Thus, it was only a matter of time before this spiteful little prick wrote a piece whining about UKIP; that he chose to display rampant ignorance and the logical consistency and debating abilities of Polly Toynbee whilst doing so is only to be expected by those of us who have previously read his desperate drivel.
Our ickle Matty starts off on a classic note, designed to win him friends; he is going to attack
Tories who would rather lose than change
To turn that on its head, Matty is an admirer of those Tories who, like Cammy-Baby, will say anything in order to gain power; that's definitely the kind of person that I would vote for.
The defection of an economist from one party to another would not normally make headlines. But Tim Congdon, who announced his transfer of allegiance from the Tories to the UK Independence Party in the Telegraph last week, is no ordinary economist. As one of the most articulate champions of monetarism, he has been a luminous presence in the world of conservative ideas for a quarter century. His decision to leave the Tory mainstream for a fringe party, therefore, cannot be dismissed as an irrelevance.
Never mind, I am sure that Matty is going to give it a shot though...
David Cameron, I am told, was "livid", and it is not hard to see why. However proud his record as an empiricist and analyst, Professor Congdon's charges against the Tory leader represent a complete misunderstanding of what Mr Cameron stands for, and where he is trying to lead the party.
"I never imagined," writes Prof Congdon, "that the modern Conservative Party would again embrace old-fashioned Tory paternalism." Nor, as it happens, does Mr Cameron. Tomorrow, he is hosting a one-day conference in London on "social responsibility", the idea at the heart of his politics. Far from encouraging the paternalist state, the Tory leader wants to limit its interventions and to "roll forward the frontiers of society" instead.
Er, right. And what happens if I have no interest in "social responsibility (or, rather, Cammy-Baby's definition of it)? Are the compassionate Conservatives going to make me more socially responsible? That sounds suspiciously like statism to me. After all, our darling Tonio has often talked about social responsibility too.
As for rolling forward "the frontiers of society"...
What does this mean?
Good question, Matty.
For a start, it signals a radically increased role for charities and voluntary groups in the provision of welfare, rehabilitation and other local services...
Erm... charities and their ilk are, by their nature, private organisations. What is they do not want to prop up the government's social service failures? And if more of these services are going to be sicked onto charities, why is Cammy-Baby unwilling to slash taxes? After all, if more of the "provision of welfare, rehabilitation and other local services" is going to be provided by "charities and voluntary groups", surely the state will not need more money?
Unless, of course, Mister Cameron is planning to fund the inevitable and necessary increase in size of these organisations with more state funding, in which case what will differentiate these organisations from the piss-awful state agencies that they replace? The answer being, of course, "fuck all."
... and the slashing away of the red tape that presently constricts such organisations.
*Sigh* Matthew, you know as well as I do that the vast amount of "red tape" that constricts charities, etc. comes from the European Union and Cammy has absolutely no chance of changing these whatsoever. The EU controls
- employment law
- health and safety
- accounting procedures, including anti-money laundering
And that's just off the top of my head. There's no chance of regainging control of these areas—and thus being able to give charities breaks—whilst we are still part of the EU and, as I keep on pointing out, "it is not the Conservative Party's view that we should be out of the European Union." So, Cammy-Baby is making promises that he is unable to keep; and he's not even in power yet!
This would not involve, as Prof Congdon alleges, "expanding the state's responsibilities", but precisely the opposite.
Er, up to a point, Lord Copper. All that Cameron is going to do, as far as I can make out, is to expand state funding to the charities in the hope that they will do the job more efficiently than the state agencies do. This will actually make the charities yet more beholden to the state, as it increasingly becomes their primary source of funding, and will actually expand the state's control over the voluntary organisations. It certainly will not ensure that the state interferes less in people's lives: it merely changes the agent of delivery.
Like everything about Cameron, this policy idea is nothing more than surface spin: nothing will really change in terms of the state's control: it is simply that the delivery will have a cosmetic change.
A consistent theme in Mr Cameron's rhetoric since he stood for leader has been the desirability of enabling charities and voluntary groups to perform tasks that state bureaucracy does badly.
As I said, all that will happen is that the state agencies will be replaced by charities, who will no longer have to compete for funds in the marketplace and they will, essentially, become carbon-copies of the state agencies anyway. Cosmetic chnages, nothing more. And, as I also pointed out, what if these charities do not wish to become simply another arm of the state?
