336 comments posted · 2 followers · following 1

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden: Here i... · 0 replies · +1 points

The idea that there is a leave-remain divide doesn't help: we have lots of people who don't trust others or who think the others are on the "wrong" side of history.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden: Here i... · 0 replies · +1 points

The aspiration to write a positive story is entirely reasonable, as is the aspiration to "puncture the echo-chamber that journalists, politicians and the twitterati exist in" - but at some point, a responsible author needs to start thinking through a speculative argument and considering how well the argument stands up to scrutiny!

Sixty seconds on a search engine would have shown a YouGov poll result from 22nd January. QQ: "In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?" It showed that we're pretty much where we were in October, with 40% saying yes & 48% saying no.

At that point, a responsible MP should have found a different story, or at least a different way of phrasing things - because honesty and integrity matter more than galvanising a fan-base!

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden: Here i... · 2 replies · +1 points

Is this Trump-like, click-bait, unsubstantiated example of fake-news generation indicative of the way the party and this site are going? Or are we actually going to stand up for Conservative values? Because doing both is not possible.

What is the minimum we might expect of our MPs when they want to make pronouncements on matters which are polled each week? Perhaps that they do something other than make big claims based on anecdote? Especially where the stories gleaned were from a spectacularly skewed sample!

If we do NOT call this out, those of us with libertarian instincts will have no basis for complaining, perhaps five years down the road, when a new administration starts legislating to put an end to such practices.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Harry Fone: Parish cou... · 0 replies · +1 points

If people would like to improve the level of scrutiny of what's proposed at Parish Council meetings they should get off their backsides and attend, then ensure any concerns they have are highlighted within the Parish. If others care, they can do the same. If folk don't do that, they have no business complaining because they are freeloading rather than being fully engaged in community life. And yes, raising the Precept until people squeek enough to get involved is an argument I have heard from a Conservative Parish Councillor as there's a lot more to this issue than the sums involved!

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Why did the BBC broadc... · 0 replies · +1 points

Having heard this live, I am not really surprised to find this blog, or the associated comments - but thus far, the southseas7 comment is pretty much the only one that stacks up. This comment:

"Burleigh was asked about the future of populism around the World ( not the future of Trumpism) and are we seeing a turning point. He compared Conservative Home and others as UK equivalents of the Tea Party [and] Burleigh didn't lump populists or Conservative Home in with a bunch of nutters" - all verifiable!

I can't imagine many in the traditional Conservative base would have found any reason to take issue with what Burleigh had to say, and now Brexit is done, both the party AND Conservative Home need to take stock and work out how to address populist tendencies and how to become more inclusive.

These are not minor challenges... and shooting messengers like Burleigh doesn't help get any of them addressed.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Discuss · 0 replies · +1 points

If Steve Baker is the answer, someone must be asking a pretty weird question... but since Boris let Matt Hancock, Priti Patel & Gavin Williamson loose on the big stage, reasonable questions have mostly ceased to have relevance!

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Sam Dumitriu: Brexit m... · 0 replies · +1 points

What, exactly, might be gained by tackling ANYTHING in this area independently of the EU? Legal frameworks right across the EU and beyond might make sense... but why on earth would it make sense, on any front, for the British to go-it-alone in relation to ANY area relating to music?

This ties into another issue doing the rounds. The Telegraph report rather missed the point by focusing on the world of "major artists"... but the music world starts at the grass roots, and here again, the best thing the British Government can do for those on the ground is go cap-in hand to Brussels and take whatever is offered.

Best for Britain, in Brexit, mostly means being a vassal state. We knew that was what was coming, and it is not going to change (at least not anytime soon), so we might as well we get used to it.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - You're either for Trum... · 0 replies · +1 points

Is there anything significant that we know about Trump now that we didn't know about him in 2015? In the Primaries, the cry from GOP stalwarts was "anyone but Trump"... but as in this country, where the grass-roots turned a blind eye to warnings from those who knew Boris best... the populist agenda drove the media agenda and people who knew exactly what they were getting fell into line. It's great that they're now saying "no more" - but that cry is coming WAY too far down the road. Lessons need to be learned, and not just in the US!

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Neil O'Brien: Trumpism... · 0 replies · +1 points

Even in the 1980s, militant activists were giving teaching unions a bad name by using them as vehicles for party political purposes. That continues to this day. Sobeit - we're not going to change that situation, and few such militants show any interest in every doing anything other than what they're doing right now, so ignore them.

What makes less sense is tarnishing everyone else with the same brush.

Yes, most teachers do identify more with Labour or with Lib Dem than with the Conservative Party - but that's hardly surprising given that the high point of 40 years of Conservative Education policy was Kenneth Baker's massive reforms in the 1980s... and it's going to take a few years for the profession to move on from the way Gove went about trying to tell teachers how to do their jobs.

When Nicky Morgan and then Justine Greening was in post, we had the prospect of things settling down... but oh no, Gavin Williamson had to APPEAL for complaints. With a Minister doing that... is it any surprise that admitting to Conservative leanings within teaching is currently a little tough?

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Neil O'Brien: Trumpism... · 0 replies · +1 points

I was in the midst of replying to LarryLockdown... but he appears to have vaporised. His target was "elite" politics... which had at least a little connection with the thread here...

Key thing: I'm not sure "people" vs "elites" is particularly useful framing because it's lumping together loads of folk who don't really agree on anything - but I suspect a huge proportion of us are 100% with anyone who is taking aim at the target-driven, top-down, Whitehall-knows_best control-freakery embodied by everything from Gove's micromanagement of state schools (e.g. specification of what gets taught in history classes) to the way Priti Patel is trying to get the Police to agree targets in return for additional Officers.

That's all building on the approach that Gordon Brown embodied, which all reflects what we saw throughout the 1980s - and yes, we would have got a lot more of it if Corbyn's lot had got in, and we should expect even more of it if Keir Starmer ever gets elected, and the EU needs to recognise that it has become the embodiment of that same, completely dysfunctional way of thinking.

Unfortunately, what passes as "populist" these days is often a demand for all of this to be increased, with Government "delivery" on a range of issues. We're not seeing campaigns to get rid of targets and top down control, we're seeing demands for Ministers to take a stronger lead. We're not seeing campaigns for the abolition of the National Curriculum and Ofsted, we're seeing demonisation of dedicated teachers, up and down the country, as members of some sort of educational "blob" - as if they're a problem rather than the very people we need to keep inspired, motivated & supported.

What Larry's riposte highlighted, for me, was extent to which the "populist" card is potentially quite problematic for those of us who are keen to see Government break with new public management and with it's micro-management of ordinary lives. If we get identified WITH the approaches we're so keen to see end simply because we don't buy into populism then the net result of Trumpism is going to be a lot more serious than a few cranks running around!