Laura Perrins: May has ditched the family so only the big State is left

Now listen. I don’t want to be rude to my fellow conservatives, I really don’t. But I feel the time has now come to say to the economic liberals out there: screw you. You left us social conservatives high and dry and now they are coming for you.

We have always said social conservatism is a necessary if not sufficient requirement for economic liberalism, but you either did not believe us or dismissed us as ‘the blue rinse brigade.’ But now, predictably, Mother Theresa and big Statism is coming for you. Welcome to the being on the outside of the tent.

On Saturday, Matthew Parris had a piece that for once I agreed with. Excuse me, but I will quote a length. Parris discussing the leaked Labour manifesto:

“Phase out tuition fees, as this manifesto promises to do? Is Labour’s alternative — free education from the nursery to graduation day — really unthinkable? School is already free, so why should it be a crazy Marxist idea to extend that to university, where about half the younger generation will now go? I prefer the case for competition between universities, for making the student a customer, for consumer choice. But the Tories haven’t made the case.

“More help with childcare and social care? More and better social housing and council-house building? Better universal credit? These are promises to which, from millions, the default answer would be “yes please”, in the absence of any good reason why not. The Tories haven’t made the case why not.

“Make zero-hours contracts illegal? Nobody likes the brutalities of a few unscrupulous employers, but careful regulation, not a generic blanket ban, must be the answer, because there’s a compelling case to be made for flexibility in the labour market. The Tories haven’t made the case.

“So what’s the case they make as this election kicks off? “Jeremy Corbyn, ha ha ha. Pacifist, ha ha ha. Worzel Gummidge, ha ha ha. Look at his silly beard, ha ha ha. Shortest suicide note in history, mad Marxist, imagine his hand on the nuclear button, imagine him negotiating Brexit?” Brexit, Brexit, Brexit; Corbyn, Corbyn, Corbyn; ha ha ha.

“To the ha ha ha is added the second string to this two-note Conservative bow: sob sob sob. “We’d love to, truly we would — but, désolé, the money just isn’t there.” More nursery provision, more money for nurses? More generous welfare provision? Vast new spending on the NHS? More, more, more of the good that government can do? “Splendid idea,” murmur the Tories, “but sadly money doesn’t grow on trees.” How well I recognise the tactic over decades of doorstep conversations: don’t get bogged down arguing the merits, just sigh that you’d love to help but the cupboard is bare.”

Parris says, for now this will work. The Conservatives,“.. duck. Blair ducked with “what works”, lacking the courage to explain why what works, works. Dear me, no: that would have been ideological. Cameron ducked with “austerity”, lacking the appetite to explain why a Tory government wanted to cut fat regardless. Now May and her team duck behind a Tory screech that Labour’s plans are “not costed”, would cause “a black hole”, etc. And none dare preach the positive case for small government, individual responsibility, family duty and that element of sink-or-swim that sounds harsh but is integral to the case for Adam Smith economics.

"Brexit will save Mrs May and spare her the bother of trying to frame a principled case for 21st-century Conservatism. But Brexit will not always be with us, and meanwhile we’re allowing Conservatism as a philosophy to atrophy.(My emphasis)

And he is right, is he not? It is just unfortunate that it is May’s economic socialism and not Cameron’s social liberalism that caused this great realisation to dawn on Mr Parris.

I think individual responsibility and family duty is about as close to social conservatism as we can get when it comes to Parris but it will do. And yes, it is as necessary to conservatism as free-market economics are.

This awakening is not confined to Parris. As Ryan Bourne points out here, “Former Labour leader Ed Miliband may have lost the general election battle in 2015, but when one sees the interventionist trend in Conservative government policy, he is arguably winning the war.”

Allister Heath thinks things are so bad that ‘it is time for a new campaign for capitalism and markets’ and that the ‘Tories gave up fighting for free markets years ago when Cameron was elected leader.’ Yes they gave up at around the same time they fell in love with social liberalism also.

So let’s just say it again: without strong families based on marriage you can expect free markets to die and State interventionism to grow. Write this down: the weaker the family, the bigger the State.

We have to have a big State if you have social liberalism, as it is the only thing left to fill the gap left after the family falls apart. Why is this so difficult for the big wigs to understand?

Let’s just take the issue that kicked The Conservative Woman off – the State subsidy of external childcare. When Cameron signed up to the feminist agenda in order to ‘detoxify the party’ by pushing more and more mothers out to work, you need someone to look after the kids, and it turns out that will cost.

In fact, it will cost the taxpayer about £6 billion a year. Do you see the straight line there between feminism/social liberalism and the interventionist State? It is very straight indeed, so straight that the ruler used to draw it just poked out the eye of the economic liberals.

Now you could have said, we are conservatives so we’ll let the family decide (not the same as mothers must be at home, mark). We will let the married couples pool their tax allowances and then they have choice what to do. This will strengthen marriage and delegate decisions about care to the family, where they belong. They can both work and pay for care, work and get a relative to care, or have someone at home and someone at work. It could be the mother, it could be father, it is up to you. But no, no, no we had to have all the mothers in work. So enjoy that 6 BILLLION pound subsidy.

By the way, if you have all the mothers at work, they can’t help look after older relatives either. So you have to give employment leave for that now too. It is unpaid but interventionist. Unpaid year-long leave to care for elderly relatives is the latest wheeze from Mother Theresa. And there is plenty more where that came from.


(Image: Chatham House)

Laura Perrins

  • Earthenware

    None of this comes as a surprise.

    May was the one who coined the term “the nasty party” and showed as Home Secretary that she had no intention of dealing with immigration, despite her annual declarations to the contrary.

    She also supports Sharia Courts and is clearly not prepared to do anything about the advance of Islam in Britain.

    If Mrs Thatcher were still around, May would be described as a “wet”, alongside the likes of Ken Clarke and Francis Pym.

    It seems that she intends to be the “heir to Cameron”.

    • Anduros

      As I said on another thread, Mrs May is turning into more of a Blair – maybe Cameron would have been better. But a Conservative as viewed by many standards? Not really.

      I like elections (OK, I’m weird!) but this one is turning into a ‘Vote Conservative, there is no palatable alternatve’ choice.

