"In biblical terms, Blairism is the poisonous tree which can give forth only poisonous fruit and must be rooted out. In 2005 Blair had the votes of only 21.6per cent of the electorate. With the poisonous tree of Blairism planted in the shadow Cabinet, where can the other 78.4 per cent turn?"
argues former Conservative Minister Norman Tebbit (above) in a letter to this week’s Spectator. It’s a good question indeed. As I argued here, the vast majority of Britons who favour a mixed economy, a non-interventionist foreign policy, moderate social conservatism and the rich paying their fair share of taxes, are effectively disenfranchised in a country which styles itself a democracy.
But if Tebbit is looking to where the ‘poisonous tree’ of Blairism began to take root, he needs, as David Lindsay correctly points out, to look further back, and closer to home.
"the dispatch of men and women to fight without the equipment they need, the sensational increases in tax without measurable improvement in services, the debauchment of the civil service, the criminal justice fiasco, the surrender of British sovereignty to Brussels, the remorseless attacks on the conventional family, the despoliation of education, use of the benefit system to deepen the poverty trap, lesser incentives to work or save, and the fuelling of the culture of drugs, alcohol, yobbery and violent crime" were all features of the Thatcher years, too. Indeed, they largely began during those years.