Tory Party DNA 57

So many American advisers, so much American corporate money and so many American analytics lie behind May’s campaigning. Of course some family traits emerge from this common heritage. All the American pictures here are from one particular President – Richard Nixon.

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57 thoughts on “Tory Party DNA

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    Yes indeed it gives one a shivery and ominous feeling. I wonder if the public had any notion of the extent of capitulation of the supposedly “reclaiming sovereignty” minded Brexit Tory faction to the US, how much support there would be for the Tories. They are in the process of selling this country into an (unrepresented) de facto vassal state of the US.

  • Salford Lad

    We are seeing the same tactics that were evident in the French Presidential election. The Neoliberal dominated press and media supporting their favoured candidate and ‘crowding out’ , demonising the Socialist alternative.
    This is where the alternative internet community must get the message out there.We may not connect with all pensioners, but we can certainly influence the youth.

    • craig Post author

      I do hope that you are still around, Salford Lad, because it is rather important that you clarify that by “the socialist alternative” you were not referring to Marine LePen. Subject to that, I agree with you. It is extraordinary I even have to ask, but was have had to ban w whole slew of self-proclaimed socialists who preferred fascism to neo-liberalism.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        From the whole tenor of Salford Lad’s comments, I am sure he is referring to the oblivion into which Melenchon was cast before the first round, although renationalisation of the railways ,and the like have some socialist characteristics.

        • Iain Stewart

          “I am sure he is referring to the oblivion into which Mélenchon was cast before the first round.” There must be some confusion with Hamon there.

      • Habbabkuk

        Just to readers that the website cited by “kathy” is the website of one of the numerous factions of the Trotskyite International.

        They should take anything they read there with a soup ladle full of salt.

          • D_Majestic

            You seem to be heading for an obsession with the mass of Trotskyites-all 52 of them.

          • Habbabkuk

            Well, there’s certainly not 52 of them commenting away on here, I agree. More like a couple.

            In the country at large, however, when you add together the members of all the Trotskyite splinter groups (splintering is a constant feature of the Marxist-Leninist world with an infinity of groups claiming to be the only true heirs of that particular totalitarian tradition) you’d get to quite a few more than 52.

            And that isn’t counting an even greater number of dupes and useful idiots in search of a substitute religion.

            And then of course we musn’t forget those other heirs of Marxism-Leninism, the Communist Party in its various sects, plus, there also, the dupes, the useful idiots and those still, for whatever strange reason, in denial about the evils of that particular brand of totalitarianism.

            So while one would not wish to over-estimate their number, and even less their influence, one should not imagine that the footsoldiers of totalitarianism are only to be counted in the hundreds.

            It is the duty of all those who support liberal democracy to combat them where and when necessary. After all, as Lenin said,” those who are not with us are against us ” 🙂

  • Shatnersrug

    This is so stunningly lazy, even for the Tories. You know it’s become absolutely clear that they think this election is a mere formality, that they’ll walk it so they really don’t need to put any effort in at all. Piss off sky news? Who cares? The BBC are our press office.

    Can’t be bothered to come up with a campaign slogan? Who cares? we’ll just steal Nixon’s, it’s to like anyone will notice.

    After Two highly unpredictable plebiscites – 3 if you count indie. You’d think the Tories would be a little more cautious about asking the public to vote. But oh know, here we go, the public are idiots anyway.

  • reel guid

    The cover of the Tory manifesto makes it look like a dreary old university library book that hasn’t been taken out for thirty years.

  • Hieroglyph

    Well, all her well-paid yank chums should be fired. This is an absolutely atrocious campaign – and I am indeed reminded of Hilary, whose campaign was definitely the worst I’ve ever seen. In fairness, Hilary is a hard sell, but boy did they get jack shit for their 1.4 billion. May is also a hard sell, though clearly not at the level of Hilary, but her campaign has just been deeply, deeply weird. She can’t be that bad in debates, and must be able to say a few polite things on the campaign trail, surely? I’d argue that even if she got some abuse, that’s not such a bad thing, and may humanise her. As it is, she’s Emperor Palpatine.

    The game is indeed on, and perhaps, to give them some credit, her pollsters saw something afoot, and this was the reason they called it early. I’ve said before, the Tories will be pleased to get 50. At this rate, they’ll be pleased to win at all.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Her speech on social care was dismal. She can’t even read stuff written for her at all well and convincingly, that was plain.

