Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Yes, Commissioner

The Telegraph reports this morning that the Tories are feeling confident about victory at the next election even though it is still a year or two away - if a week is a long time in politics what does that make two years?

Oliver Letwin, the Tory policy chief, and Francis Maude, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, will lead a discussion about the work the party is doing to prepare for Government.

The Tory policy chief, eh? Oliver Letwin must be the most underemployed man in Britain. A book on Tory policy would rank among the world's thinnest volumes - up there with "Victories of the Swiss Navy".

The Tories have been out of power since 1997 and few Tory frontbenchers have had experience of holding ministerial office. David Cameron, the Tory leader, and George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, have both been political advisers to ministers, but have never held government office themselves.

What the Telegraph fails to point out is that Osborne and Cameron were "political advisers to ministers" during the Major years - the worst Tory government (and least conservative) there has ever been. Remember all that "back to basics" stuff? Or the traffic cones hotline? Inexperience alone should not disqualify them from reaching for power, but their diabolical history should.

The real worry, though, comes in the next revelation.

Mr Maude, a former Treasury minister, has been running training sessions with shadow cabinet ministers and frontbenchers to prepare them for Government. Private sector consultants and retired Whitehall mandarins have been helping with the training sessions.

With Francis Maude - another relic of the Major years - acting as mentor it is obvious what path a future Tory government will take. Back that up with "private sector consultants" and "retired Whitehall mandarins" and you have the recipe for more New Labour rather than new broom.

I don't think the Tories need worry about "running Britain" after the next election, anyway. Britain is actually run from Brussels assisted by various unelected quangos up and down the country who implement the diktats issued from the EU. All they need to learn to say is "Yes, Commissioner"

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