Sunday, November 04, 2007

The end of the world.

Here I am, stuck in the 21st century with no way back... hidden away like an
embarrassing family secret.
Quotes from Nigel's blog, but actually about his decision to throw away his vinyl LPs and go completely digital.

They could also be about his current outburst, harking back to an early age when the Tories were the nasty party and 'Enoch Powell was right.' Ironically, Nigel cites Bob Marley and UB40 as musical influences, so perhaps he was indulging in something other than alcohol - too much Red Red Wine, perhaps?

Should we be surprised? Only a few weeks back, Nigel was hinting at support for a return to the old days when we'd hang people.

Before the abolition of capital punishment, murderers were hanged. They didn’t return to haunt us 12 years later claiming their human rights have been breached because we don’t want them in this country any more... Before they abolished the death penalty, the legal system was there to protect law-abiding citizens. Criminals were treated with the contempt they deserved. The idea that they had “human rights” beyond the very bare minimum would have been laughed out of court. Today, it’s the murderers who come first... When they abolished capital punishment, the Labour Government of the day promised that a life sentence would mean just that.
Ah - the fresh air of the 1950s blasting into modern politics and he even manages to blame Labour for the end of executions. It's probably our fault that we stopped doing them in public. But there's more

European-wide human rights were only introduced because most of the EU states endured brutal dictatorships during the 20th century.We didn’t, so there was never any need for such protection here. Labour gave us human rights anyway.
Human rights, incidentally, formulated largely by Conservative lawyers after the Second World War. I'd take issue with human rights being 'introduced' - some may argue that they were previously restricted, rather than being a new idea.

Oh, but there's more.

Our politically correct PCs in their patrol cars are just glorified social workers only too happy to hug a hoodie
No, Nigel - that was Dave. Your leader? Remember?

So, demanding the return of capital punishment, being anti-EU, anti-Human Rights - so far, so old Tory. What about the smoking ban? He's agin it.

We never voted for this epoch-making change. We were never even consulted. Yet here we are facing up to the fact that from now on, our lives will change fundamentally.
And yet,

It is difficult to make a convincing case against the smoking ban except to assert the dubious merits of personal liberty. I end up saying I should be allowed to kill myself in my own way without the interference of the State.
Whereas there is a striking case to be made for the health of the workers who are subjected to people's smoke in pubs and restaurants - not least that there has already been a drop in related illnesses where the ban has been in force for a while.

Nigel has form for dropping bricks that hurt his party, though.

In 2001, I had my own brief experience as a victim of Blair's media manipulation.Alastair Campbell provided him with a series of quotes from an article I wrote. They were partial and highly-selective but deployed in the House of Commons they were able briefly to wrong-foot William Hague, then leader of the Conservative Party.It was a humiliating time for me. And while for everyone else it was a brief moment in the passing show, it’s something I’ve had to live with ever since. Even now, it gets brought up and used against me.
Well, let's remind you of what the then PPC for Edgbaston, prior to the accession of the Blessed Deirdre, was quoted as saying by Tony

Yesterday, Mr. Hastilow said: For many voters and most of the media, the Conservative Party is a lost cause. On the economy, Mr. Hastilow--should we call him Nigel?--provided the answer to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) when he said that we've never had it so good . . . people are prospering, unemployment is falling, interest rates are low. There's nothing much to worry about. Mr. Hastilow provides a rather more accurate summary of the economy than does the Leader of the Opposition
Funny that a former editor of the Birmingham Post can be so incautious about what he says, really. You would have thought that of all people, he'd know better.

He still finds time to lay into politically correct attitudes as well

This is good news for the rest of us as there is only one thing worse than being an oppressed minority in Blair’s Britain. And that is not being an oppressed minority. And under the age discrimination laws, we will all be members of an oppressed minority except blokes of 37. Moslems are using the latest terrorism scare to issue new demands and no doubt our Government will bend over backwards to accommodate them. Yet, actually, most members of ethnic minority groups have never had it so good. As a white, heterosexual, middle-class, middle-aged man I am in the unusual position of being in the most discriminated-against group of all.
So, should we be surprised when Mr Hastilow makes comments like these in print?

When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration.
Many insist: 'Enoch Powell was right'. Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 'rivers of blood' speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right. It has changed dramatically... They have more or less given up complaining about the way we roll out the red carpet for foreigners while leaving the locals to fend for themselves.

He's a throwback - and should be chucked straight back into the pond by the party. Powell was wrong on this issue - he knew exactly what he was saying, but made an intemperate speech that fired up the far right in this country.

Hastilow clearly hasn't learnt that if you keeping blowing dog whistles, you can't complain if the hounds pursue you.


Simon said...

While I agree that a truly moderate centrist party would kick Mr Hastilow out, the reality is that the Conservatives have sustained themselves in the West Midlands conurbation by keeping quirky populists rightists like him within the tent.

So while it would be morally sensible to eject him, from their point of view it would be politically insensible to do so.

I predict the issuing of a 'clarification' and the retention of Hastilow as candidate.

Simon said...

Oh, apparently he's resigned. Wrong again then.