Saturday, November 24, 2007

Words are easy...

Via Guido, it seems that David Cameron is at least attempting to talk the talk...
"So there are many battles we must fight together, and my message to you today is a simple one - a message that I know you will understand more than most. The battle for freedom and opportunity is never finally won. In each generation, those of us who believe in freedom, in human potential, in the idea that the strength of our society comes from the energy and industry and creativity of our people; those of us who believe in these things must be ready to fight for them because the enemies of freedom are never finally vanquished. They always live to fight another day. Today we can see the enemies of freedom preparing a renewed assault on our liberty. They do not mean to harm us. In fact, they mean to help us. But their ideas are out of date, their methods have failed and their advance must be derailed. I am speaking of the politicians and public officials who believe that they know best how to organise our lives. That they are the experts, so they must have the power. You can find them everywhere – in my country, in your country and in the EU itself. They are the last defenders of the bureaucratic age, an age before the information revolution and our new world of freedom that makes it possible to put real power in people’s hands. But in their desire to control, to regulate, to direct, the defenders of the bureaucratic age have over-reached themselves. They have gone too far. They have tried to do too much. And it has exposed the historic error of their ways.

"In Britain, bureaucratic over-reach has seen the Labour Government creeping further and further into the lives of British people. Millions of families sucked into a complex system of tax credits. An army of tax collectors that is now almost as big as our actual army. Fingerprinting children at school. And this week we saw a shocking consequence of this bureaucratic over-reach: a scandal where the government has lost the names, addresses and bank details of almost every family in the country. Are they learning the lesson? Do they accept that bureaucracy has gone too far? Of course not. They are stuck in the bureaucratic age. So they now want to take personal information about everyone in the country and store it on a national identity register. We are seeing this bureaucratic over-reach in the EU too. The desire for harmonisation and homogenisation – on tax, on regulation, on so many aspects of public and private life. It is the last gasp of an outdated ideology, a philosophy that has no place in our new world of freedom, a world which demands that we fight this bureaucratic over-reach and lead Europe into the hope and potential of a new, post-bureaucratic age."

Yeah, good luck with that last bit, Dave. The EU is unreformable—mainly because it has no interest in pursuing a different path—and you have no business meddling in the affairs of the rest of the European countries if, by "Europe", you meant Europe and not the EU.

But, it is a reasonably encouraging speech. But anyone can say the words; where is the action? Or even the proposed action?

It's true that Dave has been making encouraging noises on schools—although his tendency to come out with micro-managing policies, e.g. phonics, blazers, etc., still hasn't convinced me that he really knows what he is doing—but other than that, the proposals that have come from the various policy groups have either been rather illiberal or downright insane.

So, Dave, when will you start to walk the walk, precisely?


Anonymous said...

The trouble with the Tories is they talk the talk to get elected.

Look how "eurosceptic" they have been for the last 35 years. Any bets that they will really be eurosceptic if they form the next government?

The only Tory PM to be remotely eurosceptic was Margaret Thatcher. And she was stabbed in the back by her own back bench Tory europhiles.

As far as the Tories go, I'll believe it when I see it, and not before.

Anonymous said...

We should treat politics as a filter to collect people like brown and co then when they are all in one place scrape em off and bin em.

Simon Fawthrop said...

He's barking at the moon. As long as the EU's guiding principle is "ever closer union" politicians can say all they like, they will be completely ignored.

AD627 said...

It is surely the nature of opposition that makes it rather difficult to “walk the walk”.

I think that – looking at the policy positions of the individual Tory MPs and PPCs –– it should be quite obvious that the Tory Party is substantially more Euro-sceptic that it was under Margaret Thatcher. We have seen the passing of the generation of MPs whose views were influenced by the last War and believed that the EU was a bulwark against another European war. Today’s Tory candidates judge the EU on its pisspoor record, rather than the spurious suggestion that it has been responsible for peace in or time.

Anonymous said...

It true that being in opposition makes it rather difficult to “walk the walk”. But the Tories have not been in opposition for the whole of the last 35 years, have they?

The current Tories are trapped by their refusal to countenance leaving the EU. If they gain power next and trot along to Brussels to "renegotiate", all the EU has to do is say "No". Then where are the Tories? They will not be able to renegotiate but they refuse to leave. Result: egg on face - and no walking the walk.

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