Toleration requires fewer body bags than rage. — James Bovard
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
If I call them worthless, I am not doing complete justice to the Conservatives. They crept back to office in 2010 in a cloud of promises that they repeated and elaborated at the three following elections. In office, their sole positive achievement has been personal enrichment through bribes and insider trading. Actual policy remained a monopoly of the authoritarian left, which has obliged by not repeating the unpleasantness the Thatcher Government generally faced.
Leaving the European Union might have been an offsetting achievement – only it was never intended to happen, and largely has not happened. The Conservatives promised a referendum in 2015 so just enough of us would pinch our noses and vote for them again. They then chose a date they thought would favour the Remain side. To make sure of the vote, they took control of the Leave campaign, which they ran with probably deliberate incompetence. When, despite their best efforts, a convincing majority of the white English voted to leave, plus an impressive minority of everyone else, they went into a long filibuster – throwing away every decent card they had in the negotiations, and assuring us it was all so very hard to do what any man of honesty and competence could have done in a couple of months. Three years into this farce, we hit them with an electoral mutiny that wiped the smiles off their faces and made them go through a form of leaving. Two years after that, we remain substantially aligned with European Union law. The intention, I have no doubt, is to wait until enough of the Leave vote has died off, or has been marginalised by lavish grants of citizenship, and then to run another referendum. This will need a Labour Government. By then, however – like leeches gorged with blood – the Conservatives will be ready to float off and digest their gains.
We need a new party of the right. We need a party that really is committed to restoring us as the free citizens of our own independent country. The Conservatives are not this. The Conservatives will not and probably cannot be this. We must do the job ourselves.
Now, this being said, the temptation is to start explaining what the policies of our new party must be. How to reform local government? How to respond to Scottish nationalism? How to make the trains run on time? That sort of thing. I see this as a waste of time. If pushed, I would argue for big cuts to government spending – all, so far as possible, falling on the middle and upper class parasites who are the main beneficiaries of government spending. I would also put in a word for the restoration of our traditional liberties. But I see no point in going beyond the outline of what I would want from a party of the right. Not everyone on the right is an economic liberal. Not everyone is particularly libertarian on personal issues. The purpose of a new party of the right is not to advertise any degree of sectarian ideological purity, but to save England from authoritarian leftism. A division into two rival parties of more liberal and more traditionalist views is a luxury that must be delayed until after England had been saved. Policy in a unified party, therefore, must be something to emerge organically from the needs and wishes of the membership, and from the circumstances of the day. Before policy, we need to think hard about membership and leadership. Here are my suggestions.
New parties are drawn to the glamour of big names. A new party has no foothold in the media. It seems a good idea to welcome in people who are already known faces on television, and who often say things agreeable to the ends of the new party. Therefore, why not urge the better kind of Conservative MP to cross over and give the new party an immediate presence in the House of Commons and the media? The answer is that there is no better class of Conservative MP. They are all trash.
At least half a dozen present Conservative MPs were involved with the Libertarian Alliance before 2010. They have done no practical good in Parliament. For the most part, they have gone along with the most evil or simply outrageous policies of the Government. Some of them contributed after 2010 to the serious wounding of the Libertarian Alliance. None of them spoke out against that. The neutering of the Libertarian Alliance might be a petty complaint if it had been followed by a decade of incremental reform. Instead, 2010 marked the beginning of a looting spree joined by a surrender to the authoritarian left on all the main issues.
Or let us take the case of Jacob Rees-Mogg. In 2013, he was guest of honour at a dinner held by the Traditional Britain Group. He ate. He socialised. He gave a speech. Once this got into the news, he begged so hard on live television for forgiveness that Gerry Gable himself let him off with a slapped wrist. A reasonable view of Mr Rees-Mogg is that he is just another City spiv posing as a High Tory.
Should we want any of these people in a new party of the right? My answer is that we should not. Therefore, membership should be closed to anyone who has ever been elected as a Conservative to any assembly. A few good people might be excluded. At the same time, a new party of the right will save itself from a much larger influx of trashy people in search of an electorate to let them go on spending the proceeds of corruption on whores and cocaine and maintenance payments.
Of course, elected Conservatives are only the tip of a polluted iceberg. For every one of them who has been elected, there are hundreds of simpering, patronising frauds, all with expensive shirts and real or fake public school accents, all with their eyes fixed on the promised land of Parliament. These too must be excluded. There must be a rule to exclude anyone who has ever had a significant relationship with the Conservative Party.
Following from this, we might as well add the policy institutes. These present themselves to the world as academic enterprises, offering dispassionate advice to advance the public good. Really, they are just marts for corruption. They work by getting some underpaid drudge to churn out a pamphlet on privatising the cracks between the paving stones, which is then published as an excuse for politicians and businessmen to meet over lunch for the usual trading of money and favours. I will not give the names of these organisations. The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you. Anyone who has ever had a significant relationship with these must be excluded.
I will urge – though this comes close to discussing policy – a similar bias against anyone who has ever studied in America. The chances are that he is a paid or compromised agent of the American secret state. Looking at their monolithic support of our war with Russia, I will add anyone who has had a significant relationship with the BBC and the other big media companies.
