Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Priestly Castes and Political Exclusion

Other bloggers are up the minute so I spurn the zowee powee nowee . I am having a rumination on the state of stuff in general. In particular the Conservative Party and the emergence of a new Priestly caste. There was a prompt today , the ditching of the A list ,which I picked on the Blog Boss Iain Dale`s post. I have never exactly known what it stood for but have guessed

1 Apple shiner List
2 Advertising List
3 Aggravating List

…and more.

It was predicted in the DT ,a while ago, that Cameron would offer this sop to the suffering Party, and also that it would be at a point when its work was done . So it has been , so no-one should care much . It appears that CPHQ will still be ensuring “female quotas”, are delivered to the Commissar’s on time and Iain Dale is greatly pleased. He will not of course be offering to trade his own , richly deserved A list spot .with a woman of less talent .No hypocrisy there then…….

Actually , I don’t blame him for attaching himself to a clever marketing ruse ,and it has certainly worked at the polls . David Cameron has attracted swooning women in their droves with his nebulous caring and there’s nothing wrong with that. Why then has the A list ,and its Benneton Ad. fake inclusiveness ,caused such affront to the party and increasingly to everyone else ?

To understand this you have to put it in the context of the New Priestly Caste. Lets start with a brute fact , 95% and more of the adult population ,men or women ,are entirely excluded from any important role in the political process. Immediately we see that we are polishing the bonnet and ignoring the engine, but I want to make it a bit more personal. I want to talk about me …what else!

This was “My Great Struggle “ into political activism . It went through the following gears pretty smoothly ,three years ago.

1 The Council removed my Parking Space
2 I wrote several deeply embarrassing Pooterish letters
3 I received several meretricious slabs of verbiage in return
4 I realised noone was listening , the Consultation was farce and if I didn’t like it I would have to get involved
5 I joined the Conservative party, wrote to the Gazette and started to wonder what the hell we were doing in Europe actually anyway…..etc.

So you see the sort of normal person some pretend to be , I actually am . I spent my twenties drinking and worrying about girls not networking and I have wondered into this strange land like a ingénue seeing things , to some extent , afresh .What I found amazed me,. Young lads of 25 were already experienced politicians ..whatever that means and a whole conveyor belt existing to deliver them to power. The process goes like this. Public School , Oxford, Muck around in Local Politics , Join Policy group of some sort ,get a job as an MP`s gopher and then “Robert est Votre Oncle” you are onto the list . These are not bad people but there is another more sinister side to it . Anyone engaged in normal employment , ie taxpayers , almost all of them have less than no chance of grabbing the train once it has left the station..

What can we expect from such system . Public School Boys who are lifetime Politicians who know nothing of our lives. In other words David Cameron and , lets not forget , Tony Blair .
This micro exclusion reflect one that is growing in the country . It is largely caused by the abject failure of the Comprehensive System, means tested benefits and Housing Policy , but for whatever reason our Society is changing swiftly into a world of priests and worshippers. Some more facts…..

1 Half the senior Journalists in the country are from Public School (Including Guido). They come from a pool of 7% of the country. Did the A list address this . Oh no!
2 OECD studies show that our Independent schools are about as good as they get but the gulf between them and the rest is greater than anywhere else in the Western World
3 Despite rigorous reverse discrimination the proportion of students from under privileged backgrounds entering Oxbridge is declining annually
4 Only 20% of White working class boys get five CGCSE`s at a satisfactory level and you are aware that means they can hardly spell their names
5 OECD studies find this country the least meritocratic in the Western World

So systemic exclusion at the top is accentuating exclusion throughout society. It has got to the point where what was a living democracy has become the oligarchic rule of hermetically sealed specialists and this is why I call them Priests .I am thinking of the pagan priests of the Egyptian religion.

