by R.J. StoveNews Weekly
Wanted - a genuine British opposition
, June 16, 2001
This News Weekly issue went to press before the outcome of Britain's June 7 election was known, but all polls forecast a second Blair landslide. R. J. Stove analyses what the Conservatives have been doing, and what a serious anti-Labour party would have done instead.It is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with
- Machiavelli, The Prince.
If early 21st-century British Toryism believed in anything, it might still believe in the Christian God, Who can, by definition, work miracles. A miracle alone can save it from a 1997-style pummelling, or worse, on June 7. (London's normally pro-Conservative Daily Telegraph on May 29 predicted at least 5oo seats for Blair in the next parliament.) But nothing in Scripture or recent history suggests that miracles are vouchsafed to nihilists.
Whether or not William Hague strictly deserves the appellation "nihilist" himself, those on his front bench who undoubtedly do deserve it have never received more severe punishment from him than a gentle tap on the wrist.
From the jaws of every potential victory on which a political opposition that meant business would have capitalised without compunction, Hague's dream-team of moral cowards has wrested a defeat.
You name it, Tories have flubbed it: foot-and-mouth disease; Europe's highest illegitimate birthrate; the developed world's worst burglary rate; the de facto abolition of Parliament's Upper House.
Attributing Tory ineptitude to "media bias" is not just nonsensical, but deceitful. Tories cannot object with the slightest conviction to Blairite spin-doctoring, when they themselves invented spin-doctoring for the modern era, through their Faustian bargain with Saatchi and Saatchi's advertising wizards for 1979's election campaign. (Six decades earlier, of course, came the Tory spin-doctoring of psychotic press-barons like Northcliffe.)
The process of bringing an anti-Labour government within the range of human possibility must start with identifying the Thatcher-Major era for what it was: 18 years of more or less unrelieved statism, sex-mania and social climbing.
Colin Clark, writing for Quadrant, perceived Thatcherism's fundamental hypocrisy back in March 1985; in 2oo1 it continues to be largely unmentionable.
That social-engineering Nanny State which old Labour preached, Thatcherism practised. In 1997 - by every statistical measure - Britain's schools were viler, its health "services" more wasteful, its criminals more impudent, its multicultural propaganda more virulent, than in 1979.
From this it becomes axiomatic that only those who survived Thatcher-Major years with clean hands have the faintest claim on British conservative voters' allegiance.
Whatever determinist scribblers in fourth-rate universities may imagine to the contrary, individual leadership alone can guarantee political success. It was because Thatcher looked like leadership material, whatever the reality behind this look, that she initially succeeded where Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath failed.
An authentic anti-Labour party in Britain, as distinct from the present gaggle of me-too-ists, would reveal its intentions by the following:
* It would state boldly that Britain is either a Christian nation, or nothing at all. Law-abiding non-Christians will always be welcome. Muslims destroying others' property in accordance with some interminable Midlands jihad, and Sikh troublemakers hauling white bosses before Amnesty International for "racism", will not.
*It would stop its puerile obsession with blaming "Brussels" for every British misfortune. No EU bureaucrat ever born, however corrupt or ambitious, possesses a particle of the destructive power that Blair wields: or that Blair's buddy Clinton wielded over British lives till last January.
* It would substitute, for Blair's much-touted "ethical foreign policy", an openly Christian foreign policy. This would shun such Blairite-Clintonian horrors as bombing Serbia's women and children back into the Stone Age, so that the world can be made still safer for Kosovo's narco-terrorists.
* It would send a clear message to the last two decades' Tory grandees: "keep out". The dangers of an untried Right-wing team achieving office are trivial, compared to the dangers of entrusting policy to yesteryear's retreads.
* It would abandon the insane myth that the merchant banker, the PR guru, or the social worker possesses a monopoly on moral leadership.
* It would assess Britain's future immigration on the basis of broad national need, rather than on what particular level of abasement will appease people-smugglers (who, as June 2ooo's scandals revealed, think nothing of manslaughter en masse) and other racketeers. Pyramids of corpses in dockside lorries are quite shocking enough.
Do we also need pyramids of corpses in riot-torn Lancashire before political realism becomes imaginable?
* It would study French and German education systems, which - see The Spectator's February 17 issue - inculcate literacy levels entirely beyond anything even the better current British schools attempt.
* It would either abolish the BBC (now so addicted to broadcasting mindless smut as to be probably beyond help), or purge enough BBC luvvies to re-endow the corporation as a whole with its erstwhile worldwide repute for rectitude.
* It would junk the Macpherson Report, and every other manifestation of "anti-racist" cant by which Blair has co-opted the police force.
* It would re-establish the House of Lords as a serious, dignified debating chamber. Why let Blair get away with turning the peerage into a mosh-pit for neutered party hacks?
* While supporting the institution of monarchy, it would completely oppose Blair's confusion of monarchism with vulgar pagan Diana-worship. It would serve notice that royal families which give free kick after free kick to the hard Left risk sharing the fate of Greece's monarchy in 1967.
* While it would by no means underestimate the importance of persuasion, it would realise that in some circumstances (and against some self-proclaimed enemies of civilisation), argy-bargy becomes meaningless. With those inflexible, amoral forces of destruction it would deal firmly, and where required deal crushingly. Merely to list these requirements is to indicate how incapable Hague's gang is of implementing them.