Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 23:24 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 23:24 | SYDNEY

Disunity at home II


Sam Roggeveen


7 October 2009 09:07

Given Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull's dismal public opinion ratings and the constant in-fighting within his party and coalition, he might be in need of a pick-me-up, or at least some consolation. He might consider the British Conservative Party, which looks set to win government from Labour at the next election. Yet it hasn't cured the Tories of what for Turnbull would be some familiar strains (h/t Coming Anarchy):

On a host of other issues, the party is similarly split. For every save-the-planetarian with a gnat-sized carbon footprint, there is someone who attaches more credence to the tooth fairy than to global warming. For every rationalist arguing that Britain’s future is in Europe, there is a Little Englander who fears, quite wrongly, that we are going to become a dystopia of Brussels bylaws and straight bananas.

The Conservative Party gathered together this week is reformist and reactionary, modulated and spittle-flecked, nice and nasty. Janus-faced, it has one eye focused on the future and the other staring at the past. With the Thatcher legacy still unresolved, libertarians vie with social authoritarians.

It would be strange indeed for broad-church parties like the Tories and our Liberals to ever 'solve' their internal differences. The best that can ever be done is to paper over them to give an impression of unity, and the only thing that will convince party members to maintain that facade is political power, or the prospect of it.

So, that's the consolation out of the way; now here's the pick-me-up. Via Global Dashboard, it's a cutting and very funny speech by UK Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague about the prospect of Tony Blair becoming president of the EU: