Tuesday, 13 May 2008

What's Dave up to?

Some news just in: David Cameron, in a speech about localisation yesterday, quoted extensively from Real England.

This is intriguing; and, of course, flattering. Does he mean it? Leaving aside both my ego and my doubts - the Tories have never been my cup of tea - the speech is full of intriguing suggestions: not least the idea of shoring up local shops against the supermarket onslaught. Mood music or potential policy it is, either way, a sign of how the political landscape is shifting. Watch this space.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

As it was Thatcher who propelled us into this Orwellian future by an alternative route, it will be a long time before I'm convinced there's any real change of heart.

"You may say that I've grown bitter/But of this you can be sure/The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor"

Paul said...

Well, quite. Sadly, after 11 years of competing to out-Thatcher the Thatcherites, our darling government don't have a leg to stand on either. And yet both parties feel the need to genuflect towards localism and even - particularly astonishing in Cameron's case - have a pop at big business. Something is certainly going on. It has two - two groups of identikit neoliberals appeal to virtually no-one, and they are beginning to notice that. Perhaps they are also beginning to notice that their Thatcherism has failed. We shall see.

Toque said...

Wow - what a compliment.

Jonnie Falafel said...

I agree absolutely, fo nigh on 20 years the "major" British parties have occupied pretty much the same philosophical territory: "Don't follow leaders/Watch the parking meters"

Jonnie Falafel said...

Since the row over the 10p tax band erupted I can't stomach Tories blathering on about the lowest earners in society....

I Albion said...

He mentions England twice,Once when he mentions you book .
which is twice more than he has ever done

Charlie Marks said...

Let's not get too excited. Big businesses fund the Tories and in power they'll act to shift the burden of taxation off of corporations...

Anonymous said...

I don't know what saddens me most, reading about the loss of an English way of life or the idiotic anti-tory rants from Thatcher's Orwellian future to how many times Cameron has mentioned England.
Surely we must take heart from the fact that a leading politician has heeded the message conveyed by Paul's brilliant book and will hopefully demonstrate the vision (or encourage Brown) to do something about it.
Besides, are we blind to the fact that the last 11 years have had a massive contribution to the state we are in? Regional Development Agencies, spiraling houses prices (where profits have fuelled an exodus to the country displacing the local population), uncontrolled mass-immigration from eastern-Europe (Blair signing the treaty of Amsterdam), the banning of traditional country pursuits (fox hunting), a top down (unrepresentative) approach to government, the list is endless.
However, all this is missing the point. With hindsight it is easy to point out the mistakes of government past, but much harder to get government to correct them. We should be encouraging this interest when it occurs, regardless of party politics.

Kevin Elliott said...

Party politicking is precisely the kind of smoke screen that has allowed quangos, corporations, governments et al to get away with what they do. One of the ways to turn it all round is to restore trust and integrity so why not (cue the oohs and aaahs) take what Cameron says at face value? The job of governments, or potential governments, is to prepare the way for change.

Party political sniping merely maintains the status quo.

William Gruff said...

I don't wish to 'piss on your oysters', as the saying goes, Mr Kingsnorth but I think Cameron used your book simply because he has absolutely no ideas of his own. All he's actually offered us are a lot of 'we-need-tos', 'maybes' and wait-and-sees'. Two years ago he was describing English ignorance to a Scotch audience as the biggest threat to the 'union'. At one stage he was promising that he'd increase the Barnett allocation to Sc*tland. Not so long ago he told an audience of women that the burden of proof in rape trials needs to be reduced. Grooovey Dave says what he thinks his audience of the moment wishes to hear and seems not to understand that others hear him too. He's a politician hungry for power and he'll say whatever he thinks helpful to his interests at the time. It's unlikely that England's interests are as close to his heart as they are to yours and mine.

Cameron is a buffoon and if, as I think is highly unlikely, he ever gets to No. 10 we'll soon see just how much of an empty headed buffoon he is, and 'party political sniping' has nothing to do with my opinion.

We ought to have learned by now that if 'leading politicians' do actually start listening to what we tell them it is only because they haven't a clue what empty promises and outright lies to peddle next.

Anonymous said...

It means that the powers that be have decided you're a threat, and are trying to co-opt you.

I lived in England as a visitor, so my perspective may be skewed, but I've been astonished by how many people in England loathed George W. Bush, but got very enthusiastic for David Cameron, even though he's very similar to Bush, and uses Bush style lines about "compassionate conservatism."

He's like Gordon Brown, Tony Blair,, or any of the other kakistocrats who dominate your headlines, and if he starts saying he's your friend, you should put some armor on your back to intercept the dagger he's planning to put in it.

A Nonny Yank