January 3, 2005
There is a disease that affects conservatives, but apparently not liberals. The new head of the conservative party in London, David Cameron, has caught it. This disease attacks political convictions.
Cameron announced on New Year’s day he is repudiating the ideas of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, saying “for politicians to stick to rigid ideology is to court disaster. Nothing can be set in stone.”
Cameron also said Thatcher’s approach to reforming public services had not been sufficiently flexible. He said he would also concentrate more on helping the poor than the rich.
No conservative – if that’s what Cameron is – has ever been able to out-liberal a liberal. Margaret Thatcher was about people doing more for themselves before turning to government. She famously said “many of our troubles are due to the fact that our people turn to politicians for everything.”
If David Cameron has no ideology, what does he have? If he plans to compete with liberals over programs and levels of aid, he and his party and conservatism in Britain will lose again…and deserve to.