True, the Conservative leader believes, in common with 99 per cent of the population, that the state should continue to provide free education and health-care, and we need to hear much more from him about how a Tory Government would deliver value for money to the taxpayer and rigorous consumerist reform for parents and patients.
Well, he has stated that the most important thing is the NHS, and so I think that we can assume that Cammy is unlikely to change effectively the NHS delivery system. And, as we have seen, despite the doubling of funds, the NHS has become no more efficient than it was before: in fact, productivity has fallen. The biggest problem that the NHS has is the idiot meddling by fuckwit politicians and their anally-retentive obsession with targets and figures.
As for education, well, Cameron has droppped the two things most likely to help: selection and funding through vouchers.
The truth is that both are sacred cows for the British public; we are unlikely to hear anything substantial on these two topics from Cammy-Baby because he simply hasn't got a clue as to how to fix these two wasteful behemoths. This is because Dave is a clueless cunt.
But to say that Mr Cameron is an old-fashioned statist is simply incorrect.
Why? He has said nothing that shows that he is not a statist.
His ethos has much more in common with the "compassionate conservatism" espoused by George W Bush when he was Governor of Texas than with the Butskellism of the old Tory wets.
What the fuck does that mean, exactly? But I agree, in part: right now, Davey-Boy is about as popular as Bush...
The most vigorous champion of the party's new preoccupation with social justice is a man of the Right: Iain Duncan Smith. David Davis has said that the test of all Tory policies should be whether they help the vulnerable.
No; this is a statist attitude worthy of Polly herself. The test of all Tory policies should be whether they allow the vulnerable (or anyone else) to be able to help themselves, not whether they extort money from everyone else to help those that the government considers deserving. How much more evidence do we need to produce to show that this latter approach does not fucking work?
But given the desire to help the vulnerable, where are Cameron's measures to abolish the huge marginal deduction rates—over 90% in some cases? Where is his pledge to raise the Personal Tax Allowance to a sensible rate in order to take thousands of people out of the taxation system? All that the fucker has said about tax is that he wants to slap massively regressive "green taxes" on activities that will hit the poor the hardest.
In John Redwood's recent book, I Want to Make a Difference, there is an impressive chapter entitled "The assault on poverty", devoted to the encouragement of neighbourly conduct. Does Prof Congdon accuse such Tories of "holier-than-thou 'social inclusiveness' ", as he does Mr Cameron?
Redwood is a hypocrite;he is highly EUsceptic and opposed to state funding and yet he is a member of a party which is, despite Cameron's protestations to the contrary, highly EU-philic, and supports state funding. So remind me: why should we listen to that cunt?
Oh, yes, because he is one of Matty's "say anything to get elected" Tories.
Still more bizarre is the economist's claim that the Tory leader has signed up to the "European social model". It is unclear how this squares with Mr Cameron's promise to withdraw Britain from the Social Chapter.
Whoops! Cameron has, in fact, repeated this pledge in his Telegraph article today.
It is why we will restore Britain's opt-out from the European Social Chapter...
Mr Cameron may find it just a tad difficult to withdraw from something that no longer exists, don't you think? The European Social Chapter has been integrated into the Treaty of Amsterdam and I suspect that that Cammy-Baby will find that a little more problematic to "unsign". As UKIP's Press Release says, today:
"As Mr Cameron knows very well, Britain cannot just 'opt-out' of the Social Chapter because it's now part of the Treaty of Amsterdam and fully enshrined in EU law, which the Conservative party is fully committed to," said Mr Farage.
"If the Tories really do want to free up British businesses from draconian laws which the 'Social Chapter' put into place, then the only way to do so is to withdraw from the European Union."
Once more, we have to ask the Polly Conundrum of Matty and Davey: are they ignorant fools or perfidious liars?
For this Conservative leader and his generational peers, robust Euroscepticism is the default position rather than a matter of contention.
Really? Which is why the once overtly EUsceptic Hague is now giving speeches on how brilliant the EU is for Britain, when the opposite is obviously and painfully true, is it? And this "robust Euroscepticism is why we have seen absolutely no action and no pledges on the EU from the Tories, other than the promise to withdraw from the EPP in two and a half years' time (by which time, anything might have happened to "convince" Cameron that the EPP is, in fact, best for the Tories).
