The Stupidity of Tories 11

John Stuart Mill was to my mind the greatest political philosopher this country has ever produced. If our New Labour governors had in their youth read Mill rather than pretending to read Marx and Trotsky, we would not be under such an assault on our civil liberties. Mill today is not studied in any of our state schools nor is he a serious part of the curriculum in almost any of our University philosophy departments. That is a part of the “dumbing down” of our education system, but it is not my subject today.

I was reminded this morning of one of Mill’s more mischievous quotes:

“Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative”.

With a small c, of course, that description embraces most of New Labour. But Mill also meant it with a large C, and he dubbed the Conservatives “The stupid party”.

What reminded me of this was David Davis being interviewed this morning. I have come to have a real respect for Mr Davis and believe his concern for liberty to be genuine. He made a number of good points on the Damian Green affair.

But just before Davis had been introduced, Sky News had announced that the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, Mr Ian Johnston CBE had been appointed by the Metropolitan Police to carry out an “independent” inquiry into the handling of the Damien Green case, and that Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary, had put out a simultaneous statement welcoming the move.

The Sky commentators had said that this would “assuage Tory concerns”.

I thought, “No, the Tories are not that stupid.”

Then along came David Davis and fell straight into the huge, naked elephant trap, welcoming Mr Johnston’s appointment and looking forward to the results of his inquiry.

For God’s sake, how many times? Legg, Hutton, Butler?

That would be an independent inquiry into the Metropolitan Police by Mr Ian Johnston, immediate past Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, would it?

Stupid doesn’t cover it. The problem with the Tories is that they still trust what we might broadly call “the Establishment”. They cannot get into their thick-boned skulls how far New Labour has politicised it and turned it into an instrument against the people.

Even now, they can’t.

Anyway, here is a preview of Mr Johnston’s report. You saw it here first:

The Metropolitan Police were investigating an allegation of a serious crime

They acted in a proper manner

They needed to search premises for evidence. Proeper permission was sought from the parliamentary authorities

Mr Green was suspected and rightfully arrested and detained

No Ministers were consulted on Mr Green’s arrest; there was no political interference

Some junior police officers were guilty of minor faults. Mr Green was held an hour or two longer than necessary. One or two more police officers than necessary were deployed on searches.

Mr Johnston’s terms of reference will exclude, and you will not see in his report, a log of all contacts between the Police and Ministers and between officials and Ministers discussing the case of Mr Green or his alleged source.

For the next one week, and when the matter is debated in the Commons, the government will refuse to comment pending the result of the “independent” investigation.

For God’s sake, Tories, wake up and smell the coffee!!!!!!!!

Over to you, Iain Dale. Are you that stupid?

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11 thoughts on “The Stupidity of Tories

  • ruth

    I don't really think you are quite right in your analysis. I don't believe that Parliament has much say in the really important policies; its much more likely as Gerald James describes it "that Parliament has no control of knowledge of events and that a vast apparatus of permanent unelected Government exists. This permanent Government consists of senior civil servants, intelligence and security officers, key figures in certain city and financial institutions inluding Lloyds of London), key industrialists and directors of major monopolistic companies, senior politicians." and that "The Privy Council allied with the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the Cabinet and Cabinet Intelligence Unit which is the real control over the security and intelligence services are part of the secret permanent unaccountable Government"

    If this is so, then it is very important to hide the fact that we don't live in a democracy. Conservatives 'in the know' have to act the part to oppose but not go too far. Agreeing to the inquiry would be the stance to take. However, Tories not 'in the know', perhaps Damian Green, who probe too deeply will get their noses burnt because just under

    the surface lurks massive corruption that supports the permanent government and in turn 'the elected' government and in turn the economy.

  • writeon

    Precisely, exactly, spot on about almost everything, as usual. I'm pleased that transmissions have resumed once more.

  • writeon

    The Conservatives, and conservatives, have a problem with authority. They seem almost 'programmed' to respect it. Especially if it's in uniform! What is it about conservative people and uniforms? Is it the shiny buttons, the buckles and belts, the leather boots, the fancy hats? Is it martial, or is it somehow sexual?

    Let's be honest, and I don't mean this to sound arrogant, lot's of these conservative types don't seem that bright do they? Maybe their just pretending? People on botht the 'left' and 'right' who are true believers in the central tenets of their dogma, scare the life out of me.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Davis may have been too hasty. However there are few who would regard this 'investigation' as anything other than a political ploy by the cops. That said, Davis would have found it difficult, I think, not to welcome an investigation. As you indicate, Craig, the devil is in the detail. But it may be a means of bringing further (no doubt embarrassing) detail into the public domain. Perhaps we can expect a few leaks.

  • Sarah

    I also recently was led to develop a curious love for David Davis – when he was on Desert Island Discs last week. I was bowled over by how reasonable he seemed, how fine, upstanding, thoughtful and decent. But I came out of my reverie at the end – like someone had slapped me in the face with a wet fish – when he divulged that Alistair Campbell was among his personal friends. How gullible am I.

  • frog2

    Iain Dale agreed with you !

    "I am afraid I am not going to join the echo chamber of welcomes (including from Dominic Grieve and David Davis) for this inquiry by Commander Ian Johnston into the Met's handling of the Damian Green case."

    ACPO investigating ACPO .

  • Richard

    I totally agree with you about Mill – he was still firmly on the UCL Philosophy curriculum when I was there in the 1990s, but I definitely think he deserves more prominence.

    Maybe it's time to promote a revival? Someone ought to set up a JS Mill Institute or Foundation if there isn't one already – or failing that a proper website collating all his stuff with commentary applying it to contemporary issues. In the meantime, one great thing about the internet is that many of these classic texts are available to everyone for free. The full text of On Liberty can be found here:

  • opit

    If you're going to broach that subject, I might as well take it further. I must say I don't see one who has been involved in media the way Craig has capable of accepting much he hasn't already.

    Part the First : 1066 The Angles and Saxons, defeated at Hastings, submit to a Norman-imposed system of land slavery : serfdom. It is designed to 'give the appearance of fairness without the actuality.'

    Time passes. The institutions of government evolve to hide unfairness under the banality that people don't 'know any better.'

    Money insulates the wealthy from confrontations that drive the less fortunate to privation and disaster.

    Government representatives are vetted before running for office. Those chosen as suitably controllable by either idealism/conditioning or greed are channeled into office by indebting them to the bagman for election and re-election. Both parties are controlled in turn by the need for funding and favourable press.

    Government is stable and feeds people the stories needed to maintain the status quo by restricting information and debate.

    Intrigue and secrecy slow up resentment that there is a hidden base of privilege because people are slow to realize the overwhelming effect it has : and because no alternative seems likely.

  • liz miller

    ""Stupid doesn't cover it. The problem with the Tories is that they still trust what we might broadly call "the Establishment". They cannot get into their thick-boned skulls how far New Labour has politicised it and turned it into an instrument against the people.""

    Few people are aware of the damage that New Labour has done to our institutions. Fairness and Justice have become quaint 20th century notions, instead of the bedrock of democracy

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