Below is an extract from my old firm The Daily Telegraph, written by a former Editor and ex-guvnor of mine Charles Moore (pictured below, second left, with Dave -far left, which is a first- on a jolly day out). Moore, known by all as Lord Snooty , and the unlikeliest of all Tory critics, seems to have some concerns. Now if HE is starting tho think like this about Dave, Gideon and co, maybe, just maybe there is some hope. (highlights are mine)
By Charles Moore
30 Mar 2012
When I first heard Francis Maude’s suggestion on Sky News that we might all stock up “a bit of extra fuel with a jerry can in the garage”, I did not, I must admit, panic. His remark seemed a little unwise – and you could hear, by the way he immediately began to qualify it, that he thought so too – but I let it pass.
What I was forgetting is that ministerial words about an immediate problem with basics like fuel or food is the only sort of ministerial statement which people believe. It was like when Edwina Currie, the then junior health minister, said in 1988 that most egg production was infected with salmonella. People stopped buying eggs. After Mr Maude spoke, they swarmed to the petrol pumps.
But now that I have heard the Conservatives’ private explanation, which is being handed down to constituency associations by MPs, I begin to feel angry.
The private message is as follows. “This is our Thatcher moment. In order to defeat the coming miners’ strike, she stockpiled coal. When the strike came, she weathered it, and the Labour Party, tarred by the strike, was humiliated. In order to defeat the coming fuel drivers’ strike, we want supplies of petrol stockpiled. Then, if the strike comes, we will weather it, and Labour, in hock to the Unite union, will be blamed.”
There is a key difference which ministers have not spotted. When Mrs Thatcher piled up the coal at power stations until the strike began in 1984, she was not inconveniencing the public. In 2012, the Coalition is trying to press-gang the public, without saying so, into its political battles. All those people queuing on the forecourts were pawns in a Government-organised blame-game.
So this gerrymandering with jerry cans, along with the rows about pasties, dinners for donors and granny taxes, sheds light on the present discontent. People detect selfishness.
It continues at length, including this
Being myself a southern, public-school, Oxbridge person, I do not feel patronised by this milieu, but even I, as I watched the Budget on television and saw the “Quad” of Messrs Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander all in a self-congratulatory, Oxford Union row, did get that “What do they know about anything?” feeling which, opinion polls suggest, is doing the Coalition harm.
For the rest of the article, please click here and see how some of that lot have started to think. Enjoy and cross your fingers.