Well, That Was A Nice Conservative Party We Had For A While


The UK's Conservative party took a decisive turn—you might even call it a break—from Thatcherism last year, electing 39-year old Eton grad David Cameron as their new leader. Cameron's first electoral test will be the May 4 local elections (in the UK, all localities hold elections the same day), and his strategy for victory has little to do with the Conservative party stalwart issues like tax cuts or law and order. He's running on a hardcore environmental platform—"Vote Blue, Go Green." (Blue is the traditional color of the Conservatives. Also, note how the law and order issue is reframed as a fight against "environmental crime.")

Rather weirdly for a local election, Cameron kicked off the campaign by visiting Norway for photo-ops with glaciers and cute snow dogs. He returned with the passion of a zealot, proposing a ban on the building of new roads, among other "I know what's best for you" policies.

Mr Cameron's emissions target would mean virtually all cars on Britain's roads would have to be powered by new technologies such as hybrid motors.

He has declined to say whether he would increase vehicle excise duty for gas-guzzlers or impose a green tax on air flights which produce high levels of greenhouse gases.

I prefer the old Conservative party's way of dealing with pollutants—like coal, for example.