Retro Conservative Commentary
I am currently putting some of my longer and better pieces up in a special essays section of this site. This will consist of lengthier posts here which I feel make important points of lasting relevance. So far the section includes pieces from mid 2002 and late 2003. Eventually it will feature material from throughout the twenty months that I have been blogging, and beyond.
I try to avoid posting too much at the weekend, and I have other things to be getting on with now anyway, so in place of much content before Monday, here are the essays up there so far. Comments are welcome.
28.07.02 Self-control is not state control
It is no mere joke to say that at present libertarians are those who like the liberal society but hate paying for it. If you believe in a truly libertarian society, your only way to success is in working to build a society based upon traditional morality, shame and chastity, not the destructive policies of social liberalism.
22.08.02 An unknown liberal's manifesto for Britain in 2002, written in the early sixties
I want a world where the cardinal virtue is tolerance of all behaviour, and where those who sin against this are demonised and expelled from polite society.
23.09.03 An issue to be determined in local elections, not by referenda
Should voters have to take the consequences of voting for worthless and incompetent politicians? If you go out and put a cross in the box next to the man who promises the moon, and he wins, should you have to face the tax increases that result when he spends like an African dictator?
30.10.03 The last Conservative leader ... and the next
In two short years, IDS has transformed our prospects to the extent that we can even look to government rather than to simply existing at all. If now we can go from a leader who has taken us such a distance on the journey back to government to a leader supremely well equipped to take us a lot further, it is the right decision to make.
18.11.03 Not a lurch, but a step to the right - and a good thing too
People vote in Conservative governments when the Tories appeal to their aspirations, when people see a significant difference in what they can hope to gain from the parties. When both parties are on the centre-ground, that difference is not obvious, and people may be inclined to vote on other issues. But when the Tories leave a chasm of aspiration between themselves and Labour, the choice is clearer - and the swing voters of Middle England overwhelmingly show themselves willing to jump that chasm whenever we have the courage to offer them greater opportunities.
24.11.03 Thoughts on Michael Howard
Howard's ascent to the Tory leadership confirms the long history of the Conservatives choosing as their chief someone who, even a short time before, very few would have predicted would be holding the position, and refutes the claim that in modern politics the House of Commons matters not a jot.
25.11.03 Thoughts on Tony Blair
Blair knows his party will defend to the death the belief that government and the state can more effectively and more equitably ensure people care and education than those people can themselves. So he is forced into a feebly slow, piecemeal approach to an issue where boldness above all is required. But now with even that piecemeal approach looking like it has reached the limits of what Labour backbenchers will accept, he can do nought but sit back and watch the schools deteriorate and the health service collapse as he waits to feel the full force of public anger. It's now far too late for anyone to claim Tony Blair as a radical, reformist Prime Minister with a domestic agenda that will revolutionise Britain. Even the most patient must now acknowledge that if he hasn't done these things in seven years, he never will.
11.12.03 Thoughts on Charles Kennedy
Kennedy's is a strategy of week after week and month after month making the most vulgar, shameless appeals to the media elite, to the liberals and lefties who currently dominate what remains of our establishment when you take out the government. Think of Any Questions audiences, of the Independent letters page or the Guardian opinion section. Charles Kennedy speaks for them.
27.12.03 In defence of outsourcing
You mostly see attacks on "job-destroying" machinery only from people who suffer directly from it. This is rightly recognised as selfish special pleading rather than a genuine economic case against such innovation. So why are foreigners staffing call centres any different?