Tories should counter with who they really are…

Brian offers a figure from the past Alan Watkins as the epitome of great British journalism (by and large no argument from me on that score). But for me no one in the British MSM scales the gap between the left and right as seamlessly as Guardian leader writer Julian Glover (long term partner of former Tory MP Matthew Parris)… He argues that the class war schick may just be enough to wake up Labour’s core vote, but that the Tories can and probably should counter with more of who they really are…

12,659 voters in Gosport (only 7,000 fewer than elected the local MP in 2005) picked Caroline Dinenage (campaign slogan: “local businesswoman, navy wife and mum”) to replace Sir Peter Viggars, made infamous by his duck island. She is the 14th person to be picked to fill one of the safe seats that have just come vacant (with eight more currently to go): so far 38% are women, three are doctors (one chosen just ahead of a teacher), two run businesses and only one went to Eton.

Open primaries, and in particular all-postal ones, are working. If there is a stereotypical modern Tory candidate, they are local, middle income, probably state educated and quite possibly employed in the public sector, with a record of voluntary work and a deep-seated distrust of the central state and the European Union. A solid Tory majority would mean about 60% of Conservative MPs were new and, if he is among them, Zac Goldsmith will stand out as the oddity, not the norm.

Glover concludes:

This is the story Cameron knows he has to get across. His advisers could do worse than return to that old communist text, and reword it very slightly: “It is high time that Conservatives should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of conservatism with a manifesto of the party itself.”

It is a manifesto that has yet to be heard, or at any rate understood, by Mr Cameron’s new friends in the UUP…


  • willis


    Very good.

    Janet Daley in the Torygraph must have met some fringe tories then.

    “Not that I am one of those who decries the entire Tory modernising project. Coming from where I do – both politically and geographically – I absolutely understand the sense in which the old Tory party looked and sounded unpleasant. How many times had I walked into a room full of braying pinstripes and thought, “What on earth am I doing here?”

    If labour have any sense they will encourage as many braying pinstripes as possible to complain aloud that if they do not get their bonuses there will be trouble.

  • Forgive me: I was with you all the way to:

    Zac Goldsmith will stand out as the oddity, not the norm.

    That must be true: mega-multi-millionaire sons of Sir “Jams” are hardly the “norm” anywhere.

    Yet Goldsmith won an “open caucus” for the Richmond Park seat.

    Now, class war in Richmond … that’s setting Waitrose against Waitrose?

  • Joseph Addison

    When I was a young man starting out in the textile industry. I was told the 60 year old mill managers political opinions, he had started at the bottom and worked his way up, eventually getting his City and Guilds in his own time at the local Mechanic’s Institute and lived a very frugal teetotal life brought up a family all with trades and succeeded in also saving a few bob. His dictum was “that them un’s that had a lot of brass to look after where Conservatives and meanwhilst they’d be looking after his brass at the same time.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Tories should counter with who they really are…’

    Not a good idea at all at all if you are a Tory supporter . After the election and when they get their feet behind their desks will be time enough to drop the mask . Offering the British people a 4 or 5 million long dole queue and reduced incomes all round in advance of the election is probably not a vote winner .