It was not too much of a surprise over the weekend to see the Tory undead wake from their slumber to criticise David Cameron on his decision to remove the Conservatives from the European People’s Party, and shift to the non-attached – that murky layer utilised by detached fascists and cretinous cro-magnon (the sophomoric, the asinine yada yada).
I was hardly surprised at the time because I knew there were mildly pro-European Tories, and that even the likes of Ken Clarke didn’t like the sound of those “neo-fascists” and “cranks”.
But Bob Piper’s slating of Jackie Ashley’s article on a centre left coalition made me think about the weekend reporting again. If, as Piper states against Ashley’s thinking, those “centre-right Cameroonies” look to be as congruent with any Lib-Lab centre, does this not mean that the government and the opposition have both moved into a political no man’s land?
For sure Cameron doesn’t belong in that strata of coalition for he doesn’t fit the criteria given by Ashley, that of “pro-welfare, mildly pro-European and support[ing] constitutional reform, including PR”. But certainly some Tories do fit this bill.
So how did this remind me of the weekend reports; there operates in Cameron’s Tories a sagging group of grump’s that don’t conform to his vision, those that I once thought occupied the right of the Tory party. But I’m having second thoughts. Perhaps it is Cameron who is on the traditional right of the Conservatives, and a wallowing group, maybe even unbeknownst to them, have shifted naturally to that point Piper identifies as being the space occupied by “Jackie Ashley, Martin Bright, Polly Toynbee and the rest of the chattering classes on their cocktail circuit.” The point where elections seem pointless since all major parties meet head on there.
To be sure, if Piper is correct – and I really rather suspect he is – that all party rebels are in the same shoes (dwindling in that so-called “centre”), the two main party leaders – Brown and Cameron – are to the right of them.
Which means that a space needs filling on both the left of those leaders, and of that political no mans land that occupies that so-called “centre” (but which I suspect is just a meeting of “unrelated solutions” as Piper has it), and since Nick Clegg is the political homo sacer, that left space can be filled by someone of the Labour Party willing to trump the wrongdoings of the last 20 or so years…