The Corner

Re: Dan Hannan Scores Last Night’s Debate

In the run-up to the British General Election, Jack and Andrew both have suggested last night’s debate may be a happy turn for David Cameron. Today, The Times reports, Cameron’s so confident of victory, he’s issuing a “contract” of the unoriginal sort Republicans are resurrecting for the 2010 elections here.

I’m sure all good Tories wish Cameron well. But one could argue that a Cameron win might be the worst of all outcomes for the Tories. Call it the sorrow of granted wishes, but if he wins, the Conservatives will run on visionless, unimaginative, timid platforms for years. As Anthony O’Hear puts it in today’s Fortnightly Review:

In the 2010 British general election, we have Conservatives campaigning for Change (their capital letter) and what they called the Big Society, without any hint of shame or embarrassment (and we don’t think they just meant a change of government). We have the Labour (or socialist) party advocating a new nuclear deterrent and foreign wars, after a decade or more of cosseting big business and gaily allowing the gap between the rich and the poor to widen. And the Liberal Democrats tell us they would have nationalised failing banks, while planning forcibly to split up the operations of all banks and to set up a new state bank to direct spending towards its favoured and centrally determined projects.

As I said, party partisans surely would never wish it – and after this last week, it’s a very unlikely outcome, anyway – but I ask Jack and Andrew, is it not possible that the best result for Conservatives next Thursday is a narrow Brown win, with Clegg finishing third?

Denis BoylesDennis Boyles is a writer, editor, former university lecturer, and the author/editor of several books of poetry, travel, history, criticism, and practical advice, including Superior, Nebraska (2008), Design Poetics (1975), ...

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