Saturday 6 March 2010

The wit and wisdom of Donal Blaney

Amnesty International once again show their true political colours in a campaign ad against the practice of waterboarding. This sanctimonious clique of naive peaceniks and leftist fellow travellers want us to fight the evil psychopaths who indiscriminately kill innocent men, women and children of all colours, creeds and religions with one arm tied behind our backs.

Donal Blaney, (hat tip, The Yorkshire ranter)


One weekend he was trying to help build a populist movement politics at the Hannanite Tea Party. (No link now sadly). The next, he is remarkably reticent about his political views. Visitors to, the blog of will find they need a password to read on, surely missing out on an opportunity to educate and impress a whole new audience attracted by the Guardian's report of his proud boast to be organising a "Conservative madrassa" seeking to "radicalise" a generation of right-thinking ideologues and send these sleepers on to the Cameron backbenches to sabotage and disrupt the wetter aspects of Cameronism.

Well, each to their own. Blaney is perfectly entitled to his views, however absurd they might be to lefties or anybody who places any value on human rights. In my view should be less shy about propagating them. Blaney will, in any event, find he may have left rather too a large electronic footprint should he suddenly want to redact every opinion he has ever propagated at this stage.

The really interesting thing here is less about the wing-nuttery of the YBF, but about the political judgement and mixed messages of Cameron's high command.

After all, contrast Norman Tebbit closing down the Federation of Conservative Students for being too right-wing in 1982 with the extent to which the ProgCons engage and champion this Maggie's Militants rump today. In the run-up to an election, party chairman Eric Pickles and shadow defence secretary Liam Fox were keen to provide some top level engagement at what the Guardian reports was a modestly attended Young Britons' Foundation conference.

I doubt anybody could believe they are so ill-informed or lazy enough not to know about YBF's right-wing "radicalisation" mission - which was causing CCHQ disquiet when IDS was leader - and exactly where they are coming from, though The Guardian reports that Pickles too was being unusually shy last night about his engagement with the group.

Blaney has been consistently contemptuous of what he disparages as "the militant modernising tendency of our Party" who wish to downplay the true Thatcherite faith, and has been very clear about what the ideological project is, even allowing for some self-boosting hyperbole:

"We go into schools and we proselytise conservatism and we get hold of the best kids and train them up," Blaney has said. "We have been described as a Conservative madrasa, so we bring the next generation out to the States and bring them back radicalised." Blaney even takes his charges on firearms training courses. In 2008 he took activists and young Conservatives to the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Virginia, reporting that the feeling of "hot brass, gun recoil and smell of gunpowder was incredible". There are also partnerships with American rightwing thinktanks and foundations. The trips are all part of a plan to place "young radical free-market Anglosphere Conservatives in public life".

(YBF is officially a "non-partisan, not-for-profit educational, research and training organisation that promotes conservatism in schools, colleges and universities").

Blaney's absurd advocacy of US gun laws for Britain shows little feel for British conservatism, it certainly raises the British Tory Palin-O-Meter bar, with which Political Scrapbook have amusingly animated the closely contested race to be Britain's Sarah Palin. Blaney may play both the Guns and the God cards, as he appears no less certain than Palin that his political mission is divinely ordained.

Of course, there is a long tradition of "so right-wing you probably think we're joking" wing-nuttery in Conservative youth circles in particular. (Perhaps Blaney's best defence could be that he is simply heir to Bercow, though a similar journey from right-of-sensible to uber-moderation seems unlikely).

Blaney has never before kept the hyper-robustness of his uber-Thatcherite views a secret, in what has always appeared to be a bid to ensure there is absolutely no space for anybody to find any blue water whatsoever to he right. Those views are often simply a megaphone amplification, if sometimes taken almost to a reductio ad absurdum, the no tax, NHS-hating, BBC-bashing, get out of Europe, climate sceptic, hyper-partisanship which so strongly dominates the major Conservative blogs, many of which have tended to champion Blaney by portaying him as very much having the pulse of their movement. (Again, the real question is why the nascent Tory centre-right has done so little to mobilise an alternative view).

Here, indeed is Tory MP Douglas Carswell's general endorsement of Blaney as a "bastion of conservative soundness", perhaps unsurprisingly with a Palinista twist:

That bastion of conservative soundness, Donal Blaney, makes an interesting point here.

How come when Sarah Palin addresses an audience of 60,000 our state-funded BBC makes no mention of it? Had it been Barack Obama, we'd have heard no end about it.

The more that the blogosphere grows, the more obvious it becomes that the BBC license fee has got to go.

However, a hat tip to Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome, who is certainly a sound member of the Tory right, but can be seen here (YouTube) offering a damning critique of Blaney's staunch relativist defence of the 1973 Chilean coup and the human rights atrocities of the Pinochet regime.


Robert said...

Labour never do anything like that, hence we have a bunch of morons in new labour running after Thatcherism it's self.

Tom said...

Labour could really do with something like this, albeit without the psychosis.

Young members often lack access to our history or current ideas and themes in the party. When there is access, it often comes from factionally biased sources, left and right.

We could also do with something that provided media and organisational training.

It would all make an excellent Fabian/party project.