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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Even Heffer gets it

Simon Heffer's piece in the Telegraph this morning makes refreshing reading.

The mood in Britain is, to use a favourite Cameron word, changing. People feel too highly taxed. They see an intrusive state that interferes and regulates too much and gives them bad value. They want that changed. The Tories don't grasp this.

They don't see that with more than six million on the public payroll and at least another four million on full-time benefits - not to mention their dependents - the client state is huge, and (thanks to the sectarian governance of Mr Brown) full of reasons to vote once more for this lying, incompetent Government.

The country is angry at the way it is treated by its politicians. But that anger is directed as much at the Tories for their inability to be a serious alternative as it is at Labour for its delinquency.
Both the Labour and Tory parties are dying, and both are, to use that horrid Californian phrase, in denial. Of an electorate of 40m, 98.7% are not members of one of the big three parties. 16m voters boycotted the last two general elections. The nation is heartily sick of the political class. Labour is probably now down to about 150,000 voting members - the National Trust has three and a half million. Despite all Cameron's posturing, a back-door deal with Brown on State party funding seems almost inevitable, and will inevitably also drive down even further (if possible) the public reputation of politicians in a self-destructive downward spiral of delusion and self-interest.

Heffer has the measure of it. If Cameron truly believes in the stable democratic future of this country - and I think he does - then he must, to use another cliche, break the mould of British politics, even if the price of so doing is the ending of the cosy relationship between the moribund central parties and the moribund central State. The answer is obvious, and the answer is Local.

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