The underbelly of "progressive conservatism"
There is a backlash in the UK - and though many on the right are descending into raptures of glee because there will be a Tory government after the next election they forget - as usual, that New Labour are as far from a left-wing party as they are, maybe even a little more to the right.
Cameron has rushed to distance himself from the growing perception that he would oversee a "1980s-style", Thatcherite cuts programme. But taken together with Tory plans for a sweeping extension of New Labour privatisation and the wholesale slash-and-burn outsourcing from flagship Conservative councils such as Barnet, and Hammersmith, and Fulham, the cut-price contours of a Cameron government are becoming ever clearer.
Add to that the shocking sound of the soft-spoken Conservative chairman, Eric Pickles, this week defending the celebration of Waffen SS veterans who fought with the Nazis in the second world war – because they are supported by one of the Tories' new rightwing European allies, the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom party – and the ugly underside of "progressive Conservatism" is difficult to miss.
But if we have to look toward a Tory government in the UK, for at least five years, then there isn't much to scrutinise - at all.
They are keeping a lot of their cards to their chest - just in case. But one thing that is becoming obvious is that they will take strides rightward as soon as they can.
How can a British political party support - or even defend the Waffen SS - is this what "progressive Conservatism" will look like?
This is, of course all about the last 30 years of Thatcherite policy - even if Blair said that they were a New Labour party and had a third way for the economy - it turned out that it was just more of the same.
as many voters believe Labour stands for the rich as for the poor (about a fifth in each case), and fewer people think Labour, rather than the Tories, represents "ordinary working people" – though the Conservatives were seen by about 50% to favour the rich.
It has been common knowledge that the Tory support business - they always have and always will. They have always fought for the rich - selling the countries silver to provide tax cuts for those rich knowing that some of that money would make its way back into the Tory election coffers.
That changed in 1997 because people wanted change and Blair said he would give it - and people believed him. Yet with the majority he had he didn't move in the leftward track that people wanted - he moved right.
Cameron is staring on the right and will, as we see, do almost anything To gain power in both the EU and the UK. But that is "New" Labour's fault - they have, with neo-liberal policies alienated their very supporters - so where do they go and whom do they vote for?
Personally I want them to go for the LibDems - we will have to see about that one though. Even as the third party they are not making the polling gains they need to make.
The flight from Labour, which lost 4m votes between 1997 and 2005, was already far advanced when Tony Blair held sway. Part of that was due to Iraq. But getting on for 3m votes melted away at the 2001 election, when Blair began his crusade to privatise public services. The largest group were working-class voters losing out to the corporate-tailored, cheap-labour policies that became New Labour's hallmark.
The UK is heading into a general election with a perfect storm arising.
The core left vote has no one to vote for, so they will not vote in their millions. The centre-right vote is their for the taking by the Tories but with the backlash that will happen with the cuts in public services won't effect them until after the election - and then there is the core right-wing vote that will vote Tory no matter what.
What is coming is a storm far worse than when Thatcher was in power - how the population reacts to that in something I really don't want to think about - for now.