Quite the most depressing thing about tomorrow’s Norwich North by-election is that, whoever wins, it will be a ruddy disaster for all of us.
I suppose the very worst-case scenario would be a victory for the Green candidate Rupert Read. As Oliver Kamm has pointed out, behind Read’s personable manner and bunny-hugging vegan fluffiness, lurk some really quite terrifyingly hard core views.
After the Madrid train bombings, he crowed to the Independent:
“If you live by the sword, then your innocent citizens (though luckily not you) may well die by the sword. Aznar, Blair and Bush should choke on their words of condolence to the victims in Madrid. It is their atrocious criminal violence that has led to this counter-atrocity.”
Right, I see. So the 191 Spanish commuters torn to shreds by those bombs weren’t actually murdered by a nihilistic terrorist sect, inspired by the dream of restoring Spain to the Caliphate status it last saw in the Middle Ages and eventually bringing the whole world into the glorious realm of Dar Al Islam. No, it seems that the governments of Spain, Britain and US were the real culprits. Just, of course, as the US was to blame for 9/11; and Britain, I suppose, for the 7/7 tube bombings.
Kamm quotes a similarly, deliciously mad letter Read wrote in 1999, making the hitherto not obvious connection between government higher education spending and student suicides.
“British higher education is in a crisis that only increased funding can help resolve. Academics’ workloads have gone up while salaries have been cut. Class sizes have increased enormously. This “Labour” government continues to cut the budgets of universities each year.
“One consequence is that suicide rates among staff and students alike have roughly quadrupled, over the last 15 years. This is a horrifying fact – responsibility for which must be laid a the door of the departed Tory government, and of the current government.”
So there are two good reasons already why this nettle-tea-crazed justifier-of-terrorist atrocities should not be allowed within a billion miles of our law-making process or foreign policy. An even more compelling argument against, in my book, though, is the effect his victory would have on the Tories. Already, their “green” policy is quite hopelessly in thrall to Al Gore’s “we’re all going to burn: lay waste the landscape with wind mills” global warming meme. Imagine how much more dangerous they’d be if they got it into their woolly soft-left heads that the party hadn’t yet pushed its eco-message hard enough: within two years, they’d have restored the barter system, banned meat and forced us all to dwell in yurts, travel by coracle and live on mung beans.
So yes, a victory for Read would be the very worst of worst case scenarios. But I’m not sure that this is any reason to vote Conservative. A victory for the Conservatives would, of course, send out to Dave Cameron the very last message he needs to hear right now, viz: “Carry on as you are! You’re doing just brilliantly!”
In other words, if the Tories win this election it will mean: no change on their 51p upper tax rate; no change on their plans to squander more on the NHS; no change on their dissimulation on Europe; no change on their crazed, ultra-leftist green policies; still no honest discussion of immigration; still no sign that the Tories understand that what Britain needs most right now is less Government, less regulation, lower taxation and a restoration of the liberties which have been eroded by New Labour’s creeping, liberal-fascist nanny state.
It’s a damn shame really because I know – I met one or two of them at the Spectator party – that coming up through the Tory party are dozens and dozens of ideologically sound young Turks who understand exactly the medicine Britain needs if it’s not to fall off a cliff. My fear is that by the time they get to boot Dave’s useless progressives out, there will be nothing of the country left to save.