Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

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Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:49 pm

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No one ever rode to power on such a husky sledge of blatant untruth as David Cameron – greenest, most family-friendly, kindest to poor and disabled children and no frontline cuts.” (Polly Toynbee)
 
As we all know, Cameron only “rode to power” in 2010 on the backs of the Liberal Democrats. Despite having so many factors in their favour, the Tories couldn’t win the election outright, and their 36% share of the votes cast was their highest score in the last four general elections. The Tories haven’t won an election outright since 1992, when John Major lied his way back into office by promising “tax cuts year on year”, before proceeding to increase taxes more than any previous government in peacetime.
 
Tories have been around for a long time. The word ‘tory’ comes from the Gaelic ‘torai’, meaning ‘outlaw’ or ‘bandit’, so little has changed there. In the 17th century, Tories supported the king against Parliament. Although the Tory William Wilberforce was a leading campaigner against slavery, his party did not support its abolition, and it was left to a Whig government to end that evil practice in 1833, the year in which Wilberforce died. But then the Tories have always been ‘the nasty party’ (though that might be an understatement). 750,000 Irish people died of a potato famine in the 1840s because the Tories said ‘the free market’ would end the famine. (While those Irish people were starving to death, many Anglo-Irish estates continued to export grain and livestock to England.)
 
The Tories have rarely supported any of the reforms – such as education for all, the vote for all, the establishment of the welfare state and the NHS, legalised abortion and homosexuality – which in time came to be generally accepted as hallmarks of a civilised society. Yet until the arrival of Thatcher, the Tories sought not only to protect the rights of the rich and powerful (as they still do), but also to ‘conserve’ the status quo, whereas nowadays their mission is to asset-strip the state in support of their cronies and financial backers.
 
Despite having little or no empathy with the vast majority of the population, the Tories were, until quite recently, accepted as the natural party of government, and they were in power for about three-quarters of the last century. With more money than other parties and a largely supportive press, they operated a brilliant propaganda machine which persuaded or duped enough people into continually voting against their best interests. As Nye Bevan put it: “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power? That's the whole art of Tory politics.”
 
However, society has changed. Although far too many people are still brainwashed by the BBC into looking up to the medieval institution of hereditary monarchy, deferment to those with grand titles, pots of money and posh accents has declined rapidly since the 1960s. Britain has become multiracial and multicultural, and the most popular national dish isn’t steak and kidney pie or fish and chips but chicken tikka masala. Britain has been in the EU (and its predecessor, the EEC) for forty years, and the development of package holidays and cheap flights has broadened people’s horizons. Enough of us have realised that the world doesn’t end at Dover, and so the flag-waving ‘Little Englander’ mentality is now mainly the preserve of the saddos who support UKIP and the EDL. And of course we no longer have an empire, which used to make such people feel superior to the ‘Johnny Foreigners’ who were subjugated and exploited.
 
The Tories have failed to keep up with these changes, and their party membership reflects as much. At one time they had about 3 million members. When Cameron became their leader in 2005, they had 270,000 members, but now they have only 130,000. (By contrast, membership of the Labour Party has increased by 31,000 since Ed Miliband became leader.) Lord Feldman is the Tory co-chairman in charge of party membership. In 2011, he launched a membership drive which saw a further drop in membership! In the real world, failure on that scale would result in the sack, but Feldman, a close friend of Cameron with an office in Downing Street, remains in his post. Many of those who are still Tory Party members work themselves into a lather over equal marriage, which again shows how out of touch they are; I can’t believe that many of the people who are struggling to keep solvent and feed and clothe their children see such an issue as important.
 
