The Corner

Cameron: Not Green Enough

By that, I mean he could do with listening to David Green, head of the excellent British think-tank Civitas and one of the real intellectual forces in the UK conservative movement today. Like me, he seemed to think David Cameron was exactly the figure the Tories needed to get back in the political mainstream. We were right on that, but neither of us expected that at the same time as improving the party’s PR Cameron would also junk about half of conservative thought. David has an essay in today’s Telegraph every word of which I agree with:

There are two main Tory traditions: patricians, who see society as made up of leaders and followers, and themselves as a kindly elite destined to rule, and radicals, who inherited the mantle of J S Mill’s liberalism when the old Liberal Party collapsed in the 20th century. They picture society as a self-governing community reliant on the qualities of its individual members.

David Cameron, it now seems, is a patrician Tory. Although some have likened him to Tony Blair, in truth his emerging policies reveal a person more like Gordon Brown, who combines disdain for the masses with a belief that they need most things done for them by a kindly state, run by people of superior insight.

A few weeks ago, radical Blairites like Stephen Pollard were surmising that a Cameron-led Tory party could be the ideal home for them once Gordon Brown succeeds Tony Blair: a party shorne of the unpleasant image of the past but open to radical liberal economic ideas. Yet even Stephen, who applauds Cameron’s general thrust, is dismayed by his approval of that Stalinist instrument of socialized medical care, the National Health Service. In other words, Cameron is positioning himself to the left of Tony Blair’s right.

The Cameron we have seen as leader is not, it appears, the Cameron we were advertised during the leadership election. I wonder how many of the senior, genuinely conservative figures that backed him in the contest following the unfortunate defeat of Liam Fox’s bid feel the same way. If Cameron is as conservative as many of us were assured he was, he needs to make that apparent soon.

Most Popular

White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More