Friday, August 17, 2007

"The Tory Party never was a 'right-wing' party, let alone a 'rightwing' one."

Remember this? Well, as the line goes, say it better with Hitchens:

"There never was a Tory swing to the right. The Tory Party never was a 'right-wing' party, let alone a 'rightwing' one. Nor will it ever be. It was an effective machine for putting well-bred gentlemen into office, and would always do what was necessary to achieve that end. Now it is an ineffective one. There was, on the other hand, a very significant change in Labour, from being a reformist working class-based party, to being a middle-class radical party bent on profound social, moral and cultural change. That required a new form of opposition - one that both understood what New Labour was about, and fundamentally disagreed with it. The Tories had got used to being vaguely, habitually against the Old Labour package of union rights and nationalisation. They thought the old slogans and habits of mind would carry on working against the new version.

They never cottoned on to how important comprehensive schools and political correctness were. The party that does grasp these things, and is prepared to combat them, has yet to come into being, but the omens are, for the moment, surprisingly good."


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