Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Legitimate & Illegitimate Criticism

The (usually sensible) Tim Montgomerie's enemies list at Conservative Home lambasting the "ill discipline" and "destructive criticism" of various right wing pundits towards David Cameron is ill advised.
There is constructive criticism and there is destructive criticism. There is a time for debate on the Right and a time to either be silent or gun for Labour. At the moment there's too much ill-discipline on our side of the fence.

This close to a General Election is a time for people on the right to weigh their words carefully. Do they really want to help re-elect a government that has taken state spending to more than 50% of GDP? The Cameron-led Conservative Party isn't perfect but this election isn't a choice between a perfect and an imperfect Toryism but between Brown's big state interventionism and David Cameron's alternative.

No one has a duty to represent a political party that just happens to be broadly on the same side of the political spectrum, in fact newspaper columnists have an obligation to give their honest opinion and not simply to wave pom poms in support the blues. What does he think would happen to the credibility of someone like Peter Hitchens if after 5 years of criticising Cameron he then applauds him for 5 weeks? One of the reasons for the success of Conservative Home website is surely its independence from the party it supports, it is no different for pundits.

One of the worst aspects of US punditry is the extent to which they align with political movements, this is not something to be emulated.

As it happens I think that a David Cameron led government will be a vast improvement on one led by Gordon Brown and my vote will reflect that, but if someone doesn't believe this then it is perfectly "legitimate" to say so.


Anonymous said...

The consensus appears to be that things are much worse than they appear to be. Labour is borrowing at an unprecedented rate either to fuel the recovery or to prop things up until the election. Whoever gets elected has to tackle the mess and make big cuts. Labour not only don't have the stomach for this they are promising increased spending on such things as care home expenses.

None of this would matter if the Conservatives had been highlighting Labour's failings but the reality is they squander the opportunities. On the contrary, they seek to emulate Labour policies and distance themselves from their nasty base. The claim that they would be better than Labour (let alone a vast improvement) needs some supporting argument. Care to oblige.

I'm no fan of Peter Hitchens but his argument is compelling.

James Higham said...

I just left a comment over there. Perhaps when the Red Tories become the Conservative Party again, the criticism might die away.

asquith said...

Is he going to list them all on his "Leftwatch" page?

Did he slag himself off for supporting 42 days & other "policies" or is that different?