Monday, October 02, 2006

Cameron: Convictions and Lies

Herr Doktor Nietzsche has been stalking this blog recently. In his comment on Cameron in Kitchen (below), he quotes himself - 'Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies'. The point being, in this context, that it is all very well to sneer at his horrible videos but he is emphatically a better option than Gordon Blair or Tony Brown, precisely because he lacks convictions. Blair and especially Brown have convictions - no matter how bizarre and virtualised they may be. The world they see is highly coloured by prejudices arising from these convictions. Brown, for example, thinks he understands America, but it is Roosevelt's America he knows; Blair thinks he is a thwarted radical and that, having failed to bring this radicalism to Britain, he dreams in his last months (if they are, indeed, last months, which I doubt) of bringing it to the world. Blair thinks people can be micro-managed into social virtue; Brown, who is more of a neocon than Blair, believes virtue arises only from central command.
Herr Doktor tells us to be ruthless with these 'convictions'. They are truth's real enemies.
Cameron's emetic videos are lies, of a kind, but they are not convictions, for he has none. I remember when I spent time with him the word 'unformed' hovered continually in my mind. In Nietzsche's terms, he is, therefore, less an enemy of truth than the shower in power. Let the savage pragmatism of the good Doktor push you off the fence on which you are probably sitting. Dave's your man, but we must continue to mock.


  1. You won't find me voting for an old Etonian junta: but you have a point about the danger of convictions. I could mention some very 'convicted' political figures, but we can leave their identity to the imagination. I heard one of these squeaky little Cameron chaps, George Osbourne, on the radio this morning - and concluded that the ultimate con is the political party that denies it has any pre formed policies - meaning, I suppose, 'convictions'. Beware this new political trickery. It can't be real - and is thus even more dangerous than the Brown/Blair positions. They're hiding something. I'm convinced.

  2. I feel that the immediate concern is how long Cameron can discipline his backbenchers. The current rumblings from John Redwood et al could easily turn into a revolt against the leadership. I was fourteen when Thatcher was deposed and I have never seen them truly united during my whole adult life.

  3. Wise words, Chris, the suicidal tendencies and psychotic treacheries of the average Tory backbencher are limitless and beyond all reason.

  4. Yes, I don?t like my politicians to have convictions, of an abstract ideological nature that is (though it would be ok for them to be unyielding in a love of real ale over lager, for example). Do we really want our politicians to direct and shape the course and goal of our society, as if what we were really waiting for and wanting were a shaman or a witchdoctor? Our aversion to ?convictionless? politicians is rooted in a respectable fear of weakness in a leader, and/or directionless. I accept that weakness is bad, since such a man would not be able to maintain functional unity, but surely it is not for politicians to give our lives direction. We are not children (well, not all of us anyway), so why expect direction from any but ourselves. The role of the state is to keep things ticking over in the life of strangers and to provide a workable framework for us to do our thing, not its.

    Jonah (an old world, pre-ideological Tory, with an ultimate preference for anarchy, if only we could deserve it. Oh and I like real Ale too)

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