Conservative Commentary
Recent Referrers
Great Weblogs
The Enemy Within
"We admire the development of the peace movement around the world in the last few years. We pray to God to empower all those working against war." - Saddam Hussein, February 2003

Saturday, March 01, 2003  

Another literate Brit joins the political blogosphere

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT SUPPORTER Nick Barlow has an interesting blog, which he began this year. I can't say I agreed with, well, any of it, and Nick is awfully disparaging of those not of his ideological leanings. But the rarity of a left-wing BritBlog (and a Lib Dem one, no less), combined with the site's good writing and interesting analysis, makes it well worth visiting.

Incidentally, I keep running into fairly well established British political weblogs and wondering how they managed to go on so long without my finding them. If you run such a thing and you are not linked by this page, it is almost certainly because I don't know you exist. Please email me and I shall correct it. And if it wouldn't kill you, perhaps you could even link back to me.

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 23:17 | Permanent Link |

Quote of the Day

"When people ask 'What has Saddam done to us?' I ask 'What had the 9/11 hijackers done to us before 9/11?'" - Fred Thompson

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 02:01 | Permanent Link |

Friday, February 28, 2003  

Quote of the Day

"After meeting with Hitler people felt that he, the Foehrer, could achieve anything. But when people met Churchill they felt that they themselves could achieve anything." - Andrew Roberts

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 20:49 | Permanent Link |

Thursday, February 27, 2003  

9/11 has split Labour - can the Tories reap the rewards?

FASCINATING CONTEMPLATIVE PIECE over at Samizdata from Brian Micklethwait, in which he argues that party unity matters to the British people even more than the right policies, and so the extent to which parties can stay united shapes the whole of politics more than the issues in question. He contends that they would rather vote for a party united in doing the wrong thing than one divided about how to do the right thing. This is why the Tories have been in such trouble ever since the fall of communism - Europe has been the issue. But the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 have changed all of that, and this should offer hope to the Conservatives.

But now, post 9/11, the issue is no longer Europe. The issue is, to put it bluntly: the USA. Well, not the USA as such, merely its policy of choosing actively to prosecute the War Against Terror (i.e. against terrorists) rather than just hoping that terrorism and terrorists will go away. President Bush has decided to hunt them varmints until there ain't none left, and what's more to hunt down the no-good preachers who are stirring them all up, and if Europe don't like it, too bad for Europe. As Bush said - in one of those scary speeches he made soon after 9/11, which sophisticated Europeans ignored as the gaseous emissions of a politician seeking mere poll numbers and re-election, but which Bush himself actually, it is now turning out, meant - either you're with us or you're agin' us. That is now the Big Question.

And it so happens that the Conservatives are united in being with George Bush, less a few freakish europhiliac grumblers, while Labour is catastrophically divided about the War Against Terror (in the form that the Americans are now choosing to fight it), as today's dramas in the House of Commons have now made very clear.

If it is true, as I found myself saying last week, that this War Against Terror thing is not just going to be an episode, but maybe something more like an era, then to that exact degree the news is now a lot better for the Conservatives.

It's very annoying to hear a very good idea and wonder why you didn't think of it first. So equally, I take some pride in coming to a not too different conclusion myself about the way the war on terror is affecting British politics. I still hope to write it, so I won't say too much, but essentially I would argue that the war on terror has armed the Left with a new and not unpopular form of rhetoric and argument: anti-American, anti-Israel and sympathetic to terrorists. Such people dominate the Labour Party today, and this dominance makes them the true "nasty party", and threatens Labour's respectability and electoral success for the future.

Whether Brian is right or I am, and I do have some reservations about his idea that unity always matter most to the voters, it's very interesting to see such ideas emerge. Like him, I do not think the terrorist threat is going to go away in our generation. However much it may be diminished, I don't think it will reach pre-9/11 levels until Blair and Brown and the like have long been on the House of Lords benches. Whichever scenario is the truer, and they are far from mutually exclusive, I think the Labour Party is increasingly faced with very real obstacles to unity and success, and that can only be good for Britain. ®

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 22:19 | Permanent Link |

Ashcroft works to save lives daily, and has been a remarkable success

TOWNHALL HAS A great column today from Ben Shapiro on John Ashcroft, America's oft-abused Attorney General. Called everything from 'Ayatollah' to 'AshKKKroft', his critics never let up, his deeply held religious convictions and intelligence work to break up terrorist networks offending leftist secularists and civil libertarians alike. But he does a life-saving job skillfully and retains today the unshakeable impression that he had upon entering office - of a supremely decent man. Shapiro praises the work he does.