      I feared earlier that she will cave in on big parts of the Brexit negotiations, now I also fear that she will enforce all of her latest ideas and thus condemn us to a perpetually weak public finances at just the time we need a strong, economically-switched-on leadership. Stable? Strong? Maybe, but not really Conservative enough for many.

      ‘Wet’ – more like the Atlantic.

      • HardcastleCraggs

        As someone said elsewhere, more like the heir to Heath.

  • Busy Mum

    A society that can only see childcare and care of the elderly in terms of money has lost its soul.

    • Phil R

      The State has engineered it this way.

      No money for families and two incomes needed to survive.

      No spare time or cash for the elderly.

  • Stuart Fairney

    If anyone cares to study this, they will see that dumping children in day care causes huge anxiety which manifests in later life as a desperate need for approval. This leaves people socially compliant and timid, whereas kids brought up by, y’know parents (not a minimum wage stranger) are more socially robust and able to handle and express unpopular but often essential views. DO NOT PUT YOUR KIDS IN DAY CARE.

    • Nick Booth


      This is interesting. I’d like to know more!

    • Bik Byro

      Parents dump their kids in day care so they can get on with their working lives, then they are shocked when they get old and the same kids dump them in a care home so they can get on with their working lives.

      • Sargv

        A very weak link between parents and their children was another shocker when we moved in here. In Russia, parents outright buy apartments for their kids (“if you want grandkids, you have to provide your kids with a place to have them”). Here, they rent it. Unbelievable, still.

        • Bik Byro

          This is one of the reasons why I am against draconian inheritance taxes. With high property prices in the UK, many children will need as much of their inheritance as possible to get themselves a home equivalent to what their parents had.

          • Sargv

            The problem with relying on inheritance our days is longevity. Chances are, you’ll get that family house when you are past 60 already – and what would you do with it by that time? You can pass it to your kids – given that you managed to have them while renting all that time.

            Youth needs a leg up early in life, to make sure they can save instead of spending money on rent; and that they can allow having kids in their 20s, not in their 40s.

            Surely not an option for me – my parents are back in Russia, and although they want to help me badly, their contribution will not break a dent in London’s property market (if anything, I insisted that they keep their Moscow flat to rent it out and use as a retirement income stream while living in their nice 400 sq m suburban family house – capitalism is good if you work hard). Given that my wife’s business is still in financial infancy, it’s up to me to sort this one out 🙂

          • forgotten_man

            I don’t suppose the irony of Russian ‘flight to safety’ money helping to push up London prices has escaped you….;-)

          • Sargv

            I think that “wealthy nouveau rich Russians” picture is significantly exaggerated. Usual scapegoating. Institutional investors and Chinese on the other hand… I believe the number one reason is low rates though – which mean cheap borrowing AND low return on savings, pushing money into rent-providing assets.

          • forgotten_man

            They aren’t the only reason but they do make up one of the top four groups, with Nigerians, Arabs and Chinese.
            As for the rent-providing assets then more natives are involved in that aspect as we have to make the finances work, whereas if you come from a regime with primitive or no property rights then the choice could be lose all of it in an almost certain coup or sequestration there or possibly lose just 25% in a property crash here…no brainer really…

          • Bik Byro

            I’m being serious about this one, give it some serious consideration … move out of London and into the north of England. You can pick between some fantastic city and rural locations like Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales (it definitely is not at all like the grim stereotype), you can have an excellent quality of life at a fraction of London prices. I seriously do not know why people who absolutely don’t have to work in London are so wedded to London.

          • Sargv

            I hear you. I’m not a big fun of the city myself. But I make north to £200k here, I moved in half a dozen families with me (so kinda responsible for their wellbeing) and my wife’s business feeds from massive London Russian-speaking community as a customer base.

            Unfortunately I’m tied to London, with the only other option being the Valley – hardly a better choice.

          • Bik Byro

            Ah. Shame, if you are not a fan of the city life, you can buy some gorgeous property in the north of England with land, stables etc etc and still within reach of very upmarket towns like Harrogate and York.

          • Sargv

            Well, maybe one day.

            At the moment missus wants to settle down (we moved a lot in our twenties – social mobility and all that), so we’ll probably end up with a rundown shack an hour away from the city centre on an Underground for a reasonable price of £800k or so. (Stupid, I know. But I have a weak spot for this particular lady.)

          • CRSM

            Or, a bit further south, the Derbyshire Peak District.

          • Bik Byro

            Also extremely nice, picturesque and reasonably priced.

      • hereward

        Nursery school is just glorified child care also . Children should start school at aged 6 IMO .

  • IanE
  • bilbaoboy

    I could say that May is a disappointment, but she isn’t. It is just what I expected of her. Laura you are on the money.

    Labour has lost as a party but as in Spain, there is no need for them, the conservatives are shifting fundamentally (and tragically) to the left.

    My feeling is that it is more important to certify the death of Labour in the UK and PSOE in Spain than to manage a conservative vision of society.

  • MrVeryAngry

    It’s so very very depressing. La May is going to win big not because she has any clue at all but because she is the least worst option among a crowd of fools and charlatans. She will then take this as a mandate for Mayism.

  • Bark Kantatas

    Practically the first thing May did as Home Secretary was to enact Harriet Harman’s Equalities Act. May swung behind gay adoption. Lynn Featherstone credited May with mobilising the Tory Cabinet behind what became the 2013 Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. That is her anti-family track record. Her State coercion record includes the attempted enactment by stealth of the European Arrest Warrant in late 2014 and the introduction of the much unfanfared Snoopers Charter at the end of last year.

    John McDonnell is an armchair Stalinist. May actually walks the Stalinist walk. Stick it to the bat-winged she-devil by voting UKIP on 8th June.

  • 5th column traitors

    BlueLabour/RedTory is not just a phrase.

    You have not been able to get a credit card between them since the Blair years. All we have is the illusion of democracy by being given the choice of two sides of the same coin.

    Blue/Red then throw in the LibDems/Greens/UKIP for some seasoning and it all becomes a big blob of brown left-of-middle sludge.

    As the saying goes: No matter who you vote for the government always wins. The only difference is the names. The policies are the same: Tax and Spend. In reality there is nothing else a government can do.

    • weirdvisions

      Or as my other half so delicately puts it: different bum, same old excrement.

      • brownowl

        Or, two cheeks of the same ‘arris.

