Thursday, 4 April 2013

Peter Oborne lives in Tory la la land

Once, I respected Peter Oborne. I probably shouldn't admit that but its true. I have to confess further that I even bought and read, from cover to cover, one of his books - The Triumph of the Political Class - and I thought it was pretty good. But now I have to draw a line. I thought Oborne was one of those rarities - a decent Tory with a fairly open mind. Having read his article in the Telegraph today I now admit I was mistaken because he is just as bad as all the others.

The cause of Peter Oborne's problems are the same as any other British conservative - he doesn't live in the real world but in an imaginary world of Tory good and evil (the right love good and evil, and they like things to be black and white). The Tory fantasy goes something like this; everyone should know their place just like they used to; workers should work and not trouble their betters (employers) with strike action; Britain should still be great on the world stage; cricket should be played on village greens; gays should remain where they belong in the closet; there are lots of really good chaps in the City (!). I could go on and on but I'm sure you get my drift. This is the comfort blanket of Tory la la land where the market is our friend - because, of course, it works for us, and our families and friends. Tough shit if it doesn't work for the rest.

How do I know this? Becuase Oborne thinks that Cameron is a great leader on the verge of great achievements, and he says so in his article. He must be one of only about twenty people in the UK who thinks this but lets examine why he is wrong. He says;
"......I will demonstrate that, though not without serious faults, Mr Cameron is leading a Government with a reasonable claim to be one of the great reforming administrations."
Firstly, he makes the error that all conservatives make; he misunderstands the meaning of the word reform, which means to change things for the better. But nothing that this government has done has made anything better. In fact things have become demonstrably worse. For example, the key claim of this government was to reduce the deficit and make our economy better. in three years it has done neither. Now lets look at his specific claims for Cameron, noting that his key partner in crime Clegg gets no recognition at all.

Oborne claims the scrapping of the FSA is a great achievement. Really? I was never a fan of the FSA but there have been no serious reforms of financial capitalism made by this government and some economists have predicted that there may well soon be another debt bubble. He also claims the health service reforms are great. Many would be disagree with him on this but the best anyone can possibly say is its far too early to tell. Then, of course, he praises 'Wackford' Grove's education reforms which are designed to return our education system to the delights of the Dickensian rote learning of the 19th century. Naturally he also praises the Tory poverty creation project of cuts in benefits. But where Oborne reveals his truly disgusting Tory nature is his contempt for the disabled when he states that the Disability Living Allowance is "a charter for deceit and recipe for state-sponsored idleness". So there we have it.

When I read his article I noticed there were 400 or so comments. I read the first 20 or so and predictably, they were filled with the usual right wing bile and rantings about UKIP and immigrants. But one caught my eye, and strangely enough it had the most 'recommends' of any that I looked at. It said:
"On the verge of something great? I thought we were heading back to the Victorian Age but with more taxation."
Indeed we are if Cameron and Oborne have anything to do with it, but a correction is needed; more taxation for the 99% and less for the rich.

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