Having never attended the Conservative Party conference before, the first thing I noticed was how smartly dressed everyone was. All representatives were immaculately presented in office attire. For someone who worked for six years as a forklift truck driver and a further six as a nightclub doorman, it all seemed very formal. More like a business summit than an assembly of friends and colleagues. A far cry from the party atmosphere which seemed to epitomise the Labour conference.

Indeed, many members appeared to be attending through habit or duty rather than being inspired by any greater vision or sense of purpose. This, I think, speaks not only to the unexpectedly poor election result, but also to a feeling that the party is both rudderless and lacking in any clear foundation around which to structure policy.

This hunch was reinforced by the fact that the two biggest crowd-pullers throughout the week were Ruth Davidson, the witty, successful, media-savvy leader of the Scottish Conservatives who added 12 new MPs at the last election, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the unapologetic conservative who recently spoke of his moral unease about abortion and same-sex marriage.

The party is looking around desperately for both leadership and meaning. Things the current Prime Minister is manifestly unable to provide.

The first major speech I attended was given by the Chancellor, Philip ‘Spreadsheet’ Hammond. He started well enough, giving delegates a history lesson on the economic and moral failings of socialism. He pointed out that in every location and in every epoch socialism has been tried, it has failed miserably. He argued that you need only a GCSE in economics to understand that stimulating demand through increased borrowing leads to inflation, and therefore to a lowering of living standards for our country’s poorest. True enough.

He then said that the Conservative Party needed to offer voters a real alternative to Corbyn-led socialism. As I waited with bated breath for his quixotic conservative vision, he proceeded to witter on about the government’s economic achievements, producing various statistics to back up his case. He then argued that house prices were too high, and pledged to turbo-charge George Osborne’s ‘help to buy’ scheme by pumping in £10billion to help young people get into the housing ladder. Sorry, Chancellor, but if you’re going to accuse your opponents of economic illiteracy, you might want to explain how stimulating demand for housing whilst doing nothing to increase supply is supposed to lower prices. Perhaps he should consider re-sitting that economics GCSE.

The most interesting event I attended was a fringe function hosted by Policy Exchange, with the title: Is the Intellectual Momentum all with the Left?

Sir Roger Scruton – probably the greatest living conservative philosopher – argued forcefully that while the political momentum is with the Left, the intellectual truth remains, and will always remain, with conservativism. A conservative ideology based on love of country will always be intellectually superior to the greed, envy and class hatred promulgated by the Left.

Jacob Rees-Mogg then outlined perfectly the political problem. At the last election Corbyn inserted a ‘golden thread of socialism’ throughout his manifesto. It was easy for voters to understand how his principles translated into policy. The young, Rees-Mogg argued, are principled and idealistic. The failure of the Conservative Party has been not to discuss principles and ideas for far too long. Once Conservative philosophy concerning responsibility and the freedom to choose were explained, implemented, and then contrasted with socialist ideals which give the state ever more control over lives, this political momentum could be curtailed. Belief, he said, should produce policy, not the other way around. Good stuff.

At another fringe event the brilliant Mark Littlewood (Institute of Economic Affairs) argued with some justification that the Conservative Party had lost sight of its economic principles and was no longer an economically liberal party. Conservative politicians, he said, always begin addresses by extolling the virtues of free markets, but then quickly go on to highlight their problems and make the case for intervention. It was almost as if he had received a premonition about the following morning.

On the final day, Theresa May began by heaping praise on free markets, correctly making the case they have been the greatest mechanism for prosperity and elevation from poverty the world has ever known. Then, without any hint of irony, she outlined proposals for price controls and housing subsidies. It is probably a good thing that all the post-conference coverage focused on her coughing fits and the unfortunate interruption. The content of the speech was dreadful.

Overall, the experience of my first conference filled me with both despair and optimism. Despair that the helm of the party is so completely bereft of ideas and principles, and so riddled with infighting that should an election be held tomorrow, they would have absolutely no hope whatever of preventing a hard Left socialist government taking office. But optimism that beneath cabinet level, the party is beginning to tackle its basic problems and to realign itself with its core values. Jacob Rees-Mogg, George Freeman, and MPs from the 2017 intake such as Kemi Badenoch and Ben Bradley were all very impressive.

