Since Barack Obama’s landslide election victory, the Tories have been trying to hide the fact that their candidate lost and the people of America totally rejected the brand of conservatism shared by John McCain’s Republicans and David Cameron’s Conservative Party. They even have the audacity to claim that like Barack Obama they represent change, when in fact they are the same old Tories with more in common with the losing presidential candidate than they like to let on.
George Osborne takes a trip to Washington and meets with Senator McCain. Even though he is not part of the current administration the Tories want “to build relations with people who will be of influence in Washington in the future. Not just people of influence today.”
Senator McCain gives an interview in The Spectator where he compares Cameron to JFK and says “It’s very obvious to me that what Mr Cameron is trying to do is what I’ve been trying to do: preserve your base principles and philosophies, but also see how you can shape those policies to attract what is viewed as the independent voter, or the great middle of the British electorate.”
Senator McCain arrives in Bournemouth to address Tory Party Conference. He hails Cameron’s “able and determined” leadership and pays tribute to the “unity, confidence and principled sense of purpose that distinguishes British Conservatives under the leadership of my friend David Cameron”. He then winds up by saying “So, my friends, let me close by reiterating how grateful I am for this opportunity, and how greatly encouraged and proud I am to the see my fellow conservatives in Great Britain, under David Cameron’s very able and determined leadership, stand up to stake your claim for leadership with honesty, courage and resolve.” McCain gets loud applause from the Tories when he tells them “government that governs best,governs least.”
Cameron sets out in Time Magazine exactly where he stands when it comes to American politics, saying “Obviously the Republicans are our sister party. We’re together in the International Democratic Union and other bodies and there are good and strong ties there.”
Cameron heaps praise on McCain during a speech at a dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos saying “Every generation has to fight and win the argument for free trade and open markets. Just look at the presidential election in the US. On both sides of the political divide, there are candidates advocating protectionist policies. There is one clear exception – and I admire him a great deal for his stance. Senator John McCain did my party the great honour of addressing our annual conference two years ago, and we saw then the courage and conviction that saw him go to Michigan and tell the voters directly that the old jobs weren’t coming back and that protectionism was no answer to today’s economic problems. He didn’t win the primary, but he certainly won a lot of respect.”
Cameron welcomes McCain to his office in Westminster. According to a press release from Conservative Central Office “David and Sen. McCain discussed ways to broaden the appeal of moderate Conservatism.”
Cameron declares “I’m a huge fan of John McCain and think he’d make a great president.”
The Current Situation
Cameron’s Tories are trying to hitch a ride on Obama’s coat tails by claiming they share his vision for change. However, it is the Labour Party that shares Obama’s progressive politics and his belief in the need for bold government action to stave off the worst effects of the current economic downturn. The Tories oppose the activist and interventionist approach of Gordon Brown and Barack Obama, like McCain they believe “The government that governs best, governs least” and would leave people to fend for themselves as jobs are lost and homes repossessed. When the American people elected their new president they rejected everything Cameron’s Tories stand for.
The Republicans and the Conservatives
The Conservative and the Republican Party both belong to the International Democrat Union, founded by George Bush Senior, Margaret Thatcher and other right wing leaders in 1983. The IDU provides a forum in which Parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest, so that they can learn from each other, act together, establish contacts and speak with one strong voice to promote democracy and centre-right policies.