December 6, 2005


Brown promises to be 'Blairite' (BBC, 12/05/05)

Chancellor Gordon Brown has told the BBC he would run a Blairite administration if he becomes prime minister when Tony Blair steps down.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today he would lead a reforming Labour Party, which encouraged an entrepreneurial economy.

Pressed to say whether this meant a Brown administration would be Blairite, the chancellor replied: "Exactly."

A Party of Accountants (Chris Pope, American Enterprise)
The British Conservative Party needs a purpose. Although an ambitious chancellor and a disgruntled party currently threaten Tony Blair, his leadership—for all intents and purposes—hasn’t been challenged in a decade. Meanwhile, the Tories are looking for their fifth chief in just eight years. Their problem is not only that they need a new face, but that they must find a new spirit.

The Tories’ frustrations are familiar. They wonder why Thatcherism is not rewarded for the prosperity and social stability it bequeathed to Britain. [...]

While New Labor framed the debate of the 1990s as between the values of “caring” and “uncaring,” post-Blair Conservatives should redefine the political battleground. They should challenge the British public to higher objectives, rejecting the cultural nihilism that has abandoned town centers to the proclivities of drunken teenagers and has been unable to offer the appeal of more productive ventures. When Muslim immigrants reject such a society, they can hardly be blamed for not willing to be “more British.”

And so that should be the goal of British Conservatives. It should not be to harangue newcomers into patriotism, but to awaken their desire to be part of the nation. The Conservative Party may have many intelligent policies, but it should sell a vision rather than a balance sheet. School choice may provide freedom and higher standards, but it opens the path to inspiration. Tax cuts may increase efficiency and responsibility, but they are the engine of growth and leadership in Europe. A strong foreign policy may keep us safe and free, but it is also the way to leave a legacy.

The Conservatives should not worry about concerns that a party of accountants is not sexy enough. What it really lacks is a soul.

Having lost the economic aspects of Thatcherism to Tony Blair, what other option do Tories have but a return to traditional British culture and opposition to Europe?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 6, 2005 7:42 AM

Liberte, Egalite, Blairite!?

I suspect that France, in spite of everything, is also leaning in that direction. Which is the reason that the enterprising Chirac, Villepin & Co. must make blocking Sarkozy their prime directive.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 6, 2005 9:21 AM

They've just elected Cameron (as near a Blair-clone as they could produce).

Posted by: Brit at December 6, 2005 10:16 AM