‘New’ style Tory candidates are just fresh faces fronting the same divisive, Thatcherite policies

The Guardian Weekend colour supplement has profiles of eighteen ‘new’ Conservative candidates from around the country.  It reflects that amongst the Tory ranks will be more women, gay and non-white MPs.  David ‘Dave’ Cameron points to these candidates to show how much the Tory Party has changed.

Amongst those fighting marginal seats is Louise Bagshawe (Corby and East Northamptonshire), the author of chic-lit novels: “I’ve always been a die-hard Thatcherite”. Also featured is former GMTV presenter, Esther McVey (Wirral West), media barrister Joanne Cash (Westminster North), failed Brighton politician Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford), Philippa Stroud (Sutton and Cheam) who wants to strengthen families, ex-BBC producer Charlotte Leslie (Bristol NW) who has “never liked authority stamping on what individuals want to do”, and Keeley Huxtable (Birmingham Northfield) who has “always believed in a small state and giving people power over their own lives”. Dom Raab (Esther and Walton) likes the Conservatives’ commitment to “defending our freedom as a nation and ending the creeping mission of the European Union”.

Most of this sounds like Thatcherism, anti-Europe, pro-small government, tax cutting (and therefore public spending slashing), and ‘giving people power over their own lives’ … but only if they can afford it. The faces are certainly changing amongst the ranks, but the philosophy remains the same, and the leadership is Oxbridge.  Cameron remains a toff, and the legacy of Thatcher will be reflected through these, the latest of her children.

I almost forgot Charlotte Vere (Brighton Pavilion).  A fresh set of policies? A break from traditional Tory values?  “I have been a Conservative all my life.  It’s about having a strong sense of social responsibility, a view that opportunity is for everybody, believing that a more effective government is better than a bigger government – and ideally paying as few taxes as possible”.

3 Responses

  1. Er, actually, didn’t Nick Boles stand in Hove?

    He was evidently clever, could get to the essence of something swiftly, but that does not preclude folly. He went wrong by doing too much too soon, and in such a way that made it clear how much he was spending. I remarked to Ben Bradshaw the other day that this time around there is no sign of the Zeppelin which Boles tethered in a garden somewhere south of New Church Road – and thereby terrified voters who feared that, in effect, the Conservatives would wreck their conservatories if the thing came adrift.

    Bradshaw was amazed, indeed heartened, to hear of such a faux pas.

    Is Ashcroft spendng his money in a more subtle way in Hove this time? But I reckon voters will see through it. It will be one of the most closely-observed constituencies. A traffic jam of national politicians in pedestrianised George Street. As Brian Ralfe is also standing, other parties will not be able to try to persuade him to dress for them as Balfour, Gladstone or Kier Hardie.

  2. I think the present day Tory Party is a bit like the theocratic Iranian regime in the sense that the liberal media craves the idea, in vain, that there must be ‘moderate types who one can do business with’.

    Sadly, when you look at what these ‘new tories’ actually stand for rather than categorising them by ethnicity or sexual orientation, they aren’t any different from George Osborne or Tory NHS attacker Dan Hannan.

    They might have nicer smiles but underneath they’re all ayatollahs of Thatcherism.

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