  • Mike Fowle

    It seems to be open season on May at TCW at the moment. I think it is a little early to say. She did not have freedom of choice at the Home Office, and even Mrs T advanced cautiously. More than some now acknowledge. I believe she will deliver Brexit (Parris on the other hand is frightened she will).

    • Craig Martin

      Yeah, May’s hands were tied by the EU when she was HOS, that’s why I won’t give her as much grief on her time in that position as some.
      She is, however, under close watch.

      • Fissionchips

        Agreed, let Corbyn and his merry labour/marxist idiots furrow their own path into total oblivion – but keep a close eye on TM all the way to ensure she delivers what the UK mandated i.e a hard English Bond brick wall backed up by a barytes reinforced concrete BREXIT and nothing less.

    • Thatcher accomplished a lot, more than Reagan on the whole. But both recognized, as we must, that politic is the art of the possible. Getting too far in front of the people won’t work either. And a slight (50.1% or so) of Britons are net receivers of government largesse. Coming back will be a slow process.

  • weirdvisions

    I agree with what you say, Laura. But what do we do come June 8th? Hold our noses and vote for May or waste a vote on UKIP who haven’t a chance of winning and therefore delivering?

    • Great Briton

      Think I’m going to vote UKIP again, even though it’s going to be wasted. I like some of what May says but I’m not convinced she is a proper Tory.
      O/T but UKIP seem to have lost the plot too. At one time they were the REAL TORY PARTY. Now Paul Nuttall seems be Labour Light

      • weirdvisions

        My problem exactly. There is no party running on a true conservative ticket. We have been disenfranchised. Again.

    • Vote using your principles. Don’t get sucked into the “back the winner” mentality. A silly horse racing idea that also has tainted our voting system with the unfortunate name of “First Past the Post”. One of my biggest bugbears of elections are those silly “can’t win here” with little arrows pointing at the third place candidate on a bar chart.

      Remember that your vote is only ONE vote, a mere drop in an ocean. You can vote UKIP because; as you imply, the Tories will win anyway.

  • blingmun

    Parris says “careful regulation, not a generic blanket ban, must be the answer”

    We can rule out “careful” regulation because then someone — presumably Parris — needs to define what careful means.

    We need more freedom which only requires a small number of ordinary laws enforcing contract law and prohibiting slavery, theft, intimidation (say in the case of pickets defying a union) etc.

    In short, all we need is the common law. Everything else is cancer.

    • weirdvisions

      In other words, minarchy. I’ll vote for that.

    • Bogbrush

      Yep. Everything else is coercion and interference.

      Trouble is, humans have been trained to be domesticated and it’s borderline abusive to now throw open the doors to the cage.

      I guess this is why it always takes revolution and catastrophe to change stuff. Terrible.

  • Shadow Warrior

    All we have on the menu now is various flavours of left, from May’s soft left Tories through to Corbyn’s hard left Labour, and everyone else (including UKIP) somewhere in between. What do you do if you hold traditional centre right views of small state, personal responsibility, balanced budgets, etc? There is – literally – no political party out there who will represent you.

    Me? I shall be spoiling my ballot. I live in a remain constituency represented by a Tory remainer with a 17,000 majority, so what else can I do?

    • A new poster

      I’m with you on this. I’m politically homeless. I’m also in a Remain Tory constituency and can’t bring myself to keep voting UKIP. Maybe there’s an independent out there with conservative ideas. Maybe some clever person can create a network of like minded conservative candidates or form a proper party for centre right views.

    • SteadyOn

      There is nowhere for a libertarian to go. Even this site, which I often agree with, stems from a strain of social conservatism (traditionalism would be more honest) that I cannot endorse.

  • Leo Savantt

    Mrs. May’s has faults, and over the next 5 years we are going to uncover many, but the most worrying is that she is only conservative in a narrow literal small C sense, for she so obviously only wants to conserve the liberal leftist agenda. She runs a grave risk of being outclassed by the EU, her wet consensual and halfhearted interventionism will be putty in the hands of federalist, and without hyperbole, totalitarian extremists at the Commission.

    • Groan

      And her own Civil service

  • Nockian

    Advocating for ‘strong families’ and ‘marriage’ is just another form of authoritarian pragmatism. Things cannot be ‘fixed’ by clinging to notions of family ‘duty’.

    Ultimately the problem is one of ethics and our current obsession with moral relativism, non-judgement,hedonism and pragmatic compromise. It is not up to the state to make our decisions and neither should the state be blamed for the decisions we make.

    If we have a sense of pride, of self esteem, of confidence in our worthiness to live and to take happiness from the values we uphold and our independent effort in honestly gaining those values, then the state would not exist in its present form.

    A real free market, or to give it its proper name, laissez faire capitalism, is the result of proper moral judgement. We don’t need anyone to tell us that being dishonest is bad, because no matter how poor our moral compass is, being dishonest makes us feel bad.

    Being honest is a moral choice out of necessity, not dogma, nor pragmatism. There is no justification for being a little dishonest, because our self esteem suffers as a consequence of accepting the compromise with our principles. There is no escape from reality; reality isn’t flexible; there are no grey areas of reality; X is X and a thing is what it is and isn’t anything else.

    Moral relativism is really the fear of judgement and therefore the fear of existent reality. The reason people prefer not to judge others, is because they wish in turn not to receive judgement. They wish to evade reality; to wish it away and seek out pleasure for the sake of pleasure regardless of the damage to consciousness and hence their self esteem.

    No amount of tinkering by an authoritarian state, nor religion, will replace the necessity for a complete philosophical change. The decay of western civilisation is not the result of weak families-even savages have strong family connections. The West flourished because it rediscovered reason, it embraced existent reality and with it a scientific code of moral values-not scattered dogma and whim.

    Ultimately a peaceful, well adjusted and strong civilisation is founded on its embrace of existent reality-the further it strays from reality, the weaker and more violent it becomes. Weak families are merely signs that things are falling apart, just as decaying wallpaper is present in a dilapidated house with a leaking roof, crumbling walls and a subsiding foundation. No matter how much wallpaper paste we apply to the paper, it won’t fix the rot.

    • Sargv

      > It is not up to the state to make our decisions and neither should the state be blamed for the decisions we make.

