Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Progressive Conservatives

The video below was produced as part of the Conservative Party's History Week, but it's obviously much more immediate aim is to use history to clearly indicate where David Cameron wants to take his party.

There is no doubt that it is an encouraging video for anyone of a progressive persuasion. What it doesn't reveal, of course, is just how fiercely opposed nearly all the 'progressive' measures highlighted on the video were, by the majority of Tory members. Peel split the party with his Corn Laws repeal, angering the reactionary tendency to such an extent that they were exiled from government for nearly three decades. Disraeli has been a bogey figure to most Tory members for years, and they can barely speak of Heath without suffering splenetic heart attacks. The video was also, of course, necessarily thin on the 'progressive' credentials of the leaders between John Major and David Cameron.

It's a great video for progressives with selective memory. It's an unashamed defence of his brand of conservatism by a leader who is prepared to face down his reactionary members. But for anyone who knows their party history, it's also a fantastic rogue's gallery of just what the average party member hates about their leaders. Lily-livered liberals - except for William Hague, of course, whose main porgressive contribution, apparently, was to "save the pound". Watch and enjoy!

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