“Conservatism,” thundered the headline in The Guardian, “has gone rogue and lost touch with the rest of us.” It was published on May 2, five days before the Conservatives emerged to hand Labour its worst defeat in nearly three decades.
The author of this unfortunate observation was Will Hutton, a columnist for the paper and the principal of the same Oxford college that forged John Donne, Thomas Hobbes, and Jonathan Swift. It is tempting to forgive the don his embarrassment: Even the most astute observers, after all, sometimes get it wrong, and there’s nothing quite so petty as reveling in an opponent’s poor prognostication from the syrupy safety of hindsight. But Hutton’s mistake wasn’t his alone; it was endemic to an entire class of educated people who, glancing at their Facebook feed and finding there nothing but Milifans, opined that the end of David Cameron was nigh. This vast obliviousness wasn’t limited to Britain’s swells: Warsaw was similarly shocked this week when the conservative Andrzej Duda won the first round of the country’s presidential elections, their disbelief echoing that of the intelligentsia sprawled in Tel Aviv’s cafés in the aftermath of Netanyahu’s most recent victory.
On a similar note from the Spectator…
Memo to David Aaronovitch: we’re not all metrosexual now
“…The excellent Suzanne Moore, writing in The Grauniad, seems as perplexed by the left’s response to the election as most normal, non-leftie liberal, people were.”