Monday, March 19, 2007

Surprise of the Week: Hitchens Critical of Cameron

A reader has just sent through some PR blurb from Channel 4 about their Dispatches programme next Monday at 8pm, in which Peter Hitchens seeks to deconstruct the Cameron Project. I won't post the blurb for the programme here, but when you see it (if you see it...) you will understand why I turned down an invitation from the production company to advise them on it. It was meant to be a hatchet job from beginning to end - and that's what it will be.

38 comments:

The Hitch said...

I will of course be sat there ready to agree with every word.
I may also, out of respect, put on some trousers.

Anonymous said...

If anything is said which is untrue I assume Dave will take legal action.

peteblogging said...

Iain

You proposed fisking the Durkin/Gore documentaries - why don't you do the same with this? You don't need to show the film itself - just make a note of each allegation and then respond to it the next day.

Will be much easier to do than the climate change doccos given that there aren't reams of PhD level scientific papers to wade through...

no longer anonymous said...

I often find Peter Hitchens very illuminating although I am surprised that he uses the term "Toff" to describe Cameron, a term of abuse I thought tended to be confined to the Left.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Hitchens will show up Cameron for the political pygmy he is.

Anonymous said...

no longer-how many Con gatherings have you been to of late?

Laurence Boyce said...

Peter Hitchens isn’t exactly a serious figure. But then again, neither is Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Will it lead to the Palace having to issue any denials?

Anonymous said...

Cameron took a plane to travel 93 miles and then tried to use his disabled son as an excuse - there are no depths to which this man will not sink.

no longer anonymous said...

"no longer-how many Con gatherings have you been to of late?"

Zilch although I suppose I should have added that I'm surprised to see other Tories (often on ConHome) using the term. It just happens to strike me as the language of class warfare.

verity said...

If 'twere done, 'twere best 'twere done quickly.

If we don't replace Cameron now, it will be too close to the election, and the Tories will be stuck with him. I am glad Peter Hitchens is making this programme.

Anonymous said...

Its the drugs thing again. Hitchens always claimed that he and Harriet Harman were the only two students at York who never took drugs. Hitchens has always taken a strong anti-drugs line, he hates anyone who so much has sniffed or snorted.

verity said...

anonymous - I think Peter Hitchens has theintellectual rigour to base his conclusions on facts rather than prejudice. It should be interesting. Too bad I won't be able to watch it. I hope people will send in reports.

Bill Shakespeare said...

Verity,

Now we all know your real identity...

Lady Macbeth!

The literary quality of this blog has just gone up a few points....

verity said...

Thanks, Bill. All's well that ends well.

towcestarian said...

Verity (almost) said:
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly.

Just thought I would be brave and correct you on your Bard. If you mis-quote it, the iambic pentameters go out the window.

The problem is that if we did have a King David assasination situation involving Mr Dale and co, then there would be a huge amount of "Out, damned spot"ing if it all went horribly wrong. Which was the point Bill was trying to make. Something about Vaulting ambition o'er reaching itself, if I remember my O Level English Lit.

towcestarian said...

Bill Shakespeare.

It was Lord Macbeth that did that line, not his delightful spouse. Your memory must be failing you after all these centuries.

bill shakespeare said...

Towcestrian,

You correct Verity at your peril...

bill shakespeare said...

Towcestrian,

This is getting into the realms of libel!

You're saying that old man Macbeth was doing some lines?

Hell - if only I could have worked a druggie sub-plot into this story, it could have taken on a whole new meaning.

Hang on - isn't that where this commentary on Peter Hitchen's crit of "Dave" began?

Spooky...

Anonymous said...

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,

Auntie Flo'

bill shakespeare said...

Auntie Flo'

...a quote from Sonnet 76...how very nice...

The literary standards of Mr Dale's Blog get ever higher.

However..."noted weed"? Could that be a reference to..."Dave"?

Oh dear! Best alert m'learned friends.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I think its about time someone shows Cameron for what he is, a wet Tory. He is in the Heath/Hurd mould who despised Mrs T for keeping the party to basic Tory beliefs.
They still cannot stand how successful she was. She was made of the right stuff and cameron is not.

verity said...

Agreed, Johnny Norfolk. Heath, Hurd and leave us not forget Patton. Now add Cameron.

Iain thinks that Cameron is playing some masterly game, but, Iain, he's not. He's empty. Whatever stance it takes. His disabled kid. And his disabled kid. And his disabled kid. And a pointless trip to an ice floe in Norway (I guess he just happened to have a parka hanging in his closet, as one does), and trying to force the RC church to allow vulnerable children to be adopted by gay couples (Iain, you know why I think as I do and it has nothing to do with my perception of gay couples), and excusing his 90 minute trip by jet plane with his "disabled son".