  • Anon1

    We could do a nice little montage of Corbyn and McDonnell attending meetings in support of the IRA. Or perhaps we could do one of Jeremy speaking to Stalinist groups in front of communist flags. Maybe a nice little collection of quotes to go with it, like Diane Abbot’s “On balance, Mao did more good than harm”, or McDonnell honouring the IRA. Maybe Corbyn lauding the basket case that is Venezuela, or McDonnell describing himself as a Marxist awaiting the moment of financial collapse to seize control of the country.

    • D_Majestic

      Or we could dig up some stuff about Thatcher, the Tories and the totally harmless Pinochet. Or soldiers dressed as policemen at Orgreave.

  • Demetrius

    OK, Nixon had a shaving problem in the age of black and white TV. But I liked him a lot better than the democrats that preceded and later followed him. We could do and have done a lot worse in recent years.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    I think that it is just the slogan sounds particularly appealing. Since Brexit is now imminent, May (understandably) wants to appeal to Brits to move forward together.

    Unfortunately, I think that Tories will expand their majority, thanks to the pensioners (who as you mentioned in your previous post) will actually be screwed by NHS cuts and further privatisation, and homeowners (whose worst nightmare is negative equity). Last election showed that even much less leftist version of Labour was appealing to the cosmopolitan London and very traditional Labour strongholds. SNP managed to kick labour out of Scotland and Tories took the rest in England and Wales.

    It is very clear that May is riding Brexit tide well. She is appealing to strong borders (no more eastern Europeans), sovereignty (no more Europe holding hands of corporate Britain to use and abuse workers, no more European Convention of Human Rights), economic prosperity (even lower corporate taxes and even less scrutiny for all corrupt money from China, Russia and Middle East). And it seems to be working. Brits like sheep are walking quietly and patiently to the slaughter house. Rule Britannia 🙂

    • Habbabkuk

      Former Greek economy minister Yanis Varoufakis was in favour of lower company taxes when in office. Cf his “Adults in the room” (2017).

      • Uzbek in the UK

        Nothing wrong in principle with lower taxation but only if it stimulates positive economic activity. When taxes are lower in order to create attractive environment for speculative capital (often corrupt money from countries like China or Russia) it benefits very few. This type of economic activity does NOT create positive economic activity (no great number of jobs expect estate agents, or brokers), but benefits only tiny number of participants. It leads to speculative inflation of price be so in real estate or financial market. Market correction is inevitable but in 2007 is led to hundreds of billions of public money spent to mitigate losses made by such negative economic activity.

        Tories are clear that lower taxes will target foreign capital. What else UK can offer expect luxury property market in London and access to London Stock Exchange for such capital?

        • Habbabkuk

          He wanted lower company taxes, Uzbek. Repeat : lower company taxes. Precisely with the aim of stimulating positive economic growth. Which is also the reason given by the Conservatives.

          The reason I mentioned that was to point out to the far-lefties who slate the Conservatives for wanting to lower company taxes that one of their fellow far-lefties (ie, Mr Varoufakis) endorsed the same policy.

          Hence, probably, the lack of response (except from you, whom I would not call a far-lefty).

          • bevin

            He was wrong.
            Varoufakis is often wrong.
            He has, in fact, made many disastrous decisions not on economic grounds but in order to curry favour with the troika. This was one of them.

          • Uzbek in the UK

            Well, positive (non speculative) economic growth and Tories is something that does not bond together. Since Thatcher shut most of industries and stimulated so called property and financial markets and at the same time deregulated those markets (paved way for mega speculations) all UK does is rely on speculation to cook the books. One pound became worth ten pounds in a matter of decade but not by growth in industrial output but because of growth of those speculative markets which Thatcher (motherload of Tories) stimulated with her policies. UK’s economic productivity (based on speculation) since then greatly shifted to the south and this disbalance is growing ever since.

          • Habbabkuk

            I find it curious that the Mod keeps deleting my reply to Bevin iro Varoufakis being “wrong” because he wanted to reduce company tax.

            Bevin claims that Varoufakis’ preferred policy was “wrong” because that policy was intended to “curry favour” with the Troika.

            That is nonsense for the simple reason that the Troika wanted him to INCREASE company tax.

            How could Varoufakis have been trying to curry favour with the Troika by advocating the very opposite of what the Troika wanted him to do?

        • Habbabkuk

          Because he’s a lefty like most of you lot. I always enjoy seeing lefties contradict each other.

          And because Craig likes him.

          • D_Majestic

            It would be interesting to know how such a stupidly vague term as ‘Lefty’ could be defined. Far more difficult to delineate than ‘Neocon’ for instance.

  • Ball

    So the most right wing government in western Europe has gone from Hitler (mein kampf – strong and stable) to Nixon (forward together). Progress?

    I wonder how its ”in the national interest” to be recycling US political slogans.

    • Habbabkuk

      Western European states are all liberal democracies,as is the US. That is what is important and no number of lazy slogans like “the most right wing government in western Europe” are going to change that any time soon. Happily!

      • Uzbek in the UK

        Yes, but right wing government/administration can seriously undermine liberal democracy. Remember that Nixon ordered illegal tapping and breaking in Watergate? Actions of current US president are hardly in par with liberal democracy. Current Tory leadership with its anti-immigration, anti-Human Rights drive can seriously undermine liberal values.

        I blame weak opposition for this as much as those who vote for such extreme right wing policies. There is huge ground in the centre which opposition refusing to claim by sticking to its left wing principles (which does not appeal to those in centre). Many of those unclaimed by opposition will vote Tories as left wing repels centrist more than right wing.

        • Habbabkuk


          Yes, I remember Nixon’s wiretapping and would also recall that it led to his downfall. The point here is surely that had Nixon been acting in a totalitarian state he would have remained President; it is precisely because the US is a liberal democracy that he risked impeachment and resigned from office. Liberal democracies are self-correcting and can deal with authoritarian trends. Totalitarian govts cannot and have no need tobecause they are authoritarian in their very essence.

          • Uzbek in the UK

            If Nixon was leader in totalitarian state he would not need to order wiretapping or break into the hotel room. There would not have been opposition as such. So no need for those actions.

            In truly liberal state he would need to have been imprisoned for acting illegally (like anyone else non-president would have been) but he was pardoned by his vice-president and earned millions on speakers market. He had (no doubt) many accomplishments on foreign policy front, but he acted like there was no constitution above him. And even when caught and proven guilty he got away easily.

            Now there is at least one other president (and one British Prime Minister) who would have been imprisoned if we lived in truly liberal society. But both earn millions and shake hands with still powerful and mighty.

            So what society we are living exactly in?

          • Habbabkuk

            We live in the sort of society which allows you to post what you’re just posted without suffering any consequences.

            Call it an imperfect liberal democracy if that makes you happier.

            But don’t use the examples of Nixon, Blair and Bush to slag off the sort of society that gives you your freedoms. Freedoms which I imagine you did not enjoy in your own country.

            End of 🙂

          • bevin

            This is a very weak argument, Habbabkuk. It is circular.
            As to Nixon’s wiretapping it was as nothing compared with the, now accepted, mass surveillance. For example the surveillance of Flynn was illegal. Under Nixon it would have been grounds for impeachment. Under Obama it was routine.
            In other words the self correction, of which you boast, consists of correcting the Constitution to conform with the authorities’ needs. Manifestly ‘liberal democracies’ do not deal with authoritarian trends they simply accommodate them.
            As to the claim that what you call ‘totalitarian’ states do not adjust themselves to reality, history teaches us that this is far from the case. And that monarchs and dictators who wish to remain in power often show considerable agility in ‘reforming’ to fend off revolutions.
            You are concocting a rather crude dogma an ‘ism’ based upon superficial and theoretical musings over the marvels of the status quo. Thus reminding us that none are more enslaved by theory than those who are unconscious that they are guided by conventional wisdom.

      • bevin

        This “liberal democracies” mantra is becoming very tedious. I suppose that you repeat it on the basis that if repeated often enough it will pass as the truth. Perhaps you would care to define liberal democracy for us? My guess is that it would include a justification of the exceedingly anti-democratic capitalist system of monopolising the means of production in the hands of a few and thus depriving the many of equal power over government.
        What you really mean by ‘liberal democracy’ is a system whereby the rule of a greedy elite is given a veneer of legitimacy by the occasional election which, almost always, is dominated by the elite’s control of the media and police powers.
        As soon as the interests of the ruling class are threatened, as we have seen in our own lifetimes, the proto fascist institutions of The Establishment start pushing back the boundaries of legality and using raw power to crush their opponents.
        ‘Liberal democracy’ is a contradiction in terms for those who understand what liberalism in the UK is and always has been.