Don't make me fucking laugh.
They talk about it less than their predecessors because they take for granted principled opposition to British membership of the euro, to an EU constitution and to federalism.
The reason that the Tories are keeping schtum about the EU is because they do, indeed, know that the British people are deeply opposed to these things, but the Tories know that they cannot do anything to stop any of it unless they withdraw from the EU entirely. So they are, like NuLabour, desperately pretending that we are in charge of our own country when anyone with any intelligence knows that we are not. (Luckily for Cameron, the vast majority of the British voting public are both ignorant and uninterested, so it's working.)
It is true that Mr Cameron has yet to complete his plan to withdraw all Tory MEPs from the European People's Party bloc, but the fact that he made this pledge at all horrified older Tory Europhiles.
That's because the older Tory Europhiles are morally bankrupt, cowardly fuckwits like Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine. Fuck 'em.
I don't know why they are worried; as I opined above, my prediction is that it will not happen. After all, if the Tories will not withdraw when the new EPP leader, French protectionist Joseph Daul, is under investigation for the misappropriation of £10.6 million worth of funds, when will they, eh? Especially since the fucking Tory MEPs must have helped elect the bastard.
Ukip, now led by Nigel Farage MEP, presents itself as the home of staunch principle in a world of shifty centrism and ideological treachery. In practice, it is the most mutable, say-anything party of the lot. Basically, if you are against something, or want to leave something, Ukip is for you.
No, d'Ancona, you fuckwit: if you are against free trade, then UKIP is not for you. If you are against smaller government, then UKIP is not for you. If you are against school selection, then UKIP is not for you.
In its rhetoric, it reminds me of Rik Mayall's brilliant slogan: "Never, ever, bloody anything, ever."
Which merely shows your ignorance: are we going to hear that tedious "UKIP is a one-issue party" bollocks again? UKIP stands for a number of things, which incude free trade, selection in schools, a flat tax, abolition of inheritance and capital gains taxes (including the disastrous ACT which has so damaged pension funds).
Founded to campaign for exit from the European Union, it now seems to stand for exit from the Tory party. Where once it protested against Brussels, it now protests against Notting Hill.
Yes, yes, this is all very tedious. UKIP essentially stands for those things that the Tories were perceived to stand for: personal liberty, small government, school selection, etc. etc. It is hardly surprising, then, that it is attracting, in the main, Tories who are dismayed at Cameron's lurch to the left.
A lot of Tories seem to think that it really isn't fair that UKIP should actually campaign to get voters; cries of "foul" go up from Cameroons across the country. It's all slightly pathetic really; do these people think that UKIP should not try to gain votes (admittedly, the Tories themselves seem to be doing that rather well, but we can't all be clever enough to lose support with such aplomb)?
These days, the party also devotes a suspicious amount of time to immigration. As Godfrey Bloom, Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, put it in an article for the Yorkshire Post earlier this month: "What happens when the music stops and some economic force takes away a few chairs? Where will we all sit?" Oh dear. Will someone please prepare a hammock for Mr Bloom, in case all the chairs are taken by wicked Romanians, Bulgarians, gypsies, travelling tinkers, circus performers, swarthy types and other undesirables? We don't want him to end up on the floor, do we?
Strange though this may seem, Master d'Ancona, a good proportion of the British people are worried about the levels of immigration. And immigration is a good way to get people to understand how little self-determination we actually have. Even if UKIP were to advocate the total opening of our borders—absolute free trade in people—the point that we do not control our own policy still stands.
Mr Bloom, you may recall, rose to prominence in 2004 when he declared that "no self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age"...
He is entirely correct, as it happens. And the people who are most annoyed about this are my female friends of child-bearing age who find getting jobs increasingly difficult as the potential cost of employing them gets ever higher. (Actually, Godfrey does enploy a reasonably large number of women, but there you go.)
...and that women (of all ages, one assumes) do not "clean behind the fridge enough".
A (possibly unwise) joke that will haunt him until the end of his career, one imagines.
When not electrifying politics with such interventions, Ukip tends to fight itself. Who could forget Robert Kilroy-Silk's election as a Ukip MEP in 2004, and his rapid departure to form the break-away Veritas?
