With the tories leading the polls with their largest lead for as long as most people can remember it would seem a strange time for conservative to complain (or possibly not if you’re Lord Tebbit…) but I’m going to have a whinge as I’m concerned that we’re still seeing more style than substance: the mini-manifesto that came out a few days ago seems to be a step in the right direction, and I can understand entirely why the ‘new’ conservatives don’t want to show their hand quite yet – as I know, as do they; that the moment anything concrete is released labour will steal it and call it their own.
But one of the things that has really got up my nose is the recent meeting with Nelson Mandella; undoubtedly an upstanding man, but what has fucked me off about this is the retraction of the Thatcher line that Mandella was a terrorist, regardless of whether Thatcher was right or wrong it’s not for Cameron to be apologising for past policies and practices of the Conservative party. We should be moving forward, not back-tracking desperately trying to spin the past; the facts are laid out in the past – It can’t, or a least, shouldn’t, be spun.
Mandella stood by his beliefs, and this is entirely admirable but the mess that the ANC have made of South Africa since, and it’s recent lurch toward more ‘extremest’ policies are worrying, not to mention the unforgivable handling of the HIV explosion in the area… So come on Cameron, pull it together, you don’t have to apologise for the parties past fuck-up’s: when was the last time Labour apologised for anything, and let’s face it the list is extensive: Winter of Discontent, Multiple Fuel Crisises, The War in Iraq, Alleged Loans for Peerages, The woeful handling of Foot & Mouth, The unforgivable lack of interest in Britain’s premiership of the EU council, the state of the railways, the state of the NHS, the state of the benefits system… I could go on and on: they’ve not apologised, because they realise that to apologise is not to right the wrongs, but simply to draw attention to them and their lack of action toward them in the first place.
To win and lead well David Cameron’s Conservatives must move forward, they must form labour-killing policies based on realistic achievable goals, they must be whiter than white and greener than green to gain the respect of the people in general and most of all they must shed the link with what has become stereotyped as Thatcherism; because as much as Thatcherism worked and undoubtedly saved this country from 20 years of economic downturn (as Germany has seen) there are people in this country who you’re going to rely on to vote for you who simply won’t hear the arguments for Thatcherism because it’s so deeply ingrained in them that it’s a bad idea that they’re completely immune to reason.