|Cameron: Clear blue sky thinker?|
I find David Cameron a little confusing, for a Conservative, that is. That said, he is, in a way, to the Conservative Party what Tony Blair was to the Labour Party, only his 'modernisation' programme for the party is not about removing clause four and becoming more attractive to business and Rupert Murdoch, but about removing traditional Conservative values, such as respect for the institutions of marriage and the family and replacing them with new values grounded in new ideologies grounded in a distorted perception of human 'equality'. Both modernisation programmes are quite similar in that they are about attacking the traditional roots of the mainstream parties for Labour and Conservative and replacing them with a new ideological framework. I wonder how the Conservative Party as a whole feels about Cameron's support for the legalisation of 'gay marriages'?
I wonder whether it is an Oxford thing. The elitism of Oxford seems to generate a political class who think in parallel lines to the rest of society and then impose those views or debates on society from above. This is the place where politicians and those who will enter the media become divorced from reality. They are treated as if they are royalty as students. They are waited on hand and foot by commoners at dinner time. Everything about Oxford University seems to say, "You are the chosen ones," and nobody else really matters that much. One suspects that it is taught that virtue is something that happens in the head in a philosophical way and the same for vice - whatever vice is. I wonder whether in order to get to the gates of Hell, you have to walk through Oxford first.
On a recent visit to the town, I was given a great tour by Once I Was a Clever Boy of the sites relating to Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and his time in the Oxford Movement and read with interest that the Methodist preacher John Wesley was very much rejected by Oxford's students because he preached about 'moral laxity'. I don't have much truck with Methodism myself, it doesn't make a great deal of sense to me as a Catholic, but it is interesting that Wesley suffered such rejection by Oxford's students just for preaching something that sounds like basic Christianity. Perhaps the rejection of objective moral values for our parliamentarians is something that happens at University, in the same way as the rejection of objective moral values is something that starts in school and in the broken homes of the rioting underclass.
There has always been a trend for our parliamentarians to have been educated in Oxford, and the dining halls of the colleges feed the next generation of politicians, where they discuss the World and put it to rights, drinking fine wine while the homeless not so far away shiver in winter. From here the students receive absolutely no experience of any other life other than being thought of as incredibly 'bright and special' and go on into a particular field of employment (politics, media, business, industry) rather smoothly and are never really exposed to the realities of life for the majority of people in the UK. The vast majority of Oxford graduates will never know what it is like to be unemployed, in any sense poor, in any sense excluded, or perhaps even included in society. They are always taught that they are the elites. They are, apparently, the cream of the nation's talent and they are more or less always told that that is what they are even if they are relatively mediocre, but they know enough influential people to get ahead in life anyway.
I do wonder whether the whole 'equality' obsession for gay couples is such a vote winner. Aside from the vociferous calls of lobbyists for the gay equality movement, is your average voter really going around thinking about the need for gay men to be able to get married to each other all day and, more importantly for Cameron, is that what your average Tory party member is really thinking about. The 'debate' about 'gay marriage' is something that takes place in the media and it is one driven by the media and politicians. We all know that it is not a real debate because the outcome is more or less assured every time.
To me, the 'debates' that we have in this country about 'gay marriage', euthanasia and assisted dying, abortion, contraception and the rest are kind of like notional tussles which take place at Oxford's dining tables only they are had in parliament, the civil service and in Government think tanks. These never were and are not now, debates that have been instigated by your average, (dare I say it) white van man, in a local pub. Much of the opinion in this country is formed by the media, but that is not to say that on all the issues, the media and the political elites have convinced everyone of their rightness of their liberal views. Hence, as Damian Thompson so eloquently wrote this weekend, we have the English Defence League. Now that I'm a white man van, I should obviously join up. At least they are running a campaign to restore a public holiday for St George's Day.
So, when we look back to Mr Cameron's words about Pope Benedict XVI and in discussing the effect of his visit, he was talking about the country, rather than himself, in a way, that is really a very Oxford thing to say. Perhaps more than Muslims, our political and media class actually have a problem integrating with the rest of society. They move in their circles and we move in ours and never the twain shall meet.
Last night I watched a rather painful, if at times interesting debate for last week's Sunday Morning Live concerning the aftermath of 9/11, the War on Terror and asking whether Muslims were being 'demonised'. More perhaps even than Muslims, do our Oxford and Cambridge political and media class live in a ghetto (is Oxford the 'training camp'?) in which new, fanatical and inhumane ideologies are exchanged which are then released like a toxic virus on the rest of us. Just look at who is the driving force behind the assisted dying campaign - a Lord, Charles Falconer (Cambridge) and a Baroness, Mary Warnock (Oxford). Muslims do need to integrate but so do our politicians. Liberalism is actually a rather elitist ideology - more elitist, even, than traditional Conservativism or Marxism. I get the impression from the private revelations given to the now Blessed Elena Aiello, which we can believe if we choose, that Our Blessed Lady agrees with me. Oxford students will agree with me when I say that it is always good to have friends in High Places.
I hope this post isn't offensive to Oxford Catholics. I do think that the Catholic Faith is the only bulwark against the liberalism which has dominated society from the top-down and there are many examples of the Most Holy Faith in Oxford producing men and women of who do not share the relativism of David Cameron or Baroness Warnock. I just get this overwhelming sense that when Mr Cameron, or indeed so many of our political and media class say things about their desire to help 'the ordinary working man or woman', well what would he or they know about it?