Alex Massie

More Nonsense from National Review

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Earlier today I took issue with John O'Sullivan's take on this election but do not let it be said that his views are the only odd ones available at National Review. Here's Dennis Boyles:

I'm sure all good Tories wish Cameron well. But one could argue that a Cameron win might be the worst of all outcomes for the Tories. Call it the sorrow of granted wishes, but if he wins, the Conservatives will run on visionless, unimaginative, timid platforms for years.

[...]As I said, party partisans surely would never wish it — and after this last week, it's a very unlikely outcome, anyway — but I ask Jack and Andrew, is it not possible that the best result for Conservatives next Thursday is a narrow Brown win, with Clegg finishing third?

No it is not possible that this is or could be the case. There are two kinds of political party: those with a narrow sectional interest that hope to advance certain ideas or policy positions and those, larger, parties who exist to win elections. The Tories are in the second group.

Sure, the next four or five years are going to be devilishly ticklish and the government will have to make many difficult, often unpopular decisions. But the Conservative party exists to win elections and advance its ideas from government. Without that it is nothing.  David Cameron and George Osborne recognise this; many of their critics appear not to, preferring to pine for a Fantasy World in which Tebbitism and Hefferism and so on would prevail.

But Britain isn't part of that Fantasy World. Losing is fine for the Greens, UKIP and, yes, even the Liberal Democrats, but it is not what the Tories are supposed to be about and the notion that a further five years in opposition would help the Conservatives and persuade them that they will return to power if only they would dare to be more right-wing is, I'm afraid, piffle.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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