Why I feel (kind of) sorry for the Conservative right….

You have got to hand it to Lord Tebbit who certainly knows how to make grand sweeping statements which capture the very essence of the true blue heart of Conservatism. His call for the ‘punishment’ of the Liberal Democrats and warnings about the ‘wild men’ of the TUC (riding to power, scaly hands clasped firmly around Ed Miliband’s neck presumably) hark back to a age of swashbuckling politics when nobody cared too much for the imaginary ‘centre ground’.

Despite it all, I also cant help but feel a twinge of sympathy for the likes of Tebbit. Comrades within Labour who have leftish politics and/or are trade unionists feel only too keenly the pain of exile from the warm affections of the party hierarchy imposed on them by a cold, calculating and manipulative leadership.  They know what its like to wince when you hear the name of your own Party being taken in vain and associated with all sorts of things which you know run completely contrary to the spirit (and often the letter) of what you know instinctively it believes in in its heart-of-hearts.

For those that forget quickly today was an instructive reminder as the ‘two Ed’s’ desperately tried to outflank the Conservatives from the right on crime and punishment. Mr Balls, far too thuggish to ever convince as a brave defender of civil liberties, argues for an ‘evidence-based’ approach to control orders without producing much actual evidence they work.  Meanwhile, I can partially understand the concerns expressed by Miliband; however, having thought about this I have decided there is no satisfactory way to regulate which prisoners do and dont get the vote. Simply put, I don’t trust judges to administer this in a political neutral way so pending a massive overhaul of our judicial system in favour of the empowerment of juries when it comes to sentancing (as opposed to judges) this is an ‘all or nothing issue’. Either all prisoners have the vote or none do and since I believe in  rehabilitation as a cornerstone of the very nature of justice I would opt for all.

I went on a tangent for a reason. Our approach towards this issue shows we have triangulated light years away from our core values and are lead by the nose by the worst of peoples prejudices like the simple-minded sheep our leaders are. The authentic voices of the radical spirit of the Party are treated with contempt; like curios at the local museum. They are told they are the  ‘reactionaries’ who are ‘inflexible’ and who are failing to ‘adapt to modern reality’ by people who simply don’t have the wit to realise that the flexibility and dynamism that comes from a radical spirit is timeless in its application and relevance and can make the general specific at will.    This is exactly how the likes of Tebbit and the wider Conservative right are treated by Cameron and his motley crew and that is why, although I know they are warriors for the other side, they illicit feelings of grudging  sympathy in me….


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9 responses to “Why I feel (kind of) sorry for the Conservative right….”

  1. John Reid says :

    Its been pointed out the debt The Country owes Tebbit in getitng rid of the Closed shop and stopping the intimidation some union bosses had in foricng people out on strike who didn’t want too, Plus hte enourmous sacrifice that He has made after Sinn Fein/IRA tried to kill his family,
    When jim Callaghan siad days before the 83 and 87 Elections that he didn’t agree with unilateralsim, John Prescott said in 87 that Calalghans opposition to unilateralism just before the 83 election has lost it for them,
    I recall after the May 2005 election that Norman tebbit said that it was John majors fault that the tories had lsot3 times on the Trot, (Not the raving manifestoes that Hague had put forward that Tebbit fully supported )
    ,and that alot of what the Toires had proposed in their 87 manifesto like the NHS reforms and the Poll tax were the reason the otires were unpopular
    Its also been stated that apart form getting rid of Special Patrol group, unilateralims and leaving Europe there wasn’t that much diefference between the 74 manifesto and the (83 and 87 ones) So where people were blaming Callaghan for Labour losing elction after election the real people who should have been blamed was those who proposed the 74 manifesto,Similar Tebbit shouldn’t have blamed John Major for the Tories keep losing he should have looked closer to home.

    the Other similariy i see with the left of Labour and Tebbit is that Tony Benn siad LAbour lost the 83 elelction as it wasn’t left wing enough anf that Tebbit said the Toires lost the 2001 election as it wasn’t right wing enough.
    Maybe Tebbit just can’t accept the Party he backs hasn’t won any of the last 4 elelctions but thinks that now hteir in power they should go back to what htey stood for before,,Didn’t Tony Benn and co try to get labour to swing to the left during hte 97 parliament, it was only after Ken Livingstone had left that the left of the prty realsied there days were numbered during that time,


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Tebbit’s problem is as far as he is concerned he was born to rule the country from the day dot until the end. Say what you like about the Labour left but its clearly not afflicted with this particular brand of arrogant madness. It’s sense of entitlement doesn’t extend beyond the confines of the Labour Party to the wider country.

