Leading article

The Tories are now the party of the many — Labour is the party of the few

If Cameron loses on 7 May, those who can least afford it will suffer most

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

When election day dawns, it’s worth bearing in mind that two million more people will be going to work than when David Cameron came to power. On an average day in Britain, there are 1,500 fewer reported crimes than there were before Theresa May was made Home Secretary. Some 2.2 million pupils now attend independent schools within the state system — schools given freedom through Michael Gove’s reforms. There is nothing theoretical about the advantages of Conservatism: they can be seen in classrooms, workplaces and streets all over Britain. But all this progress could be brought to a halt within the next week.

If Ed Miliband is elected, it will not be the richest who suffer most. They may pay more in tax — but, on the whole, they can afford to. Those who can afford to educate their children privately can afford to be more relaxed about a fresh decline in state education under Labour.

Anyone who already lives in an affluent, safe neighbourhood and has a steady job can afford the luxury of a protest vote: Ukip, perhaps, or the Liberal Democrats. David Cameron has caused many of his former supporters to despair, and they may want to punish him.

Those who would lose out under Labour are those who cannot afford a back-up plan. People desperately looking for a job will find fewer available once employers are under attack from a Miliband government that sees them as ‘predators’. Those already struggling to find a place to live will discover that availability shrinks once Labour’s rent controls are imposed. The elderly may have to pay higher fuel bills as companies prepare for Miliband’s two-year price freeze. The brunt of the Labour leader’s ideology will be borne by those who can least afford it.

Now, more than ever, a child’s life chances are dictated by quality of education — which is why Miliband’s hostility towards school reform is perhaps the most regressive of all his positions. Population growth means even he cannot halt school expansion, but he wants at least to remove choice by ensuring that no new schools are allowed to open where there are places to fill in a bad schools. So again, those who can afford to live in leafy neighbourhoods will be best off. They will have a choice of state schools, those trapped in sink estates will not.


This election also contains a far broader constitutional question — about Britain’s relationship with the EU. If Cameron is Prime Minister, this will be settled by a democratic vote that will force Brussels to give their best offer on improved terms of UK membership. They will be negotiating not with politicians, but the British public through an in-out referendum. A Labour government would deny Britain this basic choice, because it places less faith in the judgement of the British people.

Like so many former bag-carriers who end up elected to parliament, Miliband has no experience outside the world of academia and politics. His ideas don’t work, as the 1970s showed, but that won’t stop him. As François Hollande has shown in France, policy wonks who end up in power can cause plenty of damage while testing out their naive ideas. The result is that jobs, wealth, opportunity and national standing all suffer.

The Labour party that is now threatening to take power is not the party of Tony Blair, who grudgingly understood the need for wealth creators. Blair led a Labour party that had been mugged by reality. Miliband’s party has not yet had that experience.

Miliband was once asked at a Labour party conference why he does not bring back socialism. ‘That is what we are doing,’ he replied. He now calls it ‘progressive change’. But as he knows, the substance of his politics is the same. Its consequences — unemployment, financial ruin, bad schools, unaffordable taxes — will be familiar to anybody who had the misfortune to live under the Labour governments of old.

Mr Cameron has done a bad job of selling the progressive nature of his reforms. Not once has he mentioned that soon, for the first time, a billion hours will be worked in Britain every week. Or that the best-paid 0.1 per cent of earners are now paying 12 per cent of all income tax, a record high. Or that pension poverty is at an all-time low. It is ironic that Cameron, a former PR man, has been awful at spin. As the record shows, the strength of his government lies in the substance.

It has been easy to despair of David Cameron over the years; the extent of our problems call for more radicalism, purpose and direction than he has felt able to apply. But as Churchill said of America, he does tend to do the right thing in the end — after exhausting all other options. You do not need to be a fan of Cameron to consider him far preferable to Miliband.

For this reason, the stakes could hardly be higher. It may be a wrench, and may involve more forgiveness than Mr Cameron is entitled to. But there really is more reason now than at any time in a generation to vote Tory.

el

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  • JonBW

    “Mr Cameron has done a bad job of selling the progressive nature of his reforms…”

    This sentence is a perfect illustration of the problem: Cameron leads a conservative party; most of the people voting for him in 2010 were conservatives; and the people he needs to enthuse and convince now are conservatives.

    Instead he has governed as a ‘progressive’, a liberal and a centrist. A slightly more sensible one than the alternatives offered by Labour and the Lib Dems, but certainly not a conservative.

    He has modernised away the support of the voters he needs in a vain attempt to win the approval of those who want a progressive leader.

    • gelert

      Dave cherishes the pathetic belief that he can win over the Guardianistas.

      • Speedy

        Exactly,

        But he never ever will, Guardianista’s are far too tribal and bigoted

        • magi83

          If you head over to the Guardian website and look in the comments sections, in contrast to the comments here labelling Cameron as ‘left wing’ or ‘blairite’ you’ll see comments such as ‘evil’ and ‘thatcherite’. It has never been necessary for the Tories to court the champagne socialist vote because those people would never vote Tory regardless of the party’s policies. Swing voters (the ‘Mondeo Man’) couldn’t care less about the pet social theories of Guardian readers.

          • darky

            Life’s too short to head over to the Guardian website, and far too short to read the comments of its inane readers.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Nobody’s twisting your arm.

          • How many times?! Stop random spam-bombing!

          • vieuxceps2

            agreed. And I speak as one with the honour of having been censored from their ranks.

      • When his own Mumsnet/yummy-mummy wife Sam Cam is obviously more than just a bit of a closet Lib Dem, and who had almost certainly voted Labour in the past …

      • Fraser Bailey

        Yes, this is one reason for his failure to win an election.

    • John Carins

      What on earth does this word “progressive” mean? Can any one explain? Why hasn’t its use been challenged? It is just a device to brainwash and demonise others as “regressive”.

      • Gen d’Eau

        You seem to understand the term precisely.

      • Aberrant_Apostrophe

        Indeed. Cannabis is a “progressive” drug since it can lead to use of harder drugs. I’m sure Cameron wouldn’t want to be associated with a word than can be interpreted in different ways, some of which are bad.

      • HJ777

        The left have adopted it because if their opponents don’t agree with ‘progressive’ policies then they must be against progress, mustn’t they?

        That’s why they relabelled socialist polices as “progressive”. It’s all about controlling the use of language.

        • goodsoldier

          Liberalism is a mental disorder so they switched to Progressive and the mental disorder didn’t go away. Hating capitalism became old hat and boring, so now they hate neo-liberals. I hope you are all feeling pretty and witty and gay. At the Guardian, they are clearly grim: it’s such a strain to pretend to be intellectual and caring.

        • vieuxceps2

          The left realised from the start how important language would be.Orwell sought to expose its clever misuse but we’ve forgotten most of that now. Its present form is found in “political correctness”which has become almost a religion for “progressives” under the guise of kindness and courtesy but which hides truth and realism.Fact is of course,nothing changes truth or reality so we need to use language with that in mind.Anything else is a type of brainwashing.We must resist.

