By John Charles Dyer, UK Correspondent
10 Oct 12.
Prime Minister David Cameron closed the Conservative Party Conference with a reaffirmation of the faith of a “compassionate” Conservative. It was as if the gods in their infinite compassion for their creation had come down from Eton to dwell among their unwashed Plebs, there to take up the gentleman's burden to spread privilege through loving discipline.
Objectively, it was the climax to a conference all about the Conservative Party repositioning to the Conservative Right in order to at least preserve as many seats as possible -- if not win an outright majority-- in a general election that may come even sooner than 2015. His partners, the Liberal Democrats, did not receive a single mention. In construction it was almost in its entirety a response to Labour Leader Ed Milliband's thrown gauntlet.
In short, the fight is on.
It was also a pitch for confidence in Cameron's leadership at a time when Cameron's Party is not so sure.
Subjectively I saw the speech as illustrating the very theme of out of touch, privileged public school boy Cameron hoped to dispel.
Cameron confirmed he wants to remake British education in the image of his own at Eton. He argued this proved a commitment to "spread" privilege not protect it. But in the very telling, Cameron assumed privilege was what everyone of any value to society wants.
Conservatives recommit to staying the course
Cameron argued the government is “on the right track.” Yes, it is difficult. Challenging in fact. In fact, if Britain doesn’t do what Cameron wants, Britain will be left behind, to idle in the economic backwaters, history. Cameron argued he and the Conservative Party were the Party of “doers,” on the side of doers (aka “strivers” aka “aspiration nation” Britain).
The verdict of a "Striver"
I was until my retirement one of Cameron's "doers." I routinely worked 70-80 hours per week. I worked hard. I strove to serve, to be responsible, to make a difference. The point isn’t “what a good boy am I.” The point is, I was and am the kind of person Mr. Cameron says he is for, for whom Cameron says he speaks.
But Mr. Cameron does not speak for me.
Cameron’s policies aren’t policies I endorse. They do not please me. I do not find his words honeyed. I find them twisted.
I find his actions more twisted than his words.
I know Cameron does nothing to make work pay. He calculates people like me will be pleased he is cutting other people's resources below the lowest paid in British working society.
I know he does nothing for British business. Arguing for an unbridled license to fire will not improve the British economy.
Nor will it make work pay.
How does trading employment rights for shares in a start up that probably will fail, valued by the entrepreneur who may fire at will, make work pay? It doesn’t.
How does glutting the job market with qualified people who can't find full time work make work pay? It doesn't. How does cutting pensions making work pay? It doesn't.
Cameron is actually depressing wages in the blind pursuit of a doctrine he calls “competitiveness” with developing nations.
As for Cameron's self-vaunted “compassion,” he confuses a gentleman’s "noblesse obligee" with compassion. The "Gentleman's Burden" hasn't changed since early Victorian times, as Ian Hyslop demonstrated just the night before Cameron's speech in a BBC programme on the British "stiff upper lip."
The disabled are not Ian Duncan Smith's gentleman’s burden. They aren't the wayward "work-shy" for Cameron and Smith to “reform.” They are disabled.
Activists claim an estimated 10,600 disabled have died after a government ATOS work assessment found them “fit for work.” Whatever the actuals may turn out to be, both BBC Panorama and Channel 4 Dispatches exposed the provable deceptiveness of the process 71 days prior to Cameron's speech. Everyone in ATOS, the Cabinet and Britain are "on notice" of that and that it has caused actual damage, possibly contributed to premature deaths, almost certainly contributed to suicides, and without a doubt has been incorrect as to thousands assessed.
The jobless are not jobless because degenerate and lacking in a gentleman's discipline. A third of the work force not only cannot get full time work, they have no reasonable prospect of getting it any time in the foreseeable future. Even the IMF rates growth under Cameron's sacred Plan A at the lowest of any developed nation.
It isn’t even noblesse obligee.
It is delusion. It is unconscionable demeaning of the disabled in order to pave the way to degrade the social infrastructure that undergirds British society. It is, to use straight Anglo-Saxon, wrong.
It isn't really fooling anyone.
The clear reality even to Conservatives of many years standing, who are not a part of Cameron’s in crowd, is that the Conservative Party under Cameron will discard anyone as a “something for nothing” drag on their position when that person has no further use to offer them. The British public seem to be figuring this out, as reflected in the widening Labour poll lead. Even business seems to now realize there is no light at the end of the long tunnel into which Cameron and his Party lead.
There is only a deep and profoundly cold darkness in which even the light of conscience itself extinguishes.