An outbreak of Brown-tongue
The speech was replete with some innately Conservative thinking – GP choice, hospital choice, one-to-one education, support led by the voluntary sector, the notion of ‘Britishness’ - and the Conservative Party must embrace these initiatives, and boast about their genesis, and witness some of their own agenda fulfilled as a prelude to the authentic. But after a decade of New Labour, for which Mr Brown was responsible for the billions of pounds poured into its policies, the nation’s social structure is still crumbling: crime has increased, taxes have soared, programmes to cater for infants have failed, pensions are in terminal decline, education standards are abysmal, prisoners are wrongly released, immigration policy in chaos, the tax system incoherent and convoluted, and millions of unemployed have either been employed by the state in one of a million non-jobs, or simply been re-classified so as to remove them from the official statistics altogether.
But what really irritated Cranmer was this little section:
We all remember that biblical saying: "suffer the little children to come unto me." No Bible I have ever read says: "bring just some of the children."
How dare he. How very dare he.
Off he pontificated, about how ‘every child deserves the best possible start in life’, how they have ‘lifted 600,000 children out of poverty’ by doubling child benefits and trebling maternity allowances, and bestowing upon 6 million families the soviet ‘Child Tax Credit’. And he and he alone will suffer ‘the children of two parent families, one parent families, foster parent families; to the widow bringing up children’, because he and he alone stands for a Britain ‘that supports as first class citizens not just some children and some families but supports all children and all families’.
It is the clear inference that the Conservative Party preaches a gospel for ‘just some of the children’ that is an appalling caricature of an utterly coherent compassionate Conservative philosophy. The Conservative Party does not ‘write children off’, or ignore families and ‘teenagers in trouble’. On the contrary, Conservatism is about identifying the gifts and talents of every child, and tailoring an education to permit each child to realise his or her true potential. If that is academic, they should be stretched academically; if it is vocational, there must be respected and credible vocational training; if the child excels in the arts or sport, they should be liberated to develop their talents, not crammed into a one-size-fits-all Socialist Comprehensive system which has been the sole cause of the decline in education standards. And neither should they be packed off to pseudo-universities to obtain third class degrees in golf course management, witchcraft, or Posh and Becks studies, if they don’t drop out first, in order to fulfil some arbitrary government quota which demands that 50% of school leavers must enter university irrespective of aptitude or ability.
Conservatism suffers all the little children to come unto it, because it is wholly in accord with nature. Selection by ability or aptitude is observable in all of creation; people are different, and those variations should be embraced, not measured against some artificially constructed touchstone. Conservatism creates a natural environment for children in which they can risk, compete, explore and excel; Socialism creates artificial constructs which eliminate risk, which considers competition anathema, and demands conformation irrespective of ability or aptitude.
God forbid that parents should permit Mr Brown to suffer their precious children. Trust this man, and as sure as night follows day, you will be let down.