Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Simon Heffer's Rant

Anyone remotely aquainted with Simon Heffer would know that this was inevitable, but aside from the question as to why he has decided to lay into Cameron now (with less than a year to go before the general election), there is the fact that Heffer seems to be mirroring the views of a significant no of Conservative activists. Some have made their views clear on the ConservativeHome website, with at least a dozen people posting their support for Heffer. If you work on the principle that for every vocal criticism of a product there are four or five who silently agree, then the Conservatives have a problem, which seems to be borne out by Heffer's comment that;

"I know I am not alone in this: many of you write to me every week to say the same thing. There is particular anger among the middle classes about a man with private wealth failing to understand the impact of high taxes on those less blessed than he is, or refusing to defend the struggling private schools that so many of them send children or grandchildren to.

Some of you cling to the hope that Mr Cameron knows what must be done, and is sparing details of the strong medicine until in power. Given that he has never exhibited the slightest scintilla of principle at any time during his political career, I cannot imagine what the evidence is for that. Some of you also write and berate me for attacking Mr Cameron's politics, apparently confusing the role of newspaper columnist and propagandist. For the avoidance of doubt, I am the former. I want a Conservative government as much as any of you; I just happen to doubt that one is on offer."

He then goes on to say;

"What I fear most, as I watch this circus of gestures and promises, is a re-run of the Heath government. We are watching the preparations not for office, but for an orgy of managerialism. It could even be worse than 1970-74, for the economic situation was (at the start) nothing like so bad, and Heath did have around him people of sense and experience with some bottle-age on them. Mr Cameron may not need to improve his position in terms of winning the war; he still has time to improve it in terms of winning the peace that will follow. If he persists in seeking to emulate the most saccharine and profligate aspects of New Labour, his premiership will be a wretched one indeed: and not just for him."

I am not a person who respects Simon Heffer's political views, but some of what he says here is worth considering. If we are to get a repeat of the Heath government if the Conservatives win the next general election, then we are in big trouble! In any case I think it is fair to say that in terms of winning over sceptical activists, David Cameron has his work cut out, and four years into his leadership means that this is a dangerous situation to be in


1 comment:

Chris Paul said...

This is Coulson's work. And the "swearing". IMO.