Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Why are the Tories descending into partisan pettiness?

A couple of years ago, David Cameron was keen to stress the all-embracing nature of the new Conservatives. They were nothing less than the new Blairites, he trilled, though not all of us were convinced.

But the message was clear: the partisan nastiness so aptly identified by Theresa May in her evocation of the 'nasty party' was a thing of the past. Voters who had shifted to Labour could turn to the new cuddly Tories safe in the knowledge that they had the national interest, rather than the partisan concerns of a minority of right wing obsessives, at heart.

Of course, in getting elected, David Cameron had to throw a few crumbs to the obsessives, pledging to abandon the European Christian Democrats in favour of a barmy alliance of fringe parties cobbled together among the also-rans of Europe. Nobody believed he really meant it. And then it came to pass. The Tories now sit with the Latvian Waffen SS memorial party, while decent middle of the roaders like Edward McMillan Scott are booted out.

And when there is a real chance that one of the greatest British politicians of our age could become the President of Europe, what is the considered response of the man who would be Cameron's Foreign Secretary? "He should be let nowhere near the job," he says, using the sort of diplomatic skills normally apparent in UKIP.

Tony Blair often put the national interest above partisan interests, appointing able Tories like Chris Patten to key posts in Northern Ireland, for example. Is it really too much to expect David Cameron to do the same?

1 comment:

M said...

Excellent post, Conor.