Tuesday, February 22, 2005


If you're not reading Blimpish... you're missing something. Something very English and very smart. Blimpish on the BBC:
the problem with the BBC is not a conscious attempt to indoctrinate the viewer, but the uncritical parroting of media elite conventional wisdom.
Our own CBC has exactly the same problem. Created to be different and objective, it is more than anything else a slave to the tastes of Upper Canada (geographical, ideological and class). Blimpish on the what the future holds for the Left:
I remain firm in my belief that the next intellectual stage for the Left will be some pure form of libertarian individualism. They're already way on their way there: for the Left's base, values issues - pro-choice, multiculturalist, etc. - are extremely important... It's just that they get hung up on the economic policy stuff which is all settled for most people. When it comes to the questions raised by biotechnology - stem cells less important here than genetic engineering or cloning - then the real question will be between those (many of whom currently identify with the Right) who believe there should be no limits on how individual will, and those who believe that the State has the right to defend society by limiting technological innovation. This will be the last conflict between the modern egocentric autonomous self and the more classic view, that our being and nature is something given.
and the Right:
There are those who say that British conservatism can never replicate American conservatism, and they are right. Certainly, we couldn't jump in and copy the GOP's current platform - let alone the God-speak, which would be looked upon as extremely nutty. Abortion's a non-starter, and fighting gun control - well, most people have never touched a firearm in their life. Unfortunately, the party's already given on gay marriage (admittedly not full-blooded) - it was left to the House of Lords backbenchers to play their very clever game on the Civil Partnerships Bill.

So, yes, different. But not all that different - the basic themes of personal responsibility to go with personal freedom, cultural conservatism (i.e., defending the common-sense values of the majority), and democratic nationalism can work, even if they come through different conceptual packaging to fit our concerns. There are issues out there - crime and punishment, immigration and asylum, the growth of the multiculti state, rising taxes, and (softly softly) Europe.

This isn't a short-term game - it requires forming a coherent narrative about what's wrong with our country, and what's right with it, and hammering it through to the public again and again over a number of years. It might even require going out on a limb to be roundly smashed at an election, just to get the message out (like Goldwater reaching the South). It most of all requires leadership and a willingness to win... and sadly, they seem to be the things most lacking in the party.

And on Canada:
Although Canada has a strong conservative constituency in the west, the liberal elite (like we all know and love) has made much greater strides with the bizarro PC-feminist-multiculturalist-Tranzi [transnational] agenda, to the point where being of conservative mind will probably soon be a serious felony... David Frum and Mark Steyn are obviously just getting their asylum claim in early.
He's also the kind of commenter you'd like to have... if you have lots of time on your hands. There's an excellent summary of the history of the Anglican Church to be had here. I found the comments on the possible future of the Left and Right to very interesting. I fear his comments about what the left needs to do to succeed ring very true to my own experiences in talking with people who would vote left if they didn't feel it was stuck in a 60's timewarp. I also find what that sort of party would represent more than a little creepy. It would be a party of atomization that could peel a good number of so called small "c" conservatives into it's ranks. More encouragingly, if the comments on the right pan out, we in Canada had our "smash" in 1993, even if the jury is out on what that meant. We ought to be creating and hard selling a new vision for Canada, one that allows us to claim the mantle of virtue and vision. I think the squeal Stephen Harper got from the Liberals last week was a good sign. When he mentioned various human rights errors that occurred under the Liberal Party he was right on the money. Don't apologize for it. It was an attempt to grab that sceptre of virtue and vision and the squeal indicates that the Libs knew it ("the lady doth protest too much"). With the upcoming policy convention, we will soon know if the Tories will be able to articulate a vision for the country (capitalism good, gays bad, will not do; neither will "I'm not a Liberal"). Myself, I would make hay with the words "strong" and "free." Come to think of it, "stand on guard" might do all right as well.

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