I AM disillusioned by the present administration and, having voted Conservative on every occasion since 1973, this is a particularly strange place to find myself.
The root cause must lie with the Prime Minister, who shows no sign of understanding how to unleash the business potential of Brexit, but is determined to burn the economy on the altar of climate change.
There is no clear acknowledgement of the fundamental pillars of our society and economy that are energy, food and border security. In an ever more crowded and politically perilous world, we cannot ignore the basics.
Energy security depends upon Britain having a wide portfolio of our own independent sources, including gas, coal and nuclear. If renewables can form an ever-increasing proportion, that is desirable – but not at the expense of our strategic requirement or unaffordable bills.
Food security is too dependent on extended and fragile supermarket supply chains, as we have seen clearly demonstrated by HGV driver shortages. It leaves us at the mercy of a sometimes fractious French government.
We have the capability to become self-sufficient through local suppliers and it is in our strategic interest to pursue this in preference to so-called wilding projects and other dubious ‘green’ initiatives.
The daily farce at our border with illegals was entirely predictable following Brexit and our failure to remain within the Dublin Regulation, which determines which country is responsible for examining an asylum application.
We now have a situation where we cannot control our borders with respect to possibly undesirable economic migrants. Paradoxically, getting tough on our borders for people seeking legal entry has made it more bureaucratic and expensive to recruit the workers we need from the European Union. This is not what was envisaged by ‘take back control’.
Then there is the Prime Minister’s appalling judgment and lack of real-world experience on so many issues.
These include alienating more than 80,000 NHS workers with forced vaccinations; defending Owen Paterson rather than encouraging him quietly to accept a few days off from parliament; the incidence of lockdown parties in Westminster, and being too quick to defend Dominic Cummings and Matt Hancock rather than say nothing for a few days before acting.
The pandemic response has too often reflected the shambolic style of the Prime Minister. The Number 10 briefings were amateurish in substance and should have been presented by NHS professionals, not ministers.
Real-world experience would have cautioned that the advice from the Sage scientific team was largely opinion rather than fact and certainly not to accept the results of modelling as a credible forecast. In the business world we would assemble a task force to tackle a crisis and not distract the main board from the business as a whole.
My conclusion is that the Conservatives are in danger of squandering their substantial majority in parliament by making no progress in core conservative values.