What does Priest do ?Well these priest (and there are echoes in many religions), were Janus like. On a trip to Egypt Mrs. N and I were told to imagine modern Hinduism. It exists at a highly cerebral level for some initiates ,but to most followers it is all superstition ,signs and cheap tricks. There was a baby crocodile that spoke to women needing reassurance about fertility. The priest would crawl down a tunnel and talk in a crocodile way , as it sat in an adjacent cage . The Priest did not take it seriously but assumed that it filled a need .In any case they with their higher grasp were looking out for the lower classes.That is the relatioship they think they have with us. The truth would just upset our little minds.

This sort of thing can only work when you have a separation between the masses and the inner sanctum and that of course is exactly what we have . Back to the real world . I have to admit David Cameron doesn’t frighten the horses but look at the underlying trends for political engagement . Members of the Conservative party number 250000 down from 350000 in 1997 , hardly the finest hour. Its worse still for the Labour Party ( but I don’t care).In the last election no party poled more than 10,000,000 votes . This was the first time this had happened since 1929.

One of the things a mysteriously powerful group of quasi Priests must have is a secret Language. Well that hasn’t been long coming . You will see the young novices practising theirs on Conservative Home they probably believe it is so they can show a grasp of this or that , but we know from working that it is hardly ever relevant to be so specialised. Its main purpose is to exclude those who are unable to spend 15 years learning the codes and symbols . Even such a brilliant man as David Davies was unable to catch up .

There is no need to blame the incumbents excessively, I have the distinct feeling that David Cameron is aware of the problem he does occasionally talk to Conservatives so it would be hard for him not to be . It is not something we can trust the beneficiaries to put right though. I`ll throw out a couple of telling quotes ..

“..More concerned with looking down with pity than with enabling the objects of this pity to look up with hope ..”( George walden)

“The French man is constantly looking above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his gaze to those below with satisfaction “ ( De Toqueville)

We have to do it ourselves.


Strange collisions occur in this word where the Parties are so alike at the top that they are the Pigs and Farmers at the end of Animal Farm to the activists.
Polly Toynbee
Suddenly we are friends with Polly Toynbee,and Cameron wishes us to jump aboard he caravan. As wonderful Boris pointed out , why not ? She sends her children to the best Public school in the country and has the most delightful Italian Bolt hole, which to get to, she regularly leaves her muddy carbon prints all over the place . Boris could only gleefully anticipate his invitation …marvellous isn’t he .

Nic Boles
What are we to make of this typically fatuous piece of essaying for teacher “The chances of a modern Britain escaping from the circumstances in which they are born are falling fast”..yes do go on Nic whats the answer …,”Mr. Cameron needs to make it an overriding mission..” ,uh oh..he`s waffling ,“to give the poorest families an alternative to failing schools “..oh I see just charitable do gooding ..”and to encourage the best teachers to offer their inspiration..” OH SHUT UP!!!. Not a mention of course about the vast majority treated like cattle a who do all he work. There wouldn’t be . How would an Etonian Policy Wonk know anything of the country he lives in. Only by reading books about it.

Incidentally I am pretty sure this epitome of the problem is posing as Atreides on Conservative Home and trying out this speeches for the next few weeks . Do go and tell him its no good if you get it from a book. Apart from anything lese it’s the last thing David Cameron needs .It would be like Stan and …um Stan..we need an Olly.


I have tried to show a picture of a political class dangerously divided from the voters and the people . I have suggested they make ex cathedra pronouncements often by image and icon and have floated free of any engagement with other groups . The bicycle with the Bentley behind was a reductio ad absurdum and the A list a mockery of a gesture. It is my hope that the growth of new groups on the web may make a contribution to reengaging our lives with the power that guides us.

We must all do what we can to pull the Priests out of their temple and make them see what their gestures mean in the light of day. Often it is very little . We cannot however disengage with the reality of the present. There is still a vital need to remove Gordon brown and only David Cameron can do it .

( which one would you vote for ?)


Serf said...

You echo my thoughts exactly. Parliament should be full of people with at least a decade (preferable 2) of real experience.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Serf I `m afraid its a bit of a forbidding post and I appreciate your trouble .

I need CU course in brevity

Anonymous said...

