My goodness how I admire Lord Tebbit! (So too, to judge by the number of comments on his brilliant blogs do many of you). I must admit I didn’t always feel this way but that’s only because in my younger more foolish days I was more easily swayed by the Gramsci-endorsed left-liberal dialectic which dominates our culture. The semi-house-trained polecat? The leather-clad boot-boy on Spitting Image? These were tags that stuck regardless of anything the poor fellow said or did.
Lord Tebbit is that rare thing: a conviction politician. And that even rarer thing in these dismal, heir-to-Blair times – a Conservative conviction politician. Of the senior Tories around today, he is pretty much the only one left who speaks up for first principles: limited government; low taxation; liberty. Nor is he afraid to speak up on issues like Islamism and immigration. That’s because he understands that there are far worse fates for a politician than to find yourself on the wrong side of the BBC, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the Guardian. Like waking up one day – as David Cameron’s entire shadow cabinet have done – and realising you have just sold every one of your party’s principles down the river in a tragic, desperate bid for a brief period out of Opposition.
Now Tebbo has got himself in a spot of trouble for re-enacting the put down of the Boxer Rebellion. He has our sympathies and our promise of a serious storming-of-the-Bastille type scenario if he finds himself banged up for this venial slip.
Sure, maybe the Chinese New Year parade which interrupted his peace in Bury St Edmunds was indeed a glorious celebration of the wondrous melting pot that is modern multicultural Britain. But sometimes, I think many of us would agree, it’s possible to have far, far too much of a good thing.