The Tories' Divisions Are Cultural, Not Ideological ; on Policy, an Opposition Which Writes from the Hip Will Be Kicked in the Backside

By Anderson, Bruce | The Independent (London, England), November 7, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Tories' Divisions Are Cultural, Not Ideological ; on Policy, an Opposition Which Writes from the Hip Will Be Kicked in the Backside


Anderson, Bruce, The Independent (London, England)


John Major is right. Any opposition which rushes into policy commitments several years from the general election is volunteering for trouble. Inevitably, the details will not withstand scrutiny. Everything will fall apart.

The party then has two choices. It could try to stick to its position, in which case it would be battered like a boxer on the ropes. Or it could announce that it has thought again. In that case, general mockery would ensue. Every opposition spokesman would be taunted: which of his propositions was next for rethinking? On policy, an opposition which writes from the hip will be kicked in the backside.

Some of David Davis's senior supporters are aware of this. David Willetts has gently pointed out the unwisdom of trying to make tax policy now for the next decade. David Davis is not stupid. He must realise that this will do him damage among thoughtful Tories. Mr Davis is not interested in thoughtful Tories; that is the key to the Tory leadership campaign, and the true divisions. They are not about ideology or policy; they are cultural.

A lot of instinctive Tories are fed up with the direction that modern Britain has taken. Although it might seem easy to dismiss such characters as troglodytes, they have more of a case than their facile critics would concede. It is based on three policy areas: Europe, crime, and immigration. On each, these dissident Tories believe that they were right all along. They know that behind the reassuring propaganda about free trade, the foreigners " and the Foreign Office " were always plotting to create a federal Europe.

They knew that a more liberal treatment of criminals would merely encourage more crime. They predicted that the abolition of the death penalty would result in a great increase in gun crime, and murder. They also predicted that large-scale coloured immigration would change the character of our cities, while creating intractable social problems.

On the basis of the evidence, they are not about to admit that they have been proved wrong. Any intellectually honest liberal ought to concede that the troglodytic Tories did make a realistic assessment of the complexities of change.

David Cameron knows that some of the changes are irreversible. We can fight for Britain's rights in Europe and resist any further federalist encroachments, but we are not going to leave the EU, and we will remain net contributors.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Tories' Divisions Are Cultural, Not Ideological ; on Policy, an Opposition Which Writes from the Hip Will Be Kicked in the Backside
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?