I received an e-mail this morning from a publishing company pushing a book entitled
Noel Skelton and the Property-Owning Democracy which, it is claimed is apparently… a fascinating insight into the life of one of Britain’s unsung political heroes and his enduring impact on modern political thought.
The blurb says about David Torrance’s no doubt worthy publication (my emphasis)…
Noel Skelton was a Conservative politician, lawyer, journalist and intellectual in the early twentieth century. Advocating a “Constructive Conservatism” under which the British electorate would become a “property-owning democracy” (Skelton coined the phrase) via greater co-partnership in industry, radical land reform and use of the referendum to settle constitutional disputes, this unjustly forgotten figure anticipated much of David Cameron’s progressive Conservative agenda.
Excuse me? Anticipated much of David Cameron’s progressive Conservative agenda? Did I blink somewhere and miss David Cameron’s proposals for industrial democracy? Or his plans for radical land reform? Or even his championing the use of referendums to settle constitutional disputes? A referendum on the issue of PR had to be forced out of him with pliers by Clegg, and even now the population are not going to be offered a referendum until Parliament has more or less resolved the ‘dispute’ bit. And surely no-one could doubt there is a dispute over EU membership, but if anyone wants to bet me £10,000 we don’t get a referendum on it during the life of Cameron’s leadership, I’ll shake hands on it pronto.
So, the good folk at Biteback publishers can make whatever claims they wish on behalf of this Skelton bloke… but don’t try bullshitting (or over-Clegging the pudding which is, I think the current terminology) us about David Cameron.