Yes, Kilroy-Silk was a mistake, as Farage admitted on 18DS a few weeks back. Still we all make 'em, and it's to the credit of the party that, when Kilroy-Silk turned around (after about six months of membership) and said that he wanted to lead UKIP, they told him to fuck off.
No less excitingly, the party's Plymouth branch closed last week when the chairman departed to form his own popular movement, "New Battle for Britain"; however, the branch has now, it appears, been saved, and the fight to stop Plymouth being overtaken by an army of slant-eyed Euro-Slavs speaking Swahili goes on.
What you actually mean, Matty, is that four or five swivel-eyed loonies—one of whom allegedly rang up one of Farage's supporters in the middle of the night offering to "break her legs"—left the Plymouth branch, which did not close. Do try to get your facts right; remember, you journalists are supposed to be better than us bloggers because you fact-check.
What a shower.
Because, of course, the infighting that has plagued the Conservatives over the last ten years is absolutely and totally not in any way as pathetic as that of UKIP's, eh? You deluded fucking knob.
How has a serious man like Prof Congdon ended up in their midst? The answer is a sad one, and it has to do with the fundamental problem facing the Conservatives: not failure, but success. It is hard for a party that has been so successful so relevantly recently, to swallow the medicine of modernisation. For more than a decade, the Tories under Mrs Thatcher were utterly dominant, electorally and intellectually. But what made the Thatcherite movement so awesome was its aggressive modernity, its fearless capacity to ditch old solutions and adapt timeless Conservative principles to the challenges of the time (inflation, union power, international communism).
It is depressing that a figure of Prof Congdon's stature cannot see that the challenges facing conservatism in 2007 are quite different (for a start: globalisation, international terror, environmental degradation, the need to modernise health and education services). For Mr Cameron simply to repeat the mantras of the 1980s would be like Mrs Thatcher repeating the rhetoric of Macmillan.
You have utterly missed the point, haven't you? Look, as many of us libertarians believe, the solutions to these problems have not changed at all in the intervening years. The state runs things badly and inefficiently and therefore the state should run as little as possible. That is the fundamental policy which, despite Matty's protestations, Cameron has ditched. His policy's do not roll back the state or make it smaller; all his policies advocate is making cosmetic changes to the agents of delivery.
When Prof Congdon writes that he "was one of the foot soldiers" of the Thatcherite revolution, he betrays its spirit, replacing pulsing energy with curmudgeonly nostalgia: it is a sorry sight when an intellectual buccaneer becomes the curator of what he sees as immutable doctrinal verities; so defensive he leaves the only party with a chance of implementing the values he holds dear. True Thatcherism, that wave of change that saved and transformed the country, was never meant to be fossilised into stone tablets, protected by a jealous priesthood. It was certainly not meant to spawn Tories like Prof Congdon who would rather see the party lose than admit the need for it to change.
So, Professor Congdon (when did using lazy abbreviations in professional journalism become acceptable?) is one of those who would rather stand by the principles that he believes work, rather than lie and spin in order to gain power. I know which of these two options I have more respect for, Matty.
I would simply ask this brilliant economist: who is more likely to lead a Eurosceptic government, to reduce the tax burden when the public finances allow, and to tame the centralised state? David Cameron or Gordon Brown?
Er... Well, it's a very good question, isn't it? Dave's made no pledges to reduce tax: rather the opposite, in fact. He has made no claims to be pro the reduction of the size of government, or its intrusion into the way in which people live their lives; again, with his "green taxes" he has taken the opposing view. And as for being EUsceptic, don't make me fucking laugh.
So who is more likely to form that government? Well, that's a really good fucking question. Personally, I see no real difference between the two: I certainly do not believe that Cameron is going to make my life any better. I don't, for instance, think that I will be paying any less tax under a Cameron government than I will under Brown. I certainly don't think that public services will get any better under Cameron because he has, especially in education, dumped the specific policies that I think would make them better.
At least Prof Congdon will have plenty of time to mull over this question as he languishes on the margins of politics with his angry new friends.
Ah, yes, languishing on the margins, with his principles intact. Well, we shall see; the Labour Party was on the margins once...
• Matthew d'Ancona is Editor of The Spectator
Which is why I have cancelled my subscription. Matthew d'Ancona is a fat, sycophantic fool who would do well to shut his fucking face. And preferably change jobs so that I do not have to read his piss-awful drivel.
Ah, Cammy-Baby: with friends like these...