Web Analytics Trust People (once an Englishman in Philly): I never thought I'd agree with the Guardian, but...

Friday, November 19, 2004

I never thought I'd agree with the Guardian, but...

I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with the Grauniad, but I think their assessment of the way forward for the Tories is spot-on. Part of it, of course, is driven by a desire to destroy the right, but to adapt in the way they set out need not entail abandonment of principle. It is just a way of justifying them so that when opponents say 'you're nasty irrelevancies' we have a winning response.

"...[T]he Tories must face up to issues they have too often avoided. The Conservative party desperately needs to reinvent a moderate and inclusive one-nation conservatism that can appeal to the generations of voters whom Mr Blair has captured from it since 1994. To do that, it needs to face down much more of the doctrinaire and ideological Tory politics of the last dozen years, especially on Europe and social issues. The Tories need to take on and defeat their own extremists, the Eurosceptics above all, to win the kind of cathartic internal party battles that Neil Kinnock and Mr Blair fought and won in the Labour party over a decade and more. The Tory party may not win in 2005, but if it wants to be in a position to thrive again in the post-Blair era, it cannot simply wait on events. It must start to shape them, too. "

It's not an easy path, and it's one which requires skillful and subtle politicians to make clear what Tory values are and how they will work. At the moment there aren't those people on the benches. Their best bet is to hope enough of the good candidates in marginal seats get in.


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