Brexit Means Vichy

David Semple September 5, 2018

Harold Macmillan, Conservative prime minister who lost confidence in Britain and tried to take the country into the EEC.

The Conservative Party has reached the lowest point in its fortunes since the mid-19th Century. Despite being in power for over eight years, the Conservatives have governed the country abysmally, going further and further down the slippery slope of identity politics and ideological multiculturalism. David Cameron and Theresa May have almost completely destroyed the party by embracing nanny state socialism, which they call ‘modernization’, but which most conservatives would call ‘selling their souls to stay in power’.

Theresa May’s government is doing its best to undermine Brexit. Her Chequers deal has already been rejected by President Macron of France and Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator. Yet she continues to conduct her negotiations on the terms set out in the Chequers document. Do the British people want to govern themselves or do they want to sink further into a post-European decline inside a third-rate Roman Empire?

Mrs May seems more attracted to the European Union than to British independence. That’s why the Conservatives need a new leader as soon as possible. The Labour Party, if elected under Mr Corbyn, will hammer the last nail in the coffin of English freedoms. So the Conservatives have to act quickly.

Before trying to save the country from a future of Corbynistan Marxist antisemitism, the Conservatives first need to save the country from ‘Conservative’ post-Modernism. What Britain and the Conservatives need today is a great leader in the mould of Benjamin Disraeli.

The Conservative Party has not won a large victory in a British general election since the height of Thatcherism in 1987. Since then the Conservatives have only won two small majorities, in 1992 and 2015. They managed to scrape in with parliamentary minorities in 2010 and 2017. This performance is dismal for a major British political party. They haven’t won a decent election victory since the turn of the century. The popular vote won by John Major in 1992 and Theresa May in 2017 may have been higher than usual, but in the British system of government the only thing that counts is the number of seats won by a party and not the voting percentage.

When Theresa May claimed credit for the increased popular vote won by her party last year, she only reminded us of Hillary Clinton’s claim to have won the popular vote in the 2016 United States presidential election, in which only the number of votes won in the Electoral College counted. The June 2017 general election was a disaster for Theresa May’s government. She threw away David Cameron’s tiny 2015 majority by running the worst Conservative general election campaign since Winston Churchill was booted out of office at the end of the Second World War.

From December 1916, the formation of the Tory-dominated Lloyd George coalition, until May 1997, Tony Blair’s first election victory, the Conservatives were generally regarded as ‘the natural party of government’. This is no longer true. Under the leadership of Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan and Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives embraced the middle ground of politics and won major election victories in 1924, 1931 (Tory-dominated National), 1935 (National), 1955, 1959, 1979, 1983 and 1987. During this period Labour only won two convincing election victories, in 1945 under Clement Attlee and 1966 under Harold Wilson.

The most controversial Conservative government during the late 20th Century was that of Edward Heath, which  governed with policies borrowed from Labour. Heath stared straight in the face of the collapse of the postwar Attlee political settlement, with its nationalization ideology, state industries and trade union disputes. As Edward Heath entered Downing Street in 1970, the country embarked on more than a decade of violent class warfare. Labour had dropped Barbara Castle’s ambitious trade union reform program, ‘In Place Of Strife’ in 1969, only for Heath to take up the baton of union reform with the Industrial Relations Act two years later. In the 1950s the Conservatives had appeased the unions.

Under Edward Heath, probably the most radical prime minister of the century, the unions declared open class warfare on the government. Heath, already panicked by high unemployment, reversed his previous non-interventionist policies and set in motion the inflationary Barber Boom, so named after Heath’s Chancellor Of The Exchequer, Anthony Barber.  Like his American conservative counterpart, President Richard Nixon, Heath introduced an incomes policy, which further drove the communist-influenced unions into violent protests and public sector strikes. Faced with an oil crisis and a miners’ strike in 1974, Heath called a general election in which he asked the public ‘Who governs Britain?’ The voters, after four years of interventionist Conservative government, elected to let Harold Wilson and the Labour Party deliver their preferred brand of socialism, which Wilson and his successor James Callaghan did for the next five years.

