This morning’s SluggerReport took as an anchor piece Janan Ganesh’s excellent column on the neutral radicalism of David Cameron. In particular he has this bit spot on…
In Manchester, the right’s purists nag about Tory plagiarism of “unsound” Labour ideas: the national infrastructure commission, paid grandparental leave, the living wage.
Neutrals are taken in by the show of heterodoxy. But these statist gestures are rounding errors next to the cuts and structural upheaval. They provide political cover for the real work of Cameron’s premiership, which is searingly right of centre.
If we struggle to see that, his English aversion to ideology and its articulation is the reason. The speech he gives on Wednesday will be all “security” and “stability” and plodding common sense. This is never intended to deceive but it is deceptive: under the flannel is a provocative government.
Doubters of Cameron’s claim to historic status say he has no coherent worldview, no Cameronism. But neither does any normal person. Our beliefs are a dog’s breakfast of instincts and biases.
Running a state according to a system of thought is neither human nor, to judge by the 20th century’s body count, humane. Cameron shows that it does not take a philosophy to change a country, just the knack of responding dynamically to circumstances.
Those of you who want to hear more from Ganesh (and who can) can pick this up from the BBC iPlayer.
But it’s also worth paying attention to David Cameron’s interview in which he turned on the Spanish nurses his government turned to dig it out of the artificial hole it created in recruitment policy and accused them of coming to the UK to claim in work benefits.