It is a point well made, and is a worrying picture for the future of this country.

As a follow-up to Serf's comment, it would be interesting to plot the average time MPs had spent in the real world (in business, industry, law, or whatever) before entering parliament, verses date. I very much suspect the trend goes downward, with a steeper slope in more recent years.

The Hitch said...

serf I also agree but would add
with at least one bollock(preferably two)
Mr Newman If you woul like any advice as to how to get out of paying parking fines please let me know, ditto the BBC tax or speeding fines.

Stan Bull said...

A fine rumination, N. I share your views. But I don't think Guido was privately educated... Most certainly, the A-List was a flawed and slightly offensive affair. Overall, Tories must, however, make the voters feel optimistic as well as financially secure.

The Tory message should be that "compassion" is not a matter of public spending, that "social justice" does not mean the same thing as the amount spent on social security benefits and that state and society are different things. In this respect, Cameron will stand in appealing contrast to the command and control grimness of Broon.

Anonymous said...

I have just found out my MP is a bloke called Hugo Swire and he is Shadow Minister for Culture!!

See Im getting all political on you. I wouldnt have thought any proper Conservative wanted a Minister for Culture with all its Goebells-esque overtones. Shouild I start writing Pooterish letters??

Anonymous said...

Should I start writing Pooterish letters??

It was the bloody end of my normality Mutley. I think shouting at the television may be the place to draw the line.

Anonymous said...

David and IT thanks for that at least it looks as though I got my point over (eventually)

IT absolutely I so often wish people would understand that I hold the views I hold out of liking and sympathy for others not "selfishness"

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you Peter, if I was that clever I would be doing this all day instead of fitting around work !

( ....and between you , a really pleasing response cheers...the good news is its once a week at most !)

The Hitch said...

Mr N
Working the system doesn't require a finely honed intellect, it does however require low animal cunning and a desire to stick it up "them" I have both.
I recently traded a few ideas with a well known blogger , turned out that we both do the same things to avoid fines etc.
I think you wil come around eventually, when you have had enough of geting dicked by no marks.

Anonymous said...

'I spent my twenties drinking and worrying about girls'

Fun isn't it! Im at 26 now and don't intend to stop getting drunk and worrying about girls until I've found somewhere I'm sure my dick fits.

Tejus Ramakrishnan said...

that was a rather short post :)

Just wanted to tell you I have added a link to your blog now..

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tejus..hope your studies are going well. I will have alook at what you are up to.

STEVEN L--Great to hear from you, I rarely look down Boris way..well he hasn`t done anything good for a while. I applaud your noble ambitions .

From what I hear , though, your quest will not be a long one (or a wide one)

Serf said...

Mr Newmania

As you do not publish an email address and I wanted to ask a favour, could you mail me on

Sorry for the off topic post.

Anonymous said...

I have emailed serf Mr N! So don't bother yourself. I have seen a picture of Hugo Swire - look I am getting involved in politics!! In ten years I shall be PM hah ahah ha ha - Oh no I have been bitten by the bugg!

Anonymous said...

N- A post worthy of discussion in the pub no doubt.

I think the point is well made but the solution harder to come by.

We could machine gun etonians upon graduation. there are many good points to be made here.

I am sure guido as a fellow old harrovian would be all in favour too.

However, as much as we could also be assured teh support and active help of PH, I don't think it will come to pass.

The only way to do this is to re-take, in both major parties, the selection process. people like Iain Dale, as much as he is a nice guy, are part f the problem.

Today the quotas are gender, sexula proclimation, race and old school neoptism.

A real change to the selsetcion process could incorporate all of the suggestions made by commenters here. this is why you should back local commitees over central dictat from party HQ's.
Hopefully when you are mayor yuo can lead the way.

(see I can do unnecessarily long too)

Anonymous said...

Guido is not an old harrovian....but he did go to school in the London Borough of Harrow.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is well made but the solution harder to come by.


Long yes but rare also.

IT how do you know ?

Anonymous said...

