Donal Blaney? A ‘right-wing extremist’?
Well, thank God for that.
Cranmer thought young Tories were all being inexorably dragged into a vacuum of vapidity; smothered by the amorphous policy blancmange of ‘Red Tory’ philosophy and stifled by the sponge of politically-correct, centre-ground Conservatism-lite.
But no. Donal Blaney is assiduously ensuring that future parliamentary candidates are not all ‘wets’ of the left: he is instilling some Thatcherite backbone into the Conservative Party.
And so The Guardian demands that David Cameron distance himself from these KKK-BNP-EDL types, for such extremist heresies as daring to question NHS spending; believing the pseudo-religion of man-made global warming to be ‘a scam’; and suggesting that ‘the water-boarding of prisoners can be justified’.
The furore has only arisen now as ‘11 prospective Tory candidates, an estimated seven of whom have a reasonable chance of winning their seats, have been delegates or speakers at training conferences run by the Young Britons' Foundation, which claims to have trained 2,500 Conservative party activists’.
And, horror of horrors, when visiting the US, they meet with ‘neo-conservative groups’ and visit ‘a shooting range in Virginia to fire submachine guns and assault rifles’.
Is that illegal? Didn’t Peter Mandelson go on a shooting trip with Cherie Blair at her country mansion last year?
Jon Cruddas, a Labour MP who is leading the campaign against ‘right-wing extremism’ in the General Election, said: "It beggars belief that the Conservative party should be so reliant for the training of some of its candidates and thousands of its young activists on an organisation headed by people with such extremist views."
John Prescott said: "Cameron must disown the YBF now. This calls into question whether this organisation reflects the true face of the Tory party."
Donal Blaney and the YBF happen to be Tories in the mould of Thatcher, Churchill and Disraeli. The Guardian obviously would prefer that we were all in the mould of Ted Heath, but we are a broad church. And the YBF ensures the ‘right’ wing, the Roundhead little platoon, the Whiggish tradition of the Party endure through the present shift in emphasis.
This is a typical kind of training programme offered by the YBF.
Who are the ‘extremists'?
David Davis? Iain Duncan Smith? Douglas Carswell? John Whittingdale? Eric Pickles? Ed Vaizey? Nigel Evans? Ian Dale? Shane Greer?
Where is the subversion?
Television Techniques? Television Presenting? Public Speaking? Speech Writing? Campaign Management? Fundraising? Internet Activism? Debating Skills? Candidate Development?
Or is it that they hold policy workshops focusing on: Freedom, Tax, Regulation & Public Sector Reform? Social Justice, Poverty, Environmentalism & Globalisation? Health, Education, Crime & Transport? Foreign Policy & Human Rights? Local, Regional & Devolved Government?
Or perhaps it is that they dare to corrupt young minds with 'Conservative Perspectives on History'.
We can't be having any of that, can we? God forbid that young people might be taught about the great age of Empire, the glories of the English-speaking world, the incomparable Winston Churchill, or the religio-political uniqueness of the Christian faith.
Or is it because the YBF juxtaposes the BNP-owned Union Flag with the Houses of Parliament? Or perhaps it is because they also invite that extremist global-warming sceptic Roger Helmer? Or the manifestly uncompassionate, rabid cost-cutter Matthew Elliott of the TPA? Or the bigoted Islamophobe Douglas Murray? Or the evidently-corrupt Ashcroft-financed co-editor of ConservativeHome Jonathan Isaby?
Mr Blaney tweets today that the ‘YBF is sooooo extreme that we held a minute's silence for Michael Foot on Wednesday. Funny that didn't get a mention, eh?’
To convey the impression that the Conservative Party are secret extremists running covert training sessions is tawdry reporting, but this is The Guardian, and we are in election mode.
Donal Blaney is a man of blue blood.
Thank God there is someone to keep the Thatcher-Reagan philosophy alive.
And if the price of that is to be accused of being a ‘right-wing extremist’, then His Grace is Spartacus.