      At the moment, it’s up to the state to bail out people from those decisions. For welfare state is about penalising good choices (via taxation) to subsidise bad choices (via benefits). And without the family, we HAVE TO rely on the welfare state.

      It’s not the root of all evil (which, indeed, might be moral relativism), but it is surely the BARRIER that guarantees that the evil – of people making poor choices with no personal consequences – will stay with us.

      • Nockian

        But the state does not force anyone to act immorally.

        The state robs people at gun point, takes a cut and hands out what’s left to those who didn’t earn it. No one who takes a share of the stolen loot is ever going to feel good about having taken what they didn’t earn. Instead, people justify taking the loot because the state tells them that looting for the good of society is an acceptable moral compromise-that’s moral relativism; if theft is immoral, then so is taxation and welfare hand outs.

        It is not even true to say that people make bad choices without consequences, it’s only that the consequences are not immediately evident. Reality can only be evaded but not avoided. The usual description of welfare as a ‘safety net’ is clearly an equivocation. People on welfare are not falling into a net from which they move back onto the tight rope of life, the net is more like a millstone which stops them ever getting on the rope in the first place whilst it is at the expense of those who are barely able to maintain their own balance on it.

        Evil is anything which degrades life. It is anything which deprives a person of the right to think, labour and enjoy the fruits of that effort. Welfare is evil, so is the taxation from which it is claimed. Until people come to realise that the claim a ‘fair’ tax, or a ‘fair slice of the pie’ is no more than a justification for bashing your neighbour over the head and stealing his stuff we will continue the decline.

        The people, we the people can only begin to halt the rot if we begin to realise the reality of our current democratic system and it’s faux choice. Social Conservatives still believe that the Government can mould society into a civilised, cohesive and peaceful structure. They are no different to the communists that claim the exact same thing, it’s only that their allegiance to so called ‘progressive socialism’ is tempered by religious dogma.

        Social Conservatives would never dream of ending the welfare state despite it being clearly predicated on the theft of property-hence Liberty, hence life. When Conservatives talk of ‘small’ government they always fail to describe exactly what they actually mean-generally it means less interventionist, but Conservatives tend to mean different kinds of intervention rather than zero intervention.

        Reality is black and white. So if theft is evil, then there is no amount of theft which can be tolerated. Once theft is accepted as a pragmatic necessity, then all that remains is to define the form of that theft. That is to say that evil is good in some quantity specified by a crowd or any man creating a justification for a crime he intends to commit. As long as we think, as individuals, in grey ethics then we are stuck with a slide into barbarism-at some point in time even barbarism will appear more attractive than the state if we carry on down this road.

        All we need to do to prevent the rot is to stop justifying evil on the grounds of safety nets, slices of pie and fairness. We should go back to what our parents always preached but rarely practiced-don’t hurt people and steal their things. Ask if you want something that is someone else’s property, but don’t threaten, or hurt them if they refuse to give it to you. We all know this as a good principle, not because it’s better for society, but that we are personally giving in to evil and thus destroying our own integrity and self esteem by acting immorally. There are no grey areas. The only people who can hurt people without damage to their consciousnesses are those who are already too damaged to know the difference and we should judge them swiftly and harshly.

        • Sargv

          > No one who takes a share of the stolen loot is ever going to feel good about having taken what they didn’t earn.

          It’s all semantics. Call it “entitlement” – and it’s not longer a dole. Call it “tax” and it’s no longer a theft. Call it “abortion” – and it’s no longer an infanticide.

          > it’s only that the consequences are not immediately evident. Reality can only be evaded but not avoided.

          And with the ability to borrow and pass the bill to future generations, they might as well not be evident in their lifetime. That’s the beauty of the state. Not only it’s “the collective”, it also includes people who are not yet born. So, for any specific mortal person, reality CAN be avoided.

          > All we need to do to prevent the rot is to stop justifying evil on the grounds of safety nets, slices of pie and fairness

          This is not possible under democracy, once the “entitlements” are already in place. Besides, it will lead to massive death toll – I witnessed this once, being born in Russia not long before USSR collapse. Alas, collapse – is the other option there is.

          • Nockian

            Yes, they use semantics to justify their immorality. However, it still only evasion. As long as theft is called contribution and welfare is called distribution people can kid themselves on a superficial level, they can even be completely ignorant of the process, but no one who gets unearned income can ever claim they feel happier than they would has they earned it by their own effort.

            It’s a mistake to think we can mortgage the future and that game has run its course. Basic economics shows that we must produce before we consume and that we must delay consumption of that production in order to utilise the capital savings to fund entrepreneurial innovation. Once the mechanism for capital formation is destroyed and the capital itself has been consumed then there isn’t anything left. If we can’t save then we are going to all go back to consuming whatever we produce and the miracle of capitalism will have ended before it ever got off the blocks. Globalists will soon discover that economic fascism is much the same thing as communism-it just takes longer to reach the same point. If money is diluted to the point of being worthless, then it will no longer be valued as a commodity. People will simply cease to use it and will prefer goods over fiat as units of value. All monopolies are ultimately sow the seeds of their own self destruction. If force is necessary to remain profitable, then it will be force which will become the unit of currency not production.

            I don’t suggest we stop things all at once. It’s more of an philosophical educational process. To an extent the Church once played that role, but once discredited in material science it also lost confidence in its own moral dogma and has been back sliding into irrelevance ever since. What we need is to apply the scientific method to ethics just as we do with anything else. It cannot be accomplished in a lifetime, but that need not stop people understanding the benefits of clear rational thinking to their lives.

            You might well be right that it collapses under its own weight first, but then as Nock said in his essay, it will require the remnant to put civilisation back on its feet again.

    • Woman at home

      Things cannot be ‘fixed’ by clinging to notions of family ‘duty’.
      No, not duty, expectation.
      When people look to their families to help them, knowing they will help, rather than demanding from the state because that’s the norm
      Strong families will help because they care, not because its a duty.

      • Nockian

        Duty is a very specific word and so is expectation.

        It’s an error to believe that all families always take care of their own even if there were no welfare state. It wasn’t true in the 17th century and it isn’t true now. The state definitely distorts behaviour as people who probably wouldn’t not have started families are presented with free schooling, healthcare, child allowance and other benefits. This hasn’t stopped family members acting to help one another either, they do so despite the state.

