Daily Archives: April 21, 2009

The Deepest Split in the Tory Party 39

Being in opposition disguises the fact that the Conservatives are still a deeply split party. The huge divide on Europe actually has a close relationship to their still deeper split over the most important fault line in British politics – that authoritarian/libertarian divide.

New Labour, of course, have pinned their colours unreservedly to the authoritarian mast. We have seen the greatest erosion of civil liberties and parliamentary government since Britain became a democracy. There remain some Tories who are instinctively libertarian, like Rifkind, Clarke and Davis. But as examplified by Chris Grayling’s dreadful parliamentary performance against Jacqui Smith yesterday, many have an atavistic urge to be even more authoritarian than New Labour.

Right at the top of the Conservative Home website today is a video from Fox News supporting torture – arguing in effect that torture works.


The Tory party in the country, and even more so in parliament, would be deeply split by those who are horrified at this trampling on ancient liberties, and those who have bought in to the neo-con agenda.

You can hide that kind of fundamental divide in opposition. You can’t in Government.

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Iain Dale and Music 13

I admire both Iain Dale and Tim Ireland for their immense contribution to political blogging in the UK.

Politically I am much closer to Tim, and this blog simply would not exist without his original and continuing technical support, given freely. That is true of several other high profile blogs as well. He is a kind and generous friend. He is also a an inspired blogger.

Iain, on the other hand, raised the profile of blogging through dedication, access, professionalism and being on what for now is the winning side in party politics. And Iain can write very well.

So I view the real bitterness of the current feud between the two of them as a crying shame.

I was worried about exposing so much of myself in my posts on bipolarity, particularly with regard to hypersexuality. There is undeniably an element of embarassment in revealing inner feelings. But I am cheered that this is not nearly so embarassing as Iain Dale’s listing of his hundred favourite pop songs. I am still giggling. Cliff Richard at No 1? Maybe Iain can join Tony Blair on his holiday’s in Cliff’s villa.


You will be relieved that I am not going to give you my top 100, but this would probably be my number one.


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That Ahmadinejad Walkout 28

On Newsnight last night, Jeremy Paxman challenged UK Ambassador Peter Gooderham and obtained the information that the walkout had been agreed upon by EU states before the session, ie before they heard a word Ahmadinejad had said. They did not have a text in advance.

This stunt was a combination of the pompous and the immature that had Miliband written all over it.

Watching Paxman torment Gooderham I was reminded of a posting by Cipriano on Harry’s Place yesterday:

this is why stories surface regularly about the low quality of FCO people these days, mindless apparatchiks for the most part


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