There are a great many committed libertarians, Thatcherites and Monday Club hangers 'n floggers who think that "Call me Dave" Cameron is a bit, well, wet. I agree, sort of... The Nameless one over at The Appalling Strangeness sums this point of view up nicely, to satisfying applause from DK.
They are a bit pissed off because their chosen Party, UKIP for whose ideas I have an awful lot of sympathy, is going to have one effect at the next election - to make a Conservative victory less likely. If you think about what that actually means - best case scenario: Hung Parliament lib-lab coalition and the resultant constitutional vandalism of PR leading to endless unstable coalition government. Worst case - 5 years of untrammeled Brown as PM. The fact is the electorate have been schooled into a Pavlovian res ponce to "the public services" and "tax-cuts" that is wrong. You can complain all you like, or you can get into Government and do something about it.
The counter argument...
...anyone like myself, who is right wing but doesn't vote Tory, will be electing by default a further Labour administration. This is just so much horseshite. Because my counter-argument is simple - there is no point in electing a Tory party that is just a photo-copy of the Blair administration. Which, I am sorry to say, the Conservative Party under Cameron are......is just lazy. The Nameless one was at the same lecture as me. He knows the Tories will do things differently. There is hope of tax cuts in time. The reckless spending on pointless administrators and gender outreach co-ordinators will slow and eventually stop. THE TORY PARTY IS NOT THE SAME AS THE LABOUR PARTY, and to suggest otherwise is to employ political analysis at the level of Terry Kelly (see under "Blogs By Idiots" to the Right...)
I am tired of hearing about how the Conservatives are the best we have got, or how politics is the art of the possible. Bollocks. This country has elected radical governments before (see Attlee and Thacther) and those radical governments are the ones, regardless of whether you think their policies were right or wrong, who actually managed to acheive something. Crazy when you think about it, but there was a time when political parties actually aspired to something other than good headlines and a nice photo opportunity. The fact that Blair has spent the last ten years terrified of moving from the middle ground - and in doing so has terrified Cameron into exactly the same position - is no reason for us to accept this post-Blair consensus that offers nothing other than more of the same to the British people.This government has been a government of Massive redistribution and tax and spend. The rhetoric is middle ground, but the reality is old labour spite. Can you not see that? The Tories are the best we've got and there's no appetite for radicalism when the economy's ticking over nicely (it is at present, the wheel is coming off, I know, but the punters can't see it). Politics is the art of the possible and the business of power. You may be as sick of that as you like, but its the truth.
Here is the brutal truth - it doesn't make a blind bit of fucking difference to me if Labour win the next election over a Conservative Party that is indistinguishable from that Labour party.No, Nameless one - here is the brutal truth: Cameron's the Tory leader who's getting into polling territory which puts him within a sniff of government, because he doesn't hector the electorate. They are comfortable with him.
I've said before but I'll repeat it here again - there is no point in winning power if you have abandoned the ideas and policies that made you seek power in the first place. I reject the idea that politics should be achieving power to the detriment of everything else outright - and, sadly, this seems to be the guiding idea of both Cameron and BlairAll that's changed in either party is the Rhetoric. Labour - Tax 'n Spend. Tories - Cut tax if possible. The Tories have never been radically imprudent (except the ERM debacle). Even Thatcher didn't cut taxes in her first term, because she couldn't.
By voting for someone else at the next election it won't be me wrecking the party for Cameron. It will Cameron wrecking the party for himself, by forgetting that he is a Conservative and that the valid, workable ideas for improving this country actually come from the right of the political spectrumWe aren't arguing for different ends, just what means to use. To use a military analogy, there are 3 ways to attack - left flanking, right flanking and "straight up the middle, bags of smoke". UKIP represents the last of these. David Cameron is leading the Tories Left flanking: using cover of greenery and the ditch of not promising tax-cuts (yet) whilst attacking the enemy's weak points on civil liberties and the family. This is not moral cowardice, it is the best and only way to achieve difficult tasks. Going straight at 'em while their defence on the economy remains strong presents an easy target to shoot at. (have I sufficiently stretched the metaphor?)
The Tories are the most successful political party the democratic world has ever seen. This is because they adapt to the political climate. There will always be backwoodsmen hankering for old certainties but the enemy has changed and the electorate has changed. You UKIP nutters can masturbate all you like over your minarchist fantasies, you aren't going to get what you want.
I'm sorry the party's broke - I think UKIP's been treated harshly, but it makes not a blind bit of difference. You can either rejoin the Tory party an pull it the way you want, or you can cast Euro scepticism into the wilderness of fringe party politics and make the collapse of the EU less likely.