Friday, November 06, 2015
Quote of the day 6th November
Extracts from an Open Letter to Alan Bennett in the Times from Danny Finkelstein ...
“Award-winning playwright Alan Bennett has launched a withering attack on the Tories, describing their style of government as ‘quite close to a totalitarian attitude’,” the [Guardian] announced. I know how absurd you regard appending the description “award-winning” is, so I couldn’t help laughing (I hope) with you. Let’s put it this way. I don’t think the awards were for observations about Tory governing style. I don’t think you’d have even won “highly commended” for that.
Your argument was: “It’s not merely that they [the Tories] want to be the governing party, but the only party, and that’s never been part of the British political tradition. That stems originally from Mrs Thatcher: she did believe that Labour was wicked.”
What a puzzling thing to say. What evidence is there for it? True Mrs Thatcher didn’t much like Labour. But I don’t think they liked her much either, as far I recall.
In the past 20 years, Labour has been in power for 13, and in five of the other years the Conservatives had to govern with another party. They couldn’t, in other words, even be the only party in their own government. And while there are plenty of criticisms that can fairly be made of David Cameron, the best I can say of calling him “totalitarian” is that it shows originality.
(Hat tip to John Rentoul in the Indy for the link)