      • Leroy_Jenkins_01

        Not that I am saying that people using the word “progressive” are marxists, but the usage partly stems from Marxist theory, i.e. Marx believed that history was on a march towards communism, it was inevitable (the so called “scientific socialism”), therefore movement towards it is “progressive”.

        Of course the theory is wrong but when that stopped anyone from beliving something!

      • Clive

        It actually means ‘statist’, i.e. the state having a greater involvement in the life of its citizens.

        ‘Statist’ is the word that should be used instead of this propaganda word

        • vieuxceps2

          Good idea! I’ll make use of it -Statist it is!

      • Al

        HJ777 is right. Progressive is the new word for Socialist, or ‘left-wing’. Miliband’s North London Socialist Elite set have never felt comfortable with descriptions such as Left Wing or Leftist as they are always trying to portray Miliband as being centre left. The reality is this guy is much closer to Callaghan or Foot than Tony Blair. He has lurched left.

        The irony is he might have picked up more votes from SNP, Green and Plyd had he been a bit more honest about his instincts.

    • darky

      Good explanation.

      Cameron certainly felt entirely left-wing to us, me and my wife. A sensible, moderate one, but left-wing nonetheless.

      As higher earners (without being wealthy in any way shape or form), we got hit with tax rise after tax rise throughout his leadership. Virtually every budget announcement has been bad for us.

      We were repeatedly told that “those with the broadest shoulders …” – we didn’t do anything to cause the recession, and we were punished for it the most, and this was done with an ease and clarity of purpose that could not have come from anyone else but a deep believer in left-wing ideas of equality of income.

      He was also entirely married to the idea that all must be forced to pay for public services such as health care and education, even if they prefer – like us – to purchase them independently from the private sector. This is most definitely a collectivist, left-wing trope.

      That’s why I couldn’t vote with a clear conscience for Cameron. I didn’t think he was much of a Conservative in 2009, and now I positively think he’s not one at all. As his friend Helena Bonham Carter said, if he were an US politician, he’d be with the Democrats. And I wouldn’t vote for a Democrat.

  • George Smiley

    “Miliband has no experience outside the world of academia and politics”

    vs

    “It is ironic that Cameron, a former PR man, has been awful at spin”

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      Au contraire. Cameron excels at spinning. Just think of all the U-turns he has done over the past five years.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      That you Jock? Back to one of your former user names? You’re never alone with schizophrenia.

      • How many times?! Stop randomly tagging other people’s posts with your idiotic 15-year-old nonsense!

  • Helmholtz

    Superb article and exactly the nightmare we are walking into….

  • RavenRandom

    The current calibre of all our politicians leads to a least bad choice. I agree that given the Labour-SNP alternative the Conservatives are easily the least bad choice.

  • DrWatt

    ‘Mr Cameron has done a bad job of selling the progressive nature of his reforms. ‘

    I hate that word ‘progressive’ – maybe its the way its interpreted because whenever I hear politicians and journalists use the word ‘progressive’ all I witness are certain aspects of fascism and marxism.

  • Adem Aljo

    I’m 25, a mechanical engineer and on the edge of a very crucial point in my life. If the Tories stay in, I will have the confidence I need to continue to pursue my career opportunities in this country.

    I will be voting Tory. I will not be voting UKIP. To vote UKIP, even though plenty of online policy-based questionnaires have told me to vote UKIP, would be split the centre-right vote in this country. It would be a vote to destabilise the support for policies which will inevitably take our country down the correct path. This not an election about protesting politics or the culture in Westminster. This is an election about right and wrong, about good and evil.

    Too often the conservative-minded people of Great Britain, the right-of-centre, UKIP and Tory voters, are branded as ‘evil’. To me, the real ‘evil’ is the narcissistic politics of envy that Miliband and his cretinous and disengaged group of followers espouse. The kind of political thinking, based on extreme self-serving hypocrisy, that will destroy the very fabric of our nation. It is incredibly disheartening to think that so many proud, British people will be voting for Labour.

    Which brings me to my self-inflicted ultimatum. The worst thing for our country is to lose the talent and the attitude that so many people have towards starting and growing their own businesses, to starting and growing and caring for their families and their communities. If Ed Miliband, a puppet of the unions and the SNP, becomes my Prime Minister on the 8th of May of this year, I will be leaving this country, taking my skills elsewhere. And I fear that many of our country’s brightest and best will be doing the same.

    • John Carins

      I totally respect your argument to vote Tory. However, irrespective of who wins and you do stay in the UK, I suspect that at some time in the future you will be voting UKIP.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Either that or flying the coop and seeking your fortune in the colonies.
        Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • Gen d’Eau

      Yeah, I held my nose and voted Tory last time. Never again. Voting tory is taken to be a sign of supporting Call-me-Dave…and I DO NOT.

  • Scaroth

    “It has been easy to despair of David Cameron over the years” but “he does tend to do the right thing in the end” is, I think, the essence of your argument.

    So “doing the right thing” would presumably include: leading a standing ovation to the departing Tony Blair; abandoning the pledge of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty under the disingenuous pretext that the deed had been done (he could learn a thing or two from Harold Wilson about that); introducing positive discrimination in selection of candidates; doing little or nothing to support married families contrary to repeated statements before 2010 other than introducing gay marriage for which he had zero mandate because the EU told him to; invading Libya to the detriment of stability both in North Africa and Europe; attempting to do the same in Syria in which he was successfully foiled by Miliband; dismantling our armed forces like no predecessor in history, while in the same breath ringfencing overseas aid; tampering with the constitution like a New Labour Nut by introducing the Fixed Parliament Act”.

    Sorry but as a conservative I regard none of these as being consistent with “doing the right thing”. None of these would have been an item on the agenda of the people he is purportedly elected to represent. To which end it would be wholly better for the party and the country if David Cameron were flung out of Downing Street on May 7th.

    We can’t elect a Conservative government this time round. We can elect a Conservative opposition. Don’t Vote Conservative.

    • A World of Paine

      Excellent demolition of the trite nonsense spouted in the article. I have tried to express this myself in the past but have made a complete Cameron of it, compared to this brilliant description of why no true conservative can vote for ‘Cast Iron’ Dave.

      • Scaroth

        Thank you. Mind you, “trite nonsense” sums it up pretty well.

    • HJ777

      How can we elect a genuinely Conservative opposition if we can’t elect a genuinely Conservative government?

      I’m mystified.

      • Scaroth

        If Cameron loses the election, conservatives will get the opportunity to evict the Blairite Social Democrats that have run the party since 2005.

        Labour is ahead on that front. You’ll recall they rejected David Miliband as leader in favour of his brother Ed. Paradoxically, the Conservatives have been led by a Blairite ever since 2005.

        Rather more votes in taking out the Blairites these days than chasing the centre ground. To borrow from the New Labour lexicon, it;s time to “defeat the forces of conservatism”.

        UKIP has been in double digits for more than two years. Nuff said?

        • HJ777

          That’s as maybe, but this cannot be done at the GE.

          The Tory party will get an opportunity to elect a new leader in the new parliament, regardless. The question is whether they think that doing it a bit earlier is more important than avoiding a disastrous Labour administration.