It is absolutely sickening how much flak Ashcroft takes for defending the American people against terrorism. It was information garnered from the much-maligned Patriot Act that allowed the government to form a case against alleged Islamic Jihad leader Professor Sami al-Arian. Numerous "charities" funneling money to terrorists have been shut down. Between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 14, 2002, over 100 terrorist attacks were prevented. Since Sept. 11, there has been just one terrorist attack on American soil - the July 4, 2002, murder of two Jews at LAX. Terror cells have been broken up in Portland, Buffalo, Chicago and all over the country.

For some perspective, compare Ashcroft's record against that of Janet Reno, his predecessor. Under Reno's lazy eye, terror cells were built throughout the country and terrorist-funding operations were allowed to continue, despite terror attacks occurring on American soil. Reno was too busy deporting Elian Gonzalez, overlooking Clinton administration lawbreaking, and worrying about civil liberty complaints to deal with the imminent terrorist threat.

... John Ashcroft has been entrusted with the most difficult task in the history of the Justice Department. And he is the right man for the job. Unfortunately, he has also been saddled with critics from both left and right. Will those critics stand up for him if he adopts their laissez-faire approach to security and another terrorist attack occurs? If not, they should shut up now and let the man do his job.

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 22:19 | Permanent Link |

The Torygraph will back Letwin

STEPHEN GLOVER PREDICTS that should IDS's position become untenable, the Daily Telegraph will back Oliver Letwin as Conservative Leader. Letwin went to Eton and Cambridge with the Telegraph's editor, Charles Moore, and their visions of conservatism are very much compatible. They are also, I believe, the right direction for the party and country to take. I hope Stephen Glover is correct. ®

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 17:45 | Permanent Link |

The Sharpton problem

ANDREW SULLIVAN WRITES an explanation of why George W. Bush should be pleased at the way things are going for him domestically. In less than two years, he will be up for re-election, and his opposition is divided between moderate candidates ordinary Democrats hate and extremist candidates who can do them nought but harm among the general public. Chief in the latter group is the race-baiting Reverend Al Sharpton, who in 1995 incited seven murders of workers in a Jewish-owned shop, the same number of abortionists who have been murdered in the thirty years Roe vs. Wade has been law.

[I]n some ways, Sharpton is the natural consequence of the Democrats' racial strategy of the last twenty years. By supporting affirmative action, by playing hardball racial politics, and by portraying the Republicans as almost modern day members of the Ku Klux Klan, the Democrats have succeeded in scaring around 90 percent of African-Americans to vote for them. But these racial appeals have also alienated whites - especially in the South and Midwest - leaving Democrats increasingly dependent on the minority vote. If the Democrats only won 70 rather than 90 percent of the black vote, the Republicans would own the Congress and the White House for a long time.

Bill Clinton effortlessly squared these circles. He was able to appeal to centrist whites with his moderate liberalism, while managing to persuade African-Americans, by his social ease among blacks and Southern charm, that he was essentially one of them. But he never cultivated independent black leaders in his party the way George W. Bush has done in his. And so when Clinton left, there was no figure to fill the void, black or white. Gore largely kept the black vote by shrill racist appeals (one NAACP campaign ad likened George Bush to a lyncher in the last campaign) and by his association with Clinton. But none of the current white candidates - from the dour John Kerry to the slick John Edwards - has a real rapport with black voters.

So the Democrats are stuck with Sharpton, whether they like him or not.

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 17:45 | Permanent Link |

Free enterprise, not protectionism, is the hand-up the third world needs

IN ITS DECLINE, Christianity in England does not attempt to rectify its errors, but instead turns more and more towards the primary cause: obsession with leftist politics and social attitudes that alienate all those who take Christian morality seriously. The Spectator reports on the latest such case: support for third world protectionism and industrial subsidies.

Even if other countries do not reciprocate one's trade barriers (a huge if), as a policy they still gradually degrade one's own ability to compete abroad with companies who survive only because their product is good, and not because of any domestic laws banning competition on equal terms from foreigners. Industrial subsidies equally suck up money from competitive areas of the economy to bail out lame ducks, rewarding failure and distorting commercial priorities.