Edward Heath was the most important prime minister of the post-Second World War era. He changed Britain more than any political leader since William Pitt in the years after the American Revolution. By signing the Treaty of Rome and taking Britain into the European Economic Community, Heath ended the nation’s four centuries of  independence from the European system. Since 1973, Britain has not been a fully sovereign and independent state. Thus, every government since the 1970s has been running what is in effect a province of the European Union.

Thatcherism improved the administration of government over the next decade, but the Iron Lady’s economic and political revolution was only skin deep. Margaret Thatcher reversed Labour’s nationalisation legacy whilst maintaining the welfare state and the National Health Service. Like Winston Churchill in the 1950s her instincts favored free markets and free trade, eliminating the crippling tax rates for the middle classes during the 1960s and 1970s. Mrs Thatcher, however, was hardly an exemplar of libertarianism or Victorian-style limited government. The Thatcher government was a mainstream Conservative administration which sought to re-introduce common sense into British politics after the old postwar political settlement had clearly collapsed during the dark days of the 1970s. Mrs Thatcher knew that the Conservatives could not govern with Labour’s policies any longer.

By shadowing Labour’s politics Edward Heath had lost the support of the British public. Harold Wilson feared Labour might lose the February 1974 general election precisely because Heath had stolen alll his policies. Instead, Wilson won and went on to set the political agenda for the rest of the decade.

Edward Heath changed the course of British history. His legacy casts a longer shadow over the country today than that of Margaret Thatcher. Only when his successor, James Callaghan, was brought down by the same trade unions which forced Heath into the suicidal election of February 1974, did the British public finally reject the social democratic taxation agenda of the Wilson years. The election of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister changed everything, at least for one decade. ‘Who governs Britain?’ was the question Edward Heath asked the voters. Not you, they answered, ‘we might as well have a Labour government if all you are offering us are Labour policies’. Heath lost because he introduced an unnecessary State of Emergency. James Callaghan lost the 1979 general election because he became complacent about the continued decay of the social and economic order of Britain in 1979. Mrs Thatcher won her first election precisely because she offered the nation the conservative politics that were needed to stop the country from going bankrupt.

Margaret Thatcher, in terms of broad economic policies, changed British politics. She got rid of exchange controls and introduced trade union reform legislation. She did not, however, take on the nightmarish government bureaucracy. Her failure to control the party machinery, and to reform the civil service, ultimately led to her dismissal by a parliamentary party still dominated by pro-European Heathites. The Conservatives were the British party of Europe and she was starting to change her mind about continued membership of the European Community. To this date, even after the Brexit referendum, the Conservative Party is largely dominated by pro-EU politicians.

Today, the Labour Party sets the agenda for British politics, as it has done since Blair’s landslide victory in 1997. The size of government almost doubled during the New Labour years. Labour embraced an agenda of open borders, flooding the country with hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year. This drove down wages, which satisfied the appetite of international companies for cheap labour.

Tax credits were introduced. These tax credits created a frightening dependency culture. They also subsidized wages paid to workers. Large companies now employed more part-time workers on low wages and less full-time workers. Thus, millions more people in work were subsidised by the welfare state. The National Health Service was expanded into a bureaucratic monstrosity. It became the new religion of the British people. As Christianity dies in England, people today worship ‘our NHS’. The materialism on offer from the NHS, with its free drugs to keep an addicted population happy, has replaced the spititual and ethical values of Christianity.

The NHS now offered free health care for hundreds of thousands of overseas migrants. When Labour couldn’t afford to build new hospitals within the government budget, they embraced the Public Private Finance Initiative, borrowing money “off the books” at extremely high interest rates.

Finally, Labour introduced University tuition fees to finance the growing bureaucracy of the ever expanding universities. Today, British universities are businesses, raking in the tuition fees of generations of new debt slaves. The New Labour agenda was corporatist.  The private sector became more dependent on public sector contracts. Some call this system liberal fascism. It’s not capitalism.

What did David Cameron change? Nothing. His coalition government did succceed in slowing down the excessive growth of the public sector set in motion during the New Labour years. Government spending, which ballooned from less than £400 billion in 2000 to over £700 billion in 2010, was still less than £800 billion when Mr Cameron resigned in 2016. However, apart from a few minor reforms in education by Michael Gove and the re-structuring of the welfare state under Iain Duncan Smith, the Cameron government fully embraced the Blair agenda without regret.