I am in no doubt that once the Brexit negotiations have been concluded in 2019, the party should find alternative leadership and further reconnect with its guiding principles. Should it fail to do so, the result will be a long slow death not only of the Conservative Party, but of Great Britain itself.


  1. The Brexit negotiations are on the verge of concluding – with a collapse.

    This is because the government hasn’t tried to understand the EU’s position. If any in the Tory Party think that they can blame the EU for intransigence, or the electorate for voting to leave the EU, and survive as a party – let alone as the government, after March 2019 – the painful adjustments that would result from a disorderly withdrawal, they are deluded.

    • The Brexit negotiations look like coming to an early end entirely because of the EU’s unwillingness to actually negotiate. The term means ‘to confer or discuss with a view to reaching an agreement’. Thus far the UK team has been making all the running in the face of EU intransigence (‘refusing to compromise or be reconciled’) coupled with very negative briefings from the EU Commission.

      Unless the EU moves soon to introduce discussions about trade the UK delegation should strike off without offering any money or further concessions and walk away. I judge that the 27 Heads of State would then turn on Tusk, Juncker and Barnier and force them to revisit their failed game plan at speed. The EU will suffer more than the UK.

      • Stop the money for Brussels and the job’s done. The EU would then fall bleating into line, begging to be allowed to trade with us

        • Its not Brussels, it’s the entire globalist movement that is running the show. Half the entrenchment is grounded on our own soil in the form of various vested interests. Brussels does what the globalists demand-we need only look at poor Greece to see who wears the big boys pants – world bank, IMF and ECB then a raft of bankers, investors and crony corporations that depend on ‘ever closer political union’ in order to put in place measures, regulations and rules for their own benefit.

          • This wretched process has been in place certainly since the 1930s,where the origins of the EU are to be found.

          • So much of this is occult. People need to look at history from the Bolshevik Revolution and its actors/financiers, to the Prussian military education system, the role of Germany as the intellectual and technological power house of the West, the rise of America, both world wars and understanding the British Empire and the relationship between Germany, Russia and the USA. They need to realise the way Jews/Israel have become a smokescreen/fall guys to hide the activities of secular Jews who are found fronting banking, political and media empires across the West, but have no connection with Jewish religion, nor culture.

            Understanding the EU has to be understood in the context of the Prussian/Spartan style of Atilla tyranny of one small group over all other people. What exists is as old as man himself. It is the tyranny of the physical stongest in an uneasy symbiosis with the most cunning kind of parasitical intellectualism. It is the use of force of violence of men who have nothing but muscle, combined with the fox like cunning of the brightest manipulators and illusionists. It is the paring of the worst kind of psychopathic thug with that of the worst kind of psychopathic master con man and illusionist.

            We are being conned into believing in the myth of the EU as some sacred cow of peace and prosperity for all, when really it is a project of mass oppression to obtain the power over the population to extract wealth from them. Every centralising force should be seen to have its purpose in moving as far from freedom and individualism as possible by selling a story of how it will increase security, social justice/fairness/wealth.

            Plato set out his republic just as we see today. The philosopher priests, the ruler and his loyal army of thugs. We saw it in Greece, we have witnessed it recently in Spain, the USA is overrun with fake news of Russian conspiracies, antifa, BLM and the alt.right. The West is continually assaulted by unstoppable bogeymen in the form of radicalised Muslims, or insane right wing lone wolves. All grist to manipulate the population into accepting the need for more security and greater social cohesion. It is the wolves and dogs working together to round the sheep into the pen where they will both then feast at their leisure.

    • I don’t believe, in any event, that there would be a ‘disorderly withdrawal’ with ‘painful adjustments’.

      For example, let’s take the ‘worst case’ scenario: Great Britain and Northern Ireland leave without any deal.

      Exporters, for example, exporting to the EU, will continue to comply with EU regulations.

