Normal Hostilities to Be Resumed Shortly

By Heffer, Simon | The Spectator, March 29, 2003 | Go to article overview

Normal Hostilities to Be Resumed Shortly


Heffer, Simon, The Spectator


All the political parties - the Tories convincingly, Labour sullenly and the LibDems absurdly - have made the expected noises about being united behind Our Boys in battle, whatever their views on the war. For the duration of the fighting the House of Commons and the political process in this country are being more or less sidelined. The Budget on 9 April will mark some sort of return to normality - provided the fighting has stopped. How long `normal' lasts, though, is another matter altogether, for it is clear that once one lot of fighting ends, another lot - of the domestic political variety - is almost sure to begin. In the aftermath of the present conflict, all three parties and their leaders are sure to face challenges to their authority.

For Labour, the war has served to provide ungrateful and irritated people who have never liked Mr Blair or his 'project' with the most effective stick with which to beat him. The outcome of the war is irrelevant to this, except that the greater Mr Blair's perceived success as a war leader and world statesman, the more many in his own party, both at Westminster and at the grass roots, will hate him. Many constituency parties are already in revolt.

There are many members who, if not actually resigning from the party, will not choose to renew their subscriptions when the time comes. To punish Mr Blair for daring to support our American allies and going to war without a second UN resolution, they will find other means of attacking him. They will obstruct his attempts, half-hearted though they are, to reform the National Health Service, and try to stop private money being put into the service. They will vehemently object to any measures taken against illegal immigrants. They will try to prevent higher fees in further education. In short, they will try to stop anything Mr Blair might try to do that would not have won the approval of Mr Michael Foot. How long the great war leader will feel like putting up with that is an interesting question.

There is also the matter of the elections on 1 May for the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, in which no one is predicting that Labour will do well. Even before the war Labour was unpopular in both places, with the Nationalists poised to do well. The collapse of grass-roots support for Labour because of the war can only have made matters worse. In England, relations between Labour and the LibDems are at an all-time low because of the conflict. In Scotland, Labour and the LibDems need each other if they are to cling on to power. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the SNP could become the largest single party in Scotland, yet have no say in governing that country because of the alliance between Labour and the LibDems; in which case democracy would appear to have taken a further bashing.

The Tories' own internal war has been put on hold for the duration, but there are enough malcontents in the Commons to re-open it at an early opportunity. That opportunity is likely to come on 1 May with the English local council elections. When these same polls were held four years ago, the Tories did reasonably well, so success this time is being talked down to ridiculously low levels - a 30-seat gain has been mentioned. With the uncanny misfortune that has characterised their progress in recent years, the party held its spring conference the weekend before last, just when the rest of the world was obsessed with the impending war. What was supposed to be a reaffirmation of lain Duncan Smith's leadership, and a statement of intent about policy and direction, turned instead into a private gathering in a salubrious northern spa town, broadly ignored by the press and public.

This was unfortunate, to say the least. The party wanted to get across the message that the vastly above-inflation rises in council tax were symptomatic of neosocialist inefficiency, dogma and redistributiveness, and that these rises, like so much else under the present government, represent an assault of unprecedented proportions on the middle classes. …

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

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Normal Hostilities to Be Resumed Shortly
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.