The reason David Cameron did not win a majority in parliament in 2010 was because he promised to change the Conservative Party rather than reverse Blairism. Both Mr Blair and Mr Cameron fully believed that government sets the agenda of the nation rather than individual initiative. Since 1997, both New Labour and the Conservatives have done more to increase the size of government bureaucracy than any previous governments. Public collectivism is slowly replacing the sovereign individual in almost every British institution.

The only reason David Cameron won his tiny parliamentary majority in 2015 was that he promised to hold an in-out referendum on British membership of the European Union. This is what the majority of the British people wanted. Not a corporatist Conservative Party run for the benefit of big business and government bureaucrats. You only have to look at the loss of that parliamentary majority in the ‘Standing With Theresa May’ general election of June 2017 to see how shallow is the support today for the Conservative Party, with its deranged identity politics and its support of Labour’s nationalization of the family. As Peter Hitchens says, ‘there is no conservative party in Britain today’. It is precisely because of the Third Way takeover of the Conservative Party, started under John Major, that its leaders can no longer win strong parliamentary majorities at elections. Mr Cameron replaced Mr Blair as the leader of Third Way Britain. Unlike Mrs Thatcher, he did not offer the British people an alternative to socialism.

David Cameron’s coalition was more Liberal Democrat than Conservative. He was the first leader of a British coalition government since Winston Churchill seven decades ago. Mr Cameron was by no means a conservative prime minister. If anything, he was the first Liberal-Left British prime minister since David Lloyd George over one hundred years ago. He resigned when he lost the European Union referendum. Unfortumately he left the country in the hands of a Remainer.

Theresa May committed political suicide last year when she made the decision to call an early election, three years before one was required. Before she called the election, Mrs May was already living in Downing Street under false pretences. Most striking is the fact that as the home secretary in her predecessor’s cabinet, Mrs May had campaigned to stay in the European Union. While it was an honest decision for David Cameron to not to want to be at the helm for the Brexit negotiations, it is dishonest of Mrs May to want to head a Brexit government.

Her candidacy for the leadership of the party, a party committed to Brexit, was shameful. Putting personal ambition ahead of the will of the electorate, Mrs May’s premiership has been deeply dishonest. How can a ‘Remainer’ take Britain out of Europe? Mrs May cannot, and will not, do her utmost to negotiate a successful trade deal with the European Union precisely because she refused to campaign for Brexit.

Mrs May still wants Britain to have a closer relationship with the European Union than the nation will have with the rest of the world. For that reason alone, she should not be negotiating the Brexit deal. One of the reasons she called the election was to get a larger majority in Parliament so she could not be held hostage by Eurosceptic MPs in the House of Commons. Unfortunately for Mrs May, her masterplan (as well as her premiership) crashed in ruins.

Mrs May’s continued occupation of No 10 Downing Street poses a serious threat to Britain’s national interests and stands at odds with the electorate’s decision to vote in favour of leaving the European Union. A sovereign and independent Britain must look to seek good trade relationships with nations across the globe. Europe is just another market amongst many international markets. And Europe’s share of the world’s economy is shrinking as every year passes. The mighty continent is but a shadow of its former self. Thus, the Europeans should be treated as just another group of nations which are part of the United Kingdom’s global reach. Most importantly, the nations of the Anglosphere, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India and the United States, have more in common, legally and culturally, with Britain than any nation on the European continent. Language and culture unites the English-speaking peoples around the world much more than anything that unites the nations of Europe.

Theresa May’s premiership seems destined to go down in history as a failure. All her life she wanted to be prime minister. Yet when she achieved her greatest ambition, in climbing to the top of the greasy pole of British politics, she found herself governing at cross purposes with her deepest beliefs. Like many so-called Conservatives in the party today, she is not actually a conservative. Her gut instincts are to govern from the left. Yet she finds herself as the head of the party of Margaret Thatcher. But Mrs May is no Margaret Thatcher. When she came to power a year ago she made it quite clear that she wanted to implement a socialist-lite program of government. Austerity, otherwise known as living within our means, is apparently no longer government policy. This is in spite of the fact the Conservative-dominated governments since 2010 have borrowed more money than the previous Labour government.

Theresa May’s government makes more and more initiatives in extending the powers of the central bureaucracy over the lives of the British people. The powers of the government grow every year and the natural born rights of individual citizens are increasingly infringed. We are witnessing the traditional English freedoms which made our civilization exceptional disappear into the quicksand of socialism.

Challenged in Parliament about why criticism of Christianity is taken for granted while criticism of Islam embroils people in societal (and legal) difficulties, Theresa May answered:

We value freedom of expression and freedom of speech in this country. That is absolutely essential in underpinning our democracy. But we also value tolerance to others. We also value tolerance in relation to religions. This is one of the issues that we’ve looked at in the counter-extremism strategy that the government has produced. I think we need to ensure that, yes, it is right that people can have that freedom of expression. But in doing so, that right has a responsibility, too. And that is a responsibility to recognize the importance of tolerance to others.

In English, Theresa May does not believe in freedom of speech.

In 1940, London was a beacon of freedom in a darkening world. The English people truly stood up for the cause of freedom under the leadership of Winston Churchill. Today, Britain is becoming more like the rest of the world. Perhaps the English people are changing as they end their four hundred year love affair with Protestant Christianity. Over the last fifty years there has been a striking  transformation of British culture, made more extreme by the Europeanization of the country since 1973.

Great Britain, we must remember, is no longer a sovereign nation state.  For over forty years, the British people have lived under an illusion that their country is independent. They believed the lies they were told by Harold Macmillan, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and John Major. Each of these politicians told the British people that the EEC/EU was just a trading bloc and not a governing body with supranational control of the country’s destiny. The 2016 referendum was a wake-up call for those who still wanted to live in a free country and rejected the authoritarianism of the European system. In the end the ghosts of the old Left and the old Right, Michael Foot and Enoch Powell, won the battle of hearts and minds over Europe.

The Conservative Party is no longer fit for purpose under the leadership of Theresa May. She doesn’t really want to leave the European Union. She wants to compromise Brexit so it becomes Brexit in name only. In other words, Brexit Means Vichy.

The Conservative Party is run by nanny state ideologues who believe that big business and government bureaucracy are more important than the rights of individuals. Most of today’s Conservative MPs say they believe in individual freedom. Unfortunately, they also support a government that believes in the domination of British life by state bureaucrats. You no longer hear Conservatives talk about individualism.

British Conservatives are today more often champions of collectivism. They no longer believe in the traditional family, now a dying institution in post-modern, post-Christian Britain.

Until we leave the European Union, our traditional English freedoms will continue to be compromised. Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden were the last Conservative prime ministers to fight for and to protect those precious English freedoms, the most important of which is freedom of speech. When Harold Macmillan entered No 10 Downing Street in January 1957, Britain wound up its Empire and began its journey into the European system. Macmillan had lost confidence in Britain as a sovereign nation.

Today, the Remoaners have no confidence in Britain. That’s why John Major and Tony Blair want to stop Brexit. They would rather be part of the European Union. However, Germany and most of its European neighbors are in decline. Britain should look to the New World for its future partners. Unlike the Europeans, the Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders and Australians speak our language and share our legal and political systems.

Theresa May does not believe in freedom of speech. She banned two American champions of Judeo-Christian freedoms, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, from entering the UK several years ago. Yet she has allowed antisemitic hate preachers to enter the country for the past seven years. Mrs May is too busy stamping out what she calls “hate speech”, the right of free citizens to criticize foreign totalitarian cultures such as sharia law; unless that “hate speech” is directed against English freedoms and values.

Post-Brexit, the task facing the Conservative Party is to reduce the size of the bureaucracy at the core of Britain’s government system at all levels, to reduce taxation, to rid this British system of corporatism, also known as liberal fascism, and to end the nationalization of the British family. Theresa May is not willing to do these things. Most senior Conservatives are incapable of doing these things. The Conservatives must find leaders on their backbenches who are willing to return to Britain’s liberal roots, letting free markets create a wealthy independent nation out of this European province we have been living in for decades.

Until the Conservative Party embraces individualism and sets out to protect English freedoms, instead of continuing its love affair with nanny state collectivism, it will continue to lose touch with the public. The Conservatives will lose more elections than they win. If Jeremy Corbyn enters No 10 Downing Street it will be the fault of the leadership of the Conservative Party.

brexit means vichy Copyright 2018 david robert semple