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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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HomeElection WatchUniparty Tories must go - even if Sir Keir is worse

Uniparty Tories must go – even if Sir Keir is worse

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The writer is in Australia

THE Scottish soft rock band Wet Wet Wet formed in 1982. About the same time, Margaret Thatcher was getting serious about expunging the notorious ‘wets’ from the Conservative Party. Thatcher’s Government turned out to be ‘dry dry dry’.

Wetness and odour are around again with another generation of Tories, following the beyond-parody election announcement by the diminutive, very wet (in every sense), Indian billionaire who happens to be the British Prime Minister, for now at least.  

Listeners to Mark Steyn’s subsequent Q and A broadcast last week were treated to the usual Steyn mix of gallows humour and civilisational collapse. Much fun was had with Sunak’s wet suit, the boring speech and the sound of Labour supporters playing Tony Blair’s 1997 victory anthem on a boom box.  An awful look.  For an awful Government.

However apt the metaphors of wetness for modern Tories, there are linked questions in play here.

The core question for disillusioned conservatives and sensible centrists in Britain, as it was in Australia when we kicked out a shocking and shockingly non-conservative government in 2022, is whether the desire to punish dreadful governments outweighs whatever fears one might have about the alternative. This is how awful legacy parties survive. Hold your nose and put a cross in the Tory box. You wouldn’t vote Tory for any other reason.

Mark Steyn comes down firmly on the side that we should punish very bad Tory governments, and if the result is a Sir Keir Starmer-led Government come July, so be it. What many now term the UniParty of Labour/Tory agree on so much that it hardly matters which globalist, progressive, green, woke, covid-tyrannical party occupies the Treasury benches.

Right-of-centre dissidents in Australia agree. Former Liberal parliamentarian and now One Nation spokesman, Craig Kelly, recently identified four areas of critical policy overlap – migration, digital ID, Net Zero and the World Health Organization pandemic treaty and changes to the international health regulations – that demonstrate the existence of the UniParty. Mainstream parties of both the right and the left have tacked towards the new, woke, globalist consensus since the 1990s, the political manifestation of a massive shift in philosophy over the past two generations. This is not however a view universally shared on the right, both in Britain and in Australia. Establishment conservatives will wish to ‘save the furniture’ because the other mob will be so much worse, they insist. In an electoral system that punishes micro parties and favours the majors, that is an argument not to be dismissed off the bat.

This view has recently been argued, eloquently as always, by David Starkey. I get it. He sees Starmer as a real threat, a second Blair, calm and reasonable if a little confused on the outside, but a leftie Trot on the inside, determined to complete the catastrophic Blair revolution commenced in 1997 and brought to fruition in the mid-2000s. The Telegraph concurs. ‘The choice is clear’, it boomed after the election was called. Not only that, but ‘it’s a simple choice’.

Camilla Tominey says that ‘Labour is still the party of Greta Thunberg, trans extremists and pro-Hamas hate mobs’. There is definitely a choice, then, and a real difference.

Douglas Murray is also on the side of the ‘Labour as threat’ brigade. Britain will soon discover, to its horror, that there is no ‘moderate’ left. 

Whether or not true, the logic of Murray’s position is that it is okay for bad governments to survive so long as there is a threat of the other side being ‘worse’, however defined. The downside is that this simply rewards terrible governance and provides no incentives for conservative parties, even if in name only, ever to govern as if they believed in their own manifestos and in the interests of their supporters. This is Mark Steyn’s concern. He believes that a thorough drubbing for the failed Tories will ultimately lead to a better outcome one or more elections further on. Hosing out the stables will be a purifying process and is also a matter of principle. Steyn’s take on the upcoming UK election would have been especially interesting to Aussie listeners who faced the same dilemma in 2022, with an election following a decade or so of long, limp, failed non-conservative ‘conservative’ Government and the urge to punish. After the genuinely conservative Tony Abbott was executed prematurely in 2015 by his own Liberal Party, the subsequent governments of Malcolm Turnbull and of the covid fascist PM Scott Morrison richly deserved their fate.

We punished the Aussie Tories. We got a truly divisive, neo-Marxist government here, with awful consequences so far and worse promised. Net Zero, digital ID, pro-Palestine, radically pro-Aboriginal rights, globalist and pro-World Health Organization, massively pro-mass immigration, turbo-charged online censorship. Elected, by the way, with 32 per cent of the primary vote. No mandate, then.

Isn’t this evidence that Starkey and co are right and that Steyn is wrong? No, it isn’t. You don’t have to vote Labour in when you vote the Tories out. That this will be the outcome in July is not the point. Bad governments need to be punished. Keep voting them out and maybe they will get the message. Better still, vote for third and fourth parties. Yes, these are considerably disadvantaged by the electoral systems in both the UK and Australia. But a minority Tory Government dependent upon the support of (say) Reform UK to govern might shake the trees a bit.

I don’t know enough about Sir Keir Starmer – who does? – to say he won’t be dangerous. But, these days, all governments are dangerous. And prone to evil. Albanese’s is, but Scott Morrison’s was, too. Just look at covid management, in the UK too. This surely is the prime example of the UniParty in action. For many of us, it would be. The most disastrous policy outcomes in modern peacetime history – whether you see it as the result of calculated, evil intent or Hanlon’s razor blundering – were delivered by all major political parties in equal measure. Ably assisted by globalist ‘partners’ in Brussels, Geneva and Beijing, equally esteemed by both sides of politics. Not to mention their friends in Wuhan and the covert operators in Langley, Virginia.

Which brings us to the point that elections are no longer the main game in the West, in the era of the Deep State, of embedded corporatism, of elite ‘controligarchs’ bent on world domination and diminished individual freedom, of a legacy media that pretend they are diverse, of leftist universities that indoctrinate the young, often for life.

It was an Australian prime minister, Paul Keating, who said ‘you change the government, you change the country’. These days that is one hundred and eighty degrees wrong. Who supposedly ‘runs’ the place matters little. It is all theatre. Foreigners run the country, in every sense, whether the floods of invading migrants or the good burghers of Geneva and Brussels. They say that culture is upstream from politics. Well, so are demographics.

Despite this, there will be a lot of flapping about from now until polling day led by those for whom what is left of the democratic process remains of professional interest, or simply through misguided and, perhaps, nostalgic faith in parliaments and appearances. But the outcome is more or less a given, and for Steyn and many others, a richly deserved defeat for an awful Government that, even before it had arrived at the Treasury benches, had lost its philosophical way. 

Love is definitely not all around Rishi Sunak these days.  Wet wet wet, indeed. Just like his Government. And his party, which is, ironically, far more toxic now than it ever was under the Iron Lady.

But it probably won’t matter much to Sunak, come July 5.  He will almost certainly be off, shortly thereafter, to his next gig on the global stage, having served his apprenticeship in national politics. 

California, perhaps? Or Geneva. Coincidentally, it looks as if there will be a vacancy coming up soon at the World Economic Forum. Just up Sunak’s alley. Unless Tony Blair gets there first.

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Paul Collits
Paul Collits
Paul Collits is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Quadrant Online

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