Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Flickering Light

So, I hear David Cameron gave a speech in Glasgow on Monday.

Well well.

Is it possible?

Do we dare to hope?

Could it be that David Cameron knows, at least dimly, what is happening?

More of this is what will keep things together that look now as if they are falling apart. I think the major difference between Cameron and Brown is quite simple. Brown has become so immersed in the weird Twilight Zone netherworld of modern leftist social theory that he and his friends have actually lost the capacity to see reality. Cameron, whatever his limitations may be, actually seems to live in a world where one can not be both in the room and not in the room at the same time. He lives, in other words, in the bright sunlit lands of reality where both the logical principle of non-contradiction and human nature exist.

Cameron's speech at the party convention last year made me join the British Conservative party and more like this is what is going to keep me a Tory drum-banger. (Well, that and Boris, of course.)

As I just mentioned to someone else in an email, David Cameron seems to have about 25% of a clew. Now that sounds like a bad assessment, but only until you start looking at the numbers for nearly every other politician in Britain...or Europe. But it's when I apply my time honoured and well tested theory of Least Bad that Cameron really shines.

He talks about the epidemic of "wasted lives" since the institution of the welfare state. This is something I have seen for myself. So many of the people who I grew up around, even if they did not live on welfare themselves, had it in their heads as one of the founding axioms that the state owed them financial and social security. The government will fix everything, so we don't need to. The entitlement mentality is probably the most morally deadening effect of big government. I've seen it destroy lives. Lives of people I've been close to.

"...we need to end the idea that the state gives you money for nothing. If you can work, you must work. We will insist on it, and believe me, we will stick to our guns when the going gets tough.

"And when it comes to perhaps the most important area of all, families we will take action not just to support marriage and family stability, but on business too, to make Britain more family-friendly.

This isn't something that is negotiable. Without specifically these types of reforms, without, frankly, a return to previous moral thought and behavior patterns, British society is going to tear itself apart. We are seeing it now. It isn't a matter of choice now, but of survival.

"We as a society have been far too sensitive. In order to avoid injury to people's feelings, in order to avoid appearing judgemental, we have failed to say what needs to be said. We have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, deferring gratification instead of instant gratification.

"Instead we prefer moral neutrality, a refusal to make judgments about what is good and bad behaviour, right and wrong behaviour. Bad. Good. Right. Wrong. These are words that our political system and our public sector scarcely dare use any more.

"We talk about people being "at risk of obesity" instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise. We talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: it's as if these things - obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction - are purely external events like a plague or bad weather.

"There is a danger of becoming quite literally a de-moralised society, where nobody will tell the truth anymore about what is good and bad, right and wrong. That is why children are growing up without boundaries, thinking they can do as they please, and why no adult will intervene to stop them - including, often, their parents. If we are going to get any where near solving some of these problems, that has to stop.

Is it possible that a Tory government would begin to apply the breaks, at least a bit, to the rocket-powered bobsled currently screaming down the Hill 'o Disaster that we've been on since 1997? I don't know. And I'm not sure what to do about that dim little flicker of the light of hope that seems to be enkindling itself in my soul. I'm inclined to stamp it out, an instinct built up over years of watching politicians slither around in the philosophical shadows cast by the towers of the Real. In times such as ours, hope is often more painful than despair.

All sorts of questions come into my mind. Is he lying? Is he telling us what we want to hear? Does he really intend to act concretely on any of these issues once in office? If yes, does he have enough of a grasp on the nature of the problem to make the right kind of changes?

And in a larger sense, is it too late already?

I don't know.

Read it.

Melanie Philips writes,
"Why, though, this sudden and very deliberate change of approach? Two reasons. First, he is picking up on a change in the public mood – one of widespread utter dismay at the prevailing amorality and nihilism which is now promoted by the Gramscian left..Second, Cameron is aware that he needs to show he is not merely a shallow opportunist who is unavoidably benefiting from Labour’s death agony, but stands for Principles and hard-nosed Beliefs."

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