A coalition of the willing – How the Tories are remaking their party Part I
29 October, 2007
The Tories have gone through 4 leaders in their search for power over the last decade. During most of this time they have not been serious innovators in developing the campaigning capacity of their party. There model for victory essentially didn’t change from when they were in government but since both Bush was re-elected in 2004 and another defeat for them in 2005 they have started to change the way they do the business of politics.
Cameron may be lightweight PR spiv but partiality mustn’t hide us from the reality that it is not inconceivable he may one day become Prime Minister. Just because a political parties candidate for leader of country is a danger to himself (remember the pretzel) and others doesn’t mean they can’t be elected just look Stateside for proof of that one.Perhaps it was their effectiveness at getting a warmongering imbecile re-elected or perhaps it was the conservatives fetish for all things American but the Tories are seriously learning the Republican game plan and want to use a British version on their attempt to regain power.
British Tories want to recreate a conservative coalition in the mould of the one that took Bush to the second term of his presidency. They realise that their brand is permanently tarnished so they are trying to change the cultural climate to a more conservative temperature and distribute conservative messages from organisations other than the official party so that voters are more open to listening to them. This is also a highly effective way to avoid the spending restrictions in place on political parties. Quite where the funding comes for all this the’re not exactly volunteering.
So how is this British Conservative Coalition shaping up? Links across the pond to their political mentors come from The Atlantic Bridge, Networkme formerly Bluelist targets young professionals with an offering that appears far from the traditional image of the Conservative Party, Conservativehome gives an opportunity for the never will bes to sound off and make the leadership look more reasonable by comparision. The Young Briton Foundation runs training schools for aspirant Tory hacks; Tory blogger Iain Dale calls it the Conservative Madrassa. New media comes from Iain Dales blog, 18 Doughty Street an internet TV station and Tory radio.
Further from the central party but still intimately linked are Vote OK which rallied hunting supporters to the Tory cause . The Tax Payers Alliance is about as close to a front organisation that you are ever going to get. Yet because it hasn’t got an official Tory party badge on it gets much more widely quoted in the media peddling an anti tax line and creating a climate for public spending slash and burn while the Shadow Chancellor talks about protecting public services. Part II will appear later…