Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Nature of The Tories

The Tory victory in the UK's local elections, discussed in the post below, has not made Britain's conservative columnist Peter Hitchens a happy camper. He sees the modern Tory party, led by David Cameron, as a light version of the socialist/marxist Labour party - a criticism that you will find repeated often on this blog. Given the existential challenges Britain faces, I suspect the revitilization of the Tories or the mark of their demise will come in the next few years when they retake control of Britian and have to choose what to do about the EU.


This from Peter Hitchens writing in the Daily Mail:

. . . What I am in favour of is, above all, national independence in which we choose our own destiny. Without it we would just be the serfs of whoever ruled these islands from far off and it would be pointless to discuss politics because we couldn't affect our destiny. We are rapidly approaching this point as the EU increases its powers over us, and no seriously patriotic party can continue to avoid the issue of withdrawal from the EU.

Next, I am favour of the liberty of the subject in a society governed by the rule of law, in which law-abiding people (who have made their own laws to supplement the force of conscience) are able to live freely according to their consciences.

I believe that these conditions are only possible in a country where the married family is strong and the state is weak, except in the matters of national defence and criminal justice, where it should be strong. They also rely on adult authority over children and a strong, generally accepted morality based on Christianity. That's what I'm in favour of, and I judge all political actions by these tests.

. . . [T]he most urgent and important task, before all else, [is] to get rid of the Tory Party. I learned from discussions with leading Tories that they loathed and despised my views and did not share my objectives. I realised that neither I, nor anyone who shared my views, had any chance of entering Parliamentary politics as long as the Tory Party occupied the position which ought to be held by a properly conservative, pro-British political formation. there is no mechanism in the Tory Party for reform or policy change, so there was no possibility of working within it. If I was serious, then my first task must be to destroy it.

. . . Patriotic? [The Tory's are] the party that got us into the Common Market, that actively supported staying in, in the 1975 referendum, that agreed the 'Single Market' and the 'Single European Act' that ended our national veto, that rammed Maastricht through Parliament. This is the party that devastated the armed forces with cuts at the end of the Cold War. And, I might add, it was the party that failed hopelessly to rearm until the last minute, in the face of the German threat in the 1930s, and which tried to dump Winston Churchill as an MP when he objected to this. Patriotic, my foot.

Law and Order? I could go on for hours (see my book 'The Abolition of Liberty' , where I do go on for hours). But the Tories have been specially useless on this. They did nothing to save or reinstate the death penalty, and many of their MPs have always voted against it. They did nothing to reverse Roy Jenkins's abolition of foot patrols in the 1960s. And this is the party that passed the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act, which subjected the police to a spider-web of politically correct codes of practice, designed by Guardian-reading liberal lawyers, which are the source of most of the 'form-filling' everyone pretends to be against.

Then there are prison sentences. It was the Tories, in the 1991 Criminal Justice Act, who first thought of defrauding the public by automatically halving almost all prison sentences, letting voters think that the Burglar Bill was going down for four years, while Burglar Bill knew perfectly well that he'd only serve two. Labour have been adept pupils in this game, but it was the Tories who thought of it.

The family? What did the Tories ever do for the family? The 1989 Children Act, a body blow to all types of adult authority, was once again a Tory Bill, inspired by United Nations Marxoid piffle about 'Children's Rights' (which mean social workers' rights to poke into private matters). And have you noticed the Tories trying to make divorce harder, or reforming the Stalinist laws that mean a man who wishes to stay married to his wife can be told he is divorced whether he wants to be or not, dragged from his own home by the force of law, denied access to his children and deprived of his rights in his own property?

Have you seen any Tory opposition, since the sad death of Janet Young (whose brave, honest conservatism was loathed by much of her party), to the spreading of anti-marriage propaganda in schools? On the contrary. the Tories now proudly endorse the entire agenda of the sexual revolution. You might also have noticed that it has been Tory local authorities which have persecuted people who protested against homosexual propaganda in public libraries, Tory authorities which have enforced politically correct rules to prevent conservative-minded parents from adopting, Tory local authorities which have snooped on the private lives of parents.

