|THE PILL BOX|
A CATALOG OF CULTURE & BARBARITY
Looks like Cameron's trick is to appear all footloose, innocent and full of hope - as opposed to that bitter, nailbiting calvinist Gordon Brown (if we assume that he'll ever be PM).
Looks like they've misread Blair's appeal (if he had any anyway)- his whole 'Bambi' image was spent before he was even elected.
The tightarsed middle-england floaters wanted a ROTWEILER and got one. Endless prohibitions on victimless persuits, nonstop war, war, war since 1998, but hey - house prices are through the roof! Every week we hear how TOUGH they're gonna get on EVERYTHING except tightarsed middle-england floaters.
I doubt these people would warm to Cameron's hogwarts smirk that much - he needs to GET SOMEONE (who's left these days? Gypsies? Hindus? Cyclists?). The nation of shopkeepers couldn't give a fuck about the environment unless it affects house prices. They want blood, bread and circuses. Maybe it's time take notes from 'slasher' John Reid...
the problem for cameron is that "middle england" was always a very vague very loose construct, a deliberate renaming for a group which had a lot of DIFFERENT enconomic and cultural interests -- after all, it is intended to include shopkeepers, farmers, the professions, old money and the squirearchy, plus of course the thatcherite secret weapon = the various tory-voting sectors of the working class (including the queen-and-country garnett-esque deferentials -- now largely moribund -- and the thrusting ambitious vibrant young go-getters, plus lots of others less easily pinned down bcz they just wanted a quiet comfy family life) plus lots of others probably
nu-labour recast this still undefined "middle" to include less of the obvious no-go upper echelons (ie few farmers or financiers but plenty of the "professional" classes; plus of course plenty of ppl who had never left labour in the first place)
some sectors of this swingvote have been just BATTERED by thatcherism -- they already wanted out badly in 97 (remember the size of labour's victory), but blair persuaded them you could have a workable thatcherism w/o attack-dog tebbitry, and (with nowhere else to go) they gave nu-labour a chance or three
but thatcherism has produced miserable results for lots of these people -- it hasn't set them free as promised, it's enmired them in stress and debt and etc etc
i'm not at all sure that naked tebbitry, which this particular tranche of voters already repudiated strongly, WILL stitch them back together with the people who always liked it (who make a lot of noise and get a lot of daily mail pandering but DON'T seem to deliver a lot of votes) (or the BNP would do better than it does, surely?)
i think middle england is like a rotten apple still on the tree -- if you poke about at it too hard it will tumble to the ground and SHATTER stickily, and that's what the tories (who have after all already seen a once-stable and reliable class-coalition constituency be melted into air) are so burnt by
i think mark is right. my parents are classic middle england, really and this bit--
'some sectors of this swingvote have been just BATTERED by thatcherism -- they already wanted out badly in 97 (remember the size of labour's victory), but blair persuaded them you could have a workable thatcherism w/o attack-dog tebbitry, and (with nowhere else to go) they gave nu-labour a chance or three'
-- probably rings true for them. they're about 60 now but when i was growing up the two salient political episodes for them were the late '70s, and the early '90s; the latter affected them much worse, really. but the way they talk about the crapitude of the 70s labour govt is probably quite common among non-rabid people who voted thatcher (not that i know they did, but you know...).
competence in government is always a strong pitch for these people; you don't need to be a total bastard with it.
(ip, you shd seriously consider going into consultancy though; like bruno in 'the west wing'.)
The Tories tried that attack dog thing in the last election, but the problem is that Labour is so conspicuously authoritarian and anti-immigration that it is hard for the Conservatives to go to the Right of Nu-Lab without becoming the BNP. I think that Cameron has the right strategy, insipid as it might appear. The Tories are now ahead of Labour in the opinion polls; a while back that seemed well beyond them. (And it would be worse under Brown). Fact is, Cameron is Blair's achievement, just as Blair was Thatcher's.
Consultancy - I wish they did just spend a lunchtime on these things, the sad reality is that they spend months and months of 'work' on them... imagine if all that effort was devoted to something socially useful...
If you consider yourself an ex-socialist now, where do your current allegiances lie?! (Just curious...)
It strikes me that when you jettisoned all the liberal pieties and "adopted" the persona of a rabid Tory, you actually seemed to find it amazingly liberating... like you did when you channelled Bush the other week.
Go on, admit it!
Everybody knows Melanie Phillips is an infinitely better read than Polly Toynbee (runs for the hills)
I have NEVER gotten beyond the first or second paragraph of a Tonybee ed-op piece, it is true... this awful grey FOG just seems to fill my head. But I think taht is a stylistic problem. Whenever I've seen her on TV as a talking head she seems to have smart things to say - but as a writer, ay ay ay, talk about your cure for insomnia. Phillips is just insane, isnt she? I havent read anyting shes written for years, but I always got the impression she would have been happier in the 17th century or something.. in sackcloth, declaiming against... well, everything. Liek that great joke about Puritans: they hate sexual intercourse, because it might lead to dancing.
(Melanie Phillisp = the prim cello playing super ego to Julie Burchill's squally, wah-wah Id?)
I must admit... the idea of Bruno does appeal, tho. Although Toby was always my major crush.
Bruno = great underplayed Mephistophelean character: Ideology no obstacle to his magus craft...
I dont think I meant the economic meat of Thatcherism so much as just channeling some of the front, the lost dreams of certainty... (hey, I'd only just woken up...)
I just think Shires & Squires type Tories will HATE this: over paid urbanites playing with post modernist 'symbols' of a santitissed huggy-smiley Nature.
One thing you can say about Mel P: at least she would've mustered a more acute review of the Fun-Da-Mental LP than Marcello's hysterical bilge, wherein a (5 years too late) piece by Martin Amis summarising the bleeding obvious gets recast as a "virulent, selective rant" and 9/11 becomes the West's collective fault for failing to "respect" Muhammad Atta.Post a Comment
The self-lacerating "guilt" of the progressive classes really is a dismal sight to behold.