Writing for ‘Conservative Home’, Paul Goodman points out that “Tory members have undergone one significant change in the last 25 years or so.  They are, on the whole, older people.” If the Tory Party can’t attract young people, isn’t it likely to die when its remaining members do? It may be that the Tories realise they are in terminal decline and that this may be their last ever time in power. That would explain the breakneck speed with which they are dismantling what’s left of the state following all the Thatcher and Major privatisations, which were dubbed by former Tory PM Harold Macmillan as “selling off the family silver”. Tory MP Douglas Carswell is certainly in no doubt that the Tories are in serious trouble:
 
For a generation, the Conservative Party has been fighting a long retreat. An endangered species in much of the north of England, we are all but extinct in Scotland. Towns and cities across England that within living memory returned Conservative majorities to the town halls  and MPs to Parliament are now Tory-free. In many constituencies across the country, our local party structure is almost as hollow as our approach to the economy. HMV, the music retailer, went bust. Why? It had a declining market share and costly overheads. The Conservative Party is run a bit like HMV, and if it does not change, it will go the way of HMV.”
 
When Cameron became Tory leader, we were promised an end to the ‘nasty party’ image, but once in power again, the Tories have been more toxic than ever. We have a government conducting a systematic assault upon the sick, the poor and the disabled, slashing welfare budgets and forcing people off benefits. 500,000 of us now use food banks. They make it easier to sack us, make us work longer hours for less pay, force our kids to work for nothing, raise the retirement age whilst cutting our pensions and weaken our health and safety laws. And all just so a handful of people can be immensely rich.
 
Barring a rigged general election in 2015 – and we can’t rule anything out from a party that has tried to gerrymander the constituency boundaries, end automatic voter registration and cut off the finances of the main opposition party – the Tories will be toast. No governing party since 1974 has increased its percentage of the votes cast in the subsequent election (and then it was only because a second election was held after just seven months), and so the likelihood that the Tories will improve on their 36% share last time must be remote. Then the passage of time since the Tories last won an election outright will become even longer. Far-right headbangers have a natural home waiting for them in UKIP, blatant hypocrites can always link up with the Liberal Democrats, and the remaining Tory Party members will soon be having appointments with undertakers. So isn’t it time for this nasty, corrupt assortment of out-of-touch bigots, liars and losers known as the Tory Party to call it a day and disband?
 
Sources used:-
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/27/ed-balls-prudent-full-throttle-fury
 
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/irish_potato_famine.cfm
 
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/07/how-tory-membership-has-collapsed-under-cameron
 
http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2013/05/by-paul-goodmanfollow-paul-on-twitter-there-are-activists-in-every-party-whose-eyes-arent-entirely-steady-in-their-sockets.html
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287256/Tory-Party-run-like-HMV--way-says-Conservative-MP-Clacton-DOUGLAS-CARSWELL.html
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Redflag on Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:23 am

I am glad you managed to get your head sorted out PH.

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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Ivan on Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:12 pm

At least 30 Tory MPs are trying to make some last minute rearrangements........


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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by boatlady on Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:49 pm

I like your analogy - hope it's accurate
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Ivan on Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:32 pm

I feel somewhat embarrassed when reading what I posted here four years ago. 23 June 2016 changed all this:-

"Britain has been in the EU (and its predecessor, the EEC) for forty years, and the development of package holidays and cheap flights has broadened people’s horizons. Enough of us have realised that the world doesn’t end at Dover, and so the flag-waving ‘Little Englander’ mentality is now mainly the preserve of the saddos who support UKIP and the EDL."

Still, the Tory Party is proving on a daily basis that it's hopelessly divided and totally unfit to govern. We can but hope that this will come true:-


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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:18 pm

This article has been written by Ian Birrell, a Tory who was a speechwriter for David Cameron during the 2010 election campaign:-

Are the Tories reliving the John Major years? No. It’s much worse than that

The situation is far worse for the Tories now than during Major’s chaotic term. Theresa May is weaker, her government more incompetent, her party embroiled in a more wounding civil war, the morality scandal more profound – and the country confronting a far greater crisis over Europe.

