction of the country. But what was the direction of their country at the times that they were trying to change.

Disreali was up against Gladstone and his reform agenda. Baldwin may well have introduced votes for women but called his first election to gain a mandate for a protectionist pact, failing to gain a majority. Of course Churchill was a great war leader but post war was voted out for not having the vision to help the people recover, and then in opposition opposed the establishment of the NHS, something that still causes division in Tory ranks just last week. As for Thatcher she was hardly the great social reformer, her reign from milk snatcher, to unfair taxation, supporting the apartheid regime, section 28, suppression of rights to protest.

One telling quote is this:

"Thatcher had been radical on economic reform and [David Cameron] was going to be equally modernising on social reform."

See the above, think and also watch the below. Is being as radical as Thatcher was on economic reform necessarily going to be a good thing for social reform? I for one dread to think what social inequality that can bring after the economic inequality of Thatcher's 'steal from the poor give to the rich' Dooh Nobir* strategy.

*For anyone not catching that it is Robin Hood in reverse.

No comments:

Post a Comment