The idea is to put a quarantine about our new party of the right. It must be a completely new party, and it must be of the right. All risk of contagion from the fake right must be avoided. No particular ability will be missed. There are many now outside politics who can give a better public speech than the common run of Conservative politicians. As for administration, should this party succeed at the polls, those excluded have no particular record of success to be courted. Under their stewardship, the pound is heading towards a halfpenny of its 1914 value; the vast bureaucracy they have raised up is riddled with petty corruption and is an agent of greater moral corruption; they have taken us into a war with Russia that should never have begun and that we are losing. They’d none of ‘em be missed.
There is a positive side to the quarantine. I used to believe that the decline of England was an effect of dysgenic selection. Since 1914, the able had been disproportionately killed in our insane wars with Germany. Those who survived were then outbred by the usually stupid recipients of indiscriminate welfare. Though not rejecting it as a partial cause – and the average quality of the British people does seem noticeably lower even than when I was a boy – I no longer accept this as a complete explanation. The main problem, I think, is that the wrong people are in charge, and they who presently want to replace those in charge are also the wrong people. They are the wrong people because some of them are evil, and some are stupid, and many are both evil and stupid. They get into power and stay there because they went to the same schools and universities, and they form a ready pool of recruits with the same jargon and ways as their elders, who then promote them. Given real social mobility, most of our actual and prospective rulers would be collecting trolleys in a Tesco car park. There may also be sinister interests at work, choosing these people for their pliability. But this is probably overstated. As in France before the 1790s, and China before 1911, there are many past examples of bad ruling classes that remain in place through social inertia, until there is some internal or external challenge in which they are found wanting. England has had the wrong people entirely in charge since about 1940, and the quality was dropping before then.
In part, our useless rulers remain in charge for lack of any effective challenge to the social inertia that keeps them at the top. They blundered through the crisis of 1940 by pawning a vast empire to the Americans, and waiting for something to turn up. They blundered through the next generation with further liquidations. They got through the 1970s and 1980s by bringing in a few competent of outsiders. These were allowed to make small but significant changes. As soon as their changes were producing results, the outsiders were removed, and it was a return to business as usual, gradually frittering away the limited gains of the Thatcher reforms. Now there is now nothing left to fritter away, and the problems we now face are not to be solved by technical changes to management of the money supply or changes to the ownership and control of large enterprises. Instead, the problems are obviously and increasingly existential.
In part, however, there has not so far been a proper challenge to the present order of things because there is no organised group of challengers. For several generations, the right people have been unable to organise themselves as a replacement of those in charge. Every new party of change has been immediately flooded by the usual bearers of contagion, and these have used their allegedly greater intelligence and experience, and their undoubted ability to stick together, to take over the leadership. I think particularly here of UKIP, its leadership filled with Conservative defectors, its populist base monitored and kept wholly away from any position of influence. We need to clear space for the growth of a new governing class. That means a ruthless bias towards those not presently on the inside – and probably also for the young.
There is, I grant, an objection to the idea of a new party of the right. Those in charge will not allow it. A ruling class of any kind needs to be pretty degraded before it can be challenged from the outside. It has money. It has the media. It has all the public and secret organs of state on its side. It has the habitual support of the people. So far, even challenges from within the present order of things have been contained. I think here of the Social Democratic Party in the 1980s. UKIP was only allowed the electoral success it had because it provided a safety valve for discontent that was otherwise raising up the less pliable British National Party, and because no one important thought people would really vote to leave the European Union. Even if it chooses to avoid the more obviously difficult areas of policy, a party of blunt rejection will be sealed off and destroyed like a virus by antibodies in a healthy body.
This may be a killing objection. Perhaps a new party of the right will be at once infiltrated by astroturf maniacs, all with oddly open access to YouTube, and anyone else getting involved with it will lose his job and possibly have trouble getting treatment by the NHS. On the other hand, the alternative to not trying is to wait for a probable collapse, and to hope for the best after that. On the other hand again, things may now be different. The body politic in question is no longer healthy. The antibodies it can release may do more harm to it than to some outside agent. The quality of established leadership has never been so low. The people have never been so sceptical or mobile in their voting habits. In 1975, our actual and potential rulers pulled together for the European Referendum. They assured us that membership was a good thing, and turned a mass of discontent at our membership into a crushing majority to remain. In 2015, enough of us ignored the assurances and voted to leave. Every war we have been dragged into since 1999 was a failure in terms of its declared ends. No doubt, the declared ends were not the real ends, and the real ends were mainly achieved. Even so, some achievement of the declared ends would have firmed support for the next war. I will not enter a long denunciation of domestic policy. It is enough to say that even a moderately competent ruling class should prefer fleecing rather than flaying its subjects. The quality of the established leadership in this country is now so degraded that its competence and resolution to defeat a challenge is open to doubt.
So now or soon may be the time for the emergence of a new party of the right. But its first objective must be to ensure itself against any contagion from the Conservative Party.
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