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Thursday 8 September 2005

Conservative Leadership 2005 [Lurks]

Since this is a short political blog, it might help to sketch where I'm coming from. I'm probably a natural conservative in terms of overall policy but in the last few years they've done a good job to make themselves unelectable. Generally through, as far as I can work out, a fudamentally unrepresentative grass roots activist system that has been more about purporting the views and polices of battle conservative dinosaurs rather than the actual views of the general population.
It's been a chicken and egg situation for the Tory party. The absurdly disconnected policies are deeply uninteresting to potential younger new members of the conservative movement. Then when the Labour party moved to the centre (precisely the middle compromise of the left and right that make up the country) and installed a young and dynamic leader that seemed genuine and was good with the media... the rest, as they wrote, was history.
Rather than modifying themselves to be an effective opposition, the Tories then spent the last few years squabbling and putting forward - through the above described broken grass roots leadership election system - ever more absurd and ineffectual leaders and continued the well past sell-by date tactic of negative campaigning and harping on about issues that people just don't care about such as Europe.
So now several years on we have a situation where the Torys finally realise they need to change the rules and allow ministers to elect the next leader rather than the tens of thousands of old grannies rotting away in countryside cottages. They're still arguing about that.
Now we've a pile of candidates that have announced themselves. None of us naturally enough have any idea who half these people are, even the one that is supposed to be a young moderniser (David Cameron). The only guy that anyone knows - therefore is monumentally more popular than the rest of the candidates to the general population of Britain - is Ken Clarke.
Unfortunately he hasn't been right wing enough for the grannies and has said things about Europe that equate to meanings other than "CRUSH! BURN! KILL!" and he's kinda getting on a bit too when the party realises it needs to reconnect with younger people and maybe ignore the pensioner army this time around.
The burning fact that the party needs a leader that is known, liked and makes a good account of himself on television appears to be destined to once again by ignored by the party. As if this is a mild consequence, overshadowed by the fact he's 65 and kept an open mind with regards to Europe.
It's a bit of a disaster. We need a valid opposition so that we can continue to punish the current government over issues such as Iraq and the continued and deeply worrying nanny state erosion of our liberties, unnecessary laws and an utter refusal to tackle the issue of government red tape and inefficiency.
It's worrying and I find myself doing what, I think everyone else is doing. Developing a general apathy for politics since there's no tick-box on the form for anyone remotely acceptable to us.

1 comment:

  1. Although Ken Clarke knows his politics, we can't have the cigar-chomping europhile as the top bod in the opposition. I'm warming to the young chap, Cameron. Looks like a smart enough chap.
    Obviously the old fuddy-duddy Tories won't back a youngster though, so we'll end up with some grey man clashing feebly with Tony and his Cronies at PMQs.
    (Recent footage from the Labour Party Conference of the security bloaters ejecting the old fella *and the bystander* really annoyed me, incidentally).