Compassionate “One Nation Conservatism” sounds tantalizing and I would like to think, as Dr Alf clearly does, that the spirit of Benjamin Disraeli can be recaptured and that this lofty ideal can be achieved by the Government.
Sadly, I think it is going to be very difficult to achieve because the Government is going to have to have some very difficult conversations with people and do things which will be seen and seized on by the chattering classes and the BBC as unfair.
Let me provide some examples:
1) The trades unions, already smarting at the drubbing that the Labour party received at the election, is about to call a national rail strike, and if I was a betting man I can see more industrial unrest throughout the summer. The Government will have to tighten trades union legislation to deal with “direct action” and as educational reforms are brought in, they will have to move pretty aggressively against trendy head-teachers, left-wing “educationalists” and teachers who are still in denial about how far behind the UK is in relation to state education as compared with our major industrial competitors.
2) Benefit recipients are not going to like the idea of regional benefit caps of the kind that Ian Duncan Smith wants to bring in so they will not feel part of “One Nation”.
3) The Scots are going to have to be politely told that their free lunch under the Barnett Formula is going to come to an end and the Welsh are going to similarly have to experience some long overdue home truths delivered in very stark and stern tones.
4) Some people in the North of England have decided that they would like to join the Scots at the trough of money from southern/London based English taxpayers.
5)The snoopers charter is going to be a sledgehammer to crack a nut and any abuses will upset the natural constituency of the Conservatives.
6) Abolishing the Human Rights Act is going to mean rewriting the Good Friday Agreement and not having its replacement honored north of the Tweed.
7) £32 billion gbp in cuts is not going to be enough to deal with the deficit, unless there is more export growth and that will require building a fire under the business community, who are doing far to little.
8) An overall majority sounds a lot and boundary changes will help but the grim reaper, and possible future defections to other parties will reduce that majority to single figures.
9) The world is a dangerous place and our Tri-Forces are now effectively a “Papal Guard”, lacking aircraft carriers with planes on them, troop numbers and the modern equipment and force packages it takes to fight and win protracted military engagements.
10) At some point, there will probably be a clash in the Middle East, a need to intervene in Africa, and other foreign locations – this could well entail conscription.
At the moment people are loading up their credit cards with debt, are thinking about their upcoming holidays and the Government is enjoying a honeymoon. As surely as tomorrow’s sun will rise that honeymoon will come to a dramatic end.