          I am no big fan of Cameron, nor am I a Tory by instinct (more a free market liberal) but when you look at the alternative for PM…

          • darky

            Perhaps people need to be scared by a Miliband premiership, to remind them the extent to which a far-left government can bring poverty, chaos and state control.

            Lefty signalling has become too common in Britain these days. People are falling over themselves to show how kind they are by willing the state to cavalierly expropriate and spend other’s people’s money. There doesn’t seem to be any block in the collective conscience as to where the power of the state should stop anymore. Wanting to better yourself and keep your own earnings is seen as pure greed, which is turning language on its head, since greed traditionally meant wanting what’s not yours. Politicians lacking character are only too happy to exploit this and bid themselves into who’s the most left-wing, i.e. “caring” one out there.

            Look at Cameron: every time he talks about the NHS, he’s first point is that he increased spending. Spending other people’s money, now that’s caring these days.

            That’s why Miliband might be the man of the hour. People need to be reminded of how things go when you get a government taking a near-fascist (the original Mussolini version), totalitarian (as in, holistic in its intrusion) position on the economy, public services and personal sphere.

          • HJ777

            I generally agree with you but it really doesn’t seem sensible to me to elect a truly bad government just so people can see that it would be truly bad.

            Indeed, the last Labour government was truly bad, but they managed to shift the so-called centre ground in their direction.

          • darky

            Assuage your conscience by realising that you yourself have only one vote, and thus have a near-zero probability of affecting the election outcome 🙂

            You are not responsible in the slightest for what’s about to come.

            Also, remember that at the end of the day democracy is when everybody gets what the majority deserves. If the public thinks so little of themselves as to deserve Miliband, who are we to say otherwise? 🙂

          • goodsoldier

            Have some guts and decency and vote UKIP.

          • Not a chance, mate! That man was certainly a pro-Boris, pro-EU Wet Tory faithful extolling online the virtues of cycling in Central London a few years ago!

          • sfin

            Every vote for UKIP is vital. Yes they’re not going to govern, this time, yes you may be letting a marxist idiot in via the back door, but not even the legacy party cabal is stupid enough to ignore a sizeable voting bloc.

            Cameron only agreed to a referendum (and I’ll believe that when it happens) because of the huge surge in UKIP support since 2010.

            Don’t vote “to prevent” – it’s what the cabal rely on to monopolise power between themselves.

            Vote for those policies that appeal to you the most.

          • Much as he might care to present himself otherwise, you would find that “HJ777” is a very much dyed-in-the-wool Tory.

      • When was the last time Cameron and Sam Cam true Conservatives worthy of the name?!

  • Precambrian

    “This election also contains a far broader constitutional question —
    about Britain’s relationship with the EU. If Cameron is Prime Minister,
    this will be settled by a democratic vote that will force Brussels to
    give their best offer on improved terms of UK membership”

    Utter nonsense.

    Cameron, Clegg, Miliband, Sturgeon, and Bennett are all social liberals and arch-europhiles; as are much of the media. To suggest that the vote will be fair (assuming the latest cast-iron guarantee isn’t as rusty as the previous one) is to deny reality.

    • grutchyngfysch

      I’m gonna call it now: “We wanted a referendum, but unfortunately the people of EU-Sector 04 (formerly known as Great Britain) did not elect us with anything like a majority, so we’re going to take the tough decision, which we always take, of not carrying out anything in our election manifesto.”

      • global city

        and UKIP will pick up the baton by going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about immigrants until 2020, by which time all of the constitutional issues will have been settled by all Westminster duties being wholly handed over to Brussels without the population cottoning on because there was nobody to warn/inform them.

    • sebastian2

      Yes. Utter nonsense. He cannot renegotiate. He will not renegotiate. There’s nothing substantive to renegotiate. He scuttles from putting all this to the popular test. There is no cast-iron guarantee.

      The tories and supporters brag about our improved economic circumstances – but absolutely no candour at all about our huge debt and about our inability to halt immigrants entitled to the economic growth Cameron boasts of.

      As long as the UK is governed by an EU who is clueless about what to do with Greece, who are profligate with citizens’ money, whose own books haven’t been signed off, whose MEPs refuse financial transparency and accountability, and who smother us with rules and red-tape, our prosperity will be held back. There’s a world to trade and do business with. We should be in it. In the one and out of the other.

    • John Carins

      Even if he does manage to renegotiate a better deal it will only be temporary. The conveyor belt will have been momentarily paused before future euro fanatics take over and off we go again – further political union and the euro. The only way to end the madness is to leave (preferable) or to become a disunited Kingdom within an Euro superstate.

    • Molly NooNar

      Bennett and Sturgeon don’t pretend to be anything else.

  • AgZarp

    When someone describes themselves as a “compassionate conservative” or a “conservative with a small c”, they may as well say “I am not a conservative” and be done with it.

    • Aporia

      Compassionate conservativism is about making the case that small-state, low-tax and free-market policies are the most effective methods of alleviating poverty and hardship, it’s the strongest rebuttal to the Left’s claim of being on the side of the working-class and doesn’t necessarily mean a move to the economic centre-ground. That’s not to say that Cameron has made this case at all effectively, and nor is it to say that Cameron has not moved to the centre-ground on socio-cultural matters in an attempt to appeal to the Guardianista.

      • AgZarp

        I care very little what compassionate conservatism means in abstract. As Cameron practices it, it means that he is a conservative just without the conservative parts. I doubt his self-description had anything to do with small-state, low-tax and free-market policies.

  • Trevor

    Perhaps you educated Spectator readers can advise me who to vote for? I normally vote Tory. I have been concerned for years about reductions in defence expenditure. As far as I can see only UKIP promise to maintain this at 2% of GDP. I emailed my Tory MP to ask him why I shouldn’t vote UKIP 2 weeks ago. He hasn’t replied.

    I acknowledge that the election is about many issues, not only defence. I also acknowledge the Spectator’s arguments about jobs, schools and so on. However if I vote Tory my point about defence expenditure will be completely ignored. Isn’t how we vote/who I vote for the only language that politicians ultimately understand? Should I be “single issue” on this or take everything in the round? How else can I get my concerns about defence across when my MP ignores me?

    • Helmholtz

      Poor behaviour from your MP but keep writing and vote Tory !

    • ??

      On your MP – it’s probably worth saying that the likelihood is that your MP won’t respond, mainly because he / she isn’t an MP at the moment. There are only PPCs (prospective parliamentary candidates). Therefore if you’re looking for a response specifically relating to defence, you will have to contact their campaign, not their parliamentary office (no one will be there currently).

      Secondly – unfortunately we don’t live in a world where we can pick and choose policy preferences. We live in a world where you vote for your constituency MP and provided that one party wins enough MPs, they will lead the country. Therefore, despite the fact that I disagree with the international development budget and HS2, I am holding my nose and voting for the Tories. Despite these policies, which I think are utterly barking, in the round, I agree that taxes should be lower, school standards should be higher, the NHS needs reform, and crucially, an opportunity at an in-out referendum which no other party can realistically or will give.

  • Michael990

    Yes, ‘Tories’, currently the party of the unthinking and easily swayed left.

  • misomiso

    Ah Speccie – good arguments indeed.