  2. Very good article that nicely points out what I think is the main problem with May and her “progressive” ilk – they are hypocrites! They pay “lip-service” to free-markets and point out the misery of socialism, but in the next breath advocate intrusive big government and “socialism-lite” as the way to return the country to economic and moral health!

    • Most notably the upcoming Tory investigation into “racial inequality” or some such garbage.
      The Tories have black & brown Britons In some of their safest seats, notably Eton
      & Stratford on Avon. Said Britons dress, speak & behave in all respects like indigenes
      & do not demand their own legal system, heathen “faith” schools, women to be
      dressed “modestly” & do not expectthdeir progeny to run wild in our city streets.
      Most non white Britons who fail (whatever that means) come from broken homes,
      are mixed up with gangs & drugs & are given an easy ride by the police.
      Remember the London riots, following the death of an armed mixed race gangster.
      If the rioters had been football fans, they would have lasted hours, not days.

      • Identity politics is a Marxist ploy to divide us and create societal turmoil. It is poison to a free and democratic society. Conservatives must ditch such destructive concepts and focus on values that bring peace and prosperity to those willing to work towards it. We need our own narrative not a pathetic Marxist knock off. I would suggest private property rights, individual responsibility and freedom of association as 3 pillars from which to build the Conservative vision for our future.

        • I like your three pillars.
          Sadly, most UK citizens under about 40 will have had other
          pillars installed in them if they have attended university.

    • Socialism light ? Are you certain, it looks to me like statism heavy, a big dose of authoritarianism and an awful lot of welfarism. May could step into Corbyn’s sandals and him into her kitten heels at this point.

  3. Tragically for the UK the conference is completely irrelevant.
    The next government will be Labour, run by Trotskyite communists of a type
    unprecedented in UK history.
    The reasons are twofold & are down to political cowardice & inaction.
    1. Blair’s easily corruptible postal voting system permits miseducated university students
    to vote twice.
    2 The same system permits muslims to have as many votes as they want, & they
    overwhelmingly vote Labour
    3 The truly slack personal voting system permits persons to vote without photo ID
    thus permitting multiple voting.
    It would be amusing to see the reaction at the ballot if an indigene turned up wearing
    a mask, or, best of all, full KKK robes.

  4. Mr Maggs

    What we need to be advised of is the answer to this question: where do we find the guiding principles of conservatism?

    Mrs Thatcher found them in Methodism and FA Hayek; I find them in CS Lewis, Francis A. Schaeffer, GK Chesterton and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

    • GKC ‘Never take down a fence, until you’ve found out why it was put up in the first place’; Solzhenitsyn ‘Why?’ ”Because we forgot God” ‘. CSL, of course, passim; Schaeffer… I’m a Barcelonian.
      And, of course, the embarrassment of deciding what ‘British Values’ are, when, since at least 1945, our ‘values’ have been constantly derided, decried, and undermined by the agents of Internarional Socialism…

    • You’d think conservatives would be able to point to a single book or pamphlet that explains conservatism in simple, direct terms that everyone can understand. That they can’t, or won’t, explains their current problems.

  5. You Tories still miss the points by a country mile!

    1) The Jacob Rees-Mogg who thinks a child having a baby after beung raped by her father should be forced to do so, the Jacob Rees-Mogg the hypocrite who has a company selling abortion pills?

    2) Hammond says that socialism has failed and you infer that you agree with him, it’s the pair of you who say that completely lacking in irony. Capitalism has failed, it has comprehensively failed, capitalism brings us booms and busts, booms and busts and crashes and history confirms this. The only people who benefit from capitalism are capitalists, workers certainly don’t, especially those on minimum wage and or on zero hour contracts, you know the ZHC that are helping to skew the unemployment figures, if the Tories allowed them to be counted unemployment would soar by at least a million overnight. We’re now at a point where the great lie of the unemployment statistics is starting to be exposed. Capitalists, venture capitalists benefit no matter what the economy is doing, if it is buoyant they reap, if it is stagnant they reap, if we’re in recession or a crash they reap the rewards and benefit out of our miseries in recession.

