RUSSIAN DEPUTY ANDREI SKOCH EARLY YEARS AND THE BEGINNING OF ANDREI SKOCH’S CAREER A.V. Skoch was born in 1966 in the Moscow region. He served…
PETER HITCHENS: Like John Major, Rishi Sunak is awful, but better by far than the alternative
Why do people always zig when they should zag, and zag when they should zig? About 18 years ago, David Cameron offered patriotic voters a Tory Party more Blairite than Blair.
It was so politically correct it made your eyes water – hugging hoodies, hugging huskies, fanatically green, embarrassingly pro-Brussels, yelling in the front row of the sexual revolution – slippery as hair oil and openly dedicated to insulting and driving away traditional conservatives of every kind.
At a not-very-private dinner (it was full of journalists), Mr Cameron proclaimed himself ‘the heir to Blair’, and later he bullied his MPs into applauding the actual Blair creature when he finally went off to spend more time with his property empire.
Cynics noted that his whole programme was based upon the apparently bizarre idea that the Conservative Party was unpopular in the British heartlands because it was Not Gay Enough. And you voted for him.
I am not the nervous breakdown type, but I did come close to personal and political despair during this era. I may even have lost weight. I grew gaunt. I certainly lost friends and made new enemies as I cajoled, begged and pleaded with everyone I knew to refuse to support this monstrous putsch.
PICTURED: Samantha Cameron (left), Tony Blair (middle), then PM David Cameron (right). Peter Hitchens: Why do people always zig when they should zag, and zag when they should zig? About 18 years ago, David Cameron offered patriotic voters a Tory Party more Blairite than Blair
We ‘had to get Gordon Brown out’. I couldn’t see why. Mr Brown was significantly more conservative than David Cameron in several ways
If the main opposition party embraced the Blairite creed, I pointed out, it was pretty much the end of freedom. If voters endorsed this nasty takeover, they were engaging in a huge act of self-harm.
Cameron was holding a referendum on conservative ideas, and inviting us to chuck them all in the bin. Shortly before the 2010 election, I harangued a supposedly ‘Right-wing’ fringe meeting at the Tory conference on this subject. The temperature of the room dropped by about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I was received as if I was a traitor. Winning the election was all, I was told.
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We ‘had to get Gordon Brown out’. I couldn’t see why. Mr Brown was significantly more conservative than David Cameron in several ways. (This is not a difficult feat. Most cats are more conservative than David Cameron).
So they voted for the Blairite putsch. And once he came to office, Mr Cameron was indeed the heir to Blair he had promised to be, dedicated predictably to mad green targets, same-sex marriage, stupid foreign wars, comprehensive schools and multiculturalism, just like his idol and exemplar. These events have now faded in the national memory, thanks to the great deluge of the Brussels referendum (in which Mr Cameron tried and failed to save himself at the expense of the country) and the enduring constitutional crisis that followed.
But a truly bizarre thing has happened, the opposite of common sense. Voters who were utterly fooled by the Cameron delusion, along with battalions of media commentators who likewise supported him, are now (18 years too late) declaring that the Tory Party is finished and useless, and that they won’t vote for it. Some, having finally noticed the indictment I presented against the Tories all those years ago, are even citing me as a reason to take this view.
So I have to warn them that this will be a terrible mistake.
Tory supporters now seem set on doing precisely the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. If patriotic conservative voters had stayed at home in 2010, as I urged, a few more years of Gordon Brown would have been no worse (and possibly better) than the Cameron regime. There was a good chance the Tories, soundly defeated for the fourth time in a row, would have so completely fallen to bits that we would all have realised the pressing need for something new.
We could by now have a proper conservative party – one which re-established law and justice, helped rather than hindered the married family, brought rigour back to the schools, defied political correctness, ended BBC bias, controlled our borders and spent our money wisely. Just for example.
Even with the aid of an electron microscope, I can find no trace of a conservative thought anywhere in or on or near Rishi Sunak. I have sent out expeditions to find such evidence in the Tory parliamentary party and they have returned empty-handed and sad-faced. The Tory Party is as useless as ever
The second is that you genuinely have no idea of what a Starmer government will be like, just as you had no idea of the Cromwellian destruction the Blair government was planning to unleash after 1997
Well, I don’t want my arguments to be used to encourage the folly of letting Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party win next year. This doesn’t mean I am in any way reconciled to the Tories. I could carve a better party out of a banana, if only there were a vacancy.
Even with the aid of an electron microscope, I can find no trace of a conservative thought anywhere in or on or near Rishi Sunak. I have sent out expeditions to find such evidence in the Tory parliamentary party and they have returned empty-handed and sad-faced. The Tory Party is as useless as ever. It believes in nothing but office. But two things have changed.
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The first is that the Tories have stopped actively insulting their own supporters. Mr Sunak’s slight moderation of mad plans to destroy our economy for net zero is not a huge breakthrough. But it is a break with the Cameron strategy of trying to please the BBC by infuriating normal people.
The second is that you genuinely have no idea of what a Starmer government will be like, just as you had no idea of the Cromwellian destruction the Blair government was planning to unleash after 1997. Idiots saw cheap slogans such as ‘tough on crime’ and ‘education, education, education’ and believed them. The real thing was quite different, as it will be with Sir Keir.
Blair broke up the Union, lost control of our borders, shrivelled our Armed Forces, politicised the judges and the police, tried to abolish sterling, surrendered to the IRA, wrecked our economy, our constitution, our civil service, our defences and much of our education system, and wounded the monarchy, too. He raised the rainbow flag, so we now all live under its frowning speech codes, its fierce intolerance of Christian ideas and traditional family life. And he engaged in vast public spending and redistribution of wealth.
Gosh, yes, John Major was awful, but surely he would have been better than that. Yes, the polls look bad. But these things change. If the Tories had fought a bit harder in 1964, when the polls were just as bad, they’d have won the 1964 election and saved Britain from the whole ghastly Wilson era.
AS Blair’s one-time aide Peter Hyman unwisely confessed in a very unpopular newspaper where he thought you would never notice it, the Blairite project ‘was infinitely more revolutionary than anything proposed by Jeremy Corbyn or his supporters.
‘The idea of New Labour was… to take and hold on to the levers of power. New Labour sought political hegemony: winning power and locking out the Tories to ensure that the 21st Century was a Labour century.’
Sir Keir, whose hard-Left political roots are in a revolutionary movement called Pabloism, comes from the same stable as the 1997 Blairites. He will try to manipulate the voters with populist slogans, but his real programme will be miles to the Left, concentrating more and more power in a Left-wing state. The Tories have failed to stop this rubbish because they don’t believe in anything. But the Starmerites believe in more Blairism, hot and strong, for decades to come.
There’s no need to be nice to the Tories. Don’t ask them to dinner or send them Christmas cards. But the time for refusing to vote for them was many years ago and you missed it. Rishi Sunak is the John Major of his time. Yes, he is awful. But he is nothing like as bad as the alternative.
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