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Sunday 8 March 2015

What’s Good About The Good Right?

Those out there on the right have, it seems, an inexhaustible appetite for new ideas to sell an already sceptical and jaded public their wares. And adding to all the whizzo wheezes has come The Good Right, a mission to tell anyone who is listening of all the really great things that Conservatives do, like, er, oh I dunno, how about shameless self-promotion? Sadly, though, this is just the same right wing fluid in a differently labelled bottle.
The Good Right appears to be a joint venture mainly featuring Stephan Shakespeare, who you can find at places like ConHome, and Murdoch loyalist Tim Montgomerie. The website suggests a fresh approach to politics. But one look at the kinds of subjects on offer shows that this is nothing of the sort: more attacks on Mil The Younger and claims that the left “has lost the moral high ground” will win no converts.

There will be very few persuaded by “David Cameron’s Top Ten Moral Achievements” who are not already Conservatives. Telling the world that Michael “Oiky” Gove is to launch The New Right will act more as a repellant. Trying to tell that Mrs T’s less felicitous moments didn’t really mean what it is bloody obvious they really did mean is unlikely to win adherents. And don’t even think about mentioning Iain Duncan Cough.

Conservatives, Monty argues, must “stand in the middle”. But they do not, and nor will they any time this side of hell freezing over. This was more than adequately demonstrated to him on the BBC’s Daily Politics by the presence of the IEA’s Ryan Bourne, who clearly deems the idea of constructive Government intervention to be ideologically unsound. New rail links? The IEA wants to concrete over the ones we’ve already got.

On one point Monty is right: the Tories have not won an election outright since 1992, and to many, the party is seen as uncaring, a repository for those who, let us not drive this one around the houses for too long, don’t give a flying foxtrot about the have-nots. His and Shakespeare’s initiative will not change that mindset - and it is a mindset problem - one jot. This is an interesting idea which, however, has no mileage in it.

And it is not helped by one of its principals being unable to get real on one of the subjects brought up in that promo for the Daily Politics: “Who will need HS2?” asks Monty, while linking to an article about driverless cars. The idea that there is some kind of equivalence between HS2, linking London, the West and East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West with trains travelling at up to 200mph, and energy-inefficient road vehicles is laughable.

It is for Monty a question of judgment on both issues: he’s not thought through the issue of driverless cars, and nor has he thought through what underpins The Good Right. And what underpins his ideas for modern Conservatism is something that most of the modern Conservative movement will not accept. He can plead all he likes, but Bourne and his pals are sufficient in number and influence to stop Monty dead in his tracks.

It was hardly worth his while setting up The Good Right. It is going precisely nowhere.


Nick said...

And here's Montgomerie failing to read something before deciding he disagrees with it http://www.nickbarlow.com/blog/?p=3923

Surely there must come a point when it's actually harder for him to be so wilfully obtuse than it is to educate himself on issues?

Arnold said...

Do not go gentle into that Good Right.
Rage, rage against its line of shite.