    But you just cannot be honest on Europe! We all know Cameron is going to Rig the referendum. If there had been something, ANYTHING more concrete from him, such as only British Citizens can vote, or that the European Parliament has seats allocated by population, then we may take him seriously.

    And why have Tories gone after Nigel?! They could have had tacit collusion with UKIP, but instead maliciously chose to fight them.

    For a huge number of people in this country, their lives will continue to deteriorate as long as we are inside the EU, there fore why should they vote Tory?

    Having said all that, in the Tory Marginals its probably best to vote Tory to keep the crazies out, but it would be nice if you endorsed some UKIP seats as well.

    • JoeCro

      An EU vote is a big mistake and will harm the economy and cost jobs.

      • According to the HSBC, certainly (which ironically however and hypocritically have no interest in subjecting themselves to further and increasing EU overarching banking oversight and regulation).

  • Bert

    Very few people are perfect. IMO Cameron has done pretty well considering the massive advantages Labour gifted itself in terms rigged institutions and state funded and imported block postal voters.
    Given the inherited mess and the treacherous shackle of the Lib Dems I give him and Osborne much credit.
    I also want a vote on Europe and the only way to get that is with the Tories.

    • JabbaTheCat

      Good summation…

    • Gen d’Eau

      And in five years, what has he done to correct those distortions of the electoral system and the mechanisms for running the country? Nothing. Cameron is less use than a chocolate teapot. He couldn’t win against Gordon Brown, a shambling catastrophe. Now he’s up against Miliband…and could lose. He and his band are useless. Pretty words…that’s all they have

      • Bert

        As I said, he has had to put up with the Libdems who shafted him on boundaries. And Brown had bloated the state dependent sector thereby buying the Labour vote. It was effectively rigged.

        • Gen d’Eau

          Then he should have crucified the limps on the basis that they betrayed basic democracy. The boundary changes were primarily an issue of basic equality. Did Dave do anything? I didn’t hear anything of substance. Why didn’t he do anything?

          Dave should have privatised the Beeb because it is irredeemably left wing. Just get rid of the telly tax and let it float on whatever perceived value that it has with the public.

          Lefty ideologues in public positions should have been replaced by actually balanced individuals.

          Where was the bonfire of the quangos?

          Dave has been completely useless in these matters. Sadly not just these matters.

      • magi83

        In terms of actual votes and vote share, 2010 was a far more convincing election victory than 2005. Yet the former yielded a hung parliament and the latter a comfortable Labour majority.

      • Realismista

        So, you’d prefer Miliband??? Really???? Can’t you see the difference? This election is now a choice between the lesser of two evils and Miliband – with his regressive socialism not seen here since the 1970s – would, in cahoots with the far abler politician, Nicola Sturgeon – to whose tune he would dance – would cause complete chaos fiscally, economically and could push Britain to the verge of bankruptcy: for all his failings, Cameron has slowly turned round the liner that was very close to the waterfall….Miliband will take us all over the waterfall with him completely oblivious to the fact that he is taking the wrong course.

        • Gen d’Eau

          Where did I say that? Stop strawmanning. Fix your party, stop blaming me for it being only marginally less incompetent than their enemy.

        • vote labour

      • Peter Stroud

        You go on about Cameron, but have you forgot that he was in coalition with the LibDems? We would have had equal sized constituencies, had Clegg not reneged on supporting the bill in a childish fit of pique. Furthermore we had a referendum on changing the voting system to AV. Clegg drafted the question: and lost.

        • Gen d’Eau

          And when Clegg reneged what did Dave do? Did he pressure Cleggy? Did he crucify the limps for betraying the democratic system? No, none of that. Cameron failed to act once again. He’s useless. Pretty words, maybe a furrowed brow when disappointed…but no action.

          • Peter Stroud

            Perhaps you in your infinite wisdom might enlighten us with what you would have done. The coalition government can do nothing without the approval and vote of all parties.

          • Gen d’Eau

            Shouted to the rafters that equalising the constituencies isn’t a political act, it’s a question of basic democracy. Shame the MPs on all sides into doing the right thing for democracy. Pillory those that don’t.

            The limps acted out of spite and weak Dave did nothing. The limps betrayed the electorate and paid no price whatsoever for it.

          • Peter Stroud

            Cameron already pointed it that it was democratic: Clegg had said the same. Shouting anything to the rafters will not carry a majority in the House. It is megaphone politics. And how the hell can you pillory MPs from another party? A leader cannot pillory rebels in his own party, if they are not over ambitious. Every fair minded Tory knew it was wrong that Labour can get a majority with many fewer votes than the Tories. So did/ do the LibDems, and the same with honest Labour supporters. And remember, this all started because you wrote that Cameron had done nothing to correct the voting distortion. No, but he tried and was betrayed by a small minded traitor, in a childish fit of pique. He could have done nothing more.

          • Gen d’Eau

            You can go to the press and point out that the issue is one of basic equality. That the others are playing politics against the interests of the electorate.

            He just whimpered that it wasn’t fair and dropped a major issue that continues to distort Parliament.

            “He could have done nothing more.”

            And that’s why Dave is useless and your mindset is why the Tories are sliding to the centre and becoming irrelevant to the interests of real conservatives.

          • Peter Stroud

            Ok Dave is useless, if that is your point just carry on ranting with yourself.

          • Gen d’Eau

            Agree with you that Dave is useless. I’m happy that you realise that because it means you might do better next time.

            And you’re the ranty sounding one. But I don’t blame you though, I’d be angry if I was saddled with Dave as a ‘leader’ too. Or Ed (who is worse), or the other one, whoever he was.

            bye bye

      • not could he is losing

    • zappata

      Credit for what?….all he has done is kicked the can down the road.More debt,more QE,no cash cuts in public spending,no restructuring of the public sector,no bonfire of the quangos.The marxist-lite shadow state left fully intact.

  • sfin

    So according to this article, we have a choice between a left of centre party in the Blairite mould – or bonkers 70’s socialism.

    Neither thanks – I’m voting for fast growing, genuinely right wing party. UKIP.

    • Realismista

      “I’m voting for…UKIP”

      …which will help to get Labour – presumably Kippers’ worst nightmare (no EU referendum; more immigration; higher taxes; higher unemployment; more political correctness (“anti-Islamophobia” laws, for example) – elected.

      If you want Labour plus Nicola Sturgeon telling you what to do, vote UKIP…if you want to prevent that, vote Conservative. Your ideal may be UKIP but it’s now a choice between the lesser of two evils: regressive socialism not seen in the UK since the 1970s (look to France to see where that leads) or a fairly centrist Tory government: there is only rational choice for anyone in centre and to the right of the centre….

      • sfin

        Yes we keep hearing this argument, and what those that propose it don’t seem to realise is that it makes not one bit of difference which Europhile social democratic party is running things on 8th may. The party currently calling itself ‘Conservative’ no longer is.

        So, vote Labour and get mass immigration, a doubling of the national debt, the emasculation of our armed forces, the undermining of ancient religious rights to appease sexual minorities…oh, wait a minute!…

        UKIP supporters want to see the current ‘conservative’ party utterly destroyed.

        • Realismista

          Completely delusional nonsense. The country will be destroyed – by Labour and the SNP’s ineptitude – before UKIP get a chance to govern and, in any case, a party that is polling just 14% with 2 or 3 MPs is a very minor party.

          Membership of the EU is the least of Britain’s problems….

          It takes a strange form of political masochism to want to see the election of a government that will deny UKIP its only realistic prospect of getting what it wants in the short term: a referendum to take Britain out of the EU….

          As I said, completely delusional nonsense.

          • sfin

            I’ll save myself some typing by referring you to Scaroth’s excellent post above.

            You’re suggesting that I, as a conservative, should vote for this?

            Being called delusional by the deluded is not heavy criticism old chap.

          • Realismista

            Go ahead and vote UKIP but don’t confuse casting your vote with getting your desired outcome. I’m a libertarian who believes in a small state and vigorous capitalism but I am rational enough to know that that’s not yet achievable and, in the meantime, can see a stark choice between a fiscally insane Miliband government that will cause chaos and a Cameron government that will keep the ship steady….

            The EU is just a sideshow and very few people voting on 7 May will have EU membership anywhere near the top of their list of priorities….as the very small polling figures for UKIP confirm.

          • sfin

            Of course I won’t get my desired outcome on 7 May – the UK’s political pendulum has swung way too far to the left for that to happen.

            But I will vote to enable what I want, as opposed to preventing the greater of two evils. Tactical voting doesn’t reflect the nation’s desires – only what it doesn’t want.

            The EU cannot be “a sideshow” when more than 50% of our laws are actually Brussels directives and we’re paying for it to the tune of £11.5 billion a year.

            Gay marriage? Brussels directive.
            Open borders? Brussels directive. (they’ve just voted for all member states to share the burden of ‘asylum seekers’ equally)
            Inability to deport foreign criminals? Brussels directive.

            I could go on…No, my friend, the EU is actually the single biggest issue facing us today. It destroyed the previous two conservative prime ministers and it will swallow this one.

          • Chris Taylor

            How can you call the EU a sideshow? Immigration is the biggest issue on voter’s minds according to the polls. The EU is the elephant in the room for most of our problems. Only the fear of leaving causes us to stay.

          • Is your name Kenneth Clarke, Matthew Parris or Christopher Patten perchance, pray tell us?!

          • Unseating the treasonously-pro-EU David Cameron the Wet Tory (with a wife who is almost certainly a closest Lib Dem) as Tory Party Leader is surely what all right-thinking UKIPpers want (and a minority Labour Government would surely bring that about.)

      • grutchyngfysch

        It’s an important point, but war-game it for a moment: one of two things is going to happen in the nigh-inevitable Labour-SNP government to come. Either people are going to wake up nursing a hangover of incredible proportions and the next election is the Right’s; or, and I include this option with no delight, we will sink further into the adulation of our own end.

        In the former case, parties like UKIP will probably benefit, in the latter, it won’t matter anyway – you might as well start packing now.

      • Chris Taylor

        I believe that if Labour get in propped up by the SNP there will be Scottish independence within 5 years (which will prove disastrous) massive swing to UKIP from disaffected Labour voters in the North who will suffer most, massive realligment on the Right and a Tory/UKIP coalition in 2020 followed by EU exit. This is a long game.

  • James

    Progress – we are going backwards to the stone age with Sharia Law and Islam. Cameron is utterly non-progressive and most people pay the price for his Mohammedanism.

  • Max Permissible

    On an average day in Britain, there are 1,500 fewer reported crimes than there were before Theresa May was made Home Secretary.

    Because most people have realised that there is no point in reporting minor crimes any more, since the police will do exactly sod-all.

    • HJ777

      Unlikely that they have suddenly decided this. Has it really changed in five years?

      • Max Permissible

        I believe that it has. There have been quite a few news items recently about police not accepting reports of minor vehicle incidents etc.

    • Peter Stroud

      They realised this fifteen years ago.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Face it Britisher pals, you have a failed police force (service) on your hands.

        • It is a “constabulary”, if you the resident Japanese idiot want to play being pedantic!

        • Raddiy

          It fits in well with our failed political system.

    • Raddiy

      And when 1400 were reported in Rotherham, they were ignored as well.

      It would seem the police only investigate real crimes like the playground spat between two primary school pupils, which resulted in one calling the other a name, which had the woodentops looking for a hate crime.

  • Peter Unruh

    It’s so easy for the Conservatives to win this election- all they have to do is remind people of the chaos labour caused whilst in power- it’s that simple- and if the electorate wants that chaos again- vote Labour!!!!!!!

    • HJ777

      Not quite that simple.

      They were years of plenty for those dependent on public expenditure (i.e public sector employees and those receiving public funding, e.g.many charities). These people often fondly imagine that such largesse would be resumed under Labour.

  • Grey Wolf

    Bwahahahahahaha….bwahahahahaha..

    So indeed contemporary conservatives are PROGRESSIVES!!!! and all the try supporters thought they were voting CONSERVATIVE……….

    Bwahahahahaha…..bwahahahahahah….

    • Peter Stroud

      I see the Speccie is attracting some weirdos

  • Marcus

    Well ‘They’ should stop voting Labour then shouldn’t ‘They’?
    The idiots.
    I will vote UKIP. These people have got to learn.

  • Mukkinese

    Black is white and white is black. Doublethink and typical contempt for your readers. Just because you have a large contingent of tory faithful who do not want to know the truth does not mean that the others here who read this nonsense to see what the right is up to, will not point out the utter blather you talk.

    This is a collection of laughable, childish fairy tales for willfully blind.

    This used to be a respectable magazine and now look what it has become. Just another propaganda rag. Shame on you Speccy…

    • HJ777

      Have you a reasoned argument or facts to present or do you only do ritual denunciations?

      • Mukkinese

        The whole article is opinion, or do you not read English?

        • HJ777

          Yes, it’s opinion and it talks about specifics.

          What it is not is a general ritual denunciation with no reference to specifics.

          • Richard Baranov

            The article may talk about ‘specifics’ but we all know that there will be no follow through and that the ‘specifics’ are grounded in empty rhetoric not worth one iota of any sensible persons time.

          • HJ777

            After a comment like that I’m more inclined to think that you are not worth one iota of any sensible person’s time.

          • Richard Baranov

            Well, of course you would think that because you have no comeback for the truth. You will vote for a hollow shell simply because it calls itself ‘Conservative’ it relieves you from thinking of the nasty fact that the Conservatives are no longer Conservatives and have abandoned Conservative values for spin and expediency. Be bovine in your loyalty all you wish, some of us prefer to think and have, therefore, switched to the real Conservative party.

          • HJ777

            No, I think that because you apparently haven’t anything sensible to say.

          • Richard Baranov

            On the contrary. In order to get a real Conservative movement the current farce needs to be destroyed and, along with it Labour, see Peter Hitchins. I agree with him as do most real Conservatives. But as I said, feel free to continue being a bovine tribalist if it makes you happy. You will inevitably be left in the dust of history with your dinosaur party. It’s dead, it has nothing to offer and is simply going through the motions. Unfortunately tribalists, such as yourself don’t like to think and therefore will continue to act as cannon fodder in brainless acts of loyalty. You don’t understand that a paradigm shift is taking place because to realize that would require thought on your part, god forbid!

