Alarming News

April 29, 2005

My continuing sadness over the Conservatives in Britain

Arguing about the war in Britain is quite different, in point of tone and alignment, from debating it in the United States. True, there is in both countries a huge mass of media and showbiz and academic liberals who take the very name “George Bush” as permission to bid adieu to common sense. But in the press there is quite a determined posse of staunch left-wingers (John Lloyd, Nick Cohen, David Aaronovitch) who support regime change. The same is true on the benches of Parliament, where Ann Clwyd, a veteran Welsh radical, has for years been campaigning for the removal of Saddam Hussein. Several old friends of mine from the Sixties Left hold positions in Blair’s government and never let an anti-war argument go unchallenged.

Meanwhile, most of the groaning and sniping about the missing WMDs comes from the hard right, which has a hold on the Tory party and more than a hold on the tabloid press. Anti-Americanism in Britain has long been a conservative rather than a radical trope, and dislike for George Bush is very common among the aristocratic remnant, as well as among those who are nostalgic for the British empire that America supplanted after the war. That especial form of British anti-Semitism (”You catch it on the edge of a remark,” as Harold Abrahams puts it so well in Chariots of Fire) is beautifully ventriloquized in the way that certain BBC announcers pronounce the name “Wolfowitz.”

-Christopher Hitchens in his endorsement of Tony Blair.

Posted by Karol at 01:15 PM |

What about conservatives in America? See Thomas Friedman’s latest article, which really highlights how America is NOT preparing for the future in terms of education (and related issues), but that our administration and Republican leaders don’t give a crap.
This is not simply a Bushie attack, the Dems are just as bad if not worse. However, taking a utilitarian look at how to educate our children so as to support our industries would seem to be just the kind of thing that meshes with conservative politics.
What are your thoughts Karol? While you often come across as party hack in my opinion, I have seen evidence that you are willing to call your own party on their failings, from time to time.

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at April 29, 2005 at 2:00 pm

Signor, I always saw you as the dumb one over at Rick Blaine’s, so I’ll try to go slowly. I can’t both be a party hack AND criticize their failings. You can be a hack and not criticize or criticize but then not be a hack. See? And, obviously, I don’t care which of these you consider me, just that you’re consistent.

Posted by: Karol at April 29, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Well, I’m going to have to go with party hack … as is often the case, you ignore the substance of a serious post to talk about inane shit.
Also, most party hacks don’t want to be indentified as such, so will look for little opportunities to criticize and thereby maintain an illusion of independence for the big things. I wasn’t sure which you were.
So, are you going to address the real issue? Whether your party is doing much of anything as regards to education and preparing America to compete in the global workplace over the next 20 to 30 years.

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at April 29, 2005 at 2:23 pm

So, as party hack, the Republican party has no faults, its policies are flawless and there should be a law that everyone love them.
And, no dude, I don’t address questions from jackasses, sorry.

Posted by: Karol at April 29, 2005 at 2:35 pm

Now there is a Republican answer … pretty much the same response Bush gives to the press corps who don’t toe the line (the jackass part is just implied).

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at April 29, 2005 at 2:38 pm

Exactly. Same level of hostility, same response.

Posted by: Karol at April 29, 2005 at 2:39 pm

Not much hostility Karol. You and I have clashed before and I’ve called you a party hack and you’ve dropped all sorts of insults, usually when you didn’t want to respond to the substance of what was being posed. I was up front about our past in the initial comment, but the question is serious and important and one both parties are failing to address.
Well, at least I think improving our educational system for the future is pretty important and needs to be seriously addressed. Bill Gates agrees too (his comments were the genesis of the column). Unfortunately, politicians prefer to pander.
You have a blog that is read and are active in conservative politics. It is a shame you don’t want to address this issue either.

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at April 29, 2005 at 2:52 pm

That answer certainly speaks volumes….
Maybe you should re-read the question — and take a look at the article.

Posted by: Signor_Ferrari at April 29, 2005 at 2:53 pm

Signor, here’s a lesson for your future: if you really want to talk, debate, engage with someone, it’s best not to start off calling them a hack. Insults put people on the defensive and since my opinion of you wasn’t very high to begin with, I wasn’t going to overlook that and give you the interaction you desired.
It’s funny. I’ve actually been thinking lately about how the left really won the election for Bush by being so insulting to him and degrading to his supporters. It made us defensive and that defensiveness made people go out of their way, in a way they normally wouldn’t, to help him win. You should rethink you tactics and your attitude. I don’t think you actually will, but figured I’d be nice and suggest it. I’m nothing if not nice.

Posted by: Karol at April 29, 2005 at 3:02 pm

The Republican’s have passed and funded the most signicant legislation to improve the quality of education ever. That act is

Posted by: Jake at April 29, 2005 at 3:09 pm

What’s the Alarming News line then ? Vote Labour ?

Posted by: Urbane McMeercat at April 29, 2005 at 6:20 pm

The official position is that I’m very happy to not have to make the choice. Would I choose the party that has no platform, no ideas, no vision or the one with which I disagree with their platform, ideas and vision? I like that Tony Blair understood what was at stake in Iraq, but don’t have common ground with him on anything else. As for the conservatives, I have no clue where there ground even is.

Posted by: Karol at April 29, 2005 at 7:41 pm

“As for the conservatives, I have no clue where thier ground even is.”
Conservative with a small c. Like it. The best quote that you have ever came out with here.
Of course, I know what you refer to. However, I have seen whole news stories built round such flippant remarks when taken out of context. As a budding web Radio celebrity you had better be be more careful (-;

Posted by: Urbane McMeercat at April 30, 2005 at 9:32 am

It was obvious I was talking about the party in Britain since I was, you know, talking about the parties in Britain. Also, in the US, using the small letters in conservative or liberal means you’re referring to the philosophy and not the party and philosophies by their nature have ideas, etc. Finally, I would make the comparison that the Democrats are the Conservatives in the US. You can hate Bush all you want, at least you know where he stands.

Posted by: Karol at April 30, 2005 at 11:07 am

You are not the only one who has no idea where the Tory party has its ground. 60 Million Brits have no idea either and that number includes the Conservative Party itself.
One point though. There is as much if not more “sniping” (in your words, legitimate and justified criticism in mine) on the left and far left of the political spectrum and media. The Independent which is my paper of choice and reasonably left-wing has lacerated Bliar for his lies and general conduct as has the more left wing Guardian.
There are some who are still nostalgic for the Empire but no one takes them seriously.
Will be my first general election as a voter. Sent postal vote form off and have voted for the Liberal Democrats. Partly a waste of time as Blair will win though maybe with a reduced majority.

Posted by: nick_saunders at April 30, 2005 at 5:18 pm

One more point having read the attached article.
The anti-Bush/Blair left DOES NOT REPEAT NOT identify with Saddam or Islamic Fundamentalism. This pissed me off immensely when conservatives try and stick the You supported Saddam and defend al-quaida” crap.
I am on the British Left and i thought Saddam was a thug, an evil one and a psychotic one. I dislike fundamentalism from ANY RELIGION. I have no time for Islamic treatment of women and the three religions concerned’s barbaric view on homosexuality. What i and most others like me feel is that the War on Terror is being conducted wrongly.
It is not wishy washy or weak or “European” to believe that to eradicate terrorism you have to root out the cause. Find the injustice perceived or otherwise and try to right it. Killing people who are not afraid of death and welcome martyrdom doesnt hasnt and will not work. You need to take away the grievance. That is the position of many on the left.

Posted by: nick_saunders at April 30, 2005 at 5:26 pm

Nick, if that’s true then you must’ve loved the war in Iraq because it was the ultimate situation of getting to the root cause. We took out a despot and are installing a democracy. Look what’s happening to the countries around Iraq like Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. You can’t really believe it’s a coincidence.

Posted by: Karol at April 30, 2005 at 9:28 pm

I don’t believe that in Iraq we took out the root cause. If anything i think we have both exascerpated the origional problem and are creating new ones. Democracy in the Middle East may very well be a great thing but feel its too early to tell.
Getting rid of Saddam may well turn out to have been a good decision but again its too early to tell. History and past experience suggest the venture will fail as the ones before it did.
Back to the point of Karols initial post if you care for the Conservatives you are about to experience what its like to be a US Democrat.

Posted by: nick_saunders at May 1, 2005 at 4:27 am

What root causes would you address then, Nick? Liberals often talk of addressing the root causes but when we actually did in Iraq, they bitched.
And yes, Conservatives are the Democrats of Britain. They deserve to lose and will continue to lose until they grow a backbone and take some stands.

Posted by: Karol at May 1, 2005 at 12:26 pm
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