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Why the Conservative Party is doomed


IT IS becoming increasingly clear, even to many hitherto loyal Conservative Party supporters and voters, that conservatism today means little more than dismantling Western civilisation more gradually than the progressive Left demands.

There are two models of conservatism today. There is that represented by the party machine: it espouses a moral liberalism which challenges the forces of progressivism to catch up with them. As David Cameron said: ‘I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.’ He considered this move as being one of his memorable moments in politics: ‘I have absolutely no regrets, and it is one of the things of which I’m proudest.’

He was able to make this profoundly false statement only because he, like many in power within his party, have a malleable definition of what conservative means. They believe that you can take the necessary institutions of society and adjust them a little. The big problem is that once started on this path there is no end. If you’re going to unravel sexual morality, someone’s going to take that unravelling further than you want. At the last Conservative Party conference Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister’s latest wife and chief influencer, spoke at a Stonewall-organised fringe event expressing her staunch support for transgender rights, which means the right of men to call themselves women and forcing the rest of us to accept it.

The modern Conservative Party’s conservatism is nothing less than a disguise or a ruse to transition the party to representing the new progressive free-for-all utopia, where stability is disdained and personal inclination is the touchstone of morality, while reassuring its ‘base’ that this is a moral as well as electoral necessity if they are to be perceived as open-minded and inclusive.

It is a truism but it needs to be said: conservatism is based on the desire to conserve. True conservatives wish to conserve that which has shaped our country for the better, the truths, traditions and principles upon which the lasting security and happiness of our people is based. True conservatism is founded on a metaphysical vision that includes the core principle that the inherent nature of men and women are not plastic realities to be reshaped on the whim of human beings.

Those civilisations which are successful retain and promote certain necessary truths and the institutions which uphold them. No civilisation which seeks to reject, undermine, subvert or attempt to manipulate these institutions can survive. The binary nature of sex and heterosexual marriage are two of those institutions, both of which the Tories are rejecting.

The core conservative principle is the conservation of what is necessary for human civilisation. Sir Roger Scruton said, ‘Conservatism is about freedom, yes. But it is also about the institutions and attitudes that shape the responsible citizen and ensure that freedom is a benefit for us all. Conservatism is therefore about the limits to freedom.’ True conservatism is about preserving those traditions and institutions which must be in place and honoured if we are to be able to experience the freedom we desire to fulfil our potential as human beings.

If the Tories elbow each other aside in their rush to celebrate every progressive advance, they are doomed ideologically and electorally. The concern of the conservative, driven by the Christian principle of ‘love thy neighbour’, is to conserve those institutions and truths essential for the just functioning of society and its long term preservation. At the top of those truths and institutions are the defence of the ontological distinction between male and female and the defence of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In its core mission of holding power, the present Conservative Party are prepared to accept any idea they think will be approved by the metropolitan media elite before whom they genuflect. Knowing that the media are vital if they are to gain or retain power, they sideline party members and activists in their pursuit of acceptable mentions on the Today programme.

The Conservative Party, except during the Thatcher era, has always been an ideological black hole. Today it is so broad that it contains many in positions of leadership who have not the slightest concern for actual conservatism or who are utterly opposed to it. We can all remember the sneer at conservatives as the ‘Turnip Taliban’. Supporters are treated with disdain, and long-standing members and activists who fail to get with the programme can expect to be thrown overboard.

The average Conservative Leave voter has become more socially conservative since the Brexit referendum. Those Labour traditionalists who voted Conservative in 2019 are still economically to the Left and the only thing to keep them voting Conservative is for the Tories to take a stance against the culture war being waged against the social values which traditional Labour supporters still hold but are being dismantled by Labour Party progressives.

The Conservative Party feels secure and able to ignore social conservatives because they believe there is no home for the disaffected; they believe they can take social conservatives for granted. This is the mistake Labour made, thinking that traditional Labour seats in the north would remain Labour no matter what. This changed, and the traditional allegiance of social conservatives to the Tories may change also. If those new parties based on social conservatism such as Reclaim, Reform, the Scottish Family Party and others are able to get their act together and find some form of co-operation, if not union, we could be on the verge of a sea change in UK politics.

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Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Campbell is a retired Presbyterian minister who lives in Stirlingshire. He blogs at A Grain of Sand.

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