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4 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - A new grand coalition ... · 0 replies · +1 points

She began life as anything but a fool, but she has been in the business too long now, and has begun subscribing to her own legend. This is almost inevitable in a politician, and they end up considering themselves intrinsically in the right--which for Frau Merkel is now anything but the Right--and also intrinsically entitled to power. Even Good Queen Thatch eventually succumbed--though of course she will go down in History as having made a far greater, and far more positive, contribution to her country than Frau Merkel, who has been, in my opinion, essentially little more than a highly skilled opportunist. Now, of course, the opportunities are diminishing and unravelling.

4 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - A new grand coalition ... · 3 replies · +1 points

Every time I see a picture of Mrs Merkel, it reinforces my natural tendencies to Schadenfreude, and recently she has been earning it in spades. First, there was her September non-victory, which was ultimately even more humiliating for her than was Mrs May's non-victory. Mrs Goody-Goody (Merkel, not May) was richly repaid for singlehandedly inviting in a million so-called asylum-seekers, and the AfD did beautifully in the electorate's response to her attempt to show that Germany is really much more caring-and-sharing than anyone else in Europe, which in my view was nothing more than another tiresome attempt, 70-plus years after the event, to show that the country does War Guilt better than anyone else.

It goes without saying that both the AfD and the Free Democrats are going to do well out of this effort on the part of two tired old parties--and two tired old parties that are being increasingly rejected by the electorate--to cobble together some sort of survival stitch-up.

I have only two regrets: 1) the SPD will probably lose even more from the coalition than will Mrs Merkel's parties, and 2) the next election--which will come sooner, rather than later--will almost certainly produce a result that will make it even harder to form a sensible and stable government. No matter how economically domineering and morally imperialistic Germany shows itself, it is bad for Europe when the largest country in it shows such obvious signs of political splintering.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Sir Nigel Farage, prin... · 3 replies · +1 points

Enoch Powell was certainly far more sinned against than sinning, but did he achieve anything concrete?

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Sir Nigel Farage, prin... · 5 replies · +1 points

I can't recall a dud article from you, Mark, and this is one your best.

Farage must be the most significant "fringe" politician since the war, although nothing could have induced me to vote for his party. Other politicians, including a number of spineless waverers, ended up supporting Brexit, while quite a few other spineless waverers ultimately opposed it. Many politicians of the Project Fear variety spread lies--no, not half-truths, not "porkies", just plain downright lies--to oppose it. At the end of the day, more than any other politician, Farage was the Father of the Referendum, and, by extension, the Father of Brexit. We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.

At the same time, ultimately, politics is all about Ego, and even the greatest politicians succumb to the myth that they are Heroes in Their Own Lifetime. Even--and this is even more tragic--Good Queen Thatch succumbed, so I am hardly surprised--though of course I am saddened--that Farage seems determined to cast a shadow over his place in the history books.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The worst-handled resh... · 3 replies · +1 points

The problem is not with the reshuffle, but with the endless--and largely pointless--media guessing that went on--ad nauseam--in the weeks prior to it, aided and abetted (almost certainly) by the self-promotion machines of various interested parties inside and outside the Cabinet and the government. Once it became obvious that Mrs May was not going to move the really major players, like Johnson, Gove, Hammond etc, this was bound to be a minor reshuffle, and because the press had been playing up a major reshuffle, they had to shift gear and attack Mrs May for not giving them what they wanted, instead of--and perhaps this is merely surmise--what she herself wanted.

Basically, it is just plain gormless to attack Mrs May for not living up to press expectations. In any case, almost every reshuffle is of very limited interest to your average voters, who merely want to to be governed quietly and well, so that they can get back to their jobs, their families and television.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Priti Patel: Prioritie... · 0 replies · +1 points

This is a good article, and certainly "a one-size approach does not fit all" is a sentiment that everyone at CCHQ and in the upper echelons of the Party ought to be forced to repeat until they're blue in the face. I am delighted that ConHome have approached Ms Patel for an article or two; she is a sensible gal, speaks plainly and coherently, and the government's response to her meetings in Israel a few months back was disproportionate, hysterical and egregiously unfair. I look forward to more articles by her on this site.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Priti Patel: Prioritie... · 0 replies · +1 points

Absolutely, Elaine; we need those fees, and £25 per person amounts to less than 50p a week. Certainly, we mustn't allow fees to become risibly tiny or voluntary, or we'll end up with our own version of Corbyn's loonies. Although I am sure there are some people for whom £25, or £50 a couple, really does present a problem, at least as a one-off payment, I have more than a vague feeling than any Association worth its salt can be a bit creative, and attribute above-minimum payments of more prosperous members to those who are needier. Of course, this applies only to members who join locally.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Reshuffle Day. And Raa... · 0 replies · +1 points

The panel's choices are very good, as were the updated suggestions offered in yesterday's lead article. However, my great fear is that an inept attempt at "gesture politics" will win the day, and a lot of the 2015 and 2017 intake who tick the politically correct boxes will be given positions, in some specious effort to make us look like the Party of Youf, thereby alienating a number of more talented, more experienced MPs of longer standing. In the long term, talent is everything. I am sure each of my fellow ConHomers can think of at least one or two MPs (or indeed others) who were given important and highly visible positions by Mrs May's predecessor presumably because they ticked certain boxes--and then they messed things up royally, to the detriment of the Party, and therefore of the nation.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Modernisers Revisited.... · 0 replies · +1 points

"Onward" is just about the wettest and drippiest name imaginable. "En Marche" can just about be translated as "onward", but only if you've got "Onward Christian Soldiers" roaring through your mind at the time. To anyone with a sense of the language that we speak, "onward" has connotations of "following the same old path, on and on and on". A far better translation would be "Forward", or even perhaps "On the Move". Do you see what I mean about drippy?

"Consider the source", as my Mother used to say--and, no, I don't mean you, Paul, but the originators of this so-called bright idea. Why is it that we Conservatives are instinctively nice, gutless and full of that "ghastly good taste" that Osbert Lancaster used to mock so effectively?

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: When Ann Wi... · 0 replies · +1 points

I have met Toby Young and heard him speak, and I have read a great deal by him, and basically he is talking nothing more than what used to be called "common sense" before the Politically Correct Brigade, aided and abetted by the Wishful Thinking Brigade, set to work, weakening, cheapening and generally ruining state education in many countries, including (notoriously) this one, to the great disadvantage of the least advantaged in society. It is perhaps not always to his benefit that he is very good at being "clever", which is something that no one in England should ever attempt; it is almost always deeply resented, though somehow the blissful Mr Liddle seems to get away with it. I am sure Mr Young is tough enough to see out these pathetic attempts to unseat him before he is even seated.