Hang on, didn't someone state in the Islington Tribune that the Conservative Party preferred candidates and employees from Oxbridge, the leader's close circle and a ten mile corridor surrounding the A/M 40 over other folk who have longer roots in the party? Mmm, isn't that a priestly caste? So you can defend on the one hand and condemn on another, sounds like quite priestly behaviour to me!!!

So you would rather chose a self perpetuating Notting Hill elite over a self perpetuating socialist elite, aren't they both as bad as each other? Isn't the situation made worse by the manipulation of aspirational members of political parties by existing elites to preserve their status? That is the problem, everyone wants to progress their political career and to do so you must conform to the parties whims, hence a very poor list of MP's, candidates and followers for all major parties.

Surely the solution would be no A-list, candidates list, local primaries, open selection for party workers and true one member one vote in politcal parties, otherwise no solution will ever present itself. My view, pick 600 people at random aged 18-80 every five years for parliament, get rid of all the professional politicians and everything will change. Of course, I would lose a bit of income, but it would be worth it.

It seems to me a number of the commentors on this blog, the blogger himself, are out of step with current Conservative thinking and would do better elsewhere. UKIP has 36,000 members according to the electoral commission and is positioning itself to be a libertarian party, why don't you join?

I dare you all to have the courage to!

Anonymous said...

Duncan you are well on your way to becoming the modern incarnation of the bitter brilliantined oddities that were the typical anti marketers of 1975.The A list has been dropped, albeit to late ,I was “conflicted” about it but understand the electoral necessity. As CU says the answers are very much harder to arrive at than the problems . It is a cross party problem and to blame the incumbents is of no use whatsoever.

You are probably too young to remember, but the thrust of the Yes campaign, as described by its treasurer McAlpine, was, “to depict the anti-Marketeers as unreliable people - dangerous people who would lead you down the wrong path”. This tactic was greatly assisted by the right wing detritus that clung to the campaign as the only log floating nearby. It reminds me of the miscellany of wastrels attached to the anti -hunting and animal rights lobby .Often these people were embittered Tories who for very good reasons had been unable to gain the advancement their ego’s craved within the party.Do you know anyone like that ?

The rational, democratic and self interested argument against Europe, which I broadly support, has made great strides into the world of moderates since .This is what has saved the Conservative Party, not a drift in the other direction as wrongly perceived by political illiterates . On the other hand, because Euro scepticism has won ground across a broad spectrum, the same rules apply today, to those who have actually become traitors. People who would rather let Brown-nose in than knuckle down to winning an election. Look at the party he is joining. Richard Suchorzewski pulled the rock up to reveal business as usual

“Nothing however prepared me for the scurrilous behaviour, defamatory comments and downright dishonesty of some of Nigel Farage's & David Bannerman's staff, supporters and members of the Press Office staff, in which they clearly colluded. I was accused of having associations with the BNP – even when these scoundrels knew that my grandfather was murdered by the Nazis in a concentration camp and my Great Grandfather was discovered hanged by them from a lamp post near his home by my 14 year old Father.” ………………………and much much more of which I trust you are aware. .

From what I can tell Duncan you will fit right in. There is a real problem here both for the Conservative party and, ironically for UKIP. The types of people that become involved, not only undermine UKIP, which so badly needs respectability, but also the debate within the Conservative party. If you were go to the Bruges group, as I have done,( and you have not ) , you feel amongst friends with a valid point of view that you might have a slightly different take on. Other UKIPs remind me far too much of the doctrinal religionists of the Labour party or, at worst, of the BNP. They remove the ground on which a Christopher Booker stands the moment they open their mouths ….

The Europe case is sound but the baggage that comes with it is unattractive and in any case a world of electoral dreams The other problem is that this attitudinising will leave the Conservative party entirely in the hands of Liberals with any move towards UKIP policies, which are widely supported, appearing actually treacherous This is very bad indeed and entirely the fault of UKIP who have failed to maintain respectability and civility. I see there will be no end to this.
Any Conservative of whatever Liberal hue is worth any number of self satisfied poseurs who have expressed, in effect, an intention to work on behalf of the Labour Party. Thankyou Comrade Connors for you assistance in bringing this ailing country to its knees.

