The Mid-Atlantic Blog

January 17, 2006

Newsnight On The Tories

So I find myself blogging about Newsnight again. Oh well.

A few first observations
  1. A good performance from Letwin. In fact an excellent one. The key: knocking back again and again Kirsty Wark's standard BBC assumptions that conservatives want to be mean to poor people (and that our record in the past was this). In particular emphasising the council house sales were the biggest wealth redistribution ever. Good point, and unanswerable.
  2. A good performance from the panel. Genuine discussion, and while no agreement on key issues, real actual ideas, and supportive back-and-forth
  3. An excellent performance from Tim from conservativehome in particular when Kirsty suggested that conservatives would naturally back big business over small, when he emphasised that conservatism proper was focussed on free markets, which sometimes didn't mean backing big business at all

The key to it all, and something that is becoming a theme for me was this. The old media establishment don't get the new wind blowing through conservatism. The propaganda lines used over the last 30 years have sunk in too deeply, and they find it very difficult to deal with conservatives talking about issues that we've broadly cared about but never expressed effectively. It turns out that we didn't eat babies, didn't try to abolish the NHS, and broadly believe in a fair and just society. We just don't think that the monstrous overweening state is the way to do it. In fact, we think that it's actively damaging thousands of people every day.

Watching them deal with this is rather like watching Richard Dawkins being introduced to God. (although I don't think that'll be broadcast on national TV. Mind you, I'll bet the ratings would be good...)

I think it's going to be quite fun to be a Tory over the next few years.


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