        The state shouldn’t be interfering at all, but most people only see the welfare state as damaging to a certain sector of the community-they turn a blind eye to their own free benefits such as healthcare and education which they condone as social necessity, yet it is as much welfare as any other. Yet even then we have not scratched the surface of the real welfare Kings and queens, those who are globalist, politicians and vested corporate interests who are socialist their losses whilst privatising profits.

        Social Conservatives seem to have a similar utopia to the modern liberals they despise, the emphasis is on a different form of collectivism, but it is collectivism. Communists think of the whole of society, but Conservatives think in smaller family units that’s all.

        I hold that the state should be entirely neutral, neither encouraging nor discouraging families, or any charitable institutions which want to help unfortunate individuals.

  • Ravenscar

    Maybe you could argue…………….”So let’s just say it again: without strong families based on marriage you can expect free markets to die and State interventionism to grow.”

    When did the cultural Marxists take over the toryboys? Alack, probably when the sqinting, dissolute curs booted out Enoch, For crying out loud and crikey they [the tory REDS] couldn’t have him [Mr. Powell] in the executive while ted plotted to drag us kicking and screaming into the formative Fourth Reich Berlin their proxies in Brussels Empire.
    At every turn, the tories have gone along with ‘girl power’ and augmented it as has been pointed out, theresa may signed into law mad Hattie’s ekwalitee insanity asap – for ferks sakes.

    So you argue, more money for this that and university – really?

    Good heavens above, these days, even the dreaming spires and red brick Uni’s are finishing schools for the extreme left wing dingbats – just look at Dave. Blimey, do you really want the taxpayer on the hook for all that propagandizing pulp heads?

    Then ask me again, if first you ensure all the Marxist pedagoguery are booted out of the campuses and then chucking out the plethora of Gulf funded faculties peddling their new versions of history and geography and much else besides. Aye, if Universities were reborn as institutions where education, science and faculties, places where advanced theorizing is the only goal, where advanced research is made a primary function – and only science, Maths, Physics, Strictly Earth sciences only, English Lit, History and Art are taught to the TOP 10% then yes I’d be very much in favour of the taxpayer providing for, free places.

    Same with the NHS reform it first, de unionize it and then pump money into it.

    And then you could argue that,

    Take away the comfort blanket of a vastly overgenerous welfare state, + bin the pre school doctrinaires getting kids from such an early age…….when did kids go to pre school in the 60s, 70s and 80s – who manifested that hideous idea up – it’s straight from the DDR agitprop playbook or Alinsky.

    yeah take away the comfort blanket and Frankfurt School thinking and mere non ideological thrift will bring back the family – yes! Indeed, the welfare state killed off the family not the other ways around.

    Finally, only free market economics and small government provides real freedom and with added family valuation. Mother theresa, May clearly is, an authoritarian with delusions of megalomania, please don’t vote for her.

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    G.K. Chesterton, to the effect of, “The business of Progressives is to keep on making mistakes, while the business of Conservatives is to keep those mistakes from being corrected.”

  • Bik Byro

    To be honest, I think “Jeremy Corbyn, haha imagine his finger on the nuclear button, Diane Abbott haha imagine her as secretary of state” is working a LOT BETTER and is a LOT SIMPLER MESSAGE than making complicated cases for all the things Laura talks about.

    The Tories do not need and should not make cases for these things, it is above the head of the average voter who frankly is more likely to vote conservative due the thought of Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott being in power.

    • Bogbrush

      I can’t believe you’ve written this.

      On a pragmatic, 2017 election winning basis, I get it – but what about next time?

      Principles are everything.

      • Woman at home

        Yes, but sadly the Tories lost their principles years ago

    • Sargv

      > The Tories do not need and should not make cases for these things

      The Tories – the party, the group with an interest to acquire power – maybe not.

      Conservatives (small c) on the other hand must do just that.

      So the question is: are Torry conservatives? As an observer without past historical context, I’d say Torries are soc-dems who favour big state and radical left social policies.

      Those who vote their colours are fine with the message though – as you mentioned, it works. Basic income, free high education and 90% taxes “for the rich” will get them even more votes, so maybe they should incorporate those too.

  • RationalSpeculation

    I’ve always been a bit iffy about Theresa, seeing her as one of those people who has never quite got over being Head Girl, and, being a Thatcherite, I didn’t see her conference speech as much of an olive branch. But really, this warmed over Heathism is so depressing. The whole approach seems predicated on the notion that Theresa knows best and I really can’t see any evidence for that proposition. She may get a warm fuzzy glow from feeling that she’s helping others, but the continual expansion of the state merely serves to reduce people’s moral agency, which is surely the antithesis of conservatism. It seems that whoever wins, the train is heading back to the seventies, the only difference being in how long it takes to hit the buffers. Despite all the talk of Labour splitting after the election, perhaps the Conservatives have every bit as much need.

  • James

    None of this is any surprise to me, I’m afraid.

    Some years ago, when May was Home Secretary, I reached to conclusion that she would have looked much more at home in some 1970s Eastern European politburo (East German Women’s Minister perhaps?) than in a conservative cabinet.

    Sadly, nothing that has happened since has led me to change this view.

  • Pat

    Whilst I agree that medium term prospects look poor, long term I’m optimistic.
    May is not going to win this election, Labour is going to lose it. And Corbyn is just a symptom, the membership that voted him in twice are the main cause.
    People are deserting socialism, which is why we haven’t had a socialist elected since Wilson.
    Labour are heading for obscurity, and once the ballot box has made that crystal clear (which sadly will take more than one election) the Conservative party will split, probably back into Conservative and Liberal though the actual names are anyone’s guess.

    • A new poster

      Regarding your last sentence, I hope you’re right. For me, the Conservatives are becoming such a massively broad, broad church, that they will fail to be coherent sooner or later.

    • CRSM

      If it results in a rebirth of a real (Classically) Liberal party then I would be happy(-ish).

  • Phil R

    If I were on average or below average income I would vote Labour.

    The manifesto sounds too good to be true?

    Maybe, but would I really care?

    I think they could do well.

    • Woman at home

      I don’t think people are that stupid.

      • Phil R

        Too much sleaze, greed and exploitation from the wealthy and the elected representatives.