    3) Thank God for the savvy youth, most seem more able than us oldies to see right though Conservatives and conservatism and I hope for their sakes they find a 3rd way and implement it. Jeremy Corbyn and Labour are on the right track, they’ll (God willing) make a start and the up and coming bright things will take over and bravely do what needs to be done. The UK properly united could lead the way in the world, but it will never happen while we have stuffed shorts old fashioned xenophobic Tories in government.

    4) The Tories are a spent force. They are part of every single thing that is wrong with this country and the Conservatives are behind everything that has gone with this country from Thatcher’s ‘Big bang’ monetary policies and her to her right to buy lunacy both of which have lead us directly onto the path of ruination we find ourselves on today. It is rampant ‘Thatcherism’ that led directly to the 2008 crash It was her Tory bankers gambling with out money and livelihoods that made the sub-prime mortgage scandal even worse that it need have been.

    5) The Tories have been fixated with selling everything that wasn’t nailed down off, now we have nothing to swell our coffers. Thatcher sold off our gas, electric and water and now all of Europe has cheaper utilities all subsidised by us in the UK, forced to pay through the nose and nothing is being done about it. All May did in her speech was outline a policy, the same policy she outlined in the general election campaign then tore up and shredded, why should we believe her now?
    Major sold off British rail. Q. “where have all the trains gone? A “The Tories sold them all”. True we have a nationalised railway, only it is not our government that benefits, it is the government’s in Germany, French and COMMUNIST China! We pay through the nose for a substandard service an the foreign governments who own OUR rail infrastructure are the ones who benefit.

    5) Cameron and Osborne carried on the selling off of everything resulting in actual human misery for the poor, the sick, the homeless, the low waged and the disabled. Cameron promised us that there would be “no more top down reorganisation of the NHS” Which was an outright lie, he actually knew when he promised this to us that he was working with the then Health Secretary to be Andrew Lansley on the biggest reforms of the NHS in its entire history. Of course this was the start of the creeping privatisation that people like me warned about and people like you scoffed at, but now you see it coming true in front of your very eyes and if you cannot seeit then you shouldn’t be writing political pieces!

    6) I’m 65 pretty astute, tipped that Blair would lead the party even before John Smith died. Predicted that Kinnock would lose the elections and predicted (despite the polls) in 2015 that Labour would lose and the Tories win a small majority. I also predicted that Corbyn was going to upset the applecart and it all happened, so I am not naive. I predict now that this is the beginning of the end for the Tories.

    7) The Tories are making a real mess of Brexit and the gall of them trying to pin it all on Labour is really astonishing. It was Cameron who called the referendum, he actually used us to get himself out of a political bind! After calling the referendum he and Osborne did absolutely nothing to plan for Brexit, everyone with a brain cell could see that vote was going to be leave, everyone with a brain cell could see that immigration was being used to scare people and Cameron has to take his share of that xenophobic outburst, it was him, Osborne and May who whipped up fears over immigration, it was them who used Divide and Rule to get them into government and to get away with introducing the most draconia attacks through austerity on the poor, sick, vulnerable and disabled. For Cameron to tip up in the HoC and tell Corbyn “for God sake go” on the back of what he’d just done was nauseating and not one of the right wing MSM picked it up. Not one mentioned that it was labour areas voting to stay in that helped the referendum result be so close. It was xenophobic Tory constituencies that mainly voted to leave, not Labour, yet Corbyn some is to blame?!!!!!

    8) Cameron is to blame for the mess this country is in and the distress and carnage that will happen post Brexit NOT Corbyn. My only hope is that we will have an early election and Corbyn’s team will go in and start some sensible dialogue and get us some good deals, the Labour Brexit team is head and shoulders above the the appalling rabble of Davis, Johnson and the other bloke who is never around Liam Fox.

