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Conservatives show their true colours – all that talk of being liberal was just that – “talk”…

October 7th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

freaky-photoshop-pictureI should be grateful really – for all the pretence at liberalism we have heard from David Cameron of the “nice” party over the last year or so, it was Chris Grayling, the anonymous-looking Conservative home secretary, that actually showed us the real face of the Conservatives in his speech today.  Perhaps his speech was off-message; perhaps after all the talk of action over Europe (or lack of it) the high command felt the need to offer the Right a bone;  I suspect however that this is, actually what Conservative liberalism actually looks like…

…an all out assault on the under-classes of this country – on the immigrants, the foreigners and the working classes. Wholly illiberal and discriminitory if you are not or dont aspire to be part of the privileged white middle class elite of this country.

 Working classes should not be allowed to drink late – or shop late for that matter….

First off, the Conservatives pledged today to  “tear up” the Government’s licensing regime and give “local residents” the power to block late alcohol licenses. Local councils will also be able to charge higher fees for pubs and clubs wishing to open after 11pm and they will impose a levy on corner shops and takeaway outlets that stay open beyond 10.30pm and sell alcohol.

 This is supposedly in order to pay for the extra policing – and will we see more police on the streets ? Of course we wont. Will we see more pubs,clubs and corner shops close? Yes we will. We poor working folks that get home late from work and pop into the corner shop to grab a much needed ready meal and bottle of wine will of course suffer,  but this should not affect the leafy lanes of Surrey and Richmond.

 Actually working classes should not be able to enjoy low cost alcohol anytime

 In the same speech, Grayling announced that supermarkets will be banned from selling alcohol at below cost price as a loss leader  and taxes on certain drinks (including alco-pops and super-strength beer) will be rapidly increased. Never mind that most wine is stronger than so-called super-strength beer or cider. Of course wine and  “traditional” drinks  are definately NOT to be touched- so the affluent middle classes can still have their pint of “Badger Blandford Fly” with their Sunday roast or quaff  their bottle of wine or three at home (and beat their wives) without fear. All will be well in Victorian Cameroonian Britain. As long as this does not spill onto the streets they will be happy.

 And lets pledge to lock up more people than the current govt no matter how many they lock up

 Having dealt with the working classes, Grayling then moved onto the “youth of today”,  announcing new plans for teenage troublemakers to be “grounded” for a month or made to undertake voluntary work. (Hmmm that’s so00 going to work if the parents are working and the authorities dont have the resources to police it…wasnt that the problem with ASBOs and tagging?)

 And ignoring the fact that we already have overcrowded prisons and one of the highest prison populations in Europe, he then pledged to send thousands more convicted people to prison. But we need not have worried about the  overspill, the Conservatives will pledge to build 5,000 more prison places than whatever Labour goes into the election promising.  Now lets be clear – this is not about building what is necessary – Just “outbuild” the current government.

 And lets stop those pesky foreigners pointing out our illegal wars – actually lets just stop them full stop!

 And Grayling was not finished yet. We must sort the foreigners don’t you know. In another nod to the Right, Grayling then spoke of  restricting rights and freedoms to some groups in the UK  – banning extremist groups and protests by groups considered (not clear who will do the considering??) to be extremist,  and restricting entry into the UK to those seeking work. Er..never mind that the UK already has one of the tightest points-based immigration systems in the world and never mind that the very same Conservatives have already complained (this week in fact) that we have a lack of skilled labourers in this country. Yep the Conservative will make a bad situation worse just to LOOK TOUGH on immigrants.

This is the same party that was saying how shameful” it was that Labour had undermined or taken away certain civil liberties or rights. They obviously mean middle-class white folks civil liberties.

So Tory right wingers, you may not get your vote on Europe but the fear not, the Tory party is still your home – where we will return to days of old when the working classes knew their place and foreigners did not get to speak until spoken to (and then only if you are not “considered” extremists).

Yes people. Today we were given a revealing insight of what Cameroonian Britain will look like. It may be many things but “liberal” it aint.

10 Responses to “Conservatives show their true colours – all that talk of being liberal was just that – “talk”…”

  1. Bunny Smedley Says:

    Angela, please don’t assume that all Conservative Party members, even the ‘right wing’ ones (whatever that means these days) actually liked Chris Grayling’s speech.

    Some of us, for instance, are not at all keen on banning extremist groups (leaving civil libertarian issues to one side for the moment, even the smarter authoritarians have realised that ‘extremists’ are a lot easier to monitor when they’re working out of Britain), some of us object hugely to tax increases on anything (because that late-night alcohol sales tax is really just a tax on running a corner shop), and in particular, find ‘sin’ taxes vastly annoying (the problem with alcohol-fuelled violence is the violence, not the alcohol). I also think Britain could do with more, not less, legal immigration, while the prisons policy is, simply, demented – total incoherent nonsense from beginning to end, at least as stupid as it is scary.

    Obviously, this is a LibDem website, so it would be a bit weird for me to suggest that people here shouldn’t engage in the happy autumnal tradition of party-political point-scoring. But it’s simply fanciful to suppose that Grayling’s grandstanding has much more support within the grassroots party than any of the rest of the cod-populist nonsense dreamed up by Team Cameroon, their focus groups and media chums. At present, admittedly, some of the party are shutting up about how much they hate the party leadership, because they want to be rid of Brown. But they also realise that, once Cameron is in power, they can say what they like. And I can promise you that if Cameron tries half this stuff, he’s likely to have a very bumpy ride indeed.