    • SteadyOn

      If you were on an average or below average income you probably wouldn’t be reading the manifesto.

  • Sargv

    Brilliant article!

    If you dig deep enough, you’d eventually arrive to the cornerstone of Left-Right divide.

    Right believes in free will – which automatically means that every person is fully responsible for his or her own life. For the Right, fairness is merit.

    Left believe in determinism – which means that every person is a victim of his or her environment, and can’t be ever judged or shamed, as they are but passive objects moved by external forces. For the Left, fairness is equality.

    Society built by the Right alone is social-darwinism, a Hell for 50% bellow the median, who drew a wrong straw in genetic lottery.

    Society built by the Left alone is socialism, a Hell for 50% above the median, cursed by being born with a talent in a society that only understands mediocrity.

    Modern Tories are clearly Leftists. There’s no Right political force in UK.

    • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

      Your post won’t disguise the fact that President May’s campaign is imploding.

      • Johnnydub

        Absolute rubbish, May is going to romp home with a 150+ majority.

      • Sargv

        > President May

        Chairman Mayo.

  • A new poster

    Excellent article. Sooner or later, the Conservative Party and the country as a whole is going to pay for not making the arguments for conservatism and for this drift to statist economic policy. It took UKIP to provide some opposition to the globalist, EU loving, mass immigration approach. I hope there are organisations out there that can argue for the conservative cause.

  • forgotten_man

    I’m trying to work out if May is either extremely stupid…or exceedingly cunning.

    On the face of it she looks like the former, with the NIC increase (i know it was rescinded but the fact of its arrival in the first place is significant) the squeeze on the benefits of running a small/medium business and the IR35 assault upon the contract nursing sector…and now , soviet levels of time off ‘entitlements’!

    The latter may well hasten mechanisation at Japanese levels…so may be cunning after all.

    However, the nurses IR35 (taxing gross company turnover as PAYE) seems to be backfiring as thousands of agency medical staff have responded to an instant 30% pay cut by either not turning up at all or a combination of tax avoidance measures coupled with higher hourly rate demands cover the new business expense aka,,increased taxation.

    Now watch the various NHS trusts bleat about massively increased labour costs over the next year…

    I’m sort of feeling we have reached, in the UK at least ‘Peak Taxation’ , any increases just add to the costs and living expences of individuals.
    They may well get ‘free stuff’ fom the government but will be paying a lot more for what the government doesn’t supply..

    • Phil R

      “I’m sort of feeling we have reached, in the UK at least ‘Peak Taxation'”

      Not a chance. Labour are right, those earning over £80K are still doing quite well and keeping a reasonable slice, than you very much…

      The main losers and are by a wide margin, single earner households (£40K to £70K) with children. This group would be £10K to £20K better off (Thanks to the tax and benefit system) if they “divorced”.

      • Sargv

        > This group would be £10K to £20K better off (Thanks to the tax and benefit system) if they “divorced”.

        That’s what a lot of immigrants do once they get citizenship. Buy the property, fake-divorce, wife and the kids get the council flat and free cash, hubby moves in, the property goes for rent paying out the mortgage by itself.

        • forgotten_man

          There is much talk about ‘getting tough’ on immigration but he simplest way is to make the business plan unattractive.

          Immigration would stop extra police, no extra border extra bureaucracy…

          • Sargv

            Agreed. It’s not the immigration per se – it’s lack of filters and the welfare state that.

      • forgotten_man

        Its not the ones over 80k that are having their taxation increased.
        That NIC change that didnt get to happen would have added 15% instantly onto everybody who was self employed which would have worked its way through as higher prices.
        Most people who would have to pay the resulting higher prices are not on 80k…..

    • SimonToo

      Stupid and cunning are not necessarily incompatible.

  • Phil R

    “the weaker the family, the bigger the State”

    When families lose out both in money and status. My wife works at home, but it is always described as “not working”. Weaker families means higher crime, lower school achievement, increased drug abuse, lower virtue in society (However, example here is set by the BBC and MPs), we could make quite a list!

  • UKCitizen

    The conservatives are like most politicians these days. They are career politicians doing whatever will get them power and collectivism is a vote winner these days.

  • The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

    So said Ronald Reagan very correctly. From this stem most of our problems.

    • bobsworth

      The firefighters and paramedics who may well save your life one day are “from the government”.

      However feel free to tell them to bugger off.

      • Actually no, they aren’t. They are volunteer members of the community who have freely associated to fight fires and provide paramedics. I wrote about it long ago:
        We also have in the bigger cities hybrid units where the specialized people are employees but everybody else is a volunteer. Many ways to skin a cat, some are much more efficient than the government.

      • Sargv

        In USSR, every employee was a state employee. Tears of gratitude to the Soviet state are still run over my cheeks.

  • bobsworth

    What a bizarre little universe attention-seeking failed barrister Perrins inhabits.

    A world where every marriage works out beautifully, and lasts forever. A world where people never fall out of love with each other, and divorce never happens. A world devoid of malicious or abusive partners. A world where no-one is ever widowed. Where no-one is disabled and unable to work.

    No, it’s the standard motherhood-and-apple-pie fantasy last peddled by the Mad Men in the 1950s, where everyone’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, living harmoniously together in a pastel-coloured world.

    And a world which relies on vast numbers of women voluntarily deciding that they want to abandon any paid work or any prospect of a career, whether they want to or not. Which relies on effectively forcing people to follow one particular ideological model on how to run their lives – the usual blind authoritarianism of the Right.

    Hint, Perrins: In a democracy, people can choose to vote for what they want their taxes to be spent on. Your “£6 Billion” – a figure I notice you very carefully offer no evidence for – might well be something that taxpayers decide would quite like to be paid back to many of them (yep, working mothers are taxpayers too! – funny that!!).

    Neither are you able to offer any rationale whatsoever for a claimed link between “families” and the volume of the “free market” in any economy. Probably because it’s just rubbish you made up on the spot.

    The relative numbers of stay-at-home vs working mothers has no effect whatsoever on the size of the free market in any given sector – except that much of paid childcare is of course a free market, so the more external childcare required, the larger that particular market.

