Analysis: British Conservatives can only stop the rise of statist authoritarianism by embracing the politics of freedom of the individual against the big state and big corporatism. This is unlikely to happen under the leadership of Theresa May; Meanwhile, Labour is setting a dark new agenda, the politics of Marxism combined with antisemitism in which Israelis and Jewish bankers are characterized as enemies of the people.
Theresa May must go!
By David Semple
The Conservative Party has not won a significantly large majority in Parliament since the general election of May 1987, at the height of the success of the Thatcher government. This is now thirty long years ago. True, John Major won over 14 million votes in 1992, but this only gave him a small majority, which virtually disappeared long before the end of the parliament. Labour leader Tony Blair, on the other hand, won a massive majority in Parliament despite getting just over 9 million votes. In British politics, it’s not the popular vote which counts, it’s the number of seats the governing party wins in Parliament. In total, Mr Blair won three major election victories: in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
Tory leader David Cameron was elected to Downing Street in 2010 with the largest swing towards the Conservatives since 1931. Yet he did not win a majority. Thus, Britain got the reasonably successful Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition between 2010 and 2015. Mr Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg worked very well together for five years. Unlike Mrs Thatcher in 1979, Mr Cameron was held back by the Liberal Democrats, and therefore could not take up the task of dealing decisively with the underlying structural, political and social problems of post-Thatcher Britain.
During the Blair-Brown years, government spending had gone completely out of control, rising from less than £400 billion to over £700 billion by 2010. Mr Cameron inherited a massive annual government borrowing deficit of £150 billion, which is still running at over £50 billion annually. Government spending today remains at less than £800 billion, however. The greatest achievement since 2010 has been to stop the spending rises of the previous decade; the Conservatives have kept a lid on the growth in government spending.
Sensible economic management, however, is today characterized as “austerity” by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, a narrative that has been adopted by the mainstream media.
Since 1997, Labour has set the agenda in British politics. First, Tony Blair; now, Mr Corbyn, who is advocating a dark new agenda: the politics of statist Marxism combined with twisted antisemitism in which Israelis and Jewish bankers are characterized as enemies of the people. Despite the fact that its leader is a champion of communist dictators and terrorists, the Labour Party managed to attract over 40% of the popular vote in last week’s general election. The moral compass of the British people is in serious trouble. It is likely that, were another general election held this year, Labour would defeat the Tories.
Mr Corbyn’s new voters, Generation Zero, are oblivious to the facts of history. They are more interested in finding a safe space from which to escape different opinions than in questioning the politics of Mr Corbyn. The emerging youth vote, which is probably the most left-wing generation since the returning soldiers of World War II, is being promised something which seems new, but isn’t: the failed totalitarian politics of the 20th century. With Mr Corbyn, the Pied Piper of Marxism, we get worship of the state. Although previous experiments in totalitarianism ended in disaster (and twice have left large tracts of Europe in economic and political collapse), Generation Zero has embraced the sexiness of statism and antisemitism that totalitarians offered the people of Europe in the 1930s.
Prime Minister Theresa May called the recent general election in the hope of winning a larger majority in Parliament. She already had a big enough (although modest) majority to govern until 2020 and Brexit negotiations were imminent. But opinions polls suggested a Conservative landslide comparable to Mrs Thatcher’s 1987 victory. In actuality, last week’s general election most resembled the February 1974 election, which led to the fall of Edward Heath’s Conservative government and brought about the collapse of the postwar social democratic order. Indeed, not since Mr Heath called the February 1974 election has a Tory Prime Minister called an election that is nowhere near the natural end of the parliament.
