Monday, February 27, 2006

David Cameron making Tories the New Labour.

UK: Sorta like Coke introduced New Coke, what a success that was for the company. The plan to make yourself out to be a one of the tofo eating, sandal wearing swampy with lots of compassion is going to backfire.

"Recent weeks have seen private concern among some MPs and in the rightwing press about the direction Mr Cameron is taking the party, fuelled by the party's failure to build on an initial boost in the polls. The document was unveiled late last night in a choreographed series of media interviews. It commits the party to policies aimed at putting to bed its Thatcherite past. It sets out eight defining ambitions for the party, emphasising a compassionate agenda that focuses on helping the disadvantaged. The plan starts by pledging to put "economic stability and fiscal responsibility first" which it says "must come before tax cuts", and pledges that resources would be shared over time between better public services and reducing taxes. The test of Tory policies must be "how they help the most disadvantaged in society, not the rich", it says, reversing Margaret Thatcher's famous phrase to declare "there is such a thing as society". It promises to improve schools and hospitals "for everyone, not help a few to opt out", but insists that public services "don't have to be run by the state". Government can be "a force for good", it declares, supporting aspirations such as home ownership, saving for a pension and starting a business, as well as supporting families and marriage, carers as well as sport, the arts and culture. "The right test for our policies is how they help the most disadvantaged in society, not the rich," the document argues. The document echoes Mr Cameron's emphasis on the environment, calling for a "long-term, cross-party consensus on sustainable development and climate change". It also picks up on last year's mass campaign to end developing world debt, arguing that "it is our moral obligation to make poverty history". Last night some Conservatives - although not Mr Cameron - argued that the document and party ballot was an attempt to define the modern Conservative party in the way Tony Blair's scrapping of clause four defined New Labour in the mid-1990s. "I think the right thing to do is to put out what the party stands for and is fighting for," Mr Cameron told the BBC last night. "We don't have a clause four so I'm not asking the party to junk something." In tonight's speech Mr Cameron reiterates what is now a familiar attack on New Labour's centralism, laying the charge at Gordon Brown's door. "It's about saying to people don't think we aren't different, here it is, don't think we are just about PR and empty of values, here it is," said one shadow cabinet member last night."
That party that stands for everything succeeds at nothing.

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