Power Before Principle

Draft
The Tory instinct for power is ingrained in their DNA, it is why they were the most successful governing party of the twentieth century, no ideological baggage is allowed to prevent them from governing.  Conservativism is not a fixed canon, it is a frame of mind, an attitude to life and society.  The one thing that is constant is that conservatives believe in furthering the national interest.

Yesterday the Conservatives put their party interest before the national interest.  They will justify it to their consciences by arguing, as Cameron did, that if they win the election, they will inherit the worst public finances of any incoming government for fifty years.

We will have a generational challenge to get Britain to live within her means, to secure economic recovery and to deliver this country from the appalling mess left by this Labour Government.  That has to come before anything else.

That may be. The argument won over the 1922 Committee.  It seems to have convinced frontbench eurosceptics like Fox and Hague.  It seems to have won over even Bill Cash.  Only Hannan and Roger Helmer are unwilling to condone the putting of power before principleMany more will be wrestling with their consciences.

It seems that contrary to everything that the Tories said about not letting matters rest, that they are willing to subordinate the national interest not just to a continental supra-state, but to electoral calculations.  Guido has been told that three weeks ago Margaret Thatcher wrote a personal plea to her great admirer Václav Klaus, to stand firm, in the hope of strengthening his resolve.  It was to be delivered by William Hague. It still rests on his desk.

UPDATE : Incidentally, Guido has read the draft bill the Tories circulated before the June 4 Euro-elections. Guido is not a constitutional lawyer, but can’t see any obstacle to that bill being introduced as promised by Tory MEPs at the election.  Guido is willing to be corrected by m’learned friends.

+++ Cameron : “We Can’t Have a Referendum Now” +++

Blames Blair and Brown for betraying the British people. Promises constitutional change to ensure referendums on all future transfers of power or entry into Euro. Calls it a “referendum lock”…

Promises a UK Sovereignty Bill blocking implementation of EU “ratchet clauses”. Says Tory election slogan will be “Never Again”.

PMQs Live Chat : Expenses Bonfire Edition

+++ Kelly “Report Not Draconian”  +++

Gordon Wanted to Set an Etonian to Fight an Etonian

On Sunday the Mail reported that Gordon Brown was looking for someone to replace the piss-poor, soon to be side-lined Simon Lewis.  Lewis is a former press secretary to the Queen and brother of the Daily Telegraph editor, Will Lewis.  He was recommended for the job as Gordon’s spin-doctor by the friend-of-Mandy power-lobbyist Roland Rudd.  He has not worked out with the Lobby or changed the negative narrative pervading Gordon.

patrick_hennessyGordon is in desperation seeking someone new to be his Alastair Campbell and make up for the loss of Damian McBride.  He is having difficulty finding takers and has been rebuffed thrice by people he has offered the job – including once the MoS reported by the political editor of a newspaper. It turns out that the political editor was not Damian McBride’s mate Kevin Maguire – Ephraim Hardcastle in the Mail reports* that Gordon wanted something a bit more classy, and begged Old Etonian Patrick Hennessy of the Sunday Telegraph to take on his fellow Etonians.  Floreat Etona…

*Attribution.  Something Ephraim should learn to do.

Luvvies for the Licence Fee

Stephen Fry and a load of luvvies, unions and interest groups are lobbying to stop the BBC licence fee from being redistributed to non-BBC public service broadcasters.  They want to levy new taxes rather than divert funds away from the bloated BBC to other suppliers.  Calling themselves the Citizens’ Coalition for Public Service Broadcasting they are mostly drawn from the public sector  and unions funded by a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Trust.  It is the usual bunch of media lefties, worried that their BBC gravy train might be derailed.  They are so out of date in their thinking that they still think in terms of  “broadcasting” rather than content provision across all distribution platforms.

The BBC does not have a monopoly on public service broadcasting, the next government would be wise to promote a more diverse public service content provider environment.  The technology of new media lowers the cost of entry to new online broadcasters.  Ofcom even identified some excellent prospectsGuido is almost too modest  to name  worthy emerging public service candidates

UKIP Go After the Tories

referendumWell it didn’t take UKIP long. Nigel Farage says: “We can now see how gutless and dishonest the Conservative Party has been about their intentions on a referendum.”

Not completely fair, but unless Cameron comes up with a formula that satisfies Hannan et al, he is in a bit of trouble…

ukip

Guido understands that we are going to be told the new formula tomorrow afternoon.

Look to Luton for the General Election Trend

luton-outGuido has been saying for some time that this election may well exceed the 1945 election for clearing out incumbent MPs. The number of troughing MPs retiring or being thrown out by electors is going to be huge. As well as the macro-political environment and the visceral anti-political feeling that covers the land and will be celebrated this Thursday 5, November, the nature of the expenses scandal means that local newspaper journalists will find it easy to attack their sitting MPs.

None will find it easier than the Luton & Dunstable Express which has started aGet Moran Out Now campaign in her Luton South constituency.  Expect to see more of this across the land.  Guido will be watching to see if Julie Kirkbride tries to stand again…

Hat-tip : Miranda Richardson

+++ Cameron : Treaty Position Will Be Clarified This Week +++

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cameron References the Jonah Jinx

Yesterday in the chamber Cameron made a jibe that Tony Blair’s campaign to become EU president was going well until the moment the Prime Mentalist backed him, ensuring the “curse of the one eyed son of the manse” doomed Blair’s […]

+ READ MORE +

Wonk Watch : IPPR Gives Staff P45s for Christmas

Guido understands that IPPR, the think-tank that did most of the thinking for New Labour in the beginning, has given half-a-dozen staff redundancy notices terminating their contracts on Christmas Eve.  Guido pointed out that their 21st anniversary party held in […]

+ READ MORE +

“You Can’t Have Politicians Stepping Into the Scientific Arena”

The sacked Professor David Nutt has turned the tables on Alan Johnson.  Johnson keeps repeating angrily that the professor should stay out of politics, the professor is squarely saying that politicians should stay out of the science. Dr. Les King […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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