book review of phillip blond’s ‘red tory’

by Sebastian Wright

Two events intervened just prior to my reading of Phillip Blond’s ‘Red Tory‘, which made me doubt the necessity of the exercise. The first was the publication of Jonathan Raban’s wonderfully enjoyable lampooning of it in the London Review of Books, under the title of ‘Cameron’s Crank‘. Whilst Raban is a bit hard on Blond’s writing skills (personally, I think the book is pretty well written; its more the dubious intellectualism at fault) he does a great job of cutting to heart of the parochial, nostalgic sentiment that prevails throughout. In the same issue of the LRB, John Gray reviews a book by Tim Bale on the Conservatives from Thatcher to Cameron, and concurs with Bale’s assessment that, in regard to the Red Tory retreat to socially conservative anti-liberalism, ‘Conservatism of this kind spells potential disaster for Cameron and his party.’

Phillip Blond, Red Tory-in-chief

Which leads to the second point. This ‘disaster’ seems to be unfolding in front of our very eyes. With the Blond-inspired ‘Big Society’ idea apparently falling flat on the election trail, and inverse rhetoric about the ‘broken society’ also not winning over many fans, Cameron has recently decided to adopt a tougher, more conventional Conservative message, evident in the Conservative party’s billboard promising to cut the benefits of those who refuse to work. Continue reading “book review of phillip blond’s ‘red tory’”

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we’re not ‘all in it together’: no to austerity britain!

editorial of The Commune

The message hammered home at the Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat conferences was clear: ‘we’ have been living beyond our means and now have to accept slashed public spending to steady the ship of state.

cameronpoints

While a few months ago even the mainstream press railed against the excesses of the City of London and corrupt MPs, today their fire is directed almost solely against working-class living standards. The only questions on the papers’ and pollsters’ agenda are ‘what should be cut?’ and ‘who do you trust most to make the right cuts?’. Continue reading “we’re not ‘all in it together’: no to austerity britain!”

the tories: what are they planning, and are we ready for them?

21st September London ‘uncaptive minds’ forum

Polls put the Tories ahead of Labour by 17% and heading for a 100 seat majority at the coming general election. All indications are that we are heading for a Tory government by next summer.

camerontoryconf

When the Tories were last in power, Thatcher and Major led a vicious 18-year capitalist offensive against the working class, and the anti-union laws they introduced remain to this day under Gordon Brown. They restructured industry, created mass unemployment, scapegoated the poor and casualised labour.

We have every reason to worry: but what is the Tory agenda today? Are we ready for the challenge? The Commune is hosting a public forum to discuss these questions, and all are welcome. Continue reading “the tories: what are they planning, and are we ready for them?”