Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Message from a 'Cameron Project Propagandist'

I'm not a regular vistor the the Tangled Web blog. It describes me today as "chief online propagandist for the Cameron project". I suspect that would provoke a few belly laughs inside CCHQ. A commenter on the same blog portrays me as "a hideously Cameroonite Tory". This begs the question as to whether these people actually have ever read my blog.

I hope that my praise of aspects of the Cameron project are balanced by a reasoned criticism. Anyone who knows me, and reads this blog regularly, ought to know what my politics are, but for the new readers among you - and there seem to be a growing number - I should explain that I am a liberal Conservative on both economic and social issues. I'm a Thatcherite who recognises that we have to adapt Thatcherism to modern circumstances. I do indeed support David Cameron in what he is trying to do in modernising the party and our policy platform, but I am not an uncritical supporter. Frankly, no one would bother reading a blog like this if they thought all I did was regurgitate Tory propaganda. Of course I can be party political; this is, after all, a Conservative blog. Most readers are able to differentiate between commentary and partisanship.

The post below, where I poke fun at the Norfolk Blogger for his blindness to the ills of his own party was actually written with a tongue firmly placed in my cheek. He writes a LibDem blog, I write a Tory blog. We're not impartial news services. No one should be at all surprised if we do not cover issues which are maybe slightly embarrassing for our own parties. Why on earth would we? And neither of us should apologise to anyone for not doing so.

19 comments:

David Anthony said...

Iain, I fear you may well be becoming the Bill O'Reilley of the British Blog scene.

I hope you understand what I mean by that! ;)

Benedict White said...

Iain, "Of course I can be party political; this is, after all, a Conservative blog."

No you don't, I do.

Now stop nicking my blog title! :)

garypowell said...

Stop being so sensitive and middle class its sad to wittness.

Its quite simple, just say to them what Guido says.

If you dont like me or the Blog F..K off. No ones making you pay for it or waste your time reading it. And move on quickly.

Bob Piper said...

"I'm a Thatcherite who recognises that we have to adapt Thatcherism to modern circumstances."

Traditional values in a modern setting.... as John Prescott's mantra went. Or... 'same old shit, different sauce' as his former merchant navy cooks used to say.

Brownbadger said...

"We're not impartial news services. No one should be at all surprised if we do not cover issues which are maybe slightly embarrassing for our own parties."

Will you publish my disgust on hearing that a Conservative MP is trying to remove the Freedom from Information powers from applying to MPs and to parliamentary business. NuLab are apparently supporting it.

No surprises there then, but for the Conservatives to run with this does not fit in with their claim to have changed.

Sad...very sad.

Chad said...

Iain, when your starting point is that you will vote Conservative no matter what they do, then no wonder you get criticised.

I wouldn't vote UKIP if they decide to accept state funding for example. Most people have some lines in the sand where they could no longer vote for a party, but you appear to have none.

In a political climate where people are aligning themselves more with policies than parties (ie the rise of the single-issue pressure groups), your 100% alignment instead to a rosette leaves you drifting ever out of touch with changing times.

Anonymous said...

Bob Piper and Chad - two nasty, screwed up individuals. Are they related by any chance? I think we should be told!

Chad said...

Well 'piper' is Dutch for prick and I lived in Holland and am often called one by tories filling that void where policies used to be.... ;-)

It's hardly nasty to ask someone if there is anything that would stop them voting for a party, is it?

Tony said...

Chad, I can only speak for myself, but as a Tory member rather than just a voter, I feel a responsibility to argue against policies I do not like rather than just spitting the dummy and walking out.

Unlike some people, it would take a great deal to make me walk away from a party I have invested time and effort into. I am sure Iain too has a tipping point, but like me it would probably have to be something rather extreme to make me leave.

For example, the effort of David McLean in trying to limit FOI exposure for MPs is something I strongly disagree with. I noted my opposition to it on my blog at the end of January. It is enough to make me leave the party? No.

It takes more than wanting to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond and simply not getting my own way to want to leave a team.

Iain Dale said...

Chad, I'm not going to take lessons on lines int he sand from someone who has been a member of or created at least four political parties within 12 months.

Of course I have lines in the sand. It's just that I am not going to tell you what they are.And from reading your blog I would almost be willing to bet money that you are becoming less enamoured with UKIP and will flounce out of the party within six months. You've done quite well to last this long with your track record.

And by the way, why do you describe yourself as UKIP Weblog on Newsnow, as reported by Dizzy? It makes you sound rather more official than you are. I presume you'll be wanting to rectify the matter and give them your proper title.

Chad said...

