One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

The Laura Perrins Interview: The Tory Party is rotten and can’t be rebuilt, says Peter Hitchens

Laura Perrins: Peter, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. You have set out your views on this election in your Mail on Sunday piece. You open with, “the laughable failure of Mrs Theresa May’s empty, tremulous campaign was in fact predictable,” and I think it is fair to say you have predicted it for some time, always referring to the Tories as 'The Useless Tories’.

You go on to say: “If we had any sense (do we?) we’d dump this dead, rotting faction in the nearest skip or landfill, and find a new one to replace it. The Tories failed on Thursday because they have long believed in nothing and are interested only in being in office.”

Do you now believe, ultimately, it would be better if the Conservatives fell from power and Labour presented a Queen’s Speech, and the party could be rebuilt?

Peter Hitchens: I refuse to play this game. I don’t desire a Corbyn government, not least because in reality it would be surprisingly similar to a Tory government. I desire the destruction of the Tory Party. What would be better would be that the Tory Party was utterly destroyed and replaced with a genuinely patriotic, socially and morally conservative formation. It can no more be rebuilt than the rotten, sagging, garden shed I demolished a few years ago could have been rebuilt. It was barely fit for use as firewood. That shed had to be completely removed before I could build a new one. But I know this will now never happen, because people vote according to tribal loyalty, not according to reason.

Alas, universal suffrage politics is as senseless as football, where, if you don’t support Chelsea, people assume you support Arsenal, etc. My interest in politics is in any case purely theoretical. Since 2010, and the crazy decisions of many patriots to vote for David Cameron’s repellent anti-British Blairite Tory Party, my main function in life has been to say ‘I told you so’.

Nothing I recommend will ever happen, as I found out to my great disappointment in the years leading up to 2010, when a real reformation of British politics was highly possible but millions of patriots refused to take the opportunity, and saved their dedicated and bitter enemy, the Tory Party, from the catastrophic fourth defeat in a row, which it deserved and very nearly got (it was defeated, though most now forget this, just not badly enough). That tragic, needless survival enabled the Tories to begin raising seriously large sums of money again, and we see the result of that in all that has followed.

 

LP: Should we support a confidence and supply agreement with DUP, or just leave the Tories to clean up their own mess?

PH: Who’s this ‘we’?  I have no stake in any of this. The country’s finished. I’d leave as soon as I could, if I were young enough to start a new life elsewhere. 

 

LP: You also say, “The Tories cannot rely forever on the fact that older voters turn out more reliably. This is the last warning conservative-minded people in this country are likely to get. Unless they can find their own Corbyn, a principled and genuinely patriotic leadership, no amount of money, and no amount of slick technique can save them from a revived and newly confident Left.” Do you really think it is possible to sell genuine conservatism – both social and economic – to ‘young people’?

PH: I doubt it very much. But it would be interesting to try. Nobody ever has. For instance. I’ve been fascinated by the response I get at universities to arguments against the legalisation of drugs. Nobody has ever heard them before. Many who hear them for the first time are at least interested and open to them - and if more people made them, it might well be that opinion could be changed.  

 

LP: What impact do you think this will have on Brexit? Do you feel vindicated, in that you always said leaving the EU should come through Parliament not through a referendum. Arguably, this referendum, which has split families and political parties, has put us in this mess?

PH: I feel completely vindicated. I feel that way almost all the time. I am generally right. It is about the only satisfaction I get, in political terms. Those who are incessantly wrong are not punished or derided for it, and continue to be allowed to decide what is done, and to dominate the institutions which decide what people think about it.   

 

LP: Is this the final chapter in the Abolition of Britain?

PH: ‘Oh, ‘The Abolition of Britain ’ is a pretty good book about what the problem was, in the days when we might have done something about it. Nobody paid any attention to it. I’m not revising it, as to do so would mean rewriting the whole thing. The final chapter of the Obituary of Britain will be written in Chinese, I suspect

(Image: NCVO London)

Laura Perrins

  • Aaron D Highside

    How many of them also voted in their home towns?

    • a misplaced modifier

      To be honest, this isn’t a new problem. My daughter was at university in Wales and was also on the local electoral register — this was in the mid-nineties and I’m sure she wasn’t the only one.

      Going slightly off-topic, I firmly believe that postal votes should be awarded only to the housebound and supported by a medical certificate. If you happen to be away, then tough — these things will occur.

      • Amazer

        Away fighting a war perhaps or due to employment from which taxes are paid!

  • choccycobnobs

    By extension, pray for the UK as our illiberal elite force us in to a ‘soft'(i.e. no Brexit).

  • NogbadTheBad

    Another indication of May’s lack of nous. If she had held off for a couple of weeks the studes would all have dispersed

    • Colkitto03

      Good point. I imagine this will be a big consideration the next time an election is called.

  • Dominic Stockford

    There is no reason whatsoever, in these days of postal votes, for anyone to be allowed to be registered in two places.

    • “There is no reason”. Logically true but practically not so as the electoral rolls are produced on a local basis.
      At one time, without the postal vote, it wouldn’t have mattered if someone was registered in two places, as few people would have bothered to vote anywhere other that where they are at the time; students wouldn’t go back to uni to vote if they were on vacation at home, and vice-versa. But the postal vote made fraud so much easier.

  • Mojo

    If labour do win the next election I suspect they will make it law that anyone can vote via their phone or computer. No one will have to leave their home and we will see more and more people voting being used as virtual signalling. I personally think that postal voting should only ever be given to those who are temporarily living abroad. Oddly enough my son said he was not going to vote in this last election because he had to nominate someone to vote for him as he is still registered under his old London address. He no longer knew anyone in London whom he would trust enough to carry out his vote. He lives in HK and doesn’t know why he is not allowed a postal vote. Can someone enlighten me

    • Machina22

      I think that would take a while to implement, but I could certainly see Labour setting the wheels in motion for that.

      They’ll almost certainly introduce votes for 16 and 17 year olds if they win next time.

  • Adam Minister

    What a nonsense comment. For a start some students will be local, some will stay on at Uni for far longer than 3 years, some will go on to work and live in the local area. This is a University City the students pump millions in to the local economy they are not just some transient nonentities who don’t deserve representation. Although this seat will almost certainly have been swung by students the facts show Tories lost seats not on some mass youth student movement alone as many Tories would dearly like to think…18-21 still the lowest turnout of any demographic.