By calling a snap election, Mrs May wanted to isolate the Tory Right on the back-benches of the Commons, people like Bill Cash and Jacob Rees-Mogg, who were proving to be a thorn in her side as much as they were to her predecessor David Cameron. We must remember that Mrs May was a Remainer during 2016’s EU Referendum. In the selection of Conservative candidates running in the general election, Remainers outnumbered the Brexiteers. Mrs May’s agenda was obvious. She wanted more room to compromise Brexit in her negotiations with the EU. The task of doing Brexit properly, of having a complete divorce from the EU, is just too much for Mrs May. Brexit implies putting Britain’s relationship with Europe on an equal parity with its relationship with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, Mrs May does not share Daniel Hannan’s vision of the Anglosphere. She is far too close to Europe.
When the election was called she was polling at 19% ahead of Labour; now she has lost her majority in Parliament. The reason: the Conservative manifesto was a disastrous document that alienated old-age pensioners and made the Conservatives look like the gravediggers of working-class families, effectively stealing from people’s estates the money to pay for their care home and their their social care, as if the British public do not pay enough taxes already. The manifesto should have stuck to Brexit and trade policy but Mrs May’s close circle of advisors got a case of obsessive-compulsive political jitters.
As the campaign neared its end, a much-derided YouGov poll correctly predicted a minority Conservative government. Talking to people on the ground, rather than in the out-of-touch village of Westminster, I came to the same conclusion. In fact, one week before polling day, I wrote to a friend in Israel:
“I hope we win the election, but I fear that Theresa May has let us down. The campaign leaflets now being delivered say ‘Standing with Theresa May.’ Now Theresa May is less popular and Mr Corbyn is looking better on TV. If Mr Corbyn wins, we are entering a very dark period. The closet totalitarians inside the Labour Party will take over. The conservatives in Germany thought they could control Hitler when he became Chancellor in January 1933. But Hitler ended up controlling them. Today, moderate Labour MPs think they can control Corbyn if he is elected PM. But Corbyn will control them. The damage Corbyn can do in a few short years will damage the social fabric of the country. After Heath lost in 1974 we were lucky enough to find Margaret Thatcher. We desperately need a leader like Mrs Thatcher now.”
I then went on to write, “I am forecasting a Conservative minority. But I’m too close to it”.
Immediately after the election, practically the whole media establishment called for Mrs May’s resignation. Her weakness is that she is a control freak who has turned the current Conservative administration into the worst to govern Britain since the 1970s. On the Monday after the general election result was declared, Mrs May ran to the 1922 Committee (which represents Conservative backbench MPs) with crocodile tears, declaring “mea culpa.” She told them that she got them into this mess but she would get them out of it. The Conservatives gave her a leave of stay. But the longer Mrs May continues her occupation of No 10 Downing Street, the greater the prospects an early general election and of Mr Corbyn, Labour’s champion of terrorists and communist dictators, moving into Number 10 Downing Street.
Let’s be clear: The Conservative Party has not won a convincing election victory in 30 years. Last week’s general election only underlines the point. The party’s weakness comes at a time when Mr Corbyn is offering a new version of the failed ideology of Marxist politics to a history-illiterate generation, a generation that readily embraces post-Western totalitarianism without any understanding of what is going on in its political culture. The Conservatives can only stop the rise of statist authoritarianism and paranoid leftist antisemitism by embracing the politics of freedom of the individual against the big state and big corporatism. This is unlikely to happen under the leadership of Theresa May.
Mrs May must go. And as soon as possible. Every day she stays in office, her party rots. The sad truth is that the Conservative Party in its current guise has lost not only its soul, but its role in British politics. Mrs May has nothing to offer the country except more of the Third Way politics of Tony Blair. But the country has rejected Blairism. To survive, the Conservatives must elect a leader who can revive the torch of freedom in British politics. A leader with a love of country, both as it is today and as it was in the past. Perhaps the Tories should elect a leader who writes history books. Boris Johnson is surely the obvious choice.
David Semple is Manchester Tory and film maker/broadcaster from Canada. David has also worked for Thorn EMI and Rank Films as a legal practitioner. David’s new film “Jerusalem Syndrome: A Journey To The Centre Of The Universe” will be released this year.