    The absolute truth is that despite the failed crazy coup of Grant Shapps, what it does expose is that the Tories are hopelessly split and divided on everything from top to bottom, they haven’t got a scooby what they are doing. The Tory membership is falling like a stone, their average age must be around 65 and the grey vote they depend so heavily on is beginning to dissipate through natural means, the Conservative party is in serious trouble and they know it. So now after years of accusing Labour of being Marxists with crazy Marxist policies they are stealing Labour’s clothes to try and woo the youth vote, the Tories actually believe all they have to do is to throw the young a few scraps and they’ll come flooding over. What an insult, taking the young for idiots is not good, patronising them is worse but being condescending too? The mind boggles! Young people are young, they are not stupid, in fact this generation and future generations are more politically savvy than the young were in my day and since! They see and sense in Jeremy Corbyn a decent man, not the man that the Murdoch’s and Dacres like to lie about, misrepresent and spread total disinformation about, we have social media so the old Tory farts are flogging their dead fox hunting horses!

    May won’t fight the next election, in fact, I give her to Christmas before she’s gone, the Tories will try to foist upon us yet another unelected PM but this time it won’t work, they cannot be hypocritical after going on about Brown be unelected and keep doing exactly the same, this time it won’t work.
    The Tories are the party of the establishment, the same establishment that bankers and huge corporations make up, the same establishment that brought us the 2008 crash though their greed. the great lie that it was ‘all Labour’s fault’ is now beginning to be seen for utter deceit it always was and still is. The cat’s out of the bag and as Corbyn said in his massively successful Glastonbury appearance “politics is out of the box and it’s not going back in”. The lies and deceit and old that the Conservatives depend upon to win them elections is now gradually disappearing.

    In my opinion – not before time!

    • “May won’t fight the next election, in fact, I give her to Christmas before she’s gone, the Tories will try to foist upon us yet another unelected PM”
      *cough* Mcmental *cough*

        • I suspect you were absent in english lessons. You cannot construct a sentence.

          There are night classes you know. Generally, your english is terrible.

          If you are an immigrant, I apologise.

    • Absolute utter nonsense! However, in a liberal democracy you have the right to be completely misinformed and voice your utter ignorance of everything political, economic and philosophical. As they say, I absolutely detest what you say but I stand by your right to say it and believe it! What you may not do (if you have any notion of morality at all), is vicariously (through government) steal the life, labour and property of all those who disagree with your worldview and silence/imprison all dissenters which is exactly what history shows to be the final result of your utopian collectivist delusion of a worldview.

    • I presume you would also prevent companies buying products from the Third World produced by child labour?

    • If you wish people to read your opinion you should express it more economically. You could have done that without leaving anything important out.

    • 1) He did not say that. He said that being a RC he has moral difficulty with the concept of abortion. Your accusation is truly nauseating.

      2) The word is `implying’ – not `inferring’. Capitalism means buying and selling for profit. Would you abandon this way of living? What alternative do you suggest? Zero Hours Contracts is the new jazzy name for `casual labour’ without which all building contracts would collapse because casual labourers don’t want to be employed and pay tax and NI which is why they don’t vote Labour.

      `venture capitalists benefit no matter what the economy is doing’ – no they don’t. You do not know what a venture capitalist is, do you?

      4) As with most of the elderly and many younger personas of the left, you conflate Brown’s enormous structural deficit which was the cause of our recession, with the banking crisis, which was an entirely different issue. There has been so much written about the two and you still do not understand the difference

      5) All the state owned utilities were losing money at a colossal rate and in consequence not `swelling our coffers’.

      They are now privatised, making profits and paying tax. Governments cannot run companies, and newer could.

      I suspect that you are right that Mrs May will not fight the next general election but Labour will lose it just as night follows day – and it will then be four in a row.

      The United Kingdom electorate is far too sophisticated to install an obviously incompetent far left government, and as far as constituency seats are concerned. to win an extra sixty four when they are now neck and neck with the incumbent government just ain’t going to happen.

      How will you feel when the exit poll announcement is made?

    • 2) capitalism has never been tried except in pre 19th century America and created, in a relatively short period of time, the richest, most technically advanced and most free country on the planet.

      So, capitalism has only failed to be tried. We should give it a go. It’s the only moral system and as a by product, it also happens to produce the greatest wealth, progress and happiness.

