Dan Hardie has written an excellent article on the perceived liberal bias within the BBC. The article is long by blogging standards but makes many excellent points very well.
One of these is that the British Conservative Party is ideologically dead in the water. With Labour impinging on social justice and immigration there doesn't seem to be anywhere left for the Conservatives to go.
Hardie points out that there is a logical fallacy at the heart of conservatism (the ideology the Conservative Party are meant to represent in British politics).
Small-c conservatism is often held in opposition to liberalism, at least in the minds of those who consider themselves small-c conservatives.
But in reality "economic liberalism" is promoted by the pro-free-market Tories. At the same time the Conservatives stand opposed to an increasingly authoritarian Labour but they still fail to embrace "social liberalism."
We all live in a pluralistic liberal democracy, so technically we're all in favour of liberalism, except those who aren't, of course.
The basic point when talking about liberalism is that you need to define what it is you're talking about, ideally by proposing actual legislation instead of blathering about a political ideology that had meant so many things to so many people that it is essentially meaningless.
"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."
- John Stuart Mill.
The "default position" of Middle England (swing voters that politicians have to appear to care about in order to win elections) is conservatism. But this isn't being represented by the Conservative Party.
What is needed is a genuine opposition. This genuine opposition would be libertarian. It would be pro-free-market, anti-prohibition (i.e. requiring the legalisation of all recreational drugs), pro-immigration, pro-civil liberties, and would seek to lower taxes and reduce the impact of the state on the lives of individuals.
The sad thing is all these things would be rejected by the mediocre, Daily Mail-reading, Alan Titchmarsh-loving, grumpy, hypocritical, consumerist, tax-hating, wilfully ignorant, God-fearing but faithless, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-intellectual, closet-racist, cowardly, overweight and pessimistic Middle Englanders.
Another quote, slightly mangled:
"Your guilty conscious may force you to vote for liberals, but secretly you want a cold-hearted conservative to lower taxes, brutalise criminals, and rule you like a king..."
For all that Middle England may claim to despise higher taxes and increasing incursions on civil liberties in reality what every tabloid-reading hypocrite really wants is a Big ol' Nanny State to look after him.
Sorry for such a badly written essay, but hate is unhealthy if it is bottled up inside. I thought it would be better if I dealt with it by writing my rants down instead of subjecting them to those that don't deserve it.