Sunday, 28 December 2008

Top Tory 'helps plug Labour policy'

. Hell hath no fury like the Daily Mail scorned; it has taken up the cudgels against 'moonlighting' shadow ministers and it's latest victim is the Shadow Health Minister, Andrew Lansley. It reports that Lansley is a director at a marketing company called Profero. Profero has won contracts including the ‘talk to Frank’ anti-drugs campaign and the £372million anti-obesity drive.

It gives free rein to Labour MP, Richard Carbon, who says;

"Cameron doesn’t have the authority to tell his Shadow Cabinet part-timers to stop their outside interests. The public want confidence that Cameron’s team are not speaking for some vested interest."

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is how alienated the strand of conservative thought that the Mail is the mouthpiece of remains from Cameron's party. It is different from the alienation that the traditional Labour-left felt from Tony Blair and potentially more damaging. Blair managed to effectively recruit a new layer of activists which gave the Labour Party pre-97 a strong infrastructure. However, as the membership figures illustrate Cameron is not managing the same so he is still heavily-dependant on the 'blue rinse' brigade.

What impact this will have come the election is an interesting question; it could be one that damages the chances of Cameron repeating the 'Blair landslide' significantly because the Tories will be heavily reliant on national media where no local infrastructure exists.


asquith said...

Yes, it's fairly clear that the Fail is alienated from Camoron's party, especially the libertarian wing, in a way that they weren't under Thatcher.

What almost never gets commented on is the fact that the Fail, representing basically lower-middle-class people, hates the City of London & is at most ambivalent towards things like the 45% tax rate. They know a lot of their readers will support it.

Small businessmen & middle-ranking office workers of the sort who read the Hate Mail prospered under Thatcher, but have been losing ground to the super-rich, whom they resent & dislike, especially because this section of society is not socially conservative.

There was a really good article, which was actually written a very long timer ago, on the Libertarian Alliance site about how the Conservative Party was (this was around 2000) splitting between Tories (rarely found on the blogosphere, Peter Hitchens is their spokesman inasmuch as they have one) & the Whigs (libertarian-leaning, the majority of younger Tories).

They explicitly said that the former are having their doubts about the free market. I believe this tendency is getting much more pronounced, which is why the Heil still has a soft spot for Brown.

There is also an even more severe internal rift, on the same basic lines but worse, in UKIP.

asquith said...

This might even become a blog post in due course. You've got my juices flowing. :)

Even though it's just after a good breakfast, I haven't felt this much like blogging in days...

Darrell G said...


I look forward to reading it :)

asquith said...

I am going out for a few hours. I may blog on my return, but if I don't you shouldn't be too surprised :)

This is the link I was talking about:

Additionally, a lot of people who are viewed as "right-wing" (generally BNP fodder living in industrial cities) would never vote Conservative anyway, so chasing their votes is something of a waste of time for Camoron, & in fact Broon is starting to gain some support from these people.

All good stuff.

I read that link 5 years ago & it stayed in my mind, so impressive was it. Are there "Whigs" as he defined it in the Liberal Democrat party, do you think? :)

asquith said...

Darrell G said...


Fair enough :)As to the 'Whigs in the Liberal Democrats' question I am actually considering blogging that question myself....or I might not, I havent decided lol..

I guess there must be but I would see them as more being libertarians. To be honest the main area of disagreement I have with the 'Whigs' as described is over the economy and welfare (although I also disagree with some rather extreme stances like the abolition of controls on gun sales)....

Maybe you feel you are a bit Whiggish yourself?:)

asquith said...

I've decided it can't be made into a blog post, it's just too complicated. There are just too many people who can be called "Whigs" (some Liberal Democrats, Cameroons, libertarian Tories, sections of UKIP, etc) & they often have little in common.

I suppose I could be called a Whig by some, but I wouldn't think so: not only do I not fully answer to that description in the link, but in historical terms by the time of the original Asquith the Whigs had all migrated from the Liberal Party to the Conservative Party (where, interestingly enough, they formed a small & quite unpopular minority).

That link, while very thought-provoking, was more than 5 years ago & things have changed beyond all recognition with Camoron's ascendancy & the full emergence of the non/anti-Conservative right. Accordingly, it is impossible to blog.

You can call me an Asquithian, not a Whig. It is not very cheering to think what happened to my strand of opinion between about 1910 & 1930. But we're fighting back now :)

Darrell G said...


I decided pretty much the same thing lol...:)