    • Utter tosh! I imagine that by intervening on this site you hope to further the cause of Momentum? Well it hasn’t worked!

  6. This is a good analysis.

    I am always amazed at the inability of most politicians to understand the most basic rules of selling. In their case, they are selling the benefits of people voting for their party, and hence their government, into office. They have to speak to and convince hearts and minds. And one of the first rules of selling is that you do not rubbish your competitors; to do that draws attention to them and displays your own nasty side which undermines your own integrity – it also turns what should be a positive pitch into a combative, negative pitch.

    What the Conservatives need to do is paint a picture in voters’ minds of how good their lives can be under a Conservative government. And the first essential is to have a philosophy (or ‘narrative’) that can clearly explain how and why this can be achieved. For all sorts of reasons they have jettisoned that philosophy and are floundering around with supposed pragmatic solutions to patch up the glaring social, economic and technical inadequacies of the consensus they have tacitly accepted with the other parties. They have become a dying party, dusty from the unmoving, stale air of mental atrophy and moral decline. Nothing to say.

    Theresa May is now the vacuum at the centre of this precarious state of the Conservative party. She long ago became captive to the ‘progressive’ agenda which comprises those irrational notions which come under the umbrella of political correctness. But irrationality doesn’t sit in a silo; where it infects your mind on one issue it soon enough infects your thinking on other issues. It’s no surprise that our great Brexit project is characterised by negativity and negotiated surrender.

    Only a new morally reborn younger generation of Conservatives can rescue their party from the disaster it currently faces. Our nation is on a knife edge as we wait to see if it will happen.

    • Your final paragraph is the answer that will connect with men as men: what is morally right is politically right (Gladstone?).

  7. What is the point of the Conservative Conference? Can ordinary members get up and say anything? Not as far as I can see, it is simply a series of pre-planned speeches.

    Contrast this with when I was working and belonged to a Trade Union. Our Branch had some criticism of the Executive and tabled a motion on the subject for conference. To by surprise it was listed for debate and I was chosen by my Branch to speak, and so had my few minute’s-worth on the platform. Other speakers were taken from those delegates present, purely on what appeared to be a random basis, and it went to the vote and although we lost, the matter was discussed and our discontent noticed.

    I certainly can’t envisage a local branch of the Conservative Party submitting a motion critical of CCHQ and it being debated, so exactly what purpose is served by the conference other than that they hopefully get some good media coverage.
    I hate to say it, but at conference level, my Trade Union appeared to be more democratic than the Tories.

    • PLANNED SPEECHES, the ‘pre’ is unnecessary. Sorry, but I am on a mission to ensure this latest Americanism attack on our language is corrected at every opportunity.

      • HOORAH! Thank you, ‘wabbit’: the schizoid Americans simultaneously love prolixity and verbosity, ornate periphrasis and stark directness, and, like the ultra-bourgeuois they are, constantly err on the side of unnecessary syllables, words (esp. prepositions!), and phrases. So, while there can be both firesight and hindsight, can there really be post-planning? Nor is it possible, time-warps aside, to ‘post-order’ something.
        And, as for, ‘upcoming’…

        • Don’t forget, ‘Going forward…’… and ‘Pre-order’. Jeez, they drive me up the wall copying every faddish utterance from American film and TV. Don’t get me started on ‘issues’, when ‘problem’ is meant…

  8. My son is very higher up in the management of one of our more illustrious universities. He says that his is in no doubt that he is the only Conservative voter on the entire staff.

    He is quietly dismayed.

  9. Mrs May is selling the liberal left doctrine and expects the electorate to vote for her party when they have as a choice, the real thing.

    It really is rather odd, and what is more odd, is why everyone else running the party seems to agree with her stance?

    And the Conservative Party is in a terrible state?

    I really cannot think why.

  10. What has very conveniently seems to have escaped the notice of and made so
    out of focus so as to be totally ignored by the whole shebang, you know
    the Westminster claque, the unelected bodies, councils who impose their
    will on the electorate, is that the horse has been put to the back of
    the chariot.

