A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A funny kind of modernisation

Cameron has always presented himself as the Tory counterpart to Blair, creating a new, modernised, cuddly, centrist party.

It's a funny kind of modernised party that seems to have largely stopped talking about green issues and social justice as it was a few months ago, and is now banging on incessantly, in much the same way as Hague and Howard did, about the core-vote "dog whistle" issues of an English Parliament, immigration and a referendum on the EU.

The equivalent position would have been Blair talking about New Labour but continuing to put unilateralism, nationalisation and withdrawal from Europe at the heart of the Labour agenda. And having Michael Foot as his Shadow Foreign Secretary.


Anonymous jdc said...

Luke - I agree with you that they haven't really changed, though it would be odd if they said nothing about these issues, since they are a strong motivator for a large section of the Conservative vote, and for some people who might vote for other parties on overall politics.

However I think your analogy's wrong. Cameron's strategy - it may work, it may not - is to have spent the last eighteen months being soft and cuddly, and then say 'but these issues still matter'.

The analogy would be if Tony Blair had, sometime around Spring of 1996 said "The Labour Party has changed, we are the political wing of the British people. We still recognise that the British people believe {insert as appropriate 'the very rich should pay their fair share / railways should be publicly owned and publicly accountable / higher education should be free at the point of use}.

The policies may have been right or wrong, but I don't think it would have led to an avalance of people believing he had reverted to Old Labour (or at least, not an avalanche of people who thought that was a bad thing).

That's what I think Cameron's up to. The question is, has he been a moderate for long enough to do it credibly. Only time will tell.

Right, off to laugh at RESPECT some more.

9:36 am, October 30, 2007

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think Cameron is a moderate, to be fair. But the Tories themselves still contain many on the Right and he has to throw them scraps. I also think that nothing will ever cure them of playing the race card. Its just too appealing.

Don't underestimate Cameron, though. I think he lacks substance and to me, he appears slimy. But he is credible.

9:58 am, October 31, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:56 pm, November 21, 2007


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