The Corner

Re: Conservative Revival in the UK

Jonah,

I think if you’d asked me about a year ago I’d have agreed with you. The Conservatives were talking like New Labour and trying to take advantage of the unpopularity of the government that is always associated with a long time in power. It didn’t work, though. After Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair, in September and October last year he was riding high. If he’d called an election then, Brown would have seen Labour re-elected with a bigger majority than Tony Blair and he would have destroyed David Cameron’s claim to be a viable alternative. This concentrated the Conservative mind wonderfully. Starting at the party conference in October last year, the Tories started advancing genuinely conservative policies on tax, crime and education, for example. Yes, Brown proved to have a political ear as tinny as Al Gore’s, but the Tory decontamination of the brand (Cameron’s genuine acheivement) meant that people reacted well to Conservative policies for the first time in 15 years. Boris is a solid conservative (with a small ‘c’) and Labour attempted to use this to paint him as the bastard son of Cruella de Ville and Lord Voldemort. It didn’t work. Nor did people turn to the Liberal Democrats. People are not just tuning out Labour, they are willing to listen to conservatives advancing conservative thought again. And about time, too.

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