          • HJ777

            As I said, you haven’t anything sensible to say.

            Tribal loyalty to whom? Were you under the impression I’m some sort of dedicated Tory loyalist? On the contrary, I currently view them as just the least bad option.

            I am simply not keen on ritual denunciation of political opponents – I prefer to look at the facts and arguments.

          • Richard Baranov

            Then you are a fool.

          • HJ777

            And the opinion of a halfwit like you is important because?

          • Richard Baranov

            Because you wish to prop up a decaying system by voting for the best of a bad lot, at least that is your rational. But really you are afraid of the unknown so you don’t want change. Like fools everywhere at watershed moments in history you will vote for the Ancien Régime because you lack the courage of any real conviction and prefer an imaginary safety rather than change. Because in the process you do not have to think outside of your unimaginative comfort zone, regardless of how much damage your political indolence might do.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            XXX

          • If I remember it correctly, you were a bit of a Wet Tory faithful who supported those stupid cyclists in Central London (and presumably also, your beloved Boris!), weren’t you?!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            But at least he can spell “Miliband” correctly. Unlike you.

          • Signed, “Jackthesmilingschizophrenicidiot”, the “Japan Alps Brit”.

          • Richard Baranov

            Who cares, I take no notice of Milliband and therefore care about zero how to spell his name. I find socialists to be no better than there 1930’s counterparts. The only trouble with the Socialists is their hero’s were not put on trial for crimes against humanity so they still think it a virtue to belong to one of the greatest mass murdering movements in history.
            But thank you for your pettifogging comment, I will not take it under advisement.

          • Don’t worry, the man is a Troll with a touch of Aspergers! A thick groupie (in Japan, with a Japanese mobile phone), that is all he is.

  • Robert Allen

    I’m afraid this is nonsense from start to finish. I’ll just pick out the education section: the assertion that Gove’s personally directed, ideologically driven reforms have improved state education is entirely wrong. Many more children are taught a narrower range of subjects by unqualified teachers. New free schools are opening where they’re not needed, and we’re doing so badly that they had to be illicitly tipped off about impending OFSTED inspections. The Tory education policy has been a complete shambles. Just one of many areas where the party that hasn’t won an election since 1992 has failed miserably.

    • HJ777

      I note that you don’t claim schools are worse.

      If free schools are ‘not needed’ then why do parents freely choose them?

      • Mukkinese

        Some parents chose them, that does not qualify as “need”. some parents chose Eton, but we do not need that…

        • HJ777

          Who is this “we” who decides for other people what they do or do not need?

  • Des Demona

    ”Like so many former bag-carriers who end up elected to parliament, Miliband has no experience outside the world of academia and politics. ”

    Hang on, you think Call me Dave’s short stint as a PR man and Gideon’s Saturday job folding towels qualifies them as having ”experience outside the world of academia and politics”?
    You’re having a giraffe!

  • I would like to agree with this article as I believe the Tories historically to be the more radical and effective in government. However, the argument is full of holes.

    You say “Like so many former bag-carriers who end up elected to parliament, Miliband has no experience outside the world of academia and politics” seemingly oblivious to the fact Cameron is an ex-bag carrier with a short stint as a PR man for a TV station as his experience of the outside world, the same going for Osborne.

    “there are 1,500 fewer reported crimes”, a trend on-going from Labour’s time. “a million more people will be going to work”, in the worst recovery ever seen. “The 0.1 per cent of earners are now paying 12 per cent of all income tax, a record high” – because they earn a record proportion of the income today.

    Honestly, this is about as ringing an endorsement as the Staggers’ for Miliband this week. The truth is today’s bunch are all as bad as each other, entirely unfit to be Prime Minister.

  • Dan O’Connor

    What this article does not tell you is this ;

    1 ) The first task of Western international nationalists (i.e. those who support the continued existence of human cultural and ethnic/ racial diversity and the right of all peoples to defend their lands and heritage and remain demographically the ruling majority in their own homelands ) is to jetison the false dichotomies, false paradigms and false opposites of the Cold War , because they are redundant and are no longer capable of reflecting reality.

    2 ) Modern global Capitalism is not the opposite of global Socialism / Communism
    Modern Conservatism / Libertarianism is not the opposite of Liberalism / Leftism
    These are false opposites . Modern Conservatism is radical Leftism / Progressivism / Multiculturalism with a short time lag delay fuse . Modern Conservatism is yesterday’s radical Leftism

    3 ) The present system with live under in the West is a strange kind of hybrid between global Capitalism / Corporatism within the economic sphere , and a soft totalitarian cultural Communism / Cultural Marxism within the cultural / social sphere .

    4 ) The new Left in the West is a newly emerging middle upper class intellectual and technocratic aristocracy and has no white working class roots, but pretends to be a friend of the white working classes to get their votes , This new Left /Progressive Technocracy present no oppostion to the global Capitalism , They are the Left wing of the Capitalisn Plutocracy . They are its modern day clergy, a priesthood who enforce multicultural orthodoxies

    5 ) Fortune 500 Capitalist billionaries donate to all of the Left’s favourite causes , such as Left wing groups who combat White privilege
    Goldman Sachs goes hand in hand with your multicultural sensitivites training course .

    The Republican & Tory party are the Capitalist branch of anti/nationalist Globalism & Internationalism

    The Democrat & Labour Party are the Socialist branch of anti/nationalist Globalism & Internationalism

    Both result in Globalism & Internationalism , which for us in the West means loss of control over our own economies , social capital , cultures , national boderers, national identities, territories, demographics and destinies . ,

  • Phil Page

    ‘two million more people will be going to work’ Some of these could be the 1.3 million people whi have lost their public sector job. Also the Coalition’s figure of 2.2 million is for JOBS not workers. some workers have four or five zhc jobs so we cannot say number of jobs = number of workers. And remember many of those jobs are zhc or part time or temporary. Nearly all are insecure.

    So not so good as you make out.

    • HJ777

      I think the 2.2 million is the number of additional people employed.

      Yes, some of the new jobs are insecure, or part time, but where is your evidence that they are significantly more likely to be than existing jobs?

      As for Zero-hours contract – they used to just be called casual labour and nobody made a fuss about them then. Most people on such contracts are quite happy with them, according to surveys.

      • darky

        Of course. Plus, everyone is acting as if the alternative to a zero-hour contract is automatically a cushy, well paying job for life.

        It ain’t so. The alternative to a zero-hour contract is not having the contract at all. People willingly enter these arrangements because they end up better off. Perhaps not as better off as we’d like, but banning these contracts (as Miliband wants to) will simply get them unemployed, at the mercy of the welfare system.

        • HJ777

          In fact, a large proportion of ZHC are for students and the over-65s who want the flexibility to work occasionally, e.g. at events.

          My daughter worked at Royal Ascot (and a could of other summer events) on one. As Royal Ascot is only one week per year it is a mystery to me how banning such contracts would work. Either such events couldn’t get staff or the staff would be prohibitively expensive as they’d have to be employed full time when there was no work.

          • Mukkinese

            You are missing the entire point. A zero hours contract puts all of the power in the hands of the employer. Reasonable employers will take into account the welfare of their employees, but others will not. And we know very well that if something can be abused it will be abused.

