Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday on why he still hopes that the Conservative Party will die.
Tim Montgomerie’s “Fifteen reasons why even Peter Hitchens and Simon Heffer should vote Conservative” produced an interesting response from readers on ConservativeHome, and Tim has kindly allowed me to reply – both to the posting and the reader response.
First, after many years of being so hated by New Labour that they tried to slam the doors of the 1997 Blair Manifesto press conference in my face (“It’s full!”, they lied “You can’t come in!”) it is rather amusing to be just as loathed by the Modern Conservatives, as I believe they will come to be known. And to be loathed for more or less the same reasons – namely that a fraud is being perpetrated on the public and those involved don't want to risk anyone noticing.
When Mr Cameron announced his Lisbon climb-down a few weeks ago , my attempts to ask the Conservative leader a question ( I raised my hand at the beginning, and was in the front row) were ignored, just as my attempts to question Mr Blair were ignored in the 1997 and 2001 elections (I don't think I could be bothered to ask in 2005) . Likewise he tried quite hard to ignore my question to him when he discussed his very generous expenses with an audience in his constituency, initially shaking his head to indicate that I oughtn't to be asking a question at all at such an occasion, but in the end it was more embarrassing to ignore my lone raised hand to than to take the question. He is indeed the heir to Blair, in many more ways than one.
The tone of many of the comments on me from many (though happily not all) this site’s readers is gratifyingly rude. I suspect most of these virulent critics don't actually read what I write, because (like children who won't try a new dish) they already know they don't like me. And I likewise suspect that they haven't read my books, only hostile and defamatory reviews of them. Well, all right, not everyone is keen on me. So let me concede , for the sake of argument, that I have no sense of humour at all; that I am personally vile, of hideous aspect; that children, small furry animals and songbirds flee from my presence; that flowers wither when I enter a room, that I sleep in a vault upon a bed of earth and feast on the blood of virgins.
(So how, by the way, can anyone possibly confuse me with the handsome and loveable Peter Oborne, perhaps the last specimen of the true English gentleman outside captivity? You may well ask).
But despite all my personal drawbacks, the question remains : “Am I right in thinking that David Cameron is so interested in office, and so lacking in conservative principle, that he doesn't much care what he says to obtain office, or what he does if and when he gets it. And am I right in thinking that the Conservative Party is no longer a reasonable compromise between differing allies, but an impossible coalition of opposites which is only kept alive by state subsidies and millionaire donors?
Tim thinks my concerns may be overcome by the things he lists. Well, I shall deal with this catalogue in a moment. But first, those who want the deep reasons for my dissent from Cameroon Toryism are invited to study them here.