IN 2016 I went to a talk given by the then Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon. It was a few weeks before the Brexit vote. Mr Fallon described himself as a Eurosceptic who wished to remain within the European Union: as gutless and unprincipled a position as one would expect from a senior politician of the Cameron era.
In the minister’s mind a desire to leave the European Union was a fetish purely for the fruitcakes and loons. The audience of well-to-do professional types broadly agreed with his assessment.
Being among the fruitiest of fruitcakes, I took exception to his arrogant dismissal of the Brexit cause and abandonment of average Conservative voters. I piped up. I told him about my grandfather who, having voted Conservative in every election since the 1950s, decided to switch allegiance for the first time in 2015 at the tender age of 89.
Was there not, I suggested, something telling in the fact that a life-long Conservative voter refused to vote for Cameron & Co?
His precise response escapes me, but it was a rehash of the ‘well, of course we are listening to everyone in the country’ shtick.
I pushed the point: the headlong abandonment of conservative policies by the party deceitfully using the ‘conservative’ moniker was not only an insult to its core supporters, but more crucially, meant that it would end up indistinguishable from its supposed parliamentary opponents (a point that had, in fact, already been reached).
As this was pre-Brexit and pre-Trump, politicians could still comfort themselves with the notion those with opinions like mine were merely part of a kooky fringe to be ignored without consequence.
A few months later – the wave of Brexit having struck in the meantime – it came out that Mr Fallon had touched Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee, signalling the death knell for his ministerial career. The problem of the ‘conservative’ party, however, remained.
It is still a party with no conviction and no purpose other than the attaining of power and self-aggrandisement of its members. It has traded for decades on a worn-out brand name, pathetically trotting out the threadbare plea every four or five years: ‘Vote for us: just look how bad Labour is!’ In 2019 we did just that, and look where we are now. It is hard to imagine how Labour could have been much worse.
Lord knows there are enough examples of how the party has abandoned any pretence of conservatism. Recent days, however, have irreversibly demonstrated this fact.
Much has been made of Al Johnson turning back on his manifesto pledges (as if the manifesto were ever anything other than glossy and poorly written bog-roll) and increasing National Insurance contributions. The giant bottomless pit that is the NHS needs its next urgent injection of cash, with more crises and ‘X days to save the NHS’ soon to appear on the horizon.
Having sacrificed 18 months of our lives to ‘protect the NHS’, it appears we must also sacrifice our future income. But after all, being good British citizens, there is nothing we would not do for this blessed institution – apart from reform it, of course. Our NHS – PBUH (peace be upon healthcare).
Combined with Johnson’s kink for tax-and-spend, the Tories’ last remaining claim – that of being fiscally prudent – is now deader than a dodo on an NHS waiting list.
As they introduce these plans without a murmur of opposition, the Cabinet have been busily hammering more nails into the Conservative coffin.
Economic migrants flood across the Channel in their thousands and not a finger is lifted to prevent them, apart from the occasional tough-sounding soundbite. The invasion of fighting-age men into the country continues apace.
The rot of wokeness permeates throughout institutions at every level, with the Conservatives either ignorant to its corrosive effect or actively egging it on.
We are being committed, without sufficient analysis, to a ruinous cocktail of policies designed to achieve the phantom aim of ‘Net Zero’, but which will instead usher in social hardship and utterly stifle economic growth.
Education has been abandoned and left to the whims of teaching unions whose desire is to minimise time spent in class and maximise wages. The youth of the nation are left to sit at home and gaze interminably at their computer screens, regressing.
The abandonment of the youth is only one prong in the party’s attack on the nuclear family. Traditionally, it was the most vile of communist regimes which viewed the nation’s youth as the government’s, not parents’, property. Parents, full of reactionary opinions such as that a parent knows what is best for their child’s welfare, were a hindrance on the path to the red great utopia. Conservatives, instead, viewed the family as the bedrock of society.
Now, however, the Conservative Party view themselves as the masters of society. Children are to be ‘informed’ (beaten over the head with state propaganda) about the vaccines and ‘encouraged’ to accept them. Should a parent object, it won’t matter. The state knows best. It has forced its way into territory long deemed entirely off limits to any actual conservative.
Once they start jabbing children on the basis of no medical benefit whatsoever there is no limit to what they may do. It is, surely, a Rubicon.
But there is no alternative. History has shown that only if there is a Right-wing grouping such as Ukip or the Brexit Party breathing down its neck will the Conservative Party do anything approaching what their voters want. Immediately afterwards, they revert to form.
One thing is for certain: the Conservative Party cannot be saved. It has been on life support for many years, its atrophied heart kept beating artificially for the benefit of those who it gives power and influence.
The party must go: no sustained change will happen until it does. Only once we are free from the unprincipled and power-hungry nonentities that make up 95 per cent of the Conservative Party will we stand any chance of putting the country back on a proper course.
But it will not go willingly. It will need a real Right-wing party to see it off.
However, next time, unlike in 2019, it can’t compromise or be taken in by promises given by the same people who have betrayed their voters for decades.
We need a real, reforming party led by conservative principles. Such principles, however, are almost entirely absent in the Conservative Party. It must go.