If there's a moral, cultural or political battle to be fought anywhere in this country against the revolutionary left, it will be the Tories who won't be fighting it. Office is all they want, and they'd promise to guillotine the Queen if they thought it would get them back into Downing Street.

. . . I defy you to tell the difference [between Labour and Tory] in practice. Sure, the slogans on the posters are different, but in reality, the only function of the Tories in our system is to continue to implement Labour policies while pretending to be against them, so providing a safety valve to vent discontent, whole leaving Labour policies untouched. The pattern of our government since the war has been intense revolutionary periods of Labour rule (1945-51, 1964-70 , 1997-????) succeeded by long years of do-nothing Toryism in which the Labour revolutions were not challenged, and the clock not put back by a single second. (the 1974-79 period is really just a mess of drift, since nobody had a proper majority, but Labour still managed to do quite a bit of damage).

This isn't the place to argue in depth about the Thatcher period, but even she failed to reverse the huge growth of the public sector, merely diverted it from the productive (coal, steel, gas, electricity, telecoms) to the unproductive (the NHS, armies of social workers, state education, local authorities) and she completely failed to challenge its egalitarian campaign to destroy proper learning and authority in schools, or to challenge its revolutionary social and moral agenda, undermining personal responsibility and family life - and eventually threatening liberty too.

Anyway, to the extent that she did challenge any of this, Margaret Thatcher was furiously opposed by her own party - and when she began to see the danger of the EU, which she had till then supported, the Tories savagely dumped her - as they would again dump any leader who took a genuinely pro-British position on anything. The myth that she was scuppered by the 'poll tax' is just that, a myth. It was her Maastricht speech and her 'No! No! No!' to Brussels rule that brought out the assassin's knives. Her replacement, John Major , was the first New Labour Prime Minister. The policy gap between Major and Blair in 1997 was minimal.

What's more, that gap has become even more tiny since 1997, as the Tories have done what they always do, and agreed to accept Labour policies as the condition of being allowed back into office ( see my last week's blog for a rare case of this brutal fact being stated in public) .

. . . I don't want a Brown government any more than I wanted a Blair government, and I am on record as about the longest-lasting and most consistent opponent of this lot in British journalism, from the days when some surprising people (you know who you are) were making their peace with New Labour and having drinkies at Downing Street. But if you do vote Tory you (and I ) will get five more years of Gordon Brown policies, and quite possibly five more years of Mr Brown too. The Tories are still a very weak party, and it will take an electoral miracle for them to win a working majority. They are, as they have been since 1997, the only opposition Labour (whose own vote is also shrivelling) can beat.

The Blairite media are now running a campaign to turn Mr Brown into a sort of political Jade Goody, a national hate figure so loathed that he has to go round with a bag, or a blanket, over his head. This is interesting in itself. Ask why the very people who put Mr Blair in power ( and never turned on Blair on this way, though he is just as responsible for it) now want Mr Cameron in office? Is it because they want a change? Or is it because they want things to stay the same, only to employ the safety valve and so ensure that a real re-examination of the way we are governed does not take place? A Cameron victory would mean the final crushing of all remaining conservatism in the Tory Party, and ten more guaranteed years of what we have now - universal political correctness, a bulging welfare state, gargantuan taxation and of course continued absorption into the EU and unending lawlessness and disorder.

. . . [I]f the Tories collapse there'll be a new party. . . . It's the best hope there is. The alternative is just years of the same, until the country, riven by crime and disorder, sinks beneath the waves of welfare bankruptcy and becomes a wholly subject province of the EU state, governed largely by force. Or we might get some kind of thug-nationalist government, swept to office by desperation. You want that? Stick to the Tories.

I suspect that what people don't like about this idea is that it is so harshly realistic, and requires too much of them.

. . . The British seem to need to face almost total defeat before they are interested in fighting to save themselves. Dunkirk has to come before D-Day. Well, think of the collapse of the Tories as a necessary political Dunkirk. I can't guarantee that victory will follow. That will be up to us. But I can guarantee that, as long as the Tories occupy the place which should be taken by a proper opposition, there's not the slightest hope of real change for the better. So please don't vote for them. It only encourages them.

Read the entire article.

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