DESPITE the shocking devastation wrought on our country and its people over the last year, rolling opinion polls tell us that voting intentions are still wrapped up in the duopoly.
Yet the Conservatives’ lockdown policies have all but ruined this country and a grotesquely ineffectual opposition states only that it would have enforced these policies harder and faster than the Government.
Despite both Covid and lockdown, illegal immigration across the Channel has continued unabated. So have knife crime, wokery and ‘cancel culture’. London’s mayor seems more interested in destroying the capital’s history than in keeping his city safe and financially sound.
With both government and opposition in the ever-tightening grip of green lunacy, it begins to look as if there is no way out of this political vice.
The Reform Party has presented itself as the anti-lockdown party and challengers to the status quo, but has done little in the last months to live up to this role.
Nigel Farage’s attacks have been intermittent and ineffective – he has previously asserted that full-time politics is not for him – and Richard Tice has yet to make his mark.
The same goes for Reclaim, led by the charismatic Laurence Fox, whose admirable stance against the cancel culture will no doubt win supporters, but still fails to address the fundamental issues that have brought us to where we are today.
The only party really trying to buck the trend is the Heritage Party, led by London Assembly member David Kurten, the only small c conservative party with policy ideas to match.
I recently had the opportunity to ask Mr Kurten, a chemistry teacher for nearly 20 years before he got involved in politics, why he started it and what his aims were for this new party. He told me:
I joined UKIP in 2012 because of growing concerns about loss of national sovereignty to the EU and political correctness. After the referendum, UKIP slowly collapsed and never became the strong, socially conservative party that I hoped it would.
With such a void in the UK political landscape for a socially conservative party which millions of people would support, I started the Heritage Party. I hope we will attract enough people to break the two-party system and restore sanity to our nation.
What makes your party different from Reclaim and the Reform Party?
We have a full socially conservative manifesto. We are not just a pressure group campaigning on a small number of bullet points about a single issue.
We stand for all the things that a conservative party should stand for which were long ago abandoned by the fake-Conservative Party: Defending our culture and heritage, national sovereignty, traditional family values, free and fair markets, free speech and liberty, and low immigration.
How important is it to see the country return to commonsense conservatism?
It is vital. The corrosion of our culture and society by Cultural Marxism or the ‘long march through the Institutions’ is deep and destructive.
Almost all of our institutions in every area of life are infested with ‘woke’ thinking. Such thinking sees society as institutionally unjust and needing ‘social justice’, which undermines individual responsibility and our fundamental freedoms.
It started in universities, but has spread to the media, the police, the judiciary, schools, the main political parties and even businesses. Without a return to commonsense conservatism, the country will descend into woke totalitarianism which will burn down everything that came before, either metaphorically or literally.
In a country where the duopoly of the Labour Party and the Conservatives has ruled the roost for the best part of a century, how would you look to break their stranglehold on British politics? As a commenter, I’ve read many excuses over the years, always the same – fear of the system (First Past The Post), voting for the best of two terrible options, too many tribal voters. How can you cut through that with your party?
The FTPT system is what we have, so we have to build a party big enough and strong enough to win in that system.
It won’t be easy, but there has never been more dissatisfaction with the red-blue duopoly, which increasingly looks like one big party with two different colours.
We are building a party with a strong grassroots that will engage both locally and nationally. Although we are still small, we are growing every day, and we hope to be big enough to stand candidates in every seat by the time of the next election, which is likely to be in 2024.
How can your message pierce through the celebrity of Laurence Fox and Nigel Farage?
The Heritage Party has had very little mention at all on the mainstream media, which tends to focus on celebrity, but we have had huge attention under the surface in the free speech media, both for the party, and for me as leader and a candidate for the London Mayor elections this May.
More and more people are switching off the mainstream media and getting news from Facebook groups and free speech outlets like Breitbart, Life Site News, The Light and of course, The Conservative Woman. That’s where we are!
The Reform Party is being viewed as the anti-lockdown party and Reclaim as anti-cancel culture. How do you want to present your party in forthcoming elections?
The Heritage Party is both of those things and more. I’ve been fighting ‘cancel culture’ and advocating for free speech for years before I started the Heritage Party, and I’ve been against the lockdown from the very beginning, so it’s natural that we are the champions of free speech and liberty.
We’ll be fighting elections this year in London and selected local councils in England, so we will of course be campaigning on specific local issues. In London, we want to Make London Safe Again: We want to re-focus the police on catching real criminals rather than spending their time closing businesses or looking for politically incorrect posts on the internet.
We also want to Get London Moving Again, with an end to Tory/Labour road blockages which they say are ‘green’, but in reality are simply annoying to normal people who need to travel.
In local council elections, we will be campaigning to prevent rampant development, which is ruining our town centres with ugly tower blocks and turning prime agricultural land into solar farms or housing estates which do not benefit local people.
We want to prevent any more financial irresponsibility and appallingly risky property speculation, which has pushed some councils into hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt and led to increases in council tax.
As stated, I comment a lot online and many people have never heard of you or your party. How can you change that?
We are doing very well considering we started from nothing last summer! Our challenge now is to increase our presence and get known and noticed by more people. This is happening on social media and in the free speech media.
We’re also building a grassroots of branches and we have a presence in almost every county in England as well as branches in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. People are now joining the party through contact with local members as well as seeing me or the Heritage Party online.
From what I’ve read and heard, English culture, history and heritage isn’t being taught in schools. How would you look to rectify that?