  2. Philip Walker Says:

    Yep, Grayling is easily the most actively-dislikeable member of Cameron’s shadow team. Part of that, of course, is what Yasmin Alibhai-Brown described as a vampire in the Home Office (and evidently working in advance of a Tory victory), but even allowing for the usual Home Office authoritarianism, Grayling is a bad lot. A shame, because Dominic Grieve, while not perhaps Home Sec. material, comes across as a fairly decent and humane chap.

  3. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Bunny I always knew that were some classical liberal conservatives and thanks for speaking up. I am very concerned however that Grayling felt the need? desire? to “grandstand”. I also worry that a “landslide” Conservative victory will give the backbench Conservatives MPs as much power in that scenario as the Labour backbenchers had over the first decade of New Labour power. I am afraid even a whole platoon of “liberal-minded” conservative activists will have even less influence. The Daily Mail and The Sun will be lapping up policies of the like we heard today and thats who will have Camerons ear I suspect. So I cant quite see who will give Cameron a bumpy ride BUT I do wish you well and you can count on me for support. Thanks again for speaking up!

  4. Bunny Smedley Says:

    There’s a fairly broad swathe of the party that sees Cameron as ‘the vehicle’. It would be a fib to say that all of these are what you, or indeed anyone else, would consider ‘liberal’, but trust me, Cameron has had a relatively easy ride up to now when it comes to party management, and some of the issues you identify above are precisely the sort of places where dangerous (from a Cameroon point of view) coalitions between liberals and Old Tories could, in fact, start to spring up within the party. And let’s not forget that the new Conservative intake will, by any standard, be quite a weird one: non-Conservatives allowed onto the candidates’ list, A-listers without strong ties to their constituencies, precious few with a long experience of party discipline. Equally, Cameron himself has not had to work his way up to the leadership of the party by commanding the support of the MPs who will be serving around him after thenext election. Where are the experienced whips? And what’s going on with the upper house? Does anyone even know the answer to that any more?

    After 1997, it became conventional to see a big majority as leading inevitably to easy party management – but Labour had got to that point after a set of traumas rather different than those the Tories have experienced from 1990 onwards. If Labour do really completely implode next spring, then the only fun to be had will lie in pursuing goals – whether based on ideology or ambition – within the party itself. So I may be wrong about that ‘rough ride’ thing, but I doubt it.

    Anyway, thank you for generosity with which you greeted my comment above, Angela. The reason I was looking at Liberal Vision tonight was, in fact, a vague hope that you might have wished to comment on the constitutional improprieties involved in Dave’s new wheeze of encouraging a senior serving army officer to engage in explicitly political activity. The BBC, without irony, referred to this as ‘a bit of a coup’. At which point I thought of you … 😉

  5. Angela Harbutt Says:

    i was getting round to that one ! good luck stay in touch

  6. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Philip – I think I agree with you on Dominic Grieve..

  7. Kit Leary Says:

    Whilst running the risk of completely missing the point of the article…

    Yes we will. We poor working folks that get home late from work and pop into the corner shop to grab a much needed ready meal and bottle of wine will of course suffer, but this should not affect the leafy lanes of Surrey and Richmond.

    Two things.

    1. Richmond has a Lib Dem council and a Lib Dem MPs – Susan Kramer for Richmond Park and… er… Vince Cable for Twickenham. The Liberals have gradually increased their share of the vote keeps going up.

    2. The Tories’ plans will affect Richmond. There are a whole plague of Tesco Express shops in the borough – which are the sort Grayling wants to tax, I imagine. If Kramer stands any chance of being re-elected, she will want to hang this around the neck of Zac Goldsmith.

  8. Kit Leary Says:

    Sorry – slight snafu in the first point. The sentence should read “The Liberals have gradually increased their share of the vote in the last couple of elections.”

    The moral here: don’t post comments on blogs when you’ve got swine flu.

  9. Dave Atherton Says:

    My impression is that many Tories are biting their lip, keeping disciplined and biding their time. As someone not a million miles from LV said to me the rank and file Tories will vote come what may, with some having an affair with UKIP. It is the centre vote that Cameron is courting. I guess Cameron also is given the benefit of the doubt by many as he appeared to be on the Thatcherite right having worked for, I believe Norman Lamont. However his weakness maybe that he does seem slightly distant from the members and also seems to rule with a clique.

    Again my impression is that most of the PPCs, rank and file, and ConservativeFuture are generally Thatcherite, Europsceptic and socially libertarian.

    This means they all have pet projects and policies that they what to see happen and Europe is always the elephant in the room, may start up whispers or worse 100 days or so into his government.

    ConservativeHome has an article on Grayling’s alcohol mutterings and the majority are dissenting.

    Whether this means if Cameron’s majority is small enough circa 20 seats, Nick Clegg maybe popping over to Notting Hill to savour Samantha’s culinary expertise more often than he expected. And please Nick, bring the alcohol free wine we don’t want to upset Mr. Grayling and Sir Liam Donaldson.

  10. Charlie Says:

    Late night drinking tends to be more of a problem in city centres and any controls on it may be appealing to aspirational people who live nearby. Shops sellng alcohol to disruptive youths often cause problems in poorer areas.

    Immigration has reduced the increase of income of tradesmen working in the construction industry, so any controls would be welcome by many of these people and their families. Many working class and middle class people are socially conservative. Those hard working and honest members of the working and lower middle classes often have the greatest problems with drunken anti-social behaviour.