            Workers need protection from unreasonable employers…

          • HJ777

            That is simply untrue. It would only be true if there was an employment monopsony.

            Bad employers will always lose out to good ones when it comes to getting good staff. They are in competition for the same people.

          • jennybloggs

            Mass immigration – the employers’ friend.

        • Mukkinese

          Some might enter them willingly, but many people are forced into zero-hour contracts by the DWP. This is the worst of all worlds.

          It is not simply about “flexible hours” it is about being on call, not guaranteed enough work to live on, not allowed to take another job, even a part time one and not getting any unemployment benefit for the periods when the employer does not need you…

      • Mukkinese

        That evidence will be, despite this “jobs miracle”, the benefits bill just keeps growing. And the OBR warns it will break the cap in the next few months…

        • HJ777

          The principal reason for the growing benefits bill is benefits and state pensions for the retired.

    • PetaJ

      The article says ‘a’ million, not two.

  • Richard Baranov

    UKIP are the third largest party in Britain, they are not “a protest vote” and the Tories are nothing more than the dead hand of a moribund political system and need to be destroyed. The above article is nonsense from start to finish written by people who live of the system, rather like those pale white fish in the deep, scavenging the cadaver of a dead whale. The Conservatives and, in fact, Labour, are the party of the privileged few living of the efforts of the many and like most parasites, need to be destroyed for the sake of the body politic which is rapidly becoming gangrenous due to the tender ministrations of the established parties. Vote UKIP, and if you can’t vote for them then vote for anyone else other than the establishment represented by Milliband and Cameron.

  • Peter Stroud

    An excellent article. I am of advanced years, and I am as frightened of Miliband sitting in number 10, as I was when Michael Foot was in with a chance. Never forget that it was the union bosses that got him elected as leader. If he wins, we can expect the old beer and sandwiches for the union barons in Downing Street. They will be looking for payback time. The Red a Flag will be sung again.

    • Mukkinese

      If only…

    • jennybloggs

      I think people worry more about Isis these days. They aren’t worried about union bosses.

  • CommonSense Matters

    It appears the publication itself has come alive and has started penning articles. No I am mistaken, very much not alive. Very much two-dimensional without a trace of reason or indeed opposable thumbs.

  • Callipygian

    You mean Leftists who end up in power….

    It is always the same. It isn’t just the 1970s that proved Miliband wrong; it is the whole of the 20th century (and a very bloody one it was, too, especially for those living in the Communist shadow). But like young people who imagine they invented s x, Leftists know no history and are shamed by no past: their dream is always a Golden Tomorrow where every injustice will be solved except the one they do not care about, which is the restriction they will oppose and the freedom they will take from the people, if they are elected.

    Ed Miliband and his party care nothing for freedom — freedom of speech, freedom to earn and own and keep and build property, freedom of assembly and association, freedom to dissent as friends of democracy. Labour is a fundamentally anti-democratic party, and it is anti-prosperity, as well: the two go together like hammer and sickle. Labour must be defeated.

    • Mukkinese

      A cherry-picked view of a rewritten history, which says more about your own self-delusion than reality…

      • Callipygian

        Not at all. It is you that won’t see the truth staring you in the face.

  • Bobby Mac

    One can’t help but smile as Tory journalists abandon all pretence of objective analysis and desperately churn out these apologia for Cameron. The Telegraph’s coverage of the election has descended to the level of the Daily Mail – no wonder Peter Oborne jumped ship. But until the last few days, the Spectator offered a reasonably balanced coverage. Sadly total panic appears to have set in because you fail to understand why people aren’t responding to the Cameron-Crosby-Osborne pitch. You trumpet an economic miracle, but two-thirds of the electorate aren’t buying it. Why don’t you try to explain THAT.

  • Alphonse Villanos

    Wasn’t Cameron a bag carrier wedded to the same uncritical free market ideology labour adopted that resulted in millions out of work in the first place? So between the two bag carriers, the spectator chooses the one who says this selection is a career defining moment. Nice.

  • tulip_mania

    What a load of nonsense, do you really think your online readers are dumb enough to agree with what you say and be convinced to vote Tory? You have no influence.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I half agree with you, Spec. The part about not voting Labour, the paedophile protection party.

  • Why worry about the election outcome? Go with the flow… be cool! http://pinkerspost.com/?p=712

  • victor67

    The Tories are the party of hedge fund managers and the corporate elite: The political wing of the city of London. This is the only people they serve and the bribe the rich elderly to stay in power.

    They have very few grass roots members and are a dying party.

  • Clive

    UKIP is superior in policy terms to the Tory party.

    The key point is that with UKIP we would get a fair referendum on the EU. There is not a snowball’s chance of that with the Tories.

    The most gobsmacking thing about all these political parties is that they have no policy on overpopulation. Overpopulation in the UK and in the World.

    Why this almost religious affinity among policitians for an increasing population ? Generally, it seems to be to increase the tax base and give them more people to contribute to their latest schemes. That rather misses the point that it is the increase in population that has created the need for their latest schemes.

    Reducing the population in the UK would solve many problems – housing; social services and so on.

    An issue highlighted by economists is productivity. There is no pressure on productivity if you have a labour-rich economy.

    If we had a party in power which was actively reducing the population, a corollary to its position would be that we needed policies to encourage productivity increases. That is but one of many benefits of such a position.

    In the World, reducing population would solve water shortages; fuel shortages; food shortages etc. About the only contentious area it would not touch would be bad governance.

    So when is some crusading periodical going to investigate this policy hole ?

    • Mukkinese

      UKIP are a bunch of swivel-eyed, tin-foil hat wearing loons who cosy up to racists and homophobes for comfort…

  • vvputout

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9397

    Still touch and go, but prospects for Tory-LibDem coalition are looking slightly brighter.

    UKIP going nowhere – 3 seats??

  • Fraser Bailey

    Can’t really argue with much of that. Nobody can deny that Miliband would be a disaster. But this doesn’t alter the fact that the Tories are a bunch of bankster-lovers who promote ‘landlordism’ at every opportunity.

    • Mukkinese

      Well the polls show that as many deny Miliband will be a disaster as deny that Cameron will be, no one in this is popular. Some might be less despised than others…

  • Doug

    “The Tories are now the party of the many…”

    … MPs not elected tomorrow.

  • Mukkinese

    33% of a pathetically low turnout is “The many”. No party can claim to be popular and for the Tories to claim that they serve most of the people is such transparent nonsense that you really need to check yourselves. You are believing your own mad propaganda…

  • paulus

    No one can deny the arrogance of the conservatives, it is self evident and palpable to all those who have felt slighted, and any appeal for help now would be insincere, but as one commenter stated conservatism does not belong only to David Cameron.

    And in this self evident truth is the reason why the many who hold conservatism so dear, have to decide how they can look themselves in the mirror on May 7th, that like the many generations that preceded them and say they voted for England.

  • paul

    Funny John Major does not share your biased thoughts :-

    The failure of the Conservative party to reach out to black and minority ethnic voters is “not remotely goodish”, the former prime minister Sir John Major has said in a powerful critique of his party.

