It summed up the state of our democratic politics today. Prime Minister Theresa May dancing up to the podium at her Party’s annual conference this week – more concerned for her reputation than getting our country Right.
It turned out to be a very good conference for Theresa May: the faithful felt sorry for her after the Salzburg humiliation when her EU friends let her down; and the Tories unite around their Leader in difficult times.
She and her advisers came up with the goods on the day of the great performance – her closing speech. It was all there: the warm up act by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to get the Brexit sentiments of grass roots Conservatives on side before her appearance.
Then she danced on stage to Abba’s major hit single from way back in her youth, Dancing Queen. The jokes were spot on – funny and addressed the fears of last year’s debacle when she coughed, when a prankster presented her a P45 and when the sign behind began to fall apart.
A portent of the year to come.
Then there were the classic clever tactics of parliamentary politicians to woo their audience. Particular personalities of important people were congratulated, all tied into making an underlying point, be that about harassment of MPs or about diversity in her Cabinet and across the country.
The well worn themes and prejudices of Conservatives were trotted out with full vigour – all the buttons of our predilections were pushed. All the conviction of the politician working flat out just for us.
It was all there, the clever turns of phrase and the recurrent reference to everyone’s pet hate, Jeremy Corbyn.
She even managed to take the Labour slogan and turn it against them.
All classic stuff.
Today’s democratic politicians have so learnt the demagogic – sorry populist – techniques that they cannot fail to win us over.
Everything is a performance – *** the substance. As long as you can sell the image, everything will be alright.
Actually it won’t. Not now, not ever.
But people like Theresa May have been doing professional politics like this and getting away with it for so long, they just don’t see how it can fail.
While they know many of us can see exactly what they are doing, they know that most people out there with a vote don’t follow politics, so don’t really understand the half of it.
What voters pick up is the occasional slick line or catchy phrase designed to plant a particular line of thinking in their minds, against which they will forever after judge any further data.
They are effectively taught the line the advertisers want them to learn – and repeat.
So for Theresa May they dreamed up the slogan “the party not for the few, nor for the many, but FOR ALL” – all those with ability and aspiration she went on to say.
We heard,” the Party for ALL”, but how many heard the caveat which actually completely contradicts the line being peddled – for those who have ability and ambition.
That qualifier rules out those who have mediocre ability and very little ambition. Quite a sizeable proportion of the population with every right to be treated as fellow participants in our society.
This is the state of our democratic politics today. MEDIA HYPE – SUBSTANCE TWISTED.
What is worse, those responsible continue with this insulting nonsense while our society is torn apart by drug-fuelled crime; while our military and police are seriously undermanned and under-resourced, too close to breaking point for comfort; while the Remain minded politicians and civil servants undermine the chance for our country to get free of the debilitating subordination to the mindset, culture and Rules of the EU.
Grass roots members of the Conservative party are crying out for authenticity, for proper Conservatism and for democracy in their party.
The Party supporting internet platform, Conservativehome.com, carries articles continually about the state of the party’s machine, the state of the Party’s credo [one this week is titled “What does the Conservative Party stand for ?”], and the relevance of the party to electors in various minority groups in today’s world.
But what is Mrs May, their all powerful leader, doing about it ?
Dancing to the podium – managing her image, and ignoring all the calls in her party for sincerity and democracy in their own ranks.
Democracy in the Conservative party would end the disastrous control of the party by the Centrist, politically correct clique.
Theresa May would not now be Prime Minister – Party members never had a say in her leadership selection …
The oligarchs would lose control to the democrats.
The grass roots would never have accepted the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 – note the crash in membership in the early 1990s [it more than halved between 1990 and 1992 !]
The grass roots would have got a Referendum on the EU or a Brexit leader long ago.
The grass roots would have put paid to the Europhile entryists at the top of the Party years ago and so avoided all the angst of the last 30 years and the rise of UKIP.
Today, the grass roots still know what the Party needs, but Theresa May just dances away reality like the song’s 17 year old carefree girl.
Few doubt that Brexit champion Boris Johnson would win a leadership ballot of party members right now, and most members want a Brexiteer in Number 10.
That has been clear since Chequers was revealed in early July.
Just how many grass roots members would tolerate the subordination of the UK Defence capability, policy and procurement to the EU ?
Yet Chequers authors – the ‘Europe Unit’ inside Number 10 – are now preparing for the UK to sign a Treaty to subordinate our entire Defence capability, policy and procurement to the EU as we leave the EU next year… https://brexitcentral.com/brexit-britain-getting-entangled-eus-defence-structures/
Democracy in the Conservative Party would solve these ideological, structural and political problems overnight. And thence in the government and country.
But 18 years into the 21st century, the oligarchs still run the governing party in what is supposed to be a democratic country.
for pertinent comment on May’s use of politically correct techniques, see
for her obsession to get the image right, regardless, see
for party membership and state:
Conservatism is in crisis but Brexit can help reinvigorate it
for an example of identity concern:
Copyright © 2018 Ray Catlin All rights reserved.