Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How conservatism rescues Conservatism

In the wake of last weeks events, my colleagues on the left are decending into greater depths of fratricide. The political right never seems to turn in on itself in such a poisonous way. The parliamentary Conservative Party is - admittedly - a nest of vipers.

But I wish the wider left could emulate the right-wing diaspora in the way they rally their nebulous support.

I've been slowly composing this post for weeks. It's time for it to be aired. If nothing else, a change of subject would be worthwhile.

Global warming:
Do say: We take global warming seriously
Don't say: We support road charging / an increase in fuel duties / public investment in transport / anything that suggests that you take global warming seriously
Deniable allies: Petrolheads, fuel protesters, school-run-mums, 4x4 drivers, 'ordinary working people who just want to get to work', right-libertarians
Related issues: speed cameras (stealth tax, nannying), speed bumps and traffic calming, Europe (any rule that has been discussed in Brussels makes it a useful target), 'political correctness', congestion charges (damages business / civil liberties)
Key words: Nannying, social engineering, 'peepul power', stealth taxes, freedom to drive

Do say: We want to re-negotiate our membership terms / we only agreed to join a trading club (which part of 'ever closer Union' didn't you understand in 1974?) / I want a referendum
Don't say: "Our allies in this re-negotiation will be ....." / "we are being swamped by American culture" Mrs Thatcher signed the Single European Act, I called for a referendum on Maastricht
Deniable allies: Europe's most distrusted and dishonest print media, Media owners, the film industry, Microsoft, people who hate foreigners, right-wing Americans, the 'anti-globalisation' (see France) movement, 'grumpy old men', anyone who objects to any regulation
Related issues: The War, the smell of garlic, straight bananas, any rules that are unpopular but probably necessary (see British Housewives League for inspiration), immigration, The British Way of Life / 1000 years of history, decimalisation, German sense of humour
Key words: Brussels, asylum seekers, 'red-tape'

Do say: It isn't racist to impose limits on immigration
Don't say: You can smell their cooking all down the street / there are too many white Zimbabwean farmers coming into this country
Deniable allies: Europe's most distrusted and dishonest print media, the working class (a version thereof), Norman Tebbit, that other stupid woman and her jokes, second generation immigrants, other assorted racists
Related issues: Europe, political correctness, race, benefit fraud, cream teas.
Key words: Bogus Asylum Seekers, Gypsies

Do say: People used to think we were the nasty party
Don't say: anything really
Deniable allies: The Institute of Directors, the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Business, Europe's most distrusted and dishonest print media,
Related issues: Europe, 'political correctness', race, benefit fraud, 'nannying', 'social engineering', unfair taxation, single mothers. 'red tape'

Note: this posting is not intended as a dig at the Tories. It should be read as grudging admiration. When Labour can get so many people singing from such a self-contradictory songsheet without pause, we will be getting somewhere.

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