Anonymous said...


I was recommended to the approved list of candidates and I can tell you, there is still a preferential list of candidates!!!!! In fact, when you go for canidate selection, they state as much!!!

Somehow, you appear to be out of step with the goings on a CCO. I spent a lot of time there the last couple of years, you get a different view from press announcements.

Anonymous said...


I have more time to respond now, it appears that every dump the baby takes now requires a serious hour long intervention! You know what I mean, I'm sure.

My father has a saying, The Scottish, Irish, Welsh and non conformists started an empire, the Indians helped perpetuate it and the English Upper Middle classes flushed it down the drain. My view, is that Cameron et al have focussed on a short termist view to campaigning reminiscent of Edward Heath's and consequently anything the party does in the next few years will be to the detriment of the country as a whole.

I'm actually economically conservative and believe in cutting state expenditure, as a monetarist by training I can state this inflation is not caused by oil prices but my government spending backed by borrowing. Cameron, nor his cronies, do not understand that concept whatsoever. Hence my support for a Norwegian solution to the European question, no more no less and I refuse to dwell on it. Greater men have had local political careers ruined in the Islington Conservatives because of a dogmatic adherence to Euroscepticism. However, I do believe in free trade, I do believe in the easy movement of goods, services and people and I abhor protectionism. That said, we should also rebuild our trade relationships with Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

So not a comrade there, sorry Paul!

Socially, I have a simple view of do what you want but don't hurt anyone and as such support legalising cannabis, prescribing Heroin and prefer hammering the supplier with the law not the junkie. My sister was (emphasis on the past tense) a smack head, putting her in prison helped no one and damaged her family and children. Subsequently, my biggest problem with the current party is I think building more prisons is self defeating and systems that we could mirror from Holland and Denmark would work just as well, reform works, it is hard and sometimes fails, but it is better to try than have a per capita prison population almost as large as the US or China. We should be ashamed of that. I am also ashamed of my other nationality's record with the death penalty, I was part of a DC based charity that provided witnesses to executions, even lethal inject is unpleasant. I prefer life meaning life and once you've factored in the cost of death row appeals, procedures, confinement and execution over the average 15 year stay, it is cheaper as well.

Slightly left of centre, but commies have a poor penal record, so still not a comrade Paul, sorry!

Also, I was part of the Conservative electoral reform and devolution groups and believe in both as a way of preserving the Union, we should have learnt from the Ireland and India examples last century. Money raised in London should be spent in London and not redistributed over the nation, the same with finances raised in Scotland et cetera. Fiscal responsibility in City Hall and Holyrood would strengthen those institutions and removed arguments for independence, which I now unapologetically support and have done for a while, I do not think that Labour nor the Lib Dems have the flexibility to deal with the issue, the Conservatives tried to and failed, Howard did some good work but again, Cameron has gone nowhere with it. A simple move to AV voting in single candidate constituencies, such as wife the London Mayor and in Australia, will see of any move to impose a stupid PR list based system, why don’t the Conservatives propose that for the sake of the nation?

That makes me a Celtic fringe nationalist, still not a comrade!

So what is my political stance? I am economically liberal, true sense of the word as in Free Market and socially liberal, true sense of the word, do what you want without hurting anyone. The sad thing is Paul, you make some smart observations and comments, but you ruin them with an adherence to dogma and doctrine. At the last four Conservative conferences, at CCO under Howard and in some of the fringe policy groups we had such hopes, but Cameron is intent on securing 800,000 votes in marginal seats (Republican 2004 election style) and that might win an election, but it will alienate the rest of the United Kingdom. None of your Bruges Group or Thatcherite rhetoric is reflected in the modern party, which is dishonest on their part and a shame on yours for being an honest member of a dishonest party.