    The imposition of taxes is a necessary evil, but this imposition has altered into an imposture. Somehow, the contract between the people who pay taxes and its elected representatives who
    were to be trusted to make administration and efficient distribution so that the country was kept defended, its streets and our commonwealth secure and safe.
    All of that, has been ever so insouciantly misunderstood and so that, the servants have now become our masters, how did this happen?

    Furthermore, to add insult to great injury and as if rubbing salt into gaping wounds, it seems very much to me and it matters not whether your donkey is donning a red, yellow or blue
    rosette, the very last thing on the minds of these nodding donks is national interest and primary indeed sole responsiblity to the people of the thisisland – yeah the UK.

    The executive are not supreme [where does it say that?], the legislature should be holding them to account and yetthe executive act like dictators and the legislature back them up,
    that’s not how Parliament should function.

    Ever growing the state, wasting £billions on uncivil bean counters, the ‘third sector’,
    quangocracy and metropolitan councils who are totally unaccountable, that’s not what government should be about.

    The contract has been broken, what we need is some democracy not more Theresa May, toryboys or labour.
    The people should deem how their taxes are spent, I suggest an end of March
    annual national plebiscite on the UK budget, that at least would put the horse back in yoke to the fore, to hand back the reins to the rightful chariot masters.

    • Democracy in a mixed economy makes that inevitable. Make taxation voluntary and remove the state from anything other than the protection of rights, defence and justice.

      Altruism is like a cancer. You can’t have ‘a little bit’ and it will be fine, because it eventually grows and consumes the entire body. There is no amount of evil that is tolerable, but as long as people compromise their principles, evade reality or choose ignorance as their defence , then evil will always triumph.

      Any compromise is evil, any defence of ‘grey areas or things’ not ‘being black and white’ is turning a blind eye. If it was true that everything is grey, then it can only be so if black and white are solid realities-there can be no grey where there is no black and white.

      • “Make taxation voluntary and remove the state from anything other than the protection of rights, defence and justice”

        The minute you declare tax voluntary is the same minute you will have nothing to spend on defence, justice and “rights”.

        • Do you have home insurance, a pension plan, put locks on your doors, eat good food instead of junk. It’s about choices which support your interests. I’m going to spring for a plan which ensures my streets are safe for me to walk and that I’m not going to get robbed, but that if I do there will be someone to give justice. Same with national defence-but I don’t want to pay for wars in Libya, Iraq or Syria which don’t threaten my rights.

          Sure, there will be those who won’t pay, but how is that different to now ? At present we pay people to either not work, or to work at occupations that only produce enough income not to prevent welfare subsidies in the shape of cash, housing, childcare, transport, leisure, health et al.

          There are many ways to ensure that the costs are covered. For instance your home insurance could include a fee, or you could have a lottery, or even a list of payers/shirkers. Remember than sans welfare, interventionism in economics, the cost would be tiny in relation to the 60% the average earner is taxed today. It might represent just a few pounds a week.

  11. Well, the problem with the Conservatives is they are no longer conservative – do they even realise that?

  12. Thank you, Mr. Maggs, for highlighting the essential (I believe) problem: Conservatism that doesn’t conserve, Toryism that is only-slightly different from Socialism, is surely, I think, an egregious example of ‘switch-selling’ or, to give it an older name ‘issuing a false prospectus’ – something Socialists have always done, and will continue to do; something cynical ‘polititians’ in Sir Toby Belch’s sense of the word) like Lord Melbourne (‘It doesn’t matter what we say, but, mind, we must all say the same’ & ‘Nothing matter very much, and most things don’t matter at all’) and Walpole (‘Every man has his price’) or, indeed, those Tacitus delineates as exempifying the ‘venalia cuncta’ (‘everything for sale’), have done – so long as the plebs allow them to.
    As others have pointed out, ‘Why vote for ‘corbyn-lite’ when you can have the full-fat version?’ The frightening timidity of our politicians is, I suspect, what repels.

  13. Why has no one reported on this portion of May’s speech?

    ‘Same sex marriage on the statute book, so that two people who love each other can get married, no matter what their gender’.

