Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Conservative anarchy?

Well what was all that about? David Cameron's launch of the Tory Manifesto left me visualising the kind of mayhem that might result from his notion of handing power to the people. What people, pray? I thought that was what democracy was about - we elect people to do all that stuff for us, pay them to take the time to do it full-time and not fit it in on a night when there's nothing to watch on the telly. What kind of people would be manning the barricades over the local post offices or starting up their own schools?

Ok, I sound scathing about ... well, people. And politicians are people too, but the point is that they do work at it full-time, give it their full attention for the span of a parliament. If they're rubbish, we don't vote them in again, and it looks as if their party gets rid of them if they're caught being naughty. And of course, if they use Twitter unwisely they don't even get the chance. Maybe the Tories want to do without Parliament at all, then? Return to village councils and local barons? Wicked sheriffs? Maybe not.

But it looks like a recipe for anarchy to me.


  1. I have this image of David Cameron as a public school prefect whose day wouldn't be complete without pushing someone's head down the toilet.
    And Gordon Brown standing in front of a mirror trying to learn how to smile.
    And all I can think of when I see Alex Salmond is Elmer Fudd.

  2. And that's not the only scary bit!

  3. J Findlay9:45 PM

    It's not anarchy to decide to band together with neighbours and save the local rural post office that's earmarked for closure, or to build a better school because your current one is failing. Cameron's clearly not looking to devolve all, most or even many powers - just a few key ones, to resolve specific examples where the big state is failing.

    Cameron's notion of localism is nothing new, and indeed could be seen just as a reversal of the 1980s Thatcherite centralisation of power, which at the time was aimed at removing power from Labour-dominated councils.

    At the time, the left thought that was a jolly bad idea - anti-democratic, indeed. What has changed since? Has everyone given up on local activism and got too many new hobbies to find the time to help?

    A pick between this localism and and centralised, Gordon-knows-best state paternalism may the defining choice we're faced with this election.

  4. I wonder if we would say the same about asking lay people in churches to take responsibility and play a part? After all, we pay a minister / priest / dogsbody to do it...

    I'm not sure Call Me Dave has thought this one through. He might get what he wished for... but will it be anarchy or apathy?

  5. Stewart, as one of the under-equipped lay people currently engaged in keeping our church open during the vacancy, I am only too aware of how close to anarchy we often come!