Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Full House

The news has just come through that Kenneth Clarke has been eliminated in the first round of the Tory leadership contest. So whatever happens now, it is guaranteed that a neo-conservative, pro-war candidate will win and that once again, in the next General Election both our leading parties will be agreeing on foreign policy. What sort of democracy is it that the views of the majority of the electorate (and indeed the views of grass-roots Tories, many of whom opposed the war)- can be treated with such contempt? The neo-conservatives did all they could to prevent Kenneth Clarke making it through to the final ballot, so petrified were they that he might win and then follow a less hawkish, and less pro-American foreign policy line. Ken we were told was too old, too lazy, and horror of horrors- was a director of a tobacco company (neo-conservative concern over the dangers of tobacco only seem to have arisen when Clarke announced his candidature).
Henry Ford once said that his customers could have any colour car they liked, so long as it was black.
Neo-conservative democracy says we can have party leader we like- so long as they sign up to Shock and Awe and the imposition of free market economies by B52s.


Anonymous said...

This would be true, if there were only two parties. Lib Dems, Greens, Respect even if you fancy it (and I think you're bang on for their demographic, being something of a fool) are all 'anti-war' if that's the only decision you feel is important.

believe what you like about the horrid conspiracy, there's choice out there to make your decision known, as anyone following the last general election. Labour lost 7-9% of their vote in quite a few constituencies, but they still won with a hundred seats though , didn't they?

Anonymous said...

In the 2001 election all party leaders supported the war in Kosovo.
Its not exactly new.

Anonymous said...

An elite consensus is not new, as Anony2 points out.

I am not entirely convinced that the Lib-Dems are anti-war. They have been very cagey about pushing for an immediate withdrawal...

Even if they do come around to a clear anti-war position, the notion of an elite consensus still applies because the Lib-Dems are NOT going to form the next government. The only way a third party can break through in a two-party setup is if one of the other parties self destructs - as the Liberals did in 1918.

Now, you could have a parliamentary coup and a 21st Century "Ministry of all the Talents" could emerge from the two backbenches, but the party system is so strong that I really don't see that happening.

Raoul Djukanovic said...

Since The Guardian published that story on Monday, Neil, I presume you'll refrain from being tarnished by further association with their neo-conservative pages.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. The Tories were obviously terrified of a Clarke win upsetting the neocon warmongering faction. Clarke would have won by a large margin in a popular vote. It shows how utterly contemptuous of democracy the Conservatives have become, just like Labour. It is not an easy time to be a principled British conservative.

Anonymous said...

I came here via Harry's Place. Fascinating to see that people like you still exist. I can't quite work out why capital punishment appears on your list of "must haves". Weird.

Anonymous said...

I too have been called weird for having a mix of views that doesn't fit into a pre-defined box.

This man is going straight onto my blogroll.