Wednesday 12 May 2010

Why Have The Right Sat Tight ?

Fraser Nelson was quick out of the blocks vowing to fight a Con-Lib arrangement. Ah, the perils of 24-hour meeja: he quickly shut up, and has subsequently been a model of restraint, concerned mainly that Michael Gove's school reforms will survive in a coalition deal.

Methinks more than one person had a little word with him. Guido was probably the first - "don't do it, my friend" (no nihilist he!) - and we may imagine that one or two people wearing suits were also making similar points. Somebody has also had a little word with Heffer, too.

Excellent. The Tories' discipline since 6 May has been a pleasure to behold (e.g. Redwood, here). They've rediscovered their power-focus. This bodes well, for the difficult months that lie ahead before a re-run of the GE. And it's certainly what the grassroots want, whatever the ultras like to imagine, and whatever a mischievous media would prefer. "This is the election to lose" is oppositionist thinking associated with posturing purists, more usually leftists. No credit to Heffer for wondering thus: "The most difficult point to grasp is why anybody wants to govern this country". Difficult only for a backwoods sniper, matey: practical people seize the reins when they are flapping loose.

There are other simple reasons, in addition to a proper, pragmatic enthusiasm for power. Natural Conservative self-discipline and decency, of course ! But IMHO the main reason is that the Right is properly keen to see the mega-deficit sorted, and knows what a mega-task this is. Here is Nelson again:

"Clegg will take PMQs in Cameron’s absence, and will defend all those nasty cuts (sharing the blame for these cuts is the main rationale for coalition)"

This is a legitimate rightist motivation, and coupled with Red Lines on immigration and Europe (and Trident - but why ?) should be enough to keep the Right in line, provided the first Budget seems sound.

Any other views on why Tory discipline is holding so well in the face of a disappointing result ?



Budgie said...

"Any other views on why Tory discipline is holding so well in the face of a disappointing result?"

Because they're all (well, mostly) short termist, europhile troughers?

Anonymous said...

Because they're in power with a (coalition-helped) majority. They wouldn't have survived 6 months in a minority government; their inability to cut and reform where needed would have been seen as the reason behind us getting deeper in the mire, Labour would have pounced on that and got straight back into No. 10.

Although Cameron has conceded a lot in order to get the Lib Dems on-board, I think the dissenters are quietly pleased that they have a real chance to be in government for a decent amount of time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know; you should never start a sentence with "because". Apologies. :)

CityUnslicker said...

Cameroons taking heavy cabinet level hits too - no Gove or vaizey so far. Osborne having to work with Cable.

But it is only day one....

Bill Quango MP said...

Just heard on R2.

From a Scots voter..
"The Tories have only been in power for fifteen minutes and a Scotsman has been made unemployed and his family made homeless."

Lib Dems activists not too pleased. But they do sound like tactical voters rather than Liberals. They are Labour people really.
An odd bloke just on Vine saying he feels betrayed by Cameron over this deal and cam should have stuck it out in a minority government..
"So you voted conservative then?"
"No..I didn't vote for anyone"

Then he can't really complain can he?

James Higham said...

No, the grassroots don't want discipline - they want principle - it's a conservative word which has been forgotten.

Laban said...

To be fair, as a Peter-Hitchens style sceptic, they've only been in power 5 minutes. I can't argue with their adoption of the higher basic tax band, abolition of ID and the chopping of Heathrow 3, and I appreciate the reasons for the coming increases in VAT and CGT, and the non-change to inheritance bands, much as I'll hate paying them.

Give them a chance. Events, dear boy, will as ever be the cause of the doubtless inevitable disenchantment.

But if they let Mervyn King print any more money I swear I'll move to Germany.

Budgie said...

The Tories have been in power less than 24 hours and already unemployment has gone up. (Just thought I would get that in before a Labour groupie did).

Anonymous said...

I've never voted for any of the main three parties but am (naively?) hopeful that they will keep each other in check.

In that vain, I'm really disappointed at the short-sighted activists who are really putting party before the country:

Yes, we may have been better off financially with a Conservative Majority, but it didn't happen; BUT! Done right (which I agree is wishful thinking) the "grass-root" Lib supporters can keep the Tory economics palatable to the electorate, and the Tory grass-roots can keep the loony Liberal social policies in check too.

ANYTHING is better than Neo Labour still being in power.

Just for once...go with it for a while! :)

Nick Drew said...

Scan, Laban - I am with you, see my comment on BQ's more recent post

actually my own reading of the activists I have talked to after the election - and that's dozens & dozens - is that there is plenty of goodwill for this new venture, in the Tory party at least

already unemployment has gone up - like it, Budgie !

Alan Douglas said...

""The Tories have only been in power for fifteen minutes and a Scotsman has been made unemployed and his family made homeless."

Ermmm - didn't that Scotsman recently have TWO or THREE homes, mostly at public expense ?

Was he really as careless with personal finances as with the nation's ?

Alan Douglas

PS, Yes, I know it was a joke, so is mine.

Frugal Dougal said...

"Any other views on why Tory discipline is holding so well in the face of a disappointing result?"

Basically, while Tony Blair's governments were all about Tony Blair, and nobody's quite sure what Gordon Brown was about, the Conservatives are sure where their focus lies: it's all about the people.

Jeremy Stanford said...

Among several reasons for grassroots disappointment is that Conservatives expect and look forward to clarity, precision and decisiveness from Tory policy-making.

Cameron certainly 'grabbed the reins' but there's someone else pulling on them too. But I acknowledge there was little alternative.