Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Bugger - I'm a Tory!

Before I explain why I am now converted to Cameron's idealistic vision of a 'big society', let me explain precisely where I come from politically.

One grandfather was a boilermaker on the Newport docks - a hard man, unforgiving of impoliteness, ready, willing and able with his fists to avenge any slight against him or his own. My other grandfather was altogether different - a miner from the age of 14, a true Welsh firebrand, a man who had to forego a scholarship to grammar school in order to work down the pit and support his family.

My politics were shaped by both of these men who loomed large in my childhood - my school holidays were spent with one or the other from an early age, and I learnt a lot from each. My dad's dad, the boilermaker, was a natural Tory - the Daily Express every day and the News of the World on Sundays. His pride was in himself, not in his class - he made things happen and was never one to join a crowd. My mum's dad, on the other hand, was a true socialist in the Bevanite mould - one who believed that the best way to progress was for people to bond together, to work for each other and to provide for those in need.

Both men, in their way, worked for their families and their communities - the influence that they had on me as a child has, I believe, made me a good and caring person, if a little intolerant of interference and bullshit.

Anyway - back to the meat of this post, which is why I am now a Tory.

I cannot say that I subscribe to all the ideals that David Cameron stands for - I am an ardent anti-European, and probably far too sceptical of the global warming nonsense for comfort. But his presentation of the new vision that he has for Britain today really appealed to me - the rolling back of 60 years of statist intervention in favour of local influence, the culture of responsibility, the promise of reward for co-operative provision of services - all of these are truly Bevanite in their roots and their scope, and chime strongly with the Methodist within me.

I am puzzled, however, by the reaction of the media to Cameron's new vision - it is as if they are children, willingly abrogating the responsibility for running things to the grown-ups who know better. We are not children, and the politicians know no better than we do how to run things - we need only look at the past 13 years to see what entrusting our future to the lawyers, lecturers and trade union careerists who make up the Labour political class has done. It is as though the various journalists have become part of the New Labour Borg, unable to think independently and unable to conceive of action that is not centralised and dogmatic - unable to see that local provision can be cheaper and more effective than five year plans - blinded by tractor statistics and lies.

If Cameron truly believes what he says about devolving power to the people who know what needs to be done, and reducing the role of the state to that of a good manager, enabling the people to achieve their goals efficiently and without state interference, then I am all for it.

It would be nice, though, for Dave to tell us the truth about the cuts that will be needed - he did mention a 33% cut in Whitehall, but nowadays most of the Civil Service is outside London, and the burden of regulation on local councils has created more non-jobs with more unaffordable pensions than we can cope with.

So - I'm nearly a Tory, but need more honesty to finally convince me.

1 comment:

Post what you like - I'm thick skinned and not easily offended (though Zionists may be deleted without mercy)