“Don’t vote for David Cameron,” says the title of Tim Montgomerie’s article in The Times.
Thanks, Tim, I wasn’t going to anyway. But that piece of advice is odd, coming as it does from a man who’d vote for a Labrador, provided it sported a blue rosette on its collar.
So whom should I vote for? Nigel Farage? Nick Clegg? Ed ‘God forbid’ Miliband?
Turns out that’s not what Tim meant. What he meant was that we should vote not for Dave but for the Tory party, whoever happens to lead it. It’s not about personalities. It’s about “the core brand”.
“Mr Cameron may choose to quit himself in 2017,” explains Tim, which is an unfortunate turn of phrase. Quitting oneself is hard to imagine, unless we are talking about the transmigration of souls. Quitting of one’s own accord would be a concept less Buddhist and easier to understand.
But let’s not quibble about incidentals. However phrased, Tim’s insight goes right to the core of Britain’s statehood.
So we are a parliamentary, rather than presidential, democracy? Crikey. Who could have thought. Thanks, Tim, for making this clear, and in the language of marketing that speaks right to our hearts.
“I am not encouraging you to vote for any other party,” continues Tim, but then – to quote the recently deceased Mandy Rice-Davies – he would say that, wouldn’t he?
What Tim is encouraging us to do is to “forget presidential-style politics and vote for a party’s underlying beliefs.”
It would be hard to argue against this if Tim were to explain exactly what the Tories’ underlying beliefs are, and especially how they relate to the declared and probable policies of the current Tory party.
The core brand values, to use Tim’s jargon, of the party can be summed up by the triad ‘God, king and country’, whose three elements are in descending order of importance.
As, according to St Paul, all power is from God, God confers power on the king, who then rules in God’s name.
His power is, however, balanced by the country as represented by the elected Commons, while the unelected and hereditary House of Lords makes sure that the balance of power doesn’t swing too much towards either end.
God, as represented by the Church, sits in judgement of the whole process, making sure it doesn’t contradict his commandments.
Does this sound like a fair representation of the ‘underlying beliefs’ evidently held by the current Tory party, whoever leads it now or will do so in the future? If it does, you haven’t been following politics lately.
The past being the best, if not ideal, predictor of the future, it’s reasonably easy to surmise how the Tory elite will interpret its ‘underlying beliefs’ if by some miracle it forms our next government.
The only such belief it has evinced so far is whole-hearted commitment to personal power at all cost. It’s an assumption borne out by recent history that no real principle comes into it at all.
God naturally falls by the wayside, observing, no doubt in despair, how routinely the Tories violate his commandments, especially the one about bearing false witness.
Not to cut too fine a point, the Tories are lying through their teeth about everything of paramount importance, and it takes an utterly unrealistic optimism to expect them to change after next May.
Take the economy for example. The government is indulging in window dressing that would do any interior decorator proud, and only the credulous among us accept their triumphant shrieks.
The economy isn’t doing well – it’s being made to look as if it’s doing well. This misleading appearance is created by exactly the same expedients as those practised by the disastrous Labour government.
We are in the middle of a housing bubble being inflated to bursting, while the public debt continues to climb up towards the two trillion mark. This combination produced the disaster of 2008, and the next one will be much worse: the economy has climbed to a greater height to fall from.
We are still not paying our way, and the nauseating talk about sham ‘austerity’ isn’t going to improve the situation. Yes, the tempo of irresponsible spending and borrowing will have to slow down somewhat, whichever party wins the next election. But the fact of it will remain no matter what.
The underlying, which is to say founding, belief of the Tory party used to encompass responsible finance, not the current frenetic effort to buy our votes with our own money. It was the moral duty of the rich, as Christians and Englishmen, to look after the poor by way of private charity, and one struggles to think of a more seminal ‘underlying belief’.
This has been replaced by the state extorting half of our income to bolster its own standing with the voting blocs such policies created in the first place. The Tories are doing this on a huge scale, only marginally lower than Labour’s madness.
Is Tim suggesting this is going to change, and a return to the ‘underlying beliefs’ is on the cards? Not even he, a lifelong Tory activist, dares say it.
What about defence of the realm, which surely is essential to every ‘underlying belief’ of Toryism?
The present government is rapidly disarming in the face of the most volatile international situation we’ve faced in decades. Will Britannia rearm and again rule the waves under the next Tory government?
Perish the thought. Start spending money on defence, and there won’t be enough left to buy the votes of our own underclass, especially as it’s being rapidly augmented by the underclass we gratefully receive courtesy of the EU.
And speaking of which, do the Tories still number the sovereignty of the realm among their ‘underlying beliefs’? If so, they shouldn’t just make vague promises about some nebulous referendum.
No real Tory would want a referendum, which could go either way. He would be desperate to leave the EU effective immediately, thereby restoring the nation’s sovereignty to where it belongs: king and country.
Is this an ‘underlying belief’ to which the Tories are committed? I’d be prepared to take Tim’s word for it, except that even he won’t say something so manifestly untrue.
The sanctity of the family as the core unit of society surely has to be among the ‘underlying beliefs’ that define Toryism. This has been dealt a deadly blow by the subversive homomarriage law fanatically pushed through by the Tory-led coalition.
Will the next Tory government repeal? Will it, Tim? While at it, will it try to do anything about the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed every year? Or will it simply continue to lie about ‘underlying beliefs’?
“Vote Ukip,” continues Tim with his usual subtlety of political insight, “if you don’t like any politician and prefer the 1950s to now.”
You mean the time when men married women and both sexes lived under laws passed by our own parliament and endorsed by royal assent?
Now that’s sound advice, at last. I think I shall, Tim.