Wednesday, October 06, 2004
What is wrong with the Tories?
I'll tell you. I've figured it out. I've spent sizeable amounts of time watching the Conference this week (see below), and one thing has become clear to me: the Tories are terrified. A perfect example - the gist of an interview between David Cameron, Conservative Head of Policy, and Andrew Neil, brillo-pad-headed BBC interviewer:
AN: "You've criticised Labour for putting in place 66 tax rises since 1997. Which of the 66 are you going to repeal?"
DC: "I can't say."
It's pathetic. The Tories are petrified of committing to anything perceived as right-wing (i.e. tax cuts) for fear of being beaten with the "Nasty Party" stick by the Lib Dems and Labour, but are equally terrified of not being right-wing enough and thereby losing more ground to UKIP. The result? They're dithering around topics rather than having the courage of their convictions to say:
"Yes! We are going to cut tax. Yes, that means less money for hospitals - BUT we're going to reform the way NHS funding works in order to improve services so the cash we give them actually reaches patients. And yes, that means less dole money for you work-sky council estate scum. Tough shit - get off your arses and work. But we're going to spend the money we've saved on bringing back grammar schools, reforming the University system and restoring some common sense to the A-Level system. And yes, we're going to build more prisons and give the police powers to nick criminal scum without subsequently needing to fill in two million forms. And yes, we're going to have stern words with the EU and reclaim our national sovereignty and £3 billion a year. And yes - we're going to be tough on immigration, tough on political correctness, repeal the Human Rights Act, give the Armed Forces the money they need and save a fortune by drastically paring down the civil service and sacking lots of bureaucrats."
That'd do me, anyway: less cowardice, more conviction. All the Conservatives have to do is remember that boldness won them four consecutive general elections between 1979 and 1992. Temerity will result in the very thing they fear: people will vote for the parties who sound like they mean it instead - the Lib Dems and UKIP.