    He does tell us at least what the Conservative Party does truly stand for and there is a weird kind of honesty about that which is probably why I have a little sympathy. Tony Benn on the other hand, by and large, articulates what Labour probably should stood for but never really has….although I don’t agree with statist socialism the essential truth is that as a Party we damn well should stand for a radical transformation of society but never really have…..


  3. John Reid says :

    Eh, The LAbour party did stand for what Tony Benn stood for in 83, as FOr Tebbit ashuming that he had the right to rule, the Tory party sneered at Tebbit for being working class during hte 70s- through to the 90’s, In fact Tebbit has said that he donesn’t speak for thetories even when they represented what he stood for in the 2001 election, Tony Benn on the other hand said labour lost the 83 election as it wasn’t left wing enough


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Not really. Your too quick to forget, for example, Foot’s wholly wrong and servile support for Thatcher over the Falklands. Working class Tories are usually the worst because having elevated themselves they are more keen than the rest to slam the door shut should any other members of their former class get ideas above their station. Look at David Davis who is one of the most reactionary politicians going.

    You contradict yourself; you say “The LAbour party did stand for what Tony Benn stood for in 83” and then “Tony Benn on the other hand said labour lost the 83 election as it wasn’t left wing enough”. Both statements cant be true.


  5. Robert says :

    Tebbit is old Tory, Cameron is a mixture of Tory and New labour which is causing concern for the old Tories.

    But John I’ve been in a Union since 1966 it’s now the GMB Western area , nobody has ever forced me out on strike mate, in fact I was a shop steward for many years and I refused to even ballot people when my Union decided to have a strike, reason the company I was working for was on it’s knee’s and they had shown us the books. The company carried on for another twenty fives years until it moved out of the country.
    The problem for me is see the difference between New Tory and New labour.


  6. John Ried says :

    Maybe Benn liked the 83 manifesto ,but felt the public didn’t like it and Benn obviously felt that the Public were more left wing than he was, but just voted tory as they felt lets have aright wing govenment if we can’t have a communist one.so maybe he felt that labour did ose as it wasn’t left wing enough

    Yes some Working class tories are the most right wing people but, Has David Davis tried to bring Cameron down,no, he doens’t assume its his party, Yes Tebbit did casue another Working Class tory John Major trouble, but that wasn’t due to class, Tebbit felt Major wasn’t right wing enough, As Tebbit said constantly in the 90’s ‘he isn’t the voice of the tory party, he doesn’t assukme that he speaks for them.
    I would’nt say david Davis sneers at other working clas tories either,

    Tony Benn disagreed with Foot over the Falkalnds so that doens’t amke snese either.

    The point is though that. Diplomacy had failed in the falklands and if we didn’t stand up how long beofre other countries were going to see violence as away of taking away power from our countries, Similar 1983 leection was the longest suicide speech in history


  7. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Indeed he is. Agreed, and thats an alien force for Tebbit in control of his Party like Blair was for us.

    Thanks for that story btw. It gives the lie to the myth that all trade unionists want is to be on strike all the time and that they are somehow incapable of making their own damn minds up.


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    With all due respect your just heading well into conjecture now. As to David Davis I would say ‘not yet, but watch this space’. He clearly is positioning himself as something of a ‘rebel leader’ and therefore putting himself in a decent position to act as lightening rod for right-wing discontent.

    I didnt say he sneered at other working class Conservatives; I more meant other members of the working class. John Major wasnt a working class Conservative really, nor was Thatcher; more middle-class I would say. Yes he did and so do I, retroactively but that shows you the 83 manifesto was not a ‘Bennite’ one by a long stretch.


  9. John Reid says :

    The fact benn and Foot didn’t agree on the flaklands,At the sametime foot wanted to get rid of miltant but benn would’nt let him in 82, similar Benn put through things that Foot didn’t agree with about teh 83 election like getting rid of riot police, But as I said Bennsaid labour lost 83 as it wasn’t left wing enough ,so Benn assumed that the Public wanted an even left winger manifesto than the one that labour produced in 83,so Benn must have felt the public the public felt that the 83 manifesto was left wing but not hat left wing so if were not going to have areally left wing governemnt ,we might as well vote tory.


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