The National Curriculum has been dumbed down to such an extent that schools are no longer required to teach a full range of our history.
We will ensure the National Curricula for History and Literature include requirements to teach all of our history over the full period of a child’s education, and ensure pupils learn about the most important works of literature. It is appalling that some schools are not even teaching Shakespeare. This needs to be rectified immediately.
There is more of a challenge to change the culture of education, which has succumbed to the radical nation-hating Left over many decades.
Many teachers are activists who disregard the requirement for political neutrality in the Education Act 1996 and openly advocate for Left-wing groups such as BLM.
They have acted to embed political ideology across the curriculum, but we will empower parents to remove their children from the main supplementary subjects in which political ideologies are thrust on to children against their wishes.
We will once again make Citizenship, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) non-compulsory and restore parents’ rights to remove their children from these subjects. We will also require subjects like maths to be simply maths, rather than a Trojan horse for ‘diversity’.
If you won the upcoming London mayoral election, what would you do in your first 30 days?
Close down Sadiq Khan’s ‘Diversity Commission’ and ‘Online Hate Crime Hub’.
Tear out all of Transport for London’s temporary StreetSpace schemes, road barriers and pop-up bicycle lanes.
Re-focus the police on catching real criminals such as murderers, burglars, thugs and vandals, rather than wasting their time closing businesses and fining people for not wearing masks.
Stop the rollout of the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) expansion and border charge for vehicles driving into London.
Many institutions across the country, if not all, have been indoctrinated by a form of cultural Marxism and common purpose. How would you eradicate that?
We need to repeal Harriet Harman’s ‘Equality Act’ and Tony Blair’s ‘Human Rights Act’ and return to the legal situation where people have equal rights to enjoy our fundamental freedoms and equal opportunities, rather than the law being used to attempt to enforce equality of outcome.
We must also repeal all anti-free speech laws and prevent ‘hate speech’ laws coming in. Criminal penalties must be based on the objective actions of the defendant, rather than the subjective feelings of the complainant, such as perceived hostility.
Billions of pounds are spent in the state sector on ‘diversity training’, ‘unconscious bias training’ and ‘diversity and inclusion officers’ to comply with the Equality Act.
This is a huge waste of time and money. We’ll put an end to it all, so that people can simply get on with their jobs, rise up the ranks on the basis of their skills or talents, and stop having to spend hours a week worrying about whether they are diverse or inclusive enough to fend off a visit from their workplace Diversity Officer.
After reading your manifesto, I believe it can attract voters from all political stripes. Do you agree?
Yes, it’s simply what 30 years ago the vast majority of people would have said is common sense. It combines a pride in our heritage with financial responsibility, support for families and free speech and liberty.
Defining people as economically Left and Right is becoming increasingly irrelevant. The cultural dynamic is now as important as the economic, if not more so.
Both parties of the old duopoly are both now woke and authoritarian in cultural terms, and millions of people want an alternative which is patriotic, traditional and commonsense. The Heritage Party is here for them.
Over the last year, we’ve seen this country slip into the realms of fascism. The Government (and pro-lockdown allies) have embedded a system of control over a powerless people where now vaccination passports are being seriously discussed to grant freedom to those willing to take the vaccine while removing liberties for the sceptics. How can the country legally resist these changes?
I have said from the beginning that the lockdown measures were unnecessary and disproportionate. It is appalling that we now effectively live in a police state. The police should be catching real criminals, not closing down businesses.
The Heritage Party offers political resistance. We will immediately reverse any and all Covid regulations which undermine our freedom and outlaw ‘vaccine passports’, if we have the chance to do so.
When some people say that vaccination is the only way out of lockdown, what do you think about that? Don’t you think that pressuring people to have this vaccine is Orwellian?
The lockdown is unnecessary and disproportionate to the effects of SARS-Cov-2. At least 99.7 per cent of people survive and recover from it. The average age of those who sadly die from the virus is 83 and most have a serious underlying health condition.
The idea that if everyone gets vaccinated we can then ‘get out of lockdown’ is a false narrative that lulls people into accepting the lockdown.
The Government could and should end the lockdown and all Covid restrictions immediately. Instead, it has created prison hotels for people returning from Portugal and is suggesting restrictions will continue for many more months, and leaking proposals for even more Orwellian control measures like ‘vaccine passports’ and ‘double masking’.
This is coercion on a national scale which is against the Nuremburg Code on informed consent. Nobody should be disadvantaged if they choose not to have an injection of a rushed, experimental ‘vaccine’, nor should they be threatened with any loss of rights or smeared as ‘anti-vaxxers’ or ‘Covid deniers’ for disagreeing with their repugnant policies.
Lastly, have you found your time as a London Assembly member fruitless or rewarding?
The London Assembly is in some ways frustrating. It has no real power, as in not a legislative body. Its function is to hold the London Mayor to account.
I have been on the London Assembly during the tenure of Sadiq Khan, who has been a terrible mayor, presiding over spiralling violent crime, the rollout of road blockages, and who has inculcated the ‘equality, inclusion and diversity’ agenda into every area of policy.
On the other hand, I have had a platform to speak out against Cultural Marxism, the LGBT agenda, the green agenda, and Sadiq Khan’s frequent unseemly attacks on President Trump. I am very glad I have been there for the past five years to be able to do that.
I do hope that people read The Heritage Party’s manifesto and look at joining up. Not only do we need a proper conservative party, but we need one that will be around for the long run rather than a short-term pressure group with little interest in the broad aims and no proper vision for the future.