    You may be used to preaching to the poorly-informed, intrinsically-prejudiced, intelligence-free dullards who habituate these pages…… but to be able to construct an argument to persuade normal people – or to stand any chance of ever getting back your licence to practise at the Bar – you’ll need to do a lot better than this. Maybe, with the greatest possible respect, it’s spending too much time in the world of nappies and toddler’s groups which has so rusted up your intellect and powers of advocacy.

    • bobsworth

      PS It’ll be interesting to see whether you believe in a free market of ideas and opinions.

      Or just the usual right-wing closed echo chamber where inconvenient intrusions of reality are erased as fast as possible.

    • Sargv

      > You may be used to preaching to the poorly-informed, intrinsically-prejudiced, intelligence-free dullards who habituate these pages

      Starting any message with an insult – typical Left.

      So, I’m a dullard. And you are a bitter single mother that benefits from my taxes (and pays 10% of what you receive back, so you are “also a taxpayer”). You love this arrangement because otherwise all that mistakes you made in your life so far – like, maybe, having children with the wrong guy(s) – would’ve burry you by that point.

      Personal responsibility is a bîtch. So much easier to be a dansel-in-distress, constantly crying to the state to fleece other men and women to get your free money from them – something you are surely entitled to as a voter and a human being, who just happened to be born a bit more dim that the others, and hence can’t fully compete on merit.

      You’re right, UK is a democracy. You are free to vote for more dole for you and your ilk. Just don’t be surprised when the state will run out of money, and the reality will smash you in the face – like it did with my parents in USSR circa 1989.

    • Woman at home

      “Neither are you able to offer any rationale whatsoever for a claimed link between “families” and the volume of the “free market” in any economy. “
      Sorry, let me help you, because for all your pomp and bluster you seem to be a little intellectually challenged.
      In the absence of strong families, the state has to take care of and pay for more broken homes. That’s expensive. It means more tax and less disposable income. It means more people working for the public sector, not available to contribute to the free market.
      More broken homes, reliant on the state, falling into benefit traps, beget more broken homes. Whole streets of broken homes become whole estates of broken homes.
      That’s expensive, it means more tax and less disposable income. It means…..
      Shall I continue or do you get the picture?

    • mudlark2

      “Your £6 Billion” ..might well be something that taxpayers decide would quite like to be paid back to many of them”. The point is that much of that £6 Billion is not paid by working mothers, many of whom are in part-time in jobs which fit around school terms and allow for generous maternity leave. It’s the employer who pays and those workers (male and female) who have to pick up the slack when they are absent.

      • Shadow Warrior

        It’s never the employer that pays. The cost is always passed on to the customer/user/employee. That is the fallacy of “free stuff” funded by the taxpayer. The cost always ends up going full circle in the form of either lower wages or higher prices.

        • mudlark2

          I think you are correct where large employers are concerned but there are many smaller companies which find it very difficult to cope with all the excessive employment regulations and costs.

          • Difficult? Yes. But it’s simply part of overhead, one figures it into one’s sales. It’s probably 20X what it was when I first went into business (US). If one hasn’t the underfoot to carry it along with all the other costs, well, you close the business. Tough on the customers but the only solution. Same for large business, in a sense, but they can spread it over many, many more sales, so the personnel cost of complying isn’t as unbearable. When we were more active, I spent about a day per week on government paperwork. Large part of the reason I’m mostly retired.

    • Harley Quin

      What about the ‘blind authoritarianism ‘ of the left, aka the tyranny of political correctness we are now living under?

      The British have never been less free since Cromwell.

  • Groan

    Yes I happened on the Parris article quite by accident. A busy Library so rather than que sat down with the “reference” Times. Would usually avoid Mr. Parris but found myself reading and surprised.
    He is exactly right. Its not just about Parliament and elections. Mrs T. failed to a fair degree because she and her allies did too little to make the case on a wider programme. Thus they relied too much on markets to induce a dose of realism. While their civil service etc. were on another page entirely. For instance making calculations on the care given by family members to elderly relatives as if they were “saving the gov. money” or the introduction of the benefit regime for single parents and so on all presuming the “Gov.” was responsible.
    The evidence is there in abundance to support precisely what Parris and Perrins say. However there is no case made in terms of a linking “narrative”. May may indeed get through as “a safe pair of hands” and will no doubt by very busy (as was Mrs T in simply dealing with wars, “troubles” and internal “revolution” so it is up the TCW and other Conservatives to get busy on the “case”. Because in the real world once Brexit is done the Tories won’t get away with just “we’re not Labour” by then both Labour and LIbDems will have junked their “nice but dim” leaders. As UKIP are finding electorates can be unsentimental.

    • Harley Quin

      I avoid Mr Parris also. It’s not just the dripping wetness of his offerings.

      It’s also that cheesy grin on the Spectator sketch portrait of him which puts me off.

  • Jethro Asquith

    Having ALL the mothers (and fathers) at work has also been a huge contributor to rising prices. The majority of families now have up to (and sometimes more than) twice the income they would have otherwise had. This increases spending with the predictable inflationary effect. Also, mortgages, based on multiple of a couples earnings, are now available at twice the level they would have been – more average money to spend on houses means higher asking prices.

    Of course those that choose to have one earner are then priced out of the market and therefore struggle.

    Ironically, the hardest hit tend to be the ‘single parent family’, lauded by the left. As a result they need more benefits to keep them afloat.

    • TheInternetToughGuy

      This is *exactly* the problem. And solving it will be like unravelling the Gordian knot.

  • c50
  • hereward

    All true but the sickness stems from our useless First Past the Post system . our frigid voting system is leaving us with the blue rubbish or the red rubbish in power . Prop Rep would neuter the two dinosaur parties and real change becomes possible . the status quo is maintained by our kaput voting system . I will get a Liebour MP where I live on June 8 . There is no point to me voting . Sharia May will get a landslide on 30% of the electorate . No prospect of meaningful change is there under FPTP ?

  • Enemy Coast Ahead

    Spot on Laura – keep up the good work.

  • Under-the-weather

    Some of the negative aspects of social conservatism, is what has driven a significant amount of various minority interest groups over a period of time from the right to the left.