        • D_Majestic

          Yes, bevin. I have watched the elections of recent years up to and including Trump and Macron. And I always end up wondering why the (Ahem) ‘Liberal democracies’ always get to be headed by millionaires at the very least. And very many with close connections to the great financial institutions. Maybe one of our ‘Liberal democracy experts’ could tell us.

  • Gulliver

    I said this on an earlier post but I think it’s worth re-iterating that the Tory Manifesto has pledged to repeal section 40 of the crime and courts act (which recommends that legal remedies should be more easily available to ordinary members of the public who have been libelled by the press) and a promise not to have Part 2 of the Leveson inquiry (which would look at the links between the press and the police).

    This is exceptionally good news for certain parts of the fourth estate (should T May get elected president on June 8th), not least the Murdoch press who would have had a lot of questions to answer should Leveson part 2 have been enacted.

    And following announcement of the Tory Dementia tax it’s extremely interesting to see how this policy proposal has been reported by the same elements of our free and fearless press who will benefit most from the above. Indeed the Daily Mail whose headline yesterday summed it up: – “You won’t have to sell home to pay for care”. Their is some truth in this headline though, the elderly won’t have to sell their homes, the dead can’t sell their property, but their offspring will : –

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I don’t think the science and technology of bending people to your will is going to go away any time soon. The more its use and application are noticed, the better, so good post, Craig.

    But does it matter right now? The neocons are going to be running things, if running is not too strong a word, for the next few years.They, and anastamosing technology, will ensure that the rights and wishes of the individual are wholly subordinated to the production of profits for financiers. Unsecured consumer debt will rise from its present high (kicked hard on its way by the rise of subprime PIP schemes for car purchase) to the point where many of us will be subsidising economically unproductive writers-of-debt for the rest of our lives. Public services will disappear, or cease to be in any meaningful sense, public. That’s those which haven’t already gone. Middle-class jobs will be hit by technology in the same way as (eg) car assembly plant workers have been. The capitalist utopia will arrive for those at the top of the economic Ponzi scheme, with the usual consequences for the suckers at the bottom who thought they too would get something out of it. Public concerns will be ignored, and civil disorder, spreading outward from its functional base in hopeless sink estates and ghettos, will ‘necessitate’ restrictive legislation, surveillance and police powers on an unprecedented scale.

    These, with the ever-weakening constraints on official corruption, approach the conditions required for an actual revolution. There is a case for giving the Tories all the rope they want….for now. There are plenty in need of hanging.

    Damn me. I’m channeling Rob G. And history.

    • Stu

      This is pretty much why I’ve given up smoking .

      I want to witness this happening.

  • Uzbek in the UK


    It is not fair that you disabled reply to our liberal society related conversation. You are limiting the value of the principle to which you claim to be sticking free speech.

    Based on what you claimed in your last post (related to our conversation) we in fact live in society of limited (or targeted) liberal values. It sounds (and means) similar to what Russian Euroasists claim to be concept of sovereign democracy, I will not expand on it here as it is easy to read about.

    I am not claiming that the level of freedom is equal here and in Uzbekistan, but by letting some (usually with power and connections) escape justice we confront the whole concept of liberal society. Also, please do not forget Guantanamo Bay, indefinite detention without charge is NOT something even closely associated with liberal society.

    Only when those in power are under constant check and will be called to justice for illegal activity we can talk about liberal society.

    • Habbabkuk


      I have “disabled” nothing – you are free to reply and you have in fact done so. Just as I am free to no longer wish to discuss this question with you. The reason for that is that I feel we have no common basis for a discussion and that to continue would therefore be fruitless.

      So you are free to keep discussing but you should do it with someone else.

      • Stu

        “The reason for that is that I feel we have no common basis for a discussion and that to continue would therefore be fruitless. ”

        You would be a lot quieter if you applied that rule consistently.

  • Sharp Ears

    Today’s Sky report on the Labour campaign includes two videos of May one from their report on the Conservatives below and another.

    General Election: Labour hits out at Tory ‘attack’ on pensioners
    The party criticises Tory plans to scrap the pensions triple lock, end universal winter fuel payments and overhaul social care.

    Their report on the Conservatives does not include any Labour videos! YCNMIU

    Theresa May’s election appeal to Scotland: ‘We are one people’
    The PM promises to deliver for the whole of the UK if she wins and says: “Strengthen my hand as I fight to strengthen our Union.”

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