Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Shifty and arrogant - and that's just the government

Ben Brogan's op-ed piece in today's Daily Telegraph is headlined: "Shifty and arrogant, but still the best government we've got". Wannabe pedant that I am, it must be pointed out to Brogan that it can hardly be the best government we've got as there is no alternative choice,  neither did we actually choose it. Anyways, Brogan writes:
"Mr Osborne is desperate to recover lost ground – it is said yesterday’s concessions on planning were beefed up at the last minute to head off another round of negative publicity – and so is Mr Cameron. Both are contemplating a slump in support, in particular among Tory MPs. In the tea rooms the figure that gets discussed is 46, being the number of letters to the chairman of the 1922 Committee needed to trigger a vote of confidence. The idea is laughable, a matter of idle gossip rather than political substance, in particular as the increasingly dominant 2010 intake does not nurture the disappointed ambitions of its elders and is more instinctively loyal."
When writing that the increasingly dominant 2010 intake does not nurture the disappointed ambitions of its elders and is more instinctively loyal, one has to wonder what planet Brogan has been holidaying on. Only at the end of last August Matthew Barrett was writing on Conservative Home about the 2010 intake and noting:
  • Tory newcomers have accounted for 31% of rebellious votes cast by all Conservative MPs
  • More 2010 intake Conservative MPs have rebelled (46), compared to Labour MPs (21) or the Lib Dems (7)
  • 31% of new Tory MPs have now rebelled
  • New Conservative rebels have cast 249 rebellious votes
If Brogan, when writing about the new intake not nurturing the disappointed ambitions of their elders, is discussing their elder's aversion to EU membership then perhaps he is unaware that only last October Ed Stourton was advising us:
"The latest intake of Tory MPs is far and away the most Eurosceptic in the Conservative Party's history."
Brogan surely cannot be alluding to their elder's disappointed ambitions where ministerial advancement is concerned; I mean, it was even his own paper that reported the frustration of Louise Mensch (a member of the 2010 intake); and being Deputy Editor it stands to reason that he must have seen the article.

What we have here is a typical Brogan 'Big-up Cameron and the Conservative Party' piece leading one to  muse on the number of pieces of silver this particular 'journalist-not' is in receipt of.

Readers will have noted, no doubt, that the heading of this article included the words: "and that's just the government". On that point, let us revert to the question of Conservative eurosceptics - a topic on which Autonomous Mind has been quote vociferous (and understandably so) , an  example of which is here. When considering Conservative eurosceptics, the two names that spring to mind immediately are those of Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan. On the subject of Douglas Carswell we find Luikkerland writing on the subject of the budget coupled with the imposition of VAT on food:
"Of significant incidental note is how, back in April 2011 when the Express brought this to wider notice, the Tory MP, under-cover Europhile (as all Tory politicians are), and apparent main player in his party’s reconstruction into the Progressive/Marxist abomination that it is today, Douglas Carswell, characteristically pretended opposition to a harmonised EU VAT rate, and was quoted in the Express piece chiding George Osborne and urging him to resist harder than he had done with regards to UK contributions to euro bailouts. However, since the Budget, Carswell has seemingly, albeit completely predictably, not expressed an opinion with regards to the stealthy implementation of the thing that he acquired front-page exposure and recognition as a eurosceptic in opposing. Indeed, in February 2012 in his corporate-advertisement covered blog, Carswell explicitly spoke against cuts in VAT. Readers should note that it is the way of the devious Tory eurosceptic to publically denounce overt loss of British sovereignty, but to not draw attention to it when it is being done on the sly."
Neither have I seen any article from Daniel Hannan accepting that Osborne had no option under EU requirements but to go for all or nothing. In this one can but refer to Luikkerland's last sentence above.

Finally, reverting to Brogan and the newspaper for which he writes, it is puzzling that a newspaper which claims to be a 'serious broadsheet' employs sub-standard journalists of the likes of Brogan and others - notable among whom is Daniel Knowles.

All one say is that it is suggested that they do indeed give up the day job.

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