Friday, 1 December 2006

Samizdata on Cameron on Key

Citizen Key, meet Citizen Cameron. David Cameron, that is, UK Tory leader, upon whom Neville Key has reportedly been modelling himself -- right down to the bicycle clips. Former NZ PM Mike Moore notes, '
I understand [Key] has studied the strategies of David Cameron, the new Conservative leader in Britain, who has the media and the Conservative Party in raptures when he exclaims, "I quite like trees." Cameron has even praised public servants and public health. UK Conservatives have set up policy commissions on all sorts of subjects and invited opponents, like Bob Geldof, to join. Hell, they even invited me to be a member.
"Broadminded" indeed. A mind so broad that anything may enter, however vacuous. It's instructive to see Cameron for what he is, and for that the UK libertarian Samizdata blog is the place. For those remaining libertarian-types in NZ's National Socialist Party, here's some Cameron-comments taken almost at random, including a brief account of his own first week as leader, this time last year, that you might find instructive:
David Cameron as Peter Sellers
Those of you who think Cameron is just being clever should go watch Peter Sellers in 'Being There' and realise that what you are mistaking for cleverness is in fact just emptiness.

Calling all Tory apologists
Again and again, when people here on Samizdata and elsewhere pointed out that there was nothing 'conservative' about 'Dave' Cameron, various Tory apologists kept saying "oh, but Dave does not really think those things!"...

I look forward to them now explaining how the Right Honourable Member for Witney can be making common cause for an authoritarian socialist like Polly Toynbee.

Perhaps the few remaining members of the dwindling faithful who voted for this jackass to be their leader should repent their ways and go join a real conservative party before 'Dave' does the 'full Toynbee' and backs the forcible suppression of all private education, confiscation of private wealth (oh, sorry, he's already decided to back that) and nationalisation of whole industries like dear Polly would like.

Cameron balks at even minor tokens of conviction
The utterly flaccid David Cameron has balked at even the token gesture of pulling his 'conservative' party out of the Euro-integrationist European People's Party in the European parliament. As withdrawal from the EPP would be little more than a minor token that did nothing beyond offer the tiniest of fig leaves to the now completely naked Euro-skeptic remnants within the Tory party, is anyone under any illusions now of his inclination to 'stand up for British interests' in dealing with the EU? ...having the Tories ditch the EPP (whose platform includes 'ever closer union') was one of the planks of his pitch to win the Tory Party leadership against David Davies.

David Cameron - irony free zone (Sept., '06)
The media are going all out to boost Mr David Cameron (the leader of the British Conservative party)... Mr Cameron himself (with the strong support of the Economist) is busy destroying (in the name of democracy) what little democracy there is in the Conservative party.

Why the British 'Conservative' Party is not a political party at all
For what a political party is supposed to be, one should turn to Edmund Burke (the man who is often cited as the founder of modern Conservatism), who produced the classic defence of political party - defending it from the charge that is was simply a 'faction', a despised term in the 18th century and before, of people out for power.

Edmund Burke argued that a political party, as opposed to a faction, was a group of people allied around a set of principles - i.e. they were interested in how government acted, not just in who got power...

Now it may be that the 'Conservative' party will one day become a political party, but I suspect that it will not be a Conservative one - as the forces of Mr Cameron seem stronger than those of his enemies (most of whom seem to lack the guts to even declare that they are his enemies). Indeed Conservatives are leaving the 'Conservative' party every day (it has lost a least 10% of its members over the last six months) - so if it does become a party (a group of people united around political principles, rather than just a corrupt alliance or faction of people out for the money and prestige of government office) it will be a Social Democrat one, like the Labour party or the Liberal Democrats.

When Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox clashed in the House of Commons over the French Revolution, Fox (with tears in his eyes) said that, whilst they differed, there was no "loss of friends" (i.e. they were still in the party). Burke at once got to his feet and said that there was indeed a loss of friends. He understood that people who hold fundamentally different political principles can not be in the same political party (if it is to be a political party at all).

It is time for those Conservative who remain in the 'Conservative' party to follow Burke's example.

David Cameron's interesting start (Dec., '05)
David Cameron, newly elected leader of the Tories, has got off to a wonderful start, as I am sure readers will agree. He has signed up Sir Bob "give us yer fokkin' money" Geldof to advise on world poverty; Zak Goldsmith, the environmentalist, has been also approached to advise on how to save the planet, and in a recent masterstroke, Oliver Letwin, a Tory MP, opined that the Tories should be concerned with redistributing wealth. Splendid. I am sure the sort of voters who deserted the Conservatives in 1997 and failed to return will be thrilled at this embrace of what looks like a sort of social democratic touchy-feely product by the Wonder Boy of Notting Hill. Or again, they may not.

All that remains is for Cameron to steal Labour's old Clause Four promising nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange. Then on to victory!

Meanwhile, Tim Worstall is similarly underwhelmed by Cameron.

It's all so dreadfully familiar already, isn't it.

I leave you with this thought from Mathew d'Ancona of the Sunday Torygraph, an admirer of Cameron: "Without Blair, the Cameron phenomenon would be impossible to imagine. Who would have thought that the Tories would make the environment their core issue, lead the campaign against NHS cuts, promise to hug a hoodie? Last week, a senior Labour strategist said to me that he was concerned his party might lose votes on the Left to Mr Cameron..."

The italics are mine. That this is cited as something of which Cameron may be proud is perhaps more instructive of conservatism in the wild than anything else.

New Zealand now has its own David Cameron. Empty, vacuous, vacillating, telegenic and fighting for the terrain of the political left.

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-UK, Politics-National


  1. Key is utterly disappointed so far. BUt who knows, that might be necessary to become the next PM of New Zealand.

  2. Berend, it might be necessary in order to become the next PM, but my question is: what the hell would be the point?
    Helen models herself on Tony. Cameron models himself on Tony. Key models himself on Cameron....
    So--wtf is the point of voting?


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