Thursday, October 12, 2006

David Frum being shallow

- Tax cuts? No.
Announcing tax cuts now while in opposition years from an election? No.
- More public money for government-monopoly health care? Yes.
While I'm not sure about Cameron's policy on the NHS this is a total mischaracterisation. He has said he will fund it properly but has never said anything about the amount of Conservative spending compared to Labour plans.
- Same-sex marriage? Enthusiastically yes.
Sure. Welcome to the 20th century.
- Big supermarkets? Offenders against the environment.
This is an example of a key plank of Cameron's policy prescription?
- Kyoto Accord. Absolutely.
- Terrorism? Close Guantanamo.
Following the line of that noted Communist McCain.
- Illegal immigration? Don't talk about it.
Absolutely. This is something to deal with when forming policy but at the moment Cameron is setting the philosophical direction of his leadership rather than the actual plans. With many years till the next election this is entirely sensible.
- Israel's response to Hezbollah's rocket attacks? Disproportionate.
Okay.
- George W. Bush? No friend of ours.
That's just not true. Cameron has said that Britain needs to be supportive not slavish in the special relationship. Nothing he has said has suggested Britain should not be a friend of the US.

Sure there are some policies I'm not sure of in this list but it just isn't a picture of the priorities Cameron is setting out for the Conservative party. Instead of setting up a strawman of Leftie Cameron Frum could have addressed the meat of Cameron's speeches over the conference or since his leadership. He could have discussed whether the personal responsibility agenda was an plausible one, I wonder why he didn't?
"David Cameron's stress on social justice...is not, as unsophisticated critics imagine, a leftwards shift from liberty to equality. Cameron is not proposing an extension of state power. He is proposing an extension of social power, a move in favour of the voluntary institutions--the 'social enterprises'--that exist in neighbourhoods themselves."

What does this mean? Who knows. Its incomprehensibility is its point."
Oh, because he can't understand a fairly simple sentence. What is so complex about a move towards voluntary organisations and other social efforts in place of state power as solutions to problems the British public wants to hear their political parties address?

2 comments:

Gracchi said...

David Frum is just analysing it from an American perspective- there is a terrible temptation in analysing another country's politics to simplify it into two options and to see it through the lense of your own country's politics. That's what Frum is doing- he's no intellectual heavyweight so its no surprise.

edmund said...

gracchi I think you're being a bit unfair to Frum-Dead Right is pretty substantial. However I think you ahve a point there, but more to the point seems to me the distortions eg Cameroun is not pro gay marriage-his pro civil union which Bush supports too, they haven't rulled out tax cuts, he hasn't said his agaisnt Bush ect ect