This is a depressing Telegraph leader. Libertarian Thatcherite Tories are - it seems - mere interlopers in the Conservative Party, somewhat akin to the old Militant Tendency in Labour. The true Conservative Party is in the condescending, paternalistic and patrician mould of the Carlton Club grandees. Dave Cameron, for all his forced mateyness, is the natural leader of the true Party. If those of us who believe in small government and setting people free to shape their own lives don't like it, then we can just tug our forelocks and shove off sharpish before he takes a horse whip to us.
This "narrative" would certainly account for my continued frustration with the failure of the Conservative Party to oppose the construction of the apparatus of a police state. If one is a paternalist patrician, one can just as easily use such apparatus (for the good of the people, of course, old chap) as can a paternalistic Socialist. One of the irritating facts of life in Continental Europe is that there is a broad consensus on the need for a powerful state. The only dispute is as to how its powers should be used. Both right and left in Europe interfere in markets. The Left interferes to "protect the workers" and the Right interferes to "promote national champions". Either way the taxpayers cough up zillions to be squandered by chaps with more confidence than ability.
If the Telegraph is right, perhaps British politics are finally converging with those of our EU partners?
Cameron is a true-blue Tory, for all his chameleon traits