Chad, I can only speak for myself, but as a Tory member rather than just a voter, I feel a responsibility to argue against policies I do not like rather than just spitting the dummy and walking out.

Hi Tony, I totally agree. I would not quit UKIP if they take the dirty taxpayers money, I would not vote for them, but would still remain within the party seeking to change the policy.

That's not spitting out the dummy, that's both showing your opposition and working for reform.

It seems that to have a starting point of "I will always vote for Party X" whatever is crazy. What if another party espoused all the values you believe in and had a better chance of power?

To stick to a rosette come what may seems very 1950's to me and counterproductive as it, to me, just allows a party to carry on as it wishes knowing it has a core vote who, however disgruntled, will always be doormats and vote for them.

Surely we should be putting real pressure on politicians not moaning and whining but ultimately guaranteeing them your vote anyway?

Chad said...

..Iain, News Now pick their own titles. Nothing to do with me. You guys really do have a bit too much time. Why don't you email them for me if it bothers you so much?

You really do need to get out a bit more!

And re the parties, I only became interested in politics in 2005, so it's hardly surprising that the first few months where a period of change and learning. I've now found the party for me, and will be renewing my membership next month.

So there! (yah boo sucks)

Tony said...

Chad said: It seems that to have a starting point of "I will always vote for Party X" whatever is crazy. What if another party espoused all the values you believe in and had a better chance of power?

I think it has more to do with core values. I cannot see Labour or the Lib Dems ever espousing the core values of conservatism.

Labour donned Tory clothes to win in 97 but despite their promises, we still ended up with their traditional tax and waste mentality.

The armed forces are worse off. The NHS is suffocating in red tape. Farmers still go without their money. Public sector 'non jobs' are created to keep unemployment numbers down - or the accounting changed to mask the true level of reliance on the state. Business is hampered and over regulated.

I think it would be ridiculous to suggest I should remain a Tory member and not vote because of one issue I disagree over, when all those other issues need to be resolved. Why not vote and possibly let Labour carry on with such folly? I accept you are new to this politics lark and are learning, so my advice is to consider the big picture rather than very narrow parameters.

Chad said...

I think it would be ridiculous to suggest I should remain a Tory member and not vote because of one issue I disagree over,

Hi Tony, so do you think Donal Blaney is behaving ridiculously by saying he will not vote Tory in the euro elections if they proceed with the proposed mep selection method? (over on ConHome today)

Just because it is 'one issue' surely its impact can be so huge as to change the whole nature of the party you are a member of?

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

DA: Iain is not left enough to be Bill O'Reily. I don't think Iain would ever have a go at oil companies for price gouging and trying to boycott them.

There is a difference between sycophancy and support. Iain knows the difference, some others do not.

Tony said...

As I said Chad, I think it would be ridiculous to suggest I should remain a Tory member and not vote because of one issue I disagree over. I was speaking for myself.

It is a serious issue. I believe the MEPs should be selected in a process that involves the membership. That is what I want to see. I will be extremely annoyed if members do not have a say. But I will campaign in the party to change the selection process rather than give up and leave.

I would vote for the Tory MEP candidates put in front of me. They will have more in common with my core values than any of the other parties. I would rather have Tories in Brussels who will be answerable to the party when things change, than see opposition MEPs I have no chance of influencing in the parliament.

Chad said...

Hi Tony - my point and I think Donal's too is that withholding your vote (perhaps just once, in the locals for example, not quitting etc) is a powerful way to properly lodge your disapproval because if enough people sit on their hands, the parties will fear the same in the general election unless they start changing their ways.

There's no need to quit, just don't vote in the locals, and watch them panic! It will give you real leverage and speed up the chance of reform many times over.

Tony said...

Seeing as I am a candidate in the locals, and along with the rest of the candidates in the borough have the improvement of Wellingborough at the forefront of my aims, I will be voting.

Although I do not know him personally, I respect Donal and his right to make his own decisions. I do not necessarily agree with them. No one can say they agree with everything in the party. I believe there are ways of changing things that do not require someone to withhold their vote to make a point. There are other powerful ways to get your message across. Some you win, some you lose.

Politics is not meant to be easy. There are disagreements and differing opinions about how to achieve agreed aims. Just because it is difficult it does not follow that one should simply walk away or revert to hurting the party in an election to make a point.

Anonymous said...

I am puzzled as to how one can be both a Thatcherite and a liberal conservative on economic matters at the same time. The latter, a persuasion followed by "Dave", is Butskellism rewritten for the 21st. century and will lead us down the same dreary cul-de-sac that we found ourselves in in 1979. The former is quite different and never the twain shall meet.