I watched Dispatches on Channel 4 on Monday night. Entitled Toff at the Top, Peter Hitchens, who describes himself as a "moral and cultural conservative", presented a withering critique of the Tory leader David Cameron. Basically it's a story of the extinction of choice in British politics, where the main opposition party has been hijacked by an elitist club of political careerists and PR men. Far from wishing to fight New Labour, Hitchens believes that Cameron has sought to copy New Labour's methods and adopt most of its beliefs. The adversarial tradition of British politics is dead and Parliament has become the private property of conformist social, cultural and moral liberals. As a result, Hitchens believes our political system is being degraded and the very foundations of our democratic system are under threat.
To his great credit Hitchens manages to remain a model of calm and not practically pass out with apoplexy and rage like the way most reactionary commentators do when dealing with the perfidies of permissiveness and social liberalism. I must say, as someone rooted in the culture of the left and a one time enthusiast of the insurgent Bennites of the early 1980s, I have some sympathy for Hitchens - probably because it's a mirror image of what many of us feel about Blairism.