    Classical Liberals however, would support small state with primary responsibility for law and order, which involves being able to choose the life that is led by an individual rather than the life preferred by the majority. This would be attractive to minorities currently voting left. In most cases there are perfectly valid arguments for why certain behaviours (e.g marriage for those who want or can have children), hold better outcomes for individuals, including family, but people have to agree that’s the case and choose it for themselves, rather than be forced from a form of social dictatorship of what is and isn’t acceptable..

    “Rise of the New Libertarians”, meet Britains next political generation :

    • Sargv

      Can you name a few minorities, that are not socially conservative – yet support the idea of a smaller state on the same time?

      • Under-the-weather

        Libertarians are one obvious group, the point of the post above

        • Sargv

          I’m not sure they are a group. Are they all voting Labour/Dems (=more taxation) due to being repulsed by conservative social politics? I doubt it.

          • Under-the-weather

            People vote left and right because their parents did, or because they like the look of the PM. Only the swing vote creates an election, and the swing vote (because it is a swing) can’t be voting based on size of govt.

          • Sargv

            > Only the swing vote creates an election, and the swing vote (because it is a swing) can’t be voting based on size of govt.

            And that’s exactly why parties are no longer represent ideologies, or have any specific values, but rather turned into power-hungry groups trying to tailor their message to appeal to the widest audience possible.

            And guess what – majority wants a free ride, so appealing to the swing voters will always mean more state and more taxation.

          • Under-the-weather

            `And guess what – majority wants a free ride, so appealing to the swing voters will always mean more state and more taxation.`
            Swing voters are a minority who swing based on majority identification, that makes a lot of sense (not).

    • Harley Quin

      I’m glad you think there should not be a form of social dictatorship of what is or isn’t acceptable.

      That’s the end of political correctness then.

  • john lynch

    I read somewhere that Mrs. May deliberately chose not to have children is this true? If it is, it explains her attitude to mothers.

    • My understanding is that she cannot. But I don’t absolutely know that.

      • Bogbrush

        That was my understanding also. Did she not talk recently of the pain of learning she could not have children?

    • Under-the-weather

      It was the position taken by Andrea Leadsom to her detriment. Whether or not a woman is a mother should be irrelevant, a male prime minister isn’t a mother either, but that doesn’t mean that he is necessarily oblivious to the existence of families, or needs to have given birth to appreciate ‘motherhood’. The 1950’s social ‘mores’ of what women ‘should’ be doing, have helped create the pendulum swing into modern feminism, just as much as the swing ‘against families’ is the case now, and created by women about other women, as much as against men with inflexible views. It’s all very confused.

      • Sargv

        > to appreciate ‘motherhood’

        She assessed ‘motherhood’ and decided that the whole thing is insignificant enough to completely pass on it and have a career instead.

        That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t say all the right words to appeal to the families of her voters – she’s a career politician after all.

        • Under-the-weather

          Wrong, like a lot of women Mrs May can’t have children, and decided on a career, as the natural alternative.

          • Sargv

            Frankly, I’m not sure about that. I mean, she brand herself as a conservative – she can’t just say “I’m childfree”, this will alienate the voters.

            Look around – childlessness is the norm for high-flying female politicians. Merkel at least have step-sons.

          • Under-the-weather

            Frankly over 10% of women can’t have children, the idea that the PM is lying is hilarious. Sorry , but I don’t have much sympathy with your mindset.

          • Sargv

            > Frankly over 10% of women can’t have children

            Among general population, maybe (and the majority of them probably due to delaying childbearing well into their 30s, or even 40s). It’s much closer to 100% among high-flying career politicians. Yet you do think they can appreciate motherhood and family-with-kids lifestyle.

            > the idea that the PM is lying is hilarious

            I think you have a very rose-tinted view of career politicians.

          • Under-the-weather

            I think you are clueless about women’s health. Your reasoning is entirely based on suspicion, nothing more.

          • Sargv

            I base my opinion on this table:

            Which states only 2.2%-4% of women at 20 will never give live birth if they start trying at that age. It’s 10% at 30, 15-20% at 35 and up to 40% at 40.

            From the perspective of a Russian woman (i.e. my wife and her Russian female friends), British women delay childbearing for far too long. In Russia, any pregnant woman over 30 is considered by medics to be “старородящая” – “older pregnant” or something to that lines – and automatically triggers additional screenings and procedures.

            Of course, there are a plethora of reasons for female infertility, but I do think that a number of British women, who seek medical assistance to get pregnant in their 20s due to possible infertility is insignificant, and infertility here is strongly linked to the average age when women start trying. – and to the fact that any attempt on pointing out that link by the medical community is being crushed by feminists pressure groups.

          • Under-the-weather

            Infertility affects one out of six American couples ..female infertility applies to 50% of all infertility cases (of over one year standing),

            Endometriosis is a single disease which affects 10-20% of the child bearing population in the United States, it causes internal scarring which can create sterility and the only cure is surgery which also creates scarring.

      • Harley Quin

        Single motherhood is a great scourge. When I see programmes on TV or stories elsewhere on the media about what a hard time single mothers have in bringing up their children, my sympathy is very limited indeed.

        I ask myself, because these stories never ask it seriously or at all, where is the father or the fathers of these kids? Why isnt he or they supporting this woman and her offspring? Why is it assumed that the taxpayer should assume this role?

        I think no benefits should be paid to single mothers who do not name the father(s) of these children. They should rely on charity for their support. And when the fathers are named they should be pursued relentlessly for maintenance. If they are on benefits, these should be slashed substantially, even if it means these men go hungry. One’s ‘ compassion’ can be stretched too far.

        I am willing to wager that the statistics on single motherhood would immediately make a steep dive.

        • Jack Sen

          Utter nonsense. If a woman has the RIGHT to choose not to take the child she is carrying to term without the fatehrs consent then a man has the right to say, i dont want any invovlement if you CHOOSE to keep the child. This idea that we should relentlessy pursue fathers will result in predatory breeding where women without the means to maintain the sorts of lifestyles they see on the Kardashians will trap a man into caring for them via the courts. Many women LIE about being on the pill, others will have kids and then leave their partners high and dry in order to cash in. Spend one day in the biased family court as a man who fathered a child with a woman who had a change of heart and youll see how utterly despicable what your proposing is. And again ” If a woman has the RIGHT to choose not to take the child
          she is carrying to term without the fatehrs consent then a man has the
          right to say, i dont want any invovlement”.