2017 Revisited: A look back through the eyes of TCW’s top writers.
First posted October 2017
Who is the biggest threat to conservatism and to this country? This is the question that has been bouncing around in the old lady brain for some time. The answer: the Conservative party, not Labour. Not even a Corbyn Labour party, either.
When you vote for Labour, you know what you are getting. You are getting a Leftist, socialist party that wants to control you. It wants to nationalise utilities and drive up the national debt to help people. We know from other countries that this will not help people – it will destroy the economy, wreck employment and ultimately cause a lot of pain to a lot of people. When Labour say ‘for the many not the few’ what they mean is ‘the many ruled by the few’.
A Labour government would be grim, don’t get me wrong. But I wager that they won’t last long, they will split, and they will not get to do half the things they say they will do. They have already ditched the tuition fee promise and they are not even in power. In sum, they are not the long-term threat to this country.
This threat comes from the Conservative party. That’s right, I said it. I don’t like saying it and I didn’t like waking up in a cold sweat and realising that Peter Hitchens was right all along. I like hope as much as the next Christian conservative, but there is no point in being wilfully blind either.
Let’s face it, the Conservative party are neo-Statists and have done more damage to conservatism in this country than Labour ever could. The current leader of the party believes actual conservatism – small government, strong families and the free market – is nasty. She actually said this, yet we are all to go merrily along backing this wretched party no matter what, as we did in the last election – much to my regret.
This is the party that believes an energy gap is a good idea, and that continued government guarantee of tuition fees is sensible. The Tories are as ideologically wedded to the socialised health system that is the NHS as the Labour party is, all because they think they will look mean if they point out that in fact the Emperor has no clothes.
The Tories have interfered with the childcare market, causing the costs to rise year in, year out. They want more mothers in work, whether they want to be there or not. They lecture us on what to eat and drink; no detail of our life is beyond government note-taking. Now they have instructed GPs to ask what your sexuality is. This is Nanny turned Nurse Ratched.
The Conservatives love big government. There has been no reduction in quangos – they have quangos lobbying their own government, for goodness’ sake. They use the school system to try to solve every social problem: FGM, toothbrushing, sex education, pornography, drugs, healthy eating, on and on it goes. The national debt could hit £2trillion in the next ten years.
And that’s before we get to social conservatism. They have dumped that completely because it was much more important to be ‘modern’, whatever that means. Their proudest moment was to redefine marriage, and now they seek to redefine what it is to be a man or a woman. Nothing, it seems, is beyond their power. With the stroke of a pen, the Tories believe they can magically turn men into women and vice versa. They have even instructed the UN to ditch the term ‘pregnant woman’ and use ‘pregnant people’ instead. This is misogyny. This is the Tory party.
The last straw for me was the proposed ‘presumed consent’ organ donation scheme, more accurately described as the State organ appropriation scheme. This is small fry in the scheme of things but it sums up the whole rotten party. The concept that your body is yours, and remains yours and then under the control of your family after death, is so fundamental, so obvious, so visceral and so conservative that it should not need explaining.
Now Theresa May tells us that in fact your body belongs to the State, unless you have taken the time and trouble to tell the State otherwise. This is wrong in principle and in practice. I was on a radio show with a chap who was waiting for a kidney and he said that his surgeons told him there were not even the beds or doctors to take advantage of this scheme. So, the Conservatives are grabbing organs just, as usual, to look nice. See, neo-Statists.
What do you think of when you think of conservative values? I think of constitutional democracy, tough on crime, strong defence, low-tax, personal responsibility and strong families, reform not revolution.
Instead we have a huge fight over whether or not to make Parliament supreme again; there has been a significant increase in violent crime; defence and the Navy in particular have been run right down. The tax burden is the highest it has been since the 70s. Personal responsibility – everything is the government’s fault, and I won’t say anything more about the family – we document its destruction every day here. They fundamentally changed marriage and now they seek to destroy what is male and female. They are as socially radical as any Labour party.
Instead of free speech we are constantly lectured on hate crime and still live under the tyranny of political correctness. The Tories cannot even get this right.
We support conservatism by supporting conservative principles, not this neo-Statist socialist-light party. The Conservatives are destroying the fundamental values of conservatism so quickly that we will not have anything to conserve in a generation. They are the real threat. And the sooner we all realise this the better.