Nicholas Foulkes: Rejoice! One can almost admit to being a Tory

Being 'in recovery' is very, very socially acceptable

Related Topics

We are also coming to believe that the nanny state is not a fiction of the rabid right-wing media, but a reality. We are all aware that cigarettes damage our health, yet many of us enjoy the solace of the occasional cigarette, and the idea of banning smoking in pubs grates. Similarly, it has come to our notice that driving cars is not an environmentally friendly activity, yet speed cameras, congestion charging and other pieces of anti-driver legislation do little to endear the Government to the law-abiding motorist. More alarming still is the vindictively Calvinist behaviour of the prudent prime minister-in-waiting, with his seeming lack of connection with life as it is lived by any of the electorate.

The politico-philosophical nexus has moved from Islington and from the hard-core, peace protest, brown rice-eating, human rights stuff and shifted to a polenta and hare ragout-based Notting Hill ideology, arranged not around firebrand issues but a compassionate live-and-let-live family-based agenda.

The whole drugs issue is symptomatic of this. Maybe when David Davis was a youngster in the early 1960s, drugs were not a part of the adolescent experience. But for people in their thirties and forties, issues of drugs and alcohol are a part of life. The chances are that Mr Davis would not know what being "in recovery" means, but Cameron is not just familiar with it as a term but knows at least one person who is actually "in recovery". And being "in recovery" is very, very socially acceptable.

Whether they subscribed to it or not, Cameron's generation grew up with the radical ideology of the Seventies and early Eighties (Rock Against Racism, peace camps at nuclear bases and the naming of every park and university common room in honour of Nelson Mandela). For them this has become orthodox rather than revolutionary. Growing up in the Britain of the past 30 or 40 years has brought a change in attitude: what the Thatcherite generation of Conservatives would be inclined to view as "political correctness gone mad" is viewed, by Cameron's generation of Conservatives as tolerance and good manners: those who make disparaging remarks about race, gender and religious or sexual orientation are viewed as ignorant.

There is a social ease and an innate likeability about Cameron, although heaven knows what his "mission" is. It may be clever PR, but he does not seem to try too hard. Take his easy appropriation of the weekend west London wardrobe and contrast it with poor Tony Blair, who has always had difficulty with his casual clothing.

Cameron comes from the post-If generation of public schoolboys. He was at Oxford at a time when colleges were working to disabuse the public of the elitist tag. Despite having what can be construed as a privileged past and a charmed present, he somehow comes close to being "one of us". Could it be that, for the essentially apolitical who didn't much like the Eighties, Thatcher's party is losing the stigma of Thatcherism?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Read Next
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial  

It would be wrong to compare brave Tulisa’s ordeal with phone hacking. It’s much worse than that

Matthew Norman
The Big Society Network was assessed as  

What became of Cameron's Big Society Network?

Oliver Wright
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn