Friday, November 27, 2020
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A most unconservative way to run a country

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JUST before Christmas, the new Conservative majority government announced a legislative programme which, according to PM Boris Johnson, is ‘the most radical Queen’s Speech in a generation’. 

I’m not sure radical and conservative really belong together, being political opposites. Indeed, while the legislative programme may be radical, there is little conservative about it. 

There is the promise of an Australian-style points-based immigration system. But gone is the goal of reducing numbers to something more manageable for the sake of integration, jobs and public services. Instead we will ‘welcome skilled workers from across the world’ in indefinite numbers, it appears – something I’m sure developing countries will really thank us for as their doctors, engineers and top talent all head over to poor, struggling Britain.

One positive is the renewed emphasis on law enforcement, which is essential. Equally essential is that this ignores any Left-liberal shibboleths around race and just gets on with reducing crime, whoever is committing it. Ethnic minorities suffer at least as much from crime as anyone else. 

What would a truly conservative Queen’s Speech look like, one to which genuine conservatives would raise a glass as the New Year dawns?

Well, it wouldn’t include no-fault divorce on demand, which the government has revived, despite 83 per cent of respondents to their own consultation disagreeing with the proposals and there being little doubt it will increase family breakdown and discourage reconciliation. At the same time the government plans to ban no-fault evictions by landlords, ludicrously making marriage less secure than a tenancy agreement. If this is radical conservatism, count me out.

A truly conservative government, which understands how social conservatism serves the common good, would enact measures such as the following:

– A fully transferable marriage tax allowance, so that couples are not penalised in the tax system when one stays at home to look after children. 

– A target to reduce annual net immigration to well below 100,000 alongside a commitment to support integration, including by prioritising immigration from culturally similar countries. Enforcement should be stepped up to deter illegal immigration with its terrible human cost.

– Repeal of the Equality Act, which more than anything else enshrines identity politics in law, and its replacement with a general prohibition on discrimination on the basis of anything irrelevant. Diversity targets and so-called ‘positive action’ should be expressly banned as contrary to natural justice and merit.

– Repeal of the Gender Recognition Act and an end to state support for the science-denying transgender agenda.

– Reinstatement of the right to withdraw children from sex education and backtrack on compulsory Relationships Education, which it has become clear (as though it wasn’t from the outset) is a Trojan horse for LGBT indoctrination of young children. The state should commit to promote marriage through the education system as proven best for children and society. 

– Lowering of the abortion limit to at most 20 weeks and preferably 12, and more support for parents who choose to keep the child.

These are the kinds of policies genuine conservatives, whether of the Left or Right, want to see a government which calls itself Conservative introducing. Many of them would be wildly popular, especially with the Tories’ new working-class voters whom the party seem so keen to impress. 

So how about it, Boris? Dom? Liberalism and socialism have landed us in progressive chaos – mass family breakdown, mass immigration, mass indoctrination, mass slaughter of the unborn. Why not try a bit of conservatism for a change? After all, it is 2020. Time for some fresh thinking; some conservatism even.

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Will Jones
Dr Will Jones is a maths graduate with a PhD in political philosophy and author of Evangelical Social Theology: Past and Present (Grove, 2017).He blogs at https://faith-and-politics.com/

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