Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Progressive Conservatism is an oxymoron

David Cameron's silly use of the term 'progressive' is a clear illustration that the Tories will do almost anything to try and show that they are the party of the future. The truth about David Cameron's Tories is that they relish soundbites, image and tomorrow's headlines; have a clear sense of what will look good and almost no apparent political convictions. Since becoming leader Cameron's reforms have been primarily cosmetic (a new HQ, a new party logo) and shortlived (the party's "A" list of candidates). Cameron's new and so-called 'progressive' Conservatives are made up of the right kind of people, his people - privately educated and from a background of immense wealth and privilege. Cameron's 'progressive' Tories still believe that the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their political, their economic, and their social views. Since the summer of last year Cameron has been forced to peddle past Tory agendas and has embraced more "traditional" core Tory issues such as Europe, crime and the family.

Far from being progressive the Tory attitude to politics is archaic and redundant. The modern Tory party is the old Tory party re-packaged. David Cameron's Tories present the electorate with false choices; you have to be pro-business or pro-unions, pro-growth or pro-environment, for civil liberties or against them, in favour of immigration or opposed to it, a progressive or a dinosaur.

David Cameron is fast becoming the Janus of British politics. The truth is that you can be a progressive in politics or you can be a conservative but you cannot be both at the same time.

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