I have to admit that I have never understood the conservative cast of mind, except in respect of a few things dear to me, such as some old buildings. So I am again surprised by Conservative surprise at what the coalition has wrought. Closing clubs for urban youths, for example, has some bearing on the riots, surely.
It does not appear to cross the conservative mind that many of the cuts in public services we are now enduring have consequences. Already those parts of middle England who routinely criticise their local councils are shocked when those same councils propose, illegally, to close local libraries. They wanted the railways nationalised and, lo, it was done. How are they feeling about that now, as fares go up 8%? Conservatives are routinely anti-planners but after half a lifetime outside UK I have had ample opportunity to see what happens when town and country planning is not allowed to intervene. Look no further than the urban blight disfiguring the Veneto.
It makes you wonder how much the average patriotic conservative knows about their own country: “What do they know of England, who only England know?” Conservatives so often appear oblivious to what the consequences might be. If they are possible, they will happen.
It makes me fear for my country. Conservative surprise is a burden on us all, and needs to be reduced. Urgently. Nick Clegg, are you hearing this?