Thanks to Stephen Pollard's link, I've just caught up with David Aaronovitch's column demolishing London's bien pensants. Yes, the "Dinner Party" is a neat way to sum up their allegiances.
Elections bring out the tribal element in all of us, of course. As you may have guessed, if I had to put a label on myself, I'd call myself a neo-con, but that doesn't mean I feel comfortable thinking of myself as a capital-letter conservative. As a matter of fact, the last election was the very first time I voted Tory. It's hard to shake off blue-collar loyalties - I joined the Labour Party when I was sixteen, and didn't drift away until a few years ago. One of the things that attracted me to neo-cons in the first place - in their Public Interest guise that is - is that they realised how much damage the radical Left's agenda was inflicting on the weakest in society. Aside from Norman Podhoretz, my favourite neo-con from that era would have been Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a man who probably wouldn't have liked being called by the N-word in the first place.
Who to support this time? I don't think I could bring myself to vote against Tony Blair after all he's put himself through on Iraq. If David Davis were the Tory leader, I might be tempted: he seems to represent a new breed of classless conservatism. But Michael Howard? I'm sorry - I don't think I can do it. I thought he was a good Home Secretary, I don't object to his campaign on immigration (for more on the importance of race in this campaign, see Alice Miles's Times column.) And I can see he's very clever. But maybe that's the problem. Only someone who was very clever would have tried to undercut Blair over Iraq by quibbling over the wording of a parliamentary motion. Sad to say, MH always looks to me like he's running for president of the Cambridge Union. When I saw him leading the "Up, up, up..." chant in the Commons yesterday, I just cringed. While that kind of thing may work well with the Westminster crowd, the Opposition MPs sounded like over-excited fans at a bowls tournament.
On the other hand, I live in a marginal, and I'm desperate not to see the Lib Dems sneak in. And a Labour vote counts for nothing here. Ah, life is so complicated....
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/04/ballot-box-thanks-to-stephen-pollards.html|||4/07/2005 03:47:00 pm|||||||||