Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Growing Unrest in the Tory Ranks


There’s a very interesting article in the latest edition of the House Magazine by former Tory Minister Edward Leigh. The article is a critique of the Cameron project. Leigh is concerned that as Cameron adopts Clinton’s triangulation process (subsequently followed by New Labour), voters are left without a real choice.

Leigh is a passionate traditional right of right winger, and clearly is far happier talking about privatisation and lower taxation than the Cameron focus on wellbeing and other what he views as ‘soft’ issues. He is particularly perplexed at why the main opposition in Westminster would want to fight the next General Election on exactly the same policy platform as the Government.

The Cameron strategy is quite simple. He is doing exactly what the New Labour project did to the Tories. He has positioned his party on the exact same ground in the hope that he will achieve power ‘cause people fancy a change in personalities rather than basing a strategy on a significant change of approach. The Cameron strategy is also built with Brown in mind - with no undistinguishable policies the electorate will base their choice on personality. Let’s face it in the charisma stakes Cameron is on a different political planet to poor old Gordon.

Leigh’s article gives an interesting insight to the frustrations of being a Westminster politician with values these days (not that I agree in any shape or form with his views). Since the battle of ideas in Westminster has come to an end – all three London parties now exist solely for the sake of achieving power.

Luckily in Wales we have another option to the failed consensus of the London parties. I am delighted that Plaid for the forthcoming Assembly Election is putting together a policy programme that challenges the current visionless WAG orthodoxy.
update - Neol Gallagher seems to have the same views as me on the Brown/Blair/Cameron consensus. Watch the newsnight interview.

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