    • I know, it is disgraceful. I believe the vast majority are being steam-rollered into accepting this as a fait accompli. There is no real choice, politically, anymore, everyone is being forced into liberalism.

  14. Never ever have I encountered such a pathetic political class that has been inflicted on this once great country and never have I felt such contempt for them either! I am concerned for the future of this country like never before! We need a miracle, we need a saviour to drag it from the abyss and never have I felt such pity for the younger generation as I do now.

    • It is now too late.

      It is over for at least twenty five years. When Corbyn becomes Prime Minister I will be emigrating to North Korea for a better life if Mr Kim will have me.

        • I reach sixty next year. Divorced, no children, I am debating whether to sit tight and hope for deliverance here, or simply sell up and travel to as many places as I can, ‘cherry picking’ the best the world has to offer, until money or health runs out. As imperfect as it was, I genuinely believe ‘baby boomers’ have had the best time of it, and it is downhill from here on in as far as quality of life, language, society, peace, and much else is concerned

    • My younger relatives all work in the public sector, doing worth-while jobs. Though originally Conservative (I think), they now all vote Labour. After all, why not vote for a party which promises you that all your dreams can come true if you vote for them? Needless to say their knowledge of recent, or any, history is nil.

  15. Conservatives always give the line that free markets produce the greatest wealth-but that is a fortunate by product of capitalism, it is not an argument for capitalism anymore than equality is an argument for socialism.

    What’s more, the modern Conservatives are no more capitalist than Corbyn. Those Conservatives who still know what capitalism is, will only support it as a social wealth creator putting society before the individual.

    This is such a major flaw in Conservative thinking that it was inevitable that the policies would become ever more statist and ever less capitalist. Conservative policies are spooning cream to the large asset holding class and to crony capitalist businesses whilst dribbling milk on the workless. Anyone aspirational, caught in the middle, anyone who saves or works hard at a job/enterprise is punished to serve these two ends.

  16. An interesting article, but consider this. That those behind the scenes who pull the strings, the men in grey suits want May to fail and for a Labour government to take over.
    Most Tories have only one policy at heart – to make as much money as possible in the shortest possible time. They see Brexit as a threat to that and there is rumour of a plot afoot to allow Labour into power to halt the Brexit process.

    May has no ideas drive, or passion of her own. She reminds me very much of the senior civil service apparatchiks who appear efficient enough without allowing their own views to colour communication with their minions.

    Worse though is the Tory party policy unit which is based in central London staffed by ex public school boys and incommunicado. In fact I’d go so far as to claim they are in complete isolation from the outside world and shun its influence like they might be infected by it.
    The ideology which drives them is ‘what worked’ in the past of course, but that fails to take account of the way the public has seen through the lies of the BLiar years and BLiar is one of the most hated men in Britain.

    If you like, try contacting central office and the policy unit I can guarantee you won’t get anywhere !

      • You know, we often criticise the Left for having lost the ability to structure an argument, and instead stopping to name calling. How interesting that those allegedly of the right have copied the technique.

        • I imagine that you meant to write ‘stooping’. My dispassionate point, without the slightest element of name-calling, was that your argument doesn’t make sense, it has neither logic nor reason. In marked contrast I would judge your suggestion that most Tories are greedy for money is name-calling of an unwarranted and spiteful nature.

          • With regard to the last sentence it’s a stereotype, a useful one as it is quick to get on the page.
            Like most stereotypes there is more than a grain of truth to it. This site was for instance created because the Tories abandoned their core conservative values save for the money.
            Cameron had so few policy aims he was accused of a ‘zombie parliament’ but he did manage to lower the higher tax rate and effectively abolish inheritance tax.

            Having re-read the piece it still appears to make sense and even if you don’t agree with it, that does not make it devoid of logic nor reason. The suggestion of a hand over to Corbyn has been raised elsewhere and no one seemed to think it an unthinkable possibility.

    • The men in grey suits, I presume, being the heads of those corporations that benefit from EU membership.

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