Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How does substance compare with form in today's politics?

Yesterday saw the Conservative Party's most experienced politician, Kenneth Clarke, eliminated from the Conservative Party's leadership race.

Many say that by seeing Kenneth Clarke off, the Conservative Party has shot itself in the foot once again! By getting rid of the man not only experienced enough to lead the party, but also enough of a bruiser to do battle with the redoubtable Chancellor, Gordon Brown, and the man who was the most popular with the voters in the country, they might well have made themselves unelectable for the foreseeable future.

There is no doubt about it: Youth has triumphed over experience; beauty, over substance! David Cameron is said to be telegenic; I doubt whether in the eyes of fashionable London and the county set that the same could be said for dear old Kenneth.

Kenneth had a few things going against him in today's superficial, politically-correct world: He is rather rotund and cuddlesome - one could say stout; he is in his sixties - for some, over-the-hill; he has been the deputy chairman of British American Tobacco since 1978; and, horror of horrors in today's plastic world, he enjoys a puff! No, I correct myself: He is an aficionado of fine cigars.

Not too long ago - it can't be, because even I can remember the time! - things were very different. Stoutness was perceived as adding stature to the politician - witness Churchill; a fat cigar in hand, even in public, also did the same - again, witness Churchill! Indeed, Churchill was rarely photographed without one. And being the deputy chairman of a large multinational company, albeit a tobacco company, would have been evidence of the politician's experience in the real world - something sadly lacking in parliament these days!

Some weeks ago, Melanie Phillips, in one of her insightful articles referred to the Tory leadership battle as a beauty contest. Melanie usually hits the nail on the head, and she didn't fail with this article, either. For this is what it really seems to be turning out to be!

But then, in today's world, looks matter. So it would appear that the eventual winner will indeed be David Cameron. The fact that Mr Cameron has only been in politics for four years - he entered parliament in 2001 - and the fact that he doesn't have any well-thought-out policies is apparently neither here nor there. He looks youthful. He is telegenic. And he looks awfully sweet kissing babies! Oh, and by the way, Conservatives must be thinking that he will look good next to the elf-like Blair! Mr Peter Pan himself!

If Cameron wins the leadership race, and then really does go on and win the next election - something which is not to be taken for granted in New Labour's Britain - then it looks as if we'll be in for the same old garbage: policies made on the hoof by a man who has little conviction, except that is that he feels that the highest office in the land belongs to him as of right à la Blair!

Compare this with Mrs Thatcher. In her, the Conservative Party had a winner - a winner of grandiose dimensions! She knew what she wanted to do with the country; and set out to achieve her aims. She had an uncanny feel for the pulse of the nation: She knew what the people really wanted. She was also well-aware of the dangers before us; though it has to said that during her time in office, there were no such threats to the liberty of the nation as there are today.

Today, we have Islam - the religion which is growing at an alarming rate in the world. Even here in the West! Yet, nobody seems to care!

Isn't it curious that no mention has been made of the fact that no contender in the leadership race has any knowledge or understanding of this threat, the greatest threat to Western civilization since the rise of Nazi Germany. And in fact, in many ways, it is an even greater threat than Nazi Germany ever was, since this is a religion rather than an ideology. And religions are here to stay!

It is to be hoped that whoever wins the Conservative Party nomination will get cracking and do his homework. Very dangerous times lie before us. What we have seen with Islam hitherto is not the end. To quote Churchill's famous words: This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

It remains to be seen how far looks will take us in the difficult years ahead!

©Mark Alexander


The Truth Teller said...

"And in fact, in many ways, it is an even greater threat than Nazi Germany ever was, since this is a religion rather than an ideology. And religions are here to stay!"

And if Nazism and Communism had been called religions, there would have been a hands-off policy. But the fact is that Islam is first a geopolitical ideology. Historical study will support that statement.

Why won't our leaders address this issue?

I believe that, some time ago, Tony Blair warned that terrorists will use Western freedoms against free societies. And Bush has recently mentioned the goal of the caliphate.

More is needed--a real expose of the tenets of Islam!

Mark said...

I believe that our leaders are fearful of what they'll open up. They find the whole thing is hot potato anyway; and they fear a backlash if they say anything critical of the religion. So, truth to tell, they do not know what they can do about it. I think that's about the long and the short of it.

Added to that, courageous leaders are thin on the ground anyway; in fact, they are nowhere to be seen!

I agree with you wholeheartedly that there needs to be a real exposé of the tenets of Islam.

It's probably going to take a catastrophe of enormous proportions for anyone in power to grasp the nettle. That's what's so sad about it all.