The point is, ideology is dead and political labels are increasingly meaningless.
I wrote these words in the first ever post on this blog, in March 2005. I was reminded of them last week with the news that Greg Clark, a Conservative Party policy adviser, recommended that, when it comes to tackling poverty, the party should divorce itself form the absolutist ideas of Winston Churchill, and instead embrace the relativist philosophy of Polly Tonybee, Guardianista extraordinaire and fully paid up member of the real liberal elite (© Peter Hitchens). This really would be a u-turn for the “Nasty Party” under Cameron, as it suggests many of them are prepared to ditch their Thatcherite legacy and work instead towards a European social democratic model. My, don’t we live in a topsy turvy universe? I expected such a stance to split the party wide open on the subject – which it did, to an extent – but when I read that even John Redwood supported Mr Clark’s findings, I wondered if I’d been transported to some parallel universe where up is down, black is white and Compassionate Conservatism isn’t a contradiction in terms.
Personally, I find Polly Toynbee’s champagne socialism rather wearisome. It is hypocritical in the extreme to extol the virtues of welfarism and state education while earning a really rather healthy salary as a Guardian columnist and sending your child to an exclusive private school. Especially when The Guardian could be paying ME that money instead. I guarantee I’d be more entertaining than Toynbee and her patronising platitudes.