The Conservatives are no longer the party of the Tamworth manifesto, Disraeli, Churchill or Thatcher and is now merely a group aiming at a win at any cost, even it means selling out on core principals. That, in my view, is dishonest in the extreme and the spurning of the grass roots in favour of an elite on the candidates list, (I wish you luck if you apply but believe me if you manage ever to get a safe or winnable seat, I promise to run naked around Finsbury Park for your chosen charity, that is the faith I have in their ability to select good candidates such as yourself) demonstrates that the local level party is no longer important for Central Office, which is now focussed solely on national campaigning.

Séin Alba!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to Newmania getting selected and Connors doing the trousers down round Finsbury Park.

Mr Monetarist, you omitted to mention the increase in the money supply at a rate greater than that of economic growth as the intermediate factor behind long-term inflation.

Anonymous said...


I would happy jog and slap wang against thigh in the park if Paul is selected for a priority list safe seat, those are the conditions!

I will fabricate an award out of tin foil and plaster in recognition of that unsolicited macro-economic titbit, which is quite true enough.


Philipa said...

Just re-read your post Newmania and it is a superb comment.

Long live the revolution.

Of course no mention was made of the other path for the 'working class' like Prescott to get into parliament - that of the Unions being part of the Labour party. It's a sticky argument for rhe peasants though isn't it? The Trad working man/posh parties no longer exist.

Anonymous said...

P Hi..I think that is the other side of the same coin. Unions have become different animals and they produce professional politicians rather than worker representatives. Old style Union men are few and this allows the elite to share the same language.
There is huge resentment of this in the Labour Party which is why they put up with Prescott. Its also why I have never hated him quite as much as I pretend to.

Its interesting though isn`t it that the Union connection funding and personelle is very much alive. Oh you should see private Eye ion Millipede , who thanked the Unions for choosing the Labour Party to be affiliated with. he really knows his history doesn`t he.


David Cameron’s positioning of the Conservative Party is not exactly minty fresh as a topic. I have written about it ad nauseum as has everyone else. We do not know what a Cameron Government will do and this stage that is quite right but I haven’t the energy to re-heat that one today,. Same with the damaged supply side of the economy the reasons behind continued growth and so on. Your wish to leave the EU and connect with the Anglo-sphere will be supported by many Conservatives including me. It would fly in the face of the most high profile policy of the SNP however , which leave you a problem. My use of the word comrade was in reference to the electoral affect of UKIP support not an invitation for a browse round the many exciting special offers in the Connors supermarket.
I support the death penalty on moral grounds , not convenience and certainly not on financial grounds . I have little interest in prisons other than as a place for punishment .I deplore Liberal bleeding edge crim huggers.

I would venture that you suggestion of fiscal independence for London is over the thin line dividing the stupid from the clever. I support English nationalism but understand a sentimental attachment to the Union in the Party. You would not expect David Cameron to undermine the position of the embattled Conservatives in Scotland on the eve of local elections I hope.

I have no ambitions to be on any list .My ambition is to stop the Brown threat and to work within the Party to influence the administration . Your attack of idealism Duncan is timed somewhat unfortunately to put it as kindly as I can. …..


Anonymous said...

Did u read all those replies Mr.N? Do I have to read long things if I get involved in politics?

Anonymous said...

By the way Guido and I went to Harrow - not the public school - Harrow Secondary Modern!

Anonymous said...

I`m bored with politics Mut.I think I may become a wandering minstrel of join a circus.


Anonymous said...

Wow ! So you mean that our major parties actually operate autonomously of an invisible and centralised entity ?

Priests maybe and Philipa certainly makes a good counter- point about the Prescotts of this world. But regardless of which we have in power, how come we always end up eating the same flavoured s**t ?

Newmania said...

Kev as an activist you are always going to want things to be more active

I think we may be due fro some dramatic chages over the next few years revolvong around the end of the Union.

Anonymous said...

As a conservative (small c) I'd prefer things to have been less active, actually.

Do we have 'years' ?

And as for my own 'activeness' I've spent most of to-day in my dressing gown drinking tea.

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