Thursday, 4 January 2007

No Mercy for Ming

Iain Duncan Smith united the Tories on Europe, made them the largest party in local government, and took them to parity and beyond in the opinion polls without anything like the now-permanent 34% (pending new political formations) that has to be factored out of headline figures for expressing a fixed and firm intention not to vote. The 2005 Election looked like being a proper contest, between an economic neoliberal/foreign policy neocon, and a High Tory (with, accordingly, a refined aristocratic social conscience) who played well in the areas where Elections are actually won and lost.

So the High Tory was knifed, in order to ensure that neoliberal economic policies and a neocon foreign policy continued under a notionally Labour Prime Minister, at least until a notionally Tory MP in the same mould could be found and made Leader. That has now happened, with Cameron to face the economic super-Thatcherite, and foreign policy super-hawk, Gordon Brown.

Which brings us to Sir Menzies Campbell. Actually, in the tradition of Gladstone, Lloyd George and, er, Ashdown, he is a lot more hawkish than his predecessor. And as an old Liberal, rather than an old SDP hand, his economic views are also much closer to the current, thoroughly unpopular and thoroughly pernicious, "consensus".

But there is something else at work here: Ming is neither public school nor Oxford (not Oxbridge, Oxford). Unlike Blair. Unlike Cameron. And unlike Chris Huhne, who read for the same degree as Cameron in exactly the same years as Blair. So poor old Ming simply has to go.

Watch your back, Gordon...

1 comment:

  1. "A High Tory with an aristocratic social conscience" would have been better than Blair, then? Yes, you really do believe that!