The man is a ghastly sleaze.

Chris Palmer said...

I will be interested to see what Peter Hitchens will have to say. A lot of it will probably be true/correct too.

verity said...

Iain, I couldn't get back to the comments for 18 Doughty Street - for some reason one couldn't just click back, so apologies for trying to post here instead.

That stupid "citizen journalist" - and you have never acknowledged that this is an American term, invented, I believe, by Little Green Footballs - who went to Rangoon, which he thought was pronounced Rangewn - just irritated the hell out of me. He presented himself as being the first foreign journalist (he's not a journalist) and almost the first foreign visitor, when Rangoon has been flooded with Western and Asian professional journalists (not wannabee "citizen journalists) for absolutely ever.

I just loathed this stupid, self-regarding, self-dramatising man, being amazed that Myanmar has traffic and electric lights, I mean, how bloody imperial, but I couldn't find a way to send an email. It is pronounced RANGOON. Not RANGEWN.

wrinkled weasel said...

Hitchens does not need to "deconstruct the Cameron project". It deconstructs itself, for it is ...

full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.(Shakespeare)

"Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question" (HAL 9000 computer, 2001, A Space Odyssey)

Mr Cameron proved which way the wind blows over the Patrick Mercer affair. He had an opportunity to stand up to the liberal stasi elite. He could have made a stand and made an end of political correctness. (I know Thatcher would have). Instead he sacrificed Mercer to the project, a move which is opportunistic, gutless and dangerous.

He is so in the thrall of populist opinion that he will lose any moral backbone he might have once had. Sure, I am not a Tory but I would have trusted Thatcher to take us to war because I know she meant it from the heart. If Cameron is ever in that position, God help us, because he will be too busy consulting opinion polls and his little gaggle of Hiltonistas.

verity said...

First, Wrinkled Weasel, what is a Hiltonista? If it's something to do with Paris Hilton (and that's actually her real name), I do not want to know.

You are right. Dave had the opportunity to stand against the "liberal" (aka thought fascist) stasi, and he failed to support a decorated (OBE) member of the British military.

He could have, with a principled stand, ended political correctness right there, and every Tory in the country would have dusted down their Tory Party membership cards and keyed in their Paypal accounts.

But he took the coward's, grandstander's, way out and did not support our military man.

What kind of prime minister would this be who does not support our military?

He's as repulsive, in his own way, as Tony Blair. Dave has demonstrated that he is a coward. Like Tony Blair. Yellow streak down the back. I could not bring myself to vote for this individual. He's so cowardly that he has adopted the belief system of the enemy ... under the guise of ... something.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Verity

You are so correct in what you say.

I think Cameron is driving real Tories away. he is part of this Euro game to remove power to the EU. Having lived in Germany I can see that Britain is just following the way Germany does things. Fortnightly bin collections, road charging. The state control of everything. I hope this country wakes up to what is going on as there is nothing in it for the free minded person.

Anonymous said...

Peter Hitchens is a cheap tart. There's nothing much that he won't do in return for a spot of cash.

Anonymous said...

However,daves glittering new policies have produced a 10% lead!

get labour out said...

All these attacks on Cameron by people who describe themselves as Conservative are just pathetic self-indulgence, and posturing which, if it achieves anything, will be to cut the Tory vote and allow in Gordon Brown to wreak five more years of damage on Britain.

Perhaps that's the intent? Perhaps Hitchens and his ilk are really closet New Labour?

Lagwolf said...

With the policy announcements of late who needs to do a hatchet job on Cameron? He is doing a good job of destroying himself.

verity said...

Lagwolf - I agree. No one actually seems to like the man. (Except Iain.)

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain

Can you not see what people are saying about Cameron or do you know something we dont, or is it just hope as you dont vote on hope but fact.

David Lindsay said...

See http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=1199 - I've sold the rights by being paid for it, so I can't post it in full elsewhere on the Internet.

The more that I think about the Bullingdon Club, the nastier it appears: an organisation which exists specifically in order to commit criminal damage and other offences, even including assault, just so that its members can prove their ability to pick up the bill.

Imagine if a group of youths the same age, but who got up at six o'clock in the morning to pay for universities, were to organise themselves into a club (complete with a membership list, officers, some sort of uniform, the works) for the express purpose of smashing up pubs. They would rightly be prosecuted as a criminal conspiracy, and could reasonably expect to be imprisoned.

