David Blackburn

We’re all Lib-Cons now

We’re all Lib-Cons now
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In an article in this morning’s Guardian, Geoffrey Wheatcroft voices his concern that the Tory party is becoming infested with Blairite neo-conservatives. Here is the crucial passage:

‘And yet Gove – who is "happy to be called a neocon" – insists that Cameron has "given the strongest possible support for our mission in Afghanistan", which is "part of a broader struggle against Islamist fundamentalism". Those words must make anyone despair, and certainly think twice about voting Tory.’

Foreign policy is one issue where Cameron is emphatically not the “heir to Blair”. Cameron has rejected the neocon belief that political and economic liberalism can be exported globally by force of arms outright: “You cannot drop democracy from 10,000ft”. His support for the Afghan mission is based on the need to stabilise the benighted country and region as a whole, not to build a democratic state. Prominent backbenchers, such as John Redwood, take a similar view. Gove and Goerge Osborne are neocons, but they “stay silent” on foreign policy issues in public, suggesting that theirs is the minority view within the leadership and the party as a whole.