Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tory Hidden Agendas

How frustrating must it be, acting as the leader of a political party, when loose cannons seem to delight in squandering your chances? Stephen Harper and Canadian Conservative supporters are all too familiar with the frustration - although admittedly Harper was guilty of idiocy himself for failing to back hastily away from the charge that "Paul Martin Support Pornography?" in the last election.

In any case, Michael Howard has been busy running a surprisingly successful pre-campaign strategy, building particularly on the lack of trust people have for Tony Blair and New Labour. How maddening, therefore, for his Deputy Chairman to announce that Tory platform on public spending is really only the beginning, that "you have to win an election first" and then Conservatives would really take some action.

As the Times reports:
[h]e told his audience: “The potential for getting better taxpayer value is a good bit greater than the James findings [which have been] ‘sieved’ for what is politically acceptable and what is not going to lose the main argument.”

Mr Flight hinted that further cuts would be possible once the Conservatives were in power because “everyone on our side of the fence believes passionately that it will be a continuing agenda”. He said that, after an election had been won, “you can actually get on with what needs to be done”.

I suppose its one thing to accuse the other side of harboring a "hidden agenda". Political parties rely on it all the time, in Britain as much as anywhere else. But to come out and actually admit it to hiding your real plans for electoral purposes, gleefully, to get some applause from die-hard supporters (apparently it was a Thatcherite event)?? When this is the exact argument that your opponent is trying to pin on you?! How moronic. And yet another gift to Tony Blair.

Something Canadian conservatives will be hoping against during our next election, surely. If I were Stephen Harper, I'd think it would almost be worth it to speak directly to as many party candidates as possible to warn them on the consequences of such stupidity. But then again, Howard's office apparently called Flight a mere 2 hours before his speech and told him to remain on message. Nice work, buddy.


Post a Comment

<< Home