Thursday, November 23, 2006

Greg Clark must be stopped

If Greg Clark gets his way all is lost. We will no longer be a party shifting ever closer to the centre ground, instead we will be a party sitting in the very heart of socialist territory. Greg Clark would have us believe that “Polly Toynbee is a serious thinker about social policy… it would be ridiculous not to benefit from effective analysis." However in reality her analysis of social policy is typical of someone completely out of touch with working class life, although she has dabbled in it. Her opinions are formed around an implicit sense of superiority, a belief, albeit not one openly admitted, that her and people like her know best; that they alone can deliver the poor wretched masses from a life they are too stupid to save themselves from. If we choose to adopt her proposals on social policy then we should do so in the full knowledge that we would no longer be a conservative party, we would simply be the old Labour Party known by a different name.

Toynbee believes in addressing relative poverty; which, if you distill her latest article, essentially means raising taxes so that welfare will be able to pay for people have mobile phones, computers, and yearly holidays etc. Not only that though, it also means “giving everyone as a right their own home, once they have money to pay for the upkeep.” Who pray tell will pay for these homes? The taxpayer, who incidentally is most likely already paying for their own home in the form of a mortgage.

Of course what’s most interesting about relative poverty is that it never goes away, it is after all relative to the prevailing living standards etc in the country at any given time. So if the possession of a blackberry, laptop and golden monkey were to become a standard feature of middle class life, then all those without said items would be, you guessed it, impoverished. Woe is me, I have no golden monkey!

As conservatives we believe fundamentally in the need to raise the standard of living for everyone. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to be all they can be. We believe in equal opportunity, indeed equality of opportunity, for all. But most importantly of all we do not believe that government is entity to provide these things. As Barry Goldwater so rightly said, there is a difference between believing something should be done, and that it should be done by the government. Instead we champion the ability of individuals to improve their own lives. If, in an effort to get elected, we turn our backs on this most basic of our beliefs, then what have we to offer but philosophical mediocrity and political uncertainty (for who knows what we are if we are driven by what is popular at any given moment).

We must do all we can to ensure that Greg Clark’s absurd vision of a Conservative Party that is big on taxes and big on government spending does not come to fruition.

Edit: the Devil has an interesting piece on this whole affair


Martine Martin said...

I was so peeved I couldn't speak, much less write, when I heard about this!

I completely agree with you here.

Shane Greer said...

I know what you mean, it took me a couple of hours before I could write anything.