Why Tories Don’t Get It

Conservative Party poster from 1909, in which ...
Not much to do with the article, but ain't it great?

The basic problem of the Conservative party is that they’re the party of old. Not even the old, just old in general. A young Tory is like a baby smoking a pipe, a puppy barking at strangers, a flower behind glass in a museum. Oddly inappropriate and not very pleasant. It is not youthful to be a Conservative, and in the end the party always has to appeal to and reflect the mindset of the older voter. They absorb it, and come to embody it.

So despite the fact that riots occurred in the 80s in the same cities and even the same neighbourhoods, the problem must be social networking. Because it’s new, and the rioters used it to talk about rioting.

Look, I use social networking to talk about sex. That doesn’t mean it causes sex. I can assure you. It’s just the way these things are done now. If the riots had occurred five years ago, the Tories would have been talking about banning text messages. Five years before that, they’d be trying to shut down Internet chat rooms. As it happens though there were no riots on those occasions, so it’s fortunate that the Tories weren’t in power. Not of course that we’re suggesting any possible oh yes we are.

If I were a British voter, at the last election I’d have been tempted to vote for the Conservatives – or at least abstain from voting for Labour. Why? Mainly because of Labour’s pursuit of ID cards. I thought it was a case of a socialist party going a bit collective on individual liberty. But here are the Conservatives, party of individual rights and responsibilities, wanting to police our texts and sit in on our conversations. Because they don’t know what else to do.

“Free flow of information can be used for good,” said David Cameron to the House of Commons. No David. Free flow of information cannot be “used for good”. It is the fundamental basis of liberal democracy. If you don’t understand that, get the hell out.

Revolution Abroad, Retrogression At Home

Generic CartoonI just heard a Libyan diplomat to Ireland come on the radio to condemn the actions of his own government. Not looking too good for Qadhafi then. Of course he isn’t going to get the support from ours that he’s requesting. You can see the argument for a Western government not commenting on other people’s revolutions; comments could be seen as interference, etc. But Jesus Christ, could we not say something along the lines of “We disagree with importing mercenaries to machine-gun your people in the street”?

Meanwhile… Each new opinion poll here delivers its payload of depression. For the first time in our history, Ireland had a chance of delivering a mildly socialist government. And after having lived under a conservative one that wrecked the economy and gave all our money to bankers, you’d think we’d go for this. But we seem to be in real danger of electing the furthest-right government we’ve ever had – a single-party Fine Gael administration. A party of small business, big farms, and the professions, FG has never formed an administration without the balancing influence of Labour as coalition partner. (The reverse is also true.) If they do get in by themselves, the country had better brace itself for a shock.

Irish group blog The Anti-Room is running a competition for election haikus. This is my first entry:

Tired of the same old wealthy-favouring right-wing politics?
No?
Good.