    Major, who recently returned to the election trail to endorse David Cameron’s tactic of talking up the SNP, also questioned Britain’s record on tackling inequality and the standards of education in the country.

    In his most cutting remarks about his party, the former prime minister warned that it needs to face up to its historic failure to win over black and minority ethnic voters.

    Major said in a speech at the Tory Reform Group annual dinner on 28 April: “We have to look particularly at our relationship with the ethnic minorities. It is not remotely goodish. We have to understand that and we have to act about that. And I think we have to confront what has gone wrong in the past.”

    The Conservatives only manage to attract around 16% of the black and minority ethnic vote, which explains in part the Tories’ continuing failure to secure a foothold in many urban areas.

    Major went on to highlight Britain’s dismal record on tackling inequality. He said: “We need to acknowledge the fact we have a pretty substantial underclass and there are parts of our country where we have people who have not worked for two generations and whose children do not expect to work.

    “How can it be that in a nation that is the fifth richest nation in the world, that in the United Kingdom we have four of the poorest areas in Europe? I include eastern Europe in that question.”

    Major also questioned British educational standards in comparison to other nations. He said: “The quality of education in our cities is immeasurable and we cannot be proud of where we are in the education tables of quality education around the world.”

    Major also criticised George Osborne’s plans to save billions by raising the retirement age, saying this would be difficult for blue-collar workers or labourers.

    He said: “Those of us who are white-collar workers no doubt can work for a quite a long period of time, beyond 65 or even 70. But suppose you are blue collar, or a bricklayer, or a labourer, or a dockworker or miner.

    “You can only do that job for those extended periods because the sheer physical effort would be impossible for them. And there are complexities like that I think we have to look at.”

    Jon Ashworth, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said “This is an astonishing admission of David Cameron’s failure right from the top of the Conservative party. And it’s doubly embarrassing for the prime minister given just a few weeks ago the Tories wheeled John Major out in support as part of a desperate effort to shore up a failing campaign. Even the Tories know that this government has failed and has nothing to offer working people.”

    • Clive

      The quote you offered from John Major which you said was a criticism of inequality is actually a criticism of poverty. Anyone would share that view

      The focus on inequality is merely the politics of envy – which is why when it is raised to Labour politicians they say ‘people will say this is the politics of envy but…’. There are no buts. If anyone won big on the lottery, they would not give it back. That makes everyone a fan of inequality.

      I do not care if someone is a billionaire as long as I get enough. There are many who do not get enough. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell how many do not get enough.

      That is because it is another stupidity of the modern UK that poverty is measured as a percentage of the median wage. So as wages go up, poverty goes up.

  • Callan

    Having read most of the posts here and agreed with many of them I hope that Cameron and the Tories get a majority tomorrow. The alternative is too awful to contemplate. With two provisos. I sincerely hope Nigel Farage ( and a good number of his party) are elected so we can have at least one patriot in Parliament voicing the concerns of the indigenous population. Secondly, a multiple proviso, that Soubry, Hughes, Thornberry, Harperson, Abbot and the Balls get consigned to the dustbin of history.

  • Terry Field

    Sod the ‘many’. Scrap universal suffrage; the slobs are not qualified to express any opinion at all.

  • davidofkent

    It’s always the economy. However, that now means different things to different people. To those who derive all or most of their income from benefits (aka ‘other people’s money’), the economy means nothing at all. They don’t understand it’s importance because their benefits keep flowing no matter what. To those who want good jobs or who run small businesses, the economy is critical. To those relying on pensions, it is essential that the economy is strong enough to keep the dividends flowing to them or their pension providers. To the Lefties who judge everything by their ideology of ‘fairness’, the economy is somebody else’s problem; they only want to distribute the proceeds (no matter how big or small) in accordance with their own ideological views. There is only one major Party that will ensure the economy takes first place, and that is the Conservative Party. UKIP could help if they would ditch some of their odd people and start winning a few seats. Labour will bankrupt us again, egged on by Sturgeon and her Party of loudmouths.

    • Penny

      Just a small point re: UKIP ditching some of their odd people. I’ve been in local politics and, believe me, people with odd, controversial and even nasty, views are evident across the political spectrum. You just don’t find them being pushed into the spotlight if they aren’t UKIP.

  • Paul Nicholson

    Its also worth bearing in mind:

    Cameron has missed every economic target. He’s borrowed a staggering £500bn – a figure so big he says he can’t remember it – with little or no investment having been made in the country’s infrastructure. Productivity is dire, manufacturing and exports are worse or no better.

    We are weaker and less influential country in the world. He has no friends in Europe and is irrelevant in the wider world.

    We are a more divided and fearful country. The Union is under real and sustained threat, more so as he dismisses Scottish voters. He’s prepared to gamble with our essential position in Europe rather than stand up to the Europsceptics in his party and for what he believes in.

    We are less equal and meritocratic. The rich are richer. The younger are poorer, more in debt and less likely to be owning their own home. You can now only inherit property you cannot hope to work for it. The British dream is bust.

    We are a country of buy to let investors and zero hours workers.

    Cameron has no more ‘real world’ experience than Ed Miliband. His cloak of economic competence is illusory.

    The Conservatives have run one of the least dynamic, most negative, scare mongering campaigns in history aimed entirely at a narrow band of English pensioners and Ukip supporters .

    He told the country to trust him on the NHS and then lied about the top down NHS reform. He failed to meet his immigration target.

    Crime has fallen as the country ages and as it has across the whole western world. Violent crime is up. Your chances of getting a policeman if you need one or a fair trial if you’re not rich are lower.

    This is a very weak PM who is about to lose an election – in the middle of a boom, against Ed Miliband!. He does not deserve 5 more years. The country cannot afford it.

  • frank davidson

    The problem with RedEd and Labour is that they want everybody to be at the same level and if it is the lowest level then so be it.

  • tolpuddle1

    The Tories are the party of the Many ?

    Pity then, that the Many don’t agree with you, Mr Spectator.

  • Penny

    I was too young to be aware of Norman Tebbit during his political career, but I have to agree with him here (speaking of the Leader’s debate)

    “Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have decided to retreat into dreary
    triangulation, leaving Nigel Farage to deliver uncomfortable truths”

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’m weary of the dreary, emotive, platitudinous, on-message, identity vote-seeking, terrified-of-Twitter blob that are the Conseratives, Labour and LibDems. I prefer a human being with the courage to speak his mind. I’ve been a floating voter until recently but have now made my decision. A little of the credit for that must to go to the Spectator, whose pretty awful articles and tactics have helped me firm up my views.

  • 0rangeman

    Of those who bothered to vote 36.9% voted for our new rulers so that means that 63.1% voted against them but the tories now rule us all anyway.

    Last time I heard that kind of arithmetic it was a tinpot dictatorship. Any wonder young people dont viote as they know it doesnt count

  • barrry baptist

    millions will work for below inflation wages,millions will use foodbanks,disabled will carry on dying ,librarys,swimming baths day centres will carry on closing,real crime will rise,most is unreported,because of lack of police action, workers rights will continue to eroded etc etc etc,in other words god help the majority who did not vote in this vile government. god i wish i was scottish.

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