It would appear that the great tory modernisation project has recognised a foe; its own core electorate. This blog fully understands the need to decontaminate the brand, being perceived by even the non-aligned element of the electorate as the “nasty party” is no way to command a mandate for governance. However the requirement for ‘purity’ of thought is getting out of hand.
Without genuine representation the concept of democracy is a hollow thing, and their appears to be a growing perception amongst the conservative element of the electorate that Dave isn’t for them, he is too interested in conquering a putative centre ground to spend any time advancing the core principles they believe matter. This has come to a head with a recent blog post from Conservative Home:
There is constructive criticism and there is destructive criticism. There is a time for debate on the Right and a time to either be silent or gun for Labour. At the moment there’s too much ill-discipline on our side of the fence.
This close to a General Election is a time for people on the right to weigh their words carefully. Do they really want to help re-elect a government that has taken state spending to more than 50% of GDP? The Cameron-led Conservative Party isn’t perfect but this election isn’t a choice between a perfect and an imperfect Toryism but between Brown’s big state interventionism and David Cameron’s alternative.
What appears to be escaping the notice of the tory high-command is that they don’t have a divine right to periodic rule, they exist as an extant political organism precisely because they have in the past advocated a philosophy that resonates with a significant proportion of the electorate. To belabour the evolutionary metaphor; their ability to change is only useful if it is applicable to the circumstance at hand, and there appears to be a significant portion of the conservative fan-base that views the ‘adaptation’ as irrelevant to their aims and expectations, as evidenced here and here.
It is not by pure happen-stance that insightful and provocative blogs such as Critical Reaction are springing into being, it is because people want David Cameron to campaign as a Conservative and be elected as a Conservative, people who perhaps even dare to hope that he will govern as a Conservative.
There is no debt of duty owed.
With five weeks to go this might be something that the tory high-command need to ponder upon…..
Update – 05/04/2010
It would appear campaign for representation has begun:
At Critical Reaction we not only want David Cameron to campaign as a Conservative and be elected as a Conservative. We even hope he will govern as a Conservative.