Well, living in rural England, as I have done most of my life and which is a very different matter from merely owning great swathes of it while living in Knightsbridge or Notting Hill, I suspect that the publicans of Oxfordshire are not without connections in the local constabulary and magistracy.

How would it look for Cameron if the Bully Boys were to be locked up for just long enough to have themselves sent down? Or how would it look for the University of Oxford if they were not sent down under such circumstances?

Oh, and in light of recent events, how many black members has the Bullingdon Club ever had? Has it ever even had one?

David Lindsay said...

And Johnny Norfolk, re: your 11:26 post, get over her!

After all, what, exactly, was “Thatcherism”? What did she ever actually do? Well, she gave Britain the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs, and the destruction of paternal authority within working-class families and communities through the destruction of that authority’s economic basis in the stockades of working-class male employment.

No Prime Minister, ever, has done more in any one, never mind all, of the causes of European federalism, Irish Republicanism, sheer economic incompetence, Police inefficiency and ineffectiveness, collapsing educational standards, and everything that underlies or follows from the destruction of paternal authority.

Meanwhile (indeed, thereby), the middle classes were transformed from people like her father into people like her son. She told us that “there is no such thing as society”, in which case there cannot be any such thing as the society that is the family, or the society that is the nation. Correspondingly, she misdefined liberty as the “freedom” to behave in absolutely any way that one saw fit. All in all, she turned Britain into the country that Marxists had always said it was, even though, before her, it never actually had been.

Specifically, she sold off national assets at obscenely undervalued prices, while subjecting the rest of the public sector (forty per cent of the economy) to an unprecedented level of central government 'dirigisme'. She presided over the rise of Political Correctness, that most 1980s of phenomena, and so much of piece with that decade’s massively increased welfare dependency and its moral chaos, both fully sponsored by the government, and especially by the Prime Minister, of the day.

Hers was the war against the unions, which cannot have had anything to do with monetarism, since the unions have never controlled the money supply. For good or ill, but against all her stated principles, hers was the refusal (thank goodness, but then I am no “Thatcherite”) to privatise the Post Office, as her ostensible ideology would have required.

And hers were the continuing public subsidies to fee-paying schools, to agriculture, to nuclear power, and to mortgage-holders. Without those public subsidies, the fourth would hardly have existed, and the other three (then as now) would not have existed at all. So much for “You can’t buck the market”. You can now, as you could then, and as she did then.

The issue is not whether these are good or bad things in themselves. It is whether “Thatcherism”, as ordinarily and noisily proclaimed (or derided), was compatible with their continuation by means of “market-bucking” public subsidies. It simply was not, as it simply is not.

Hers was the ludicrous pretence to have brought down the Soviet Union merely because she happened to be in office when that Union happened to collapse, as it would have done anyway, in accordance with the predictions of (among other people) Enoch Powell.

But she did make a difference internationally where it was possible to do so, precisely by providing aid and succour to Pinochet’s Chile and to apartheid South Africa. I condemn the former as I condemn Castro, and I condemn the latter as I condemn Mugabe (or Ian Smith, for that matter). No doubt you do, too. But she did not, as she still does not.

And hers was what amounted to the open invitation to Argentina to invade the Falkland Islands, followed by the (starved) Royal Navy’s having to behave as if the hopelessly out-of-her-depth Prime Minister did not exist, a sort of coup without which those Islands would be Argentine to this day.

There are many other aspects of any “Thatcherism” properly so called, and they all present her in about as positive a light. None of them, nor any of the above, was unwitting, forced on her by any sort of bullying, or whatever else her apologists might insist was the case. Rather, they were exactly what she intended.

But then again, who cares these days? Or, rather, who really ought to care? When the next General Election is upon us, people will have the vote who were not born when she was removed from office in order to restore the public order that had broken down because of what, in her allegedly paradigmatic United States, would have been her unconstitutional Poll Tax. And by the time of the Election after that, she will be dead.

So, I say again, get over her!

verity said...

Interesting that the Oxford photographers who own the photo of Cameron rigged up in all his Bullingdon finery have withdrawn it for use by the press. That must be costing them a few pence, given what photos fetch these days. Perhaps someone has kindly compensated them?

Peter Hitchens says: "My own view is that the Bullingdon pictures say something quite important about David Cameron that he would prefer not to be said - that he is in fact far grander, far less ordinary, than he likes to let on."

verity said...

David Lindsay - You demand that Norfolk Blogger "gets over" Margaret Thatcher. Yet Norfolk Blogger wrote a few words of mild praise for her and you responded tout de suite with a long angry shriek of 750 words on a blog?

Maybe you should try to "get over" Mrs Thatcher and lower your blood pressure.