Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What exactly is the purpose of the Tory party?

When I heard that the Tories invited Polly Toynbee to become their new guru, I thought that April 1st had come early. David Cameron must be congratulating himself on his latest coup, I think he's out of his mind.

When Labour decided to ditch Clause IV and embrace Thatcherism 12 years ago, it all made sense. Tax and spend policies were widely discredited and Labour had a stark choice, to reform or die. But the Tories aren't being faced with the same dilemma. Despite Labour's higher taxes and spending spree, public services are getting worse, and the Government's record on law and order is appalling. All of which are very good reasons for not adopting their policies (or their gurus).

Dumping your idealogical baggage is a good idea is your idealogy is past its sell by date. But adopting the discredited ideology of your opposite party in order to win votes is a cheap marketing trick that won't wash with the electorate. Voters may well conclude, better the devil you know than the devil you don't, and vote for the government, at least you know what they stand for.

Monday, November 27, 2006

There is strength in numbers

There is a pretty depressing article in the Sunday Telegraph, asking whether the current generation of Anglo Jewry is also the last?

It's hard to believe that there were once 400,000 Jews in the UK, now there are barely 300,000 (The Muslim population is six times the size). It goes a long way towards explaining why the Anglo Jewish community lacks the self-confidence of its US counterparts. Despite the higher intermarriage rates, the US community numbers nearly 6 million, (that's 2% of the general population), which means they have a much stronger presence, especially in cities like New York, Chicago, Miami and LA.

Unlike the US, not only are many Jews assimilating, but many are leaving. The last part of the article is telling...
"Over the past three years, emigration to Israel has nearly doubled. By the end of this month, 635 Jews will have flown out to the Holy Land this year and today hundreds more will be at the Israel Expo to look at the real estate on offer in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

In September, an all-party parliamentary inquiry said that anti-semitic violence has become endemic in Britain, both on the streets and university campuses, yet Jews are not leaving Britain out of fear, but because they feel that in Israel they can join a community confident in its identity".