I would go further and acknowledge that there are some inherent contradictions in current Conservative thinking. For example, it is undeniable that despite championing the concept of localism, there are many policy interventions that are anything but localist. It is undeniable that despite talking the talk on encouraging stable families, the marriage tax bonus is planned to be limited to a man married to a woman, whether or not they have children, and will ignore the many other varieties of what I would argue are also ’stable families’. It is undeniable that inheritance tax cuts as the first Conservative tax cut was at the time morally wrong, to my mind, and now probably unaffordable. Fortunately that one seems to have been kicked into the long-grass.
Platform 10 was set up in large part as a reaction to ConservativeHome. Those behind Platform 10 felt ConHome was far too disloyal to the Cameron project and were determined to redress the balance. It's never quite taken off, despite having some excellent contributors. It is perversely ironic that this critical article will give it a profile it has so far lacked. Perhaps one might forgive Tim Montgomerie a wry smile.
But there is a lesson in this for all Conservative bloggers. It shows that all political journalists are on the lookout for any sign of internal Conservative dissent. Splits create stories, especially in quiet news cycles like August. We bloggers may like to kid ourselves that in some way we are separate from the Conservative Party, but that is not how much of the media sees us. It's a real conundrum, which I know Tim Montgomerie wrestles with just as much as I do. We're not elected to anything and hold no position in the party but even constructive criticism is interpreted by the media as evidence of unrest and disquiet in the ranks, when it is nothing of the sort.
As an election draws ever closer Conservative leaning bloggers are unlikely to offer unconditional or uncritical support. But they wouldn't be human if they didn't from time to time, hesitate to go in quite as hard as they once might have done, as a little voice in their head wonders if what they write isn't going to rebound on the wider cause.