While attempting in vain to out-subsidise the first world will not get third world nations anywhere, free market capitalism and free trade are the fastest, most effective way for any country to escape from poverty. If Christian Aid don't believe that, they should examine the cases of South Korea or Hong Kong and see for themselves. Retreating into a protectionist shell would only ensure further famines, poverty and misery for Africa and the world.

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 16:44 | Permanent Link |

Quote of the Day

"Other diseases kill millions more, but liberals are obsessed with AIDS because it is a consequence of promiscuity."

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 12:25 | Permanent Link |

One to watch

THE TREASURY SELECT COMMITTEE always seems give the Chancellor a good kicking, and this is down to one man: David Ruffley. The Tory MP for Bury St Edmunds, he is extremely skilled in his demolition of Gordon Brown, today pulling teeth from him in relation to the Euro and whether he could be overruled by Blair over joining. Ruffley is certainly one to watch for the future. ®

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 12:25 | Permanent Link |

Wednesday, February 26, 2003  

Quote of the Day

"At the most basic level, the liberal is an adolescent for ever in search of a world without moral consequences."

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 22:33 | Permanent Link |

Blair and IDS may be walking the plank together

IN ADDITION TO noting the size of Labour's rebellion over war, with 122 of the 413 Labour MPs voting against a three-line whip that the case for war has not yet been made, we should also bear in mind that approximately 150 Labour MPs actually make up the government. They would have to vote that way. So taking just the backbenchers, whose vote was free, if not uncoerced, around half of the Parliamentary Labour Party opposes their own government's attitude to Iraq, without a second UN resolution having yet been refused. This is a huge chunk of the party, and we should not kid ourselves about how precarious Tony Blair's position is. As was noted by the BBC today, now must be the first time in living memory that both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader were simultaneously in such danger of losing their jobs. ®

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 21:13 | Permanent Link |

Tuesday, February 25, 2003  

Quote of the Day

"A simple question: how do you make a missile that looks like a vagina?" - Andrew Sullivan on the feminazis who see missiles as subtle symbols of male supremacy

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 22:08 | Permanent Link |

Monday, February 24, 2003  

If IDS must go, let Letwin succeed him

BRUCE ANDERSON SEEMS convinced that Iain Duncan Smith will soon fall. His choice for the Tory Leadership is Oliver Letwin, if he can only be persuaded to seek it. About this at least, I think he is right. Of the present Shadow Cabinet, Letwin is I think the most impressive. Young, moderate, likeable and seemingly very suited to the modern political age, Letwin is the man I would support as leader were IDS to quit tomorrow. I'd urge all Conservatives to do the same.

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 16:10 | Permanent Link |

Why a liberal Rush never works

THOMAS SOWELL, Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter all respond to the beginnings of the latest liberal attempt to make a go of the talk radio market. They all take its failure, like those of Jim Hightower and Mario Cuomo, for granted, and analyse why it is that conservative talk radio does so much better. That television media is so liberal-biased, that when facts see the light of day, the response is usually a conservative one, that liberalism is a coalition of offended minorities who cannot be joked about, and that liberals cannot really thrive in a medium where the ordinary listener can call in and answer back right away, are all touched upon. But there is agreement among them all about the most basic reason for its failure - liberal ideas themselves don't have many takers. Thomas Sowell explains:

Conservative politicians may run on their conservative ideas, but liberal politicians do not get elected by running on liberalism. Indeed, a major part of most liberal election campaigns usually consist of trying to appear to be something other than liberals. Then, when their liberal past is exposed, there is great complaint in the media about "negative advertising."

The last Democrat to get elected president on an openly liberal platform was Lyndon B. Johnson, nearly 40 years ago. Since then, both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have won with a pretense of moderation. Walter Mondale lost in a landslide in 1984, when he tried to run as an openly liberal politician - out of the closet, as it were.

The typical liberal politician is soft on criminals, weak on defense, and ready to tax the daylights out of those who produce, in order to dispense largesse to parasites, rich and poor alike. The public isn't buying it. Indeed, liberal politicians aren't trying to sell it very much.

Posted by Peter Cuthbertson | 10:32 | Permanent Link |
Click to visit the web page of Peter Hitchens

The first counter (top right of this page) tracks the total number of hits the site gets. The second tracks the number of individual visits. If you refresh this page, the value on the first counter will increase because you viewed the page again, but that on the second will not, because it is the same visit.

Search WWW Search

Link of the Week
Great Sites
Tory Party