For a start, Major won an unexpected election victory rather than throwing away a majority, like the bumbling May. The grey man stumbled through sleaze after his silly back-to-basics speech and crashed out of the exchange rate mechanism. Aided by heavyweights such as Michael Heseltine and Ken Clarke, however, his government steered the economy back on to a sound footing. Even on Europe, despite a hostile media and a selfish bunch of hard-right “bastards”, Major eventually challenged his internal critics with a leadership election then dumped his defeated rival John Redwood from the cabinet.

After her election debacle May is a frighteningly frail PM who gives the impression of being in office but not in power. She clings on to Downing Street, a shallow leader surrounded by too many second-raters and scared of risk, let alone of promoting progressive legislation for fear it might cause a government collapse. Instead of standing up to her chief troublemaker, she retains Boris Johnson as foreign secretary – despite reports that even the spooks do not trust such a slippery joker.

There are definite echoes of the Major years with this miserable May government as it struggles over Europe, economic difficulties and now serious sex scandal. But Major was a stronger leader at the helm of a more substantial government in a more stable world.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/02/tories-conservatives-john-major-years-much-worse-morality-scandal
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:22 pm

True, all true - but there is little comfort to be gained from that. Tory total disarray is mirrored by a Labour opposition racked with historical internal division and now beset by similar sexual peccadilloes alongside allegations of anti-semitism.

A plague on both their houses!

Aux barricades, mes ami.
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:48 pm

Hard to imagine that Major could be regarded as a stronger leader than almost anyone, although how anybody could ever - even for a fleeting drunken moment -visualise Redwood as a potential PM beggars belief.

That specimen stands alongside Duncan Smith and Gove as one of the most skin-crawling reptiles ever to have tainted politics at Westminster...
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:47 pm

How can you say that about such a charming man? Shocked


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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:52 am

Never-to-be-forgotten for his choral audition as Welsh Secretary.


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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:18 pm

What a complete BERK...!
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

Post by Ivan on Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:25 am

Such is the poverty of Tory ideas that they deny poverty even exists

Extracts from an article by Zoe Williams:-

The people of Taunton Deane, according to their MP, Rebecca Pow, have never had it better, thanks to Tory policies. A combination of the higher minimum wage, the higher personal threshold for paying income tax and the frozen fuel duty meant people had “thousands more in their pockets”. In real life, the raising of the minimum wage was better than nothing, and better than being a public sector worker and going seven years without a pay rise. But in eradicating poverty it will have “very little effect”, according to the IFS. The higher personal tax allowance was more than offset, at the lower end of the income scale, by reductions to in-work benefits, so it mainly boosted higher earners. For anyone to be “thousands of pounds” better off as a result of Tory policies, they would need to have been well off already, or to be using a hell of a lot of fuel.

It is critical to the Tory narrative to deny, forcefully and sometimes gleefully, that anyone in the country is struggling. The smart ones do this with “economicky” words – David Freud explained the surge in food banks as a simple issue of supply and demand. The confident ones simply deny the premise. There aren’t any unemployed people, according to Philip Hammond. Theresa May thinks nurses use food banks for “many complex reasons”. And the dumb ones are preeningly innumerate: Iain Duncan Smith thinks £53 is an amount of money it’s easy to live on for a week. Howard Flight thinks unemployment benefit is £250 a week.

This is a necessary fiction which is particularly pressing for this Tory government which has no project, no account of a better future except one that more closely resembles the past. Thatcher’s austerity was billed as a necessary transformation to take us to a better place; May’s makes no such promise. Hers is the end state. That a Tory government would deny hardship, and that a particularly directionless and incompetent one would deny it particularly hard, is predictable. Pow’s speech sounded different to the Tory delusions that went before it: no longer arrogant but absurd, no longer trenchant but flailing. For this era of carelessness, the jig is almost up.


For the whole article:-
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/27/poverty-tory-ideas-budget
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Re: Is the Tory Party an anachronism which should be disbanded?

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