Tuesday, February 28, 2006

David Cameron radically redefines the Tories

'David Cameron will ask Conservative members today to back a radical redefinition of his party's goals... Mr Cameron has been praised in the party for his energetic approach to the leadership but he has alarmed some colleagues by targeting traditional Conservative policies' such as promoting conservatism. 'Recent weeks have seen private concern... about the direction Mr Cameron is taking the party. The document was unveiled late last night... It commits the party to policies aimed at putting to bed its' conservative past.

David Cameron explained that the recent Power commission had identified 'the main political parties [being] widely perceived to be too similar and lacking in principle' as a major cause of public disillusionment with the political process. He said for the Tories to get back into government they needed to put clear water between themselves and Labour. "It's about saying to people don't think we aren't different, here it is, don't think we are just about PR and empty of values, here it is," said one shadow cabinet member last night.

David Cameron describes his moment of revelation as coming shortly after a dinner party conversation with a Marxist academic about the best way to puree organic avocado. Up to that point, he said, he'd passively accepted the capitalist system. Suddenly he realised that breaking this consensus was an excellent way of staking out new political ground.

His plan sets out eight defining ambitions for the party, emphasising a compassionate agenda that focuses on helping the disadvantaged.

The plan begins by pledging 'to secure for all the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry of service'.

The test of Tory policies must be 'how they help the most disadvantaged in society, not the rich", it says, reversing Margaret Thatcher's famous phrase to declare "there is such a thing as society".... Government can be "a force for good", it declares.... It also picks up on last year's mass campaign to end developing world debt, arguing that "it is our moral obligation to make poverty history'...

The document concludes by arguing that 'the [most disadvantaged in society] have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. [Poor] of all countries, unite!'

Last night some Conservatives - although not Mr Cameron - argued that the document sounded oddly like communism. Mr Cameron remained defiant:

"I think the right thing to do is to put out what the party stands for and is fighting for," Mr Cameron told the BBC last night. "We don't have a clause four so I'm not asking the party to junk something."

He explained that Conservatism wasn't really thrusting and modern enough for the 21st century, especially when even Prince Charles thinks of himself as a political dissident. It was a bit backward looking and, well, conservative. He said the way forward for the Tory party was to borrow from other, more radical, political philosophies. He quoted the Power Commission who said many people nowadays felt that 'voting [was] a waste of time' and argued this fitted perfectly with a Dictatorship of the Most Disadvantaged. He discussed the Commission's discovery of increasing citizen engagement in extra-parliamentary politics such as single-issue campaigns. He said there were lots of young people on the Make Poverty History demo wearing Che Guevara t-shirts - this suggested Communism was a great way of appealing to the younger voter.

"Initial reaction to the document inside the party appeared positive last night, although at least one shadow cabinet member is believed to have opposed plans to take it to a vote of party members.... Conservative sources said last night that the document was more than a caving in to New Labour's agenda."

Instead it was out-gunning them.

2 Comments:

  • At 3:47 pm , Anonymous Gregg said...

    You realise if Cameron actually did adopt those policies, he'd win a landslide at the next election.

     
  • At 9:13 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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