The vacant centre (part III)
One nation Conservatives. A rare breed in my lifetime, they’re now all but extinct. So while the upper echelons of the Tory party are generally more socially liberal than they were 20-30 years ago, they’re economically far more hawkish.
You don’t have to be a Marxist to make a connection between the general economic situation of the country and the welfare of its citizens, as John Major notes:
Everyone in receipt of benefits is not a scrounger. Of course idlers and scroungers exist – and governments are entirely right to root out the cheats who rip off the taxpayer. But the focus must not be only on those who abuse the system; we need equal concentration on those who are failed by the system. ‘Shocking’ inequality levels in Britain must be addressed, says John Major
As we know, the centre has shifted. This is through a process of both redefining commonsense as it applies to me rather than the country as a whole (I/we must pay off my debts), and allowing it to blindly dictate policy, even though it makes absolutely no sense economically.
I never fail to marvel at the utter uselesness of the Labour party to redefine the centre; instead, it’s left to former Liberal leaders, relatively sane Tories and John Major to knock the ball into a wholly empty net, while our Cruddases and Danczuks bang on about social policy when there is no money around.