The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Many of us in the UK breath a hearty sigh of relief at this point of the year – for the party conference season has finally shuddered to a close. Those of like vintage can probably just about recall when party conferences actually meant something – when policies were proposed, debated and then voted upon according to whichever greater or lesser degree of democratic process the party in question espoused. It wasn’t perfect. It was very rarely pretty – but at least there was a feeling that the entire farrago had some sort of purpose.
Nowadays these annual gatherings in corners of the kingdom seldom otherwise visited by many of those in or on the fringes of power, are merely tightly choreographed PR exercises, the prime function of which is to garner headlines in the media and to ‘get the message across’. It is a particular bugbear of mine (one of many, you may have noticed!) that ‘getting the message across’ is now considered to be of such import that it is apparently perfectly acceptable to patronise horribly those of us who make up the great unwashed – presumably on the basis that we possess between us no intelligence whatsoever!
We are unfortunate in the UK currently to suffer what is fundamentally a Tory administration. From the Kickass Canada Girl’s pithy epithets on perusing the news from home I deduce that Canada finds itself in a similar position. Now – for the Tories the ‘message’ that must be ‘got across’ is that the entire global financial meltdown – as well as the subsequent and ongoing international credit crisis – was caused solely by the profligacy of the last Labour administration. (Strangely the inverse now applies – any current woes being the fault of those beyond these shores).
Whereas I can just about understand the Tories holding this view – and indeed trying to make political capital therefrom – it is abundantly clear that every single member of the administration that has been given permission to communicate through the media has been briefed to ram this point home at every conceivable opportunity. As a result there is no question to which the answer is free from this mantra – the recitation of the same hackneyed dogma – an endless repetition of the same trite phrases, presumably in the belief that if a thing is said frequently and loudly enough the rest of us will eventually accept it as the truth.
COME ON!! – for pity’s sake… This is the way that a child ‘communicates’ when it wants something that it can’t have. Show us at least some respect!
Lest anyone – at this point – accuse me of getting ‘party political’ I should make it clear that I consider all parties and pretty well all politicians to be equally guilty in this regard. It comes as little surprise to me that the electorate is increasingly and justifiably disenchanted with those who purport to represent us. The Tories – being currently in power – must inevitably, however, be the prime recipients of our disapprobation.
Oh dear! What was intended to be a brief but pithy commentary on the Chancellor – George Osbourne’s – conference speech, has morphed instead into two less than temperate virtual diatribes. I really shouldn’t let these things get to me, but I do find these preening popinjays so very irritating…