Friday, December 09, 2005

BBC Promotes Tory Eco-Warriors


As we've posted elsewhere, we wish David Cameron well as Tory leader, even though he wasn't our choice.

For us voting Party members, what he offered was the chance to secure a much softer, "more modern" image, particularly in the media. Early days yet, but it does seem to be playing extraordinarily well.

This morning R4 Today led their news bulletins with a highly approving report of DC's commitment to the environment, and the appointment of his new eco-team, including the "widely respected" John Selwyn Gummer. When the BBC bigs up a Major era retread who once tried to forcefeed his young daughter a mysterymeat burger for the cameras, you know something has really changed.

And DC was also the interviewee for the flagship 8.10 slot with Humphrys, who duly delivered a series of underarm balls. Which for us Tories is all excellent stuff.

Except...well, let's be honest- the only reason the BBC is doing this is because we are taking up their policy agenda, in this case the environment. Our £3bn pa tax-funded state broadcaster is once again abusing its power to promote anti-market policies it approves of. And just because we Tories are now the beneficiaries don't make it right. (For a robust alternative view of DC's position on Kyoto, see Professor Emeritus Philip Stott's excellent Envirospin Watch).

Anatole Kaletsky casts an even darker pall of gloom: "The Tories have chosen the right man – and what a disaster that will be":

'Mr Cameron and his supporters believe that the Tories keep losing elections because of their nasty, old-fashioned image. Their strategy, therefore, is not to fight actively for power by offering a clear alternative to Labour, but to minimise political differences and emphasise their superior manners and style. Mr Cameron represents the victory not of Blairite ideology but of Mandelson-Campbell spin: the ultimate triumph of style over substance.'

Which is precisely why we want DC to be strong. Surely he's not going to be driven primarily by what plays well on the BBC, and we can't believe he will allow himself to be characterised as a policy eunuch as Kaletsky implies.

We need ideas that will change our country. Not more of the same.

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