My new book: “Mr Cameron’s Makeover Politics”
My new book argues that the Cameroons are being a bit timid in ignoring the great Tory back stories which have done the party – and the country - proud in the past.
Mr Cameron’s Makeover Politics: Or why old Tory stories matter to us all
Richard D North
Published 15 October 2009 by the Social Affairs Unit, price: £10
David Cameron has famously “decontaminated” the Nasty Party. But, argues Richard D North, the party has been left curiously featureless.
North says: “Bland can’t be the new black. The party of tradition seems to be running from its own history, which is full of intellectual strength and variety.
“There’s been a flurry of books on the intellectual history of the Conservatives, and I’ve plundered them to show how rich the Tory back story is. The three great Tory narratives (“Nice”, “Nasty” and “Sensible”), have been conflicted, chameleon and combustible – but above all successful.
“David Cameron made his party touchy-feely for a time of Boom. That work will stand the test of time. But he could usefully remind us of older Tory tropes in the Bust. I have a feeling the young could even stomach the occasional approving reference to Mrs Thatcher, who was the last of many Conservative PM’s who presented themselves as fixing a Labour mess.”
Unfashionably, Richard North also notes the Tories’ reputation for being “sensible”. They deliver sound government. After rule by the courts of Blair and Brown – from sofa, den and bunker – Mr Cameron’s Makeover Politics ought to “dare to be dull”.
North says: “The country will reward any party which shows it cares about delivering good government, especially by a Prime Minister with a strong Cabinet and a revived Westminster and Whitehall. This ought to be prime Tory territory.”
This new book follows North’s earlier Mr Blair’s Messiah Politics: What happened when Bambi tried to save the world (SAU, 2006).