I doubt if anything can save the Government from a catastrophic defeat at the next election. I am told I should fear the next Labour Government. But, if this will not be wonderful, I find the Conservative implosion mildly funny. The Government and Parliamentary Party – not to mention its largely hidden cast of fixers and consultant-parasites – are filled with people who spent the three decades before 2010 proclaiming themselves true believers in at least conservatism, and sometimes libertarianism. After 2010, they purged me and my friends on the grounds that we were not true believers. Thirteen years later, the judgement of history is set in stone: unprecedented taxes and state spending and debt; inflation; public services that are collapsing even as they are over-funded; an aggressive war with Russia that will soon be lost; a new war in the Middle East, with blanket support for one side in actions that no reasonable man can see as remotely proportionate or in accord with the normal customs of war; universal corruption; a nastier police state than Gordon Brown left behind. My old “friends” still make the occasional noise about the defection of John Bercow. Unlike them, however, he had the decency to announce he was not a conservative before jumping into bed with the authoritarian globalists.
But I digress. The Conservatives are doomed. The reason they are doomed is because they are not conservatives. This does not prevent them from continuing to proclaim that they are. On Tuesday the 31st October 2023, Michael Gove made a speech to the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship. This was a good speech for an outsider to make. It is the sort of speech I used to make when I was still welcome at these events, and when I still thought anything I said might make a difference. His key point was:
that corporations had hired those who manufacture grievance – which he claimed was now Britain’s biggest industry – and tried to make boardrooms more diverse without allowing diversity of thought.
But he warned that a successful free market economy needs freedom from censorship and cancel culture.
All true. As said, we live in a nasty police state. I am not worried about a visit from the police, though many people I know are frightened, and some have had such visits. What worries me is a summons from Human Resources. Therefore, I do not choose to share my complete thoughts on the two wars I have mentioned. I also do not choose to say all that I could on our descent into both grand and petty corruption, or on our insane public culture.
The speech is all true – except that Michael Gove is about as much an insider in Government as anyone can be. He has been one of the rulers of this country since 2010. He is one of the people who has spent half a generation making or not repealing the laws that are the real bars of our cage. In and out of government, he has helped bring in any number of grossly oppressive new laws – for example, the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (it is illegal to possess any mood-altering substance unless it is expressly allowed), the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (it is illegal to keep a sword in your home), the Online Safety Act 2023 (freedom of speech is ambiguously ended, but so probably that it is best to consider it ended). I will not mention how the Government of which he was then a supporter tried to force everyone working for the National Health Service – the largest employer in Europe – to be injected with one of those poisonous vaccines.
He has also not visibly pushed for the repeal or mitigation of the bad laws his Party inherited. A few months ago, I discussed how the banks were cancelling the accounts of political dissidents. I noted that the answer was easy – a quick statutory instrument compelling financial institutions to open an account for any person asking for one. Last year, I wrote at some length on the loss of freedom of speech. The answer here was also easy – a one-line amendment to the Equalities Act, adding political opinions to the list of “protected characteristics.” Of course, nothing was done. Nothing will be done. Even allowing the use of the English system of weights and measurements alongside the metric system – nowadays largely a symbolic act, bearing in mind that a whole generation has grown up knowing only the metric system – is something often promised and never delivered. All this, and Mr Gove is now appearing in public with a most ostentatious show of clean hands.
This has not been any kind of conservative government. It has been more radically destructive of England than even the Heath and Blair Governments. I keep insisting that the whole purpose of the Conservative Party since 2010 has been to strike a deal with the authoritarian globalists. These were never challenged on anything they considered important. In return, the Ministers and their creatures were allowed to make themselves rich or richer through bribes and share-tipping. Their long ride is now coming to an end, and you see the politicians getting ready to slip into leading the opposition to the next Labour Government. They will rediscover Hayek and Burke and all the others, and start sounding like conservatives. As ever, they will achieve nothing conservative in opposition. Instead, they will set about taking all the potential funding and media attention, so that no one else will be able to do a proper job of preparation for the government after next.
I could pass from here to a long moan about Conservative politicians in general, but this would be the equivalent of insisting over and over again that a blocked sewer smells. Everyone knows what has happened, or is reasonably able to know it. The real question is what to do about it. My suggestion is that anyone in this country who is a real conservative or libertarian should collaborate on making a black list, this to include every recent Conservative Member of Parliament, plus the great penumbra of newspaper writers and consultants and policy institute hacks. This being done, we should make a point of not giving money to or voting for any organisation to which they attach themselves. Except to heckle, we should not go to any of their meetings. We should make it plain, as often as possible, what we are doing and why we are doing it. We should also make the black list available to our friends in America. The Mises Institute has an unfortunate record of giving dinners and attention to these people. The Americans look at them, and at what they say in public, and at their media activity in this country, and take them at face value. We should do what we can to make these people as untouchable here and elsewhere as the lepers of old. We should then pay attention to their wholesale replacement.
Against this, we shall be told that those people actually in charge of the opposition are the best we presently have, and that the overriding need is to get rid of the next Labour Government. We were told this before 2010. I regret that I went along with it then. But that was then. In 2023, all the low-hanging fruit of tyranny has already been picked by the Conservatives. Unless it opens prison camps for dissidents, or begins confiscating their assets on suspicion, it is hard to see how the next Labour Government can be worse than the present Conservative Government. Because the Ministers will not be permanently on probation to show their woke credentials, it may in some respects be better. If a Conservative Home Secretary suggests it may be wrong to lock up Christians for urging a teenage boy not to have his penis cut off, Peter Tatchell will follow him about with a megaphone. A Labour Home Secretary only needs to frown and say no.
Indeed, moving away from domestic policy, there are still some Labour politicians in good standing who dislike war, and who refuse to take their instructions from the American State Department. They were unable to stop the invasion of Iraq. But they have been able to keep opposition to our wars on the edge of respectability. I have seen no one in the Conservative Party these past thirteen years who was other than desperate to support every detail of the warmongering agenda. The only reason so many of my Conservative “friends” on Facebook have taken the Ukraine flag off their profiles is because the Star of David must now have its turn. It will keep its turn until the Taiwanese flag comes in fashion. These people are shameless. They have done much to make the British State into what Gladstone called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies: “the negation of God erected into a system of government.” I keep saying that I will spoil my vote at the next election. However, given a choice between a party of warmongers and a party that has some room for opposition to war, I may vote Labour.
Yes, I do not think the next Labour Government can be any worse than what we have now. It may be better in some important respects. In any event, we shall have a Labour Government soon enough. Rather than give time to every money-grubbing Tory who makes the right noises, we should take advantage of the attendant Conservative melt-down and start some serous thinking about what to do next. What this means must be the subject of another article. For the moment, it is enough to warn my readers against paying attention to Michael Gove.