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