Andrew Cooper moves in to No10 to eradicate the 'vile' Tory instinct
And when Mr Cooper denies it, insisting that Mr Montgomerie has ‘attributed views to me that I do not hold and have never held’, it is for the historian to discern the more reliable source.
He can't be much of a strategist if he is so free with his derogatory opinions of that which he is now employed to guard, disseminate and propagate.
This may not be of little interest to many, but politics is so lacking in honour, integrity and trust that an injection of openness, transparency and honesty can only be a good thing: light, disinfectant and all that. And if, as reported, Mr Cooper is so disparaging of the Conservative Party’s rank and file – their dedication, loyalty, instincts and political priorities – one has to wonder what strategic direction he will be advising the Prime Minister to take.
The Daily Mail reports that Tim Montgomerie also said he had been told by an 'impeccable source' that Mr Cooper argued in 2000 that the 'ultimate modernisation' would be for the Tories to become pro-euro: 'Not because it was morally right, not because it was economically sensible, not because the euro was popular with voters but because it would show that the Conservative Party had changed,' Mr Montgomerie said.
‘Change’ is the vacuous Obama mantra. And look where it got him. The nation is crying out for moral integrity and political conviction, not sophistry and salesmanship. One glimpses something of the Cooper view of the Cameron project in an article he wrote on the run-up to the 2010 General Election. He spoke of:
David Cameron striving to substantiate his assertion that he is a ‘modern, compassionate Conservative’ committed to the NHS, in touch with ordinary working people and caring about the vulnerable...as though it were a lost cause. Tim Montgomerie also said Mr Cooper, a former member of the SDP, had attacked William Hague's pro-family policies as 'outdated, exclusive and wrong' and claimed the party showed 'no respect for minorities'.
If it is true that he believes pro-family policies to be ‘outdated, exclusive and wrong’, God knows what he must think of Iain Duncan Smith’s mission. He appears to be convinced that the Conservatives really are the ‘nasty party’.
According to ConservativeHome, Andrew Cooper’s decontamination priorities are all about race, gender and sexuality. He argues for ‘whatever it takes’ to get more women and ethnic minority candidates. And his views on the EU, tax and immigration are manifestly antithetical to those of mainstream Conservatives.
And so a picture begins to emerge of a Prime Minister ill at ease with his party’s right wing, and a Parliamentary Party ill at ease with its voluntary wing. For it is not only the Downing Street Director of Strategy who thinks Conservative Party members are ‘vile’: the Party Chairman Baroness Warsi has made it clear that she has little time for the Tory right (and so the vast majority of members). And this revelation follows hard upon those recently made; that the Party faithful are made up of ‘dinosaurs’, ‘backwoodsmen’ and the ‘Turnip Taliban’.
It is one thing to wish to ‘decontaminate’ and reach out to the ‘middle ground’. But it is quite another to do it at the expense of one’s core vote. The Conservative Party leadership might just consider that these vile turnips, dinosaurs and backwoodsmen are not all out-of-touch, anachronistic eccentrics, but often intelligent and discerning individuals possessing of more conservative philosophy in their little fingers than some of the Party’s key strategists appear to manifest in their entire beings.
Those who have consistently and unwaveringly voted for the Conservative Party have done so because they are conservatives. The trudge from door to door; spend hours on the phone; and hold their coffee mornings and bridge evenings because they are convinced of the rightness of their cause. They have the innate intelligence to see beyond the superficial, anodyne and banal. Their notion of diversity is more than skin deep: it is not dependent on gender, ethnicity, sexuality or disability, but on profession, achievement, religion, philosophy and worldview. The shifting sands of a nebulous and platitudinous ecumenical ‘broad appeal’ are no substitute for the rock of the ‘broad church’ laity.
Irritating we may be; 'vile' we are not.