Wednesday, October 19, 2005

An Explanation for our American Cousins

The charming and polite akakakakaky posts a comment to my rather pleasingly perceptive prognostication earlier.
Now, just for information, you understand, who is David Cameron and what is he trying to win?

Suppressing the desire to wave dismissively in his general direction and say "Pshaw...", I feel that perhaps we owe an explanation to our insular and blinkered cousins across the pond. Here goes:

David Cameron is the "shadow home secretary": [UPDATE: actually he isn't: he is the shadow Education Secretary] that means that his job is to try to berate the govt minister in charge of the Home Office. The Home Secretary's remit covers the police, security, prisons, immigration, the passport office and just about everything else that is going to the dogs in this once-fair-but-now-benighted land. [UPDATE: no idea what to do about this passage. That it is not relevant does not detract from its underlying truth] It is a mark of his fantastic success in this role that you have never heard of him. [This still holds though...]

He (David Cameron that is, keep up at the back there) is currently bidding for the leadership of the Conservative Party (note the capital C), which is a little like your republican party, except without the frothing lunatic fundamentalist Christians. You will, no doubt, recall a certain Margaret Thatcher, who was Prime Minister until she was stabbed in the back in an earlier form of the leadership contest in which young Cameron is currently engaged. Margaret Thatcher was a Conservative.

Conservatives (in this country at least) tend ought [thanks DK] to stand for a small state, personal and economic freedom in the form of free markets so could classically be called "liberal" or more accurately "libertarian". They are not to be confused with the Liberal Democrats who aren't really liberal, but are certainly confused.


Right. Ummm... Gosh! Andrew notes that I may have been mistaken. Mea Culpa.

A few edits there. Nothing to see, move along now.

By way of apology, here is some more advice that your average redneck philistine any visiting Americans may find find useful on the rules of cricket and visiting the UK in general.


Devil's Kitchen said...

Conservatives (in this country at least) tend to stand for a small state, personal and economic freedom in the form of free markets...

Would you mind pointing that out to "compassionate Conservative" Cameron as well, P-G?


The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...


Perhaps I should have put a little more emphasis on "tend to".

In fact, perhaps this should read "ought to".


Andrew said...

Umm. As much as I hate to question the Pedant-General, and I fear that I may have missed an ironic joke of quite epic proportions, but David Cameron is the Shadow Education Secretary, and it is a mark of his success in that role that people previously had never heard of him.

David Davis is the Shadow Home Secretary.

Now, do carry on.

Andrew said...

Oh, and there are plenty of frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic fundamentalist Christians in the Tory party, P-G. We just keep them locked in the Commons bar between votes on abortion and persecuting gays.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...


I hesitate to say "many thanks" for your first point as it is entirely beyond the scope of a stealth edit, followed by a nifty deletion of the offending comment.


Re second comment, isn't that the tactic that Blair has used so successfully for the last 8 years, except he only lets them out in time to ban foxhunting and grammar schools?


The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Sorry, that applies to almost all of his backbenchers, not just the frothing lunatics.

But then there is a set theory question for you:

Set 1: Labour Party MPs
Set 2: Backbenchers
Set 3: Fundamentalists (Christian or otherwise)
Set 4: Frothing Lunatics
Venn diagram please....

Akaky said...

So Mr. Cameron’s reason for political existence then, if I understand you correctly, is to point out to the current Education Minister, who presumably already knows this without Mr. Cameron pointing it out to him, that under the Blair administration’s watch fewer and fewer British schoolchildren know that 1066 is a date of some particular significance to the overall population and that the half blind, one-armed man on top of the plinth in Trafalgar Square was not a pioneering advocate of the rights of the handicapped or the man who killed Dr. Richard Kimble’s wife in The Fugitive, but rather a foolish fellow who found himself involved in a somewhat extreme form of yachting some time ago without obeying the safety regulations promulgated by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels to govern this sort of activity and who died as a consequence of ignoring said rules.

Yes, I do recall Mrs. Thatcher and her handbags, and any friend of Ronald Reagan’s is a friend of mine, and I had also heard somewhere along the line that British Conservatives and Republicans shared more or less the same philosophy, except, of course, for Congressional Republicans, who seem to think that fiscal irresponsibility is a good thing so long as they commit it and not the Democrats. As for cricket, I was unaware that it had any rules beyond hitting a ball and then running back and forth between a couple of posts as many times as possible. This seems to be a fairly simple activity and just the sort of thing that I am sure Alex Rodriguez can handle, given that the man is probably the highest paid athlete in the world and cannot seem to hit the ball in the baseball post-season, but what’s done is done and there’s no point crying over spilled milk…

Admin said...

Woah there Akaky - I as a libertarian Conservative (note also the big 'C') do not associate myself with the Bush-ite "do as I say, or else" philosophy - I'd probably vote Democrat in the US for my sins!

Deogolwulf said...

I think Akaky has summed it all up rather nicely.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Akaky: a sentence of that length MUST be worth a prize.

"So Mr. Cameron’s reason for political existence then, if I understand you correctly, is to point out to the current Education Minister, who presumably already knows this without Mr. Cameron pointing it out to him, that .... [insert institutional failing of education system]

Spot on. This is indeed the case. That he has failed entirely to demonstrate any competence in the field which is his sole reason for political existence does not bode tremendously well.

That said, can any politician do any good at all, ever? On which note, my thoughts turn to...


Welcome to the fray, sir. I can't say that I would have voted Democrat, but then all American politicians seem to be money-grabbing, overly-lobbied, corrupt, self-serving, unprincipled shysters of the first water, so that doesn't really count for much either way.

Oh and my Venn Diagram question above - it needs one more:
set 5: Drunkards

Akaky said...

For a politician to display competence in any field is a bit of an oxymoron, I think, since if he or she was in some way competent at something they would have gotten a better paying job doing that used their skills in the private sector.

Akaky said...

I must learn to proofread these things before hitting the submit button.