(A. Millar) Former shadow Home Secretary David Davis said last week that the Conservative Party’s “conservatism” has been “significantly diluted” by its alliance with the country’s third party, the Liberal Democrats.
In power just over a year, the Conservative-LibDem coalition Government has more or less continued the policies of the much-detested former Labour Government. It is not worse, perhaps; it is simply that there has been no discernable positive change. Yet, to blame the LibDems is merely to shift the blame. The Conservatives dominate the coalition. They would also have won a historic number of seats in Parliament had they discussed the substantive issues, and promised essentially conservative measures, during the election campaign.
A coalition was necessary only because, as far as possible, the big issues – Islamism, immigration, the European Union – were kept off the table, and because David Cameron had already entrenched the worst aspects of political correctness in the party ideology and its hierarchy. Notably, the “army” of community organizers he promised to create if he were elected Prime Minster was credited to the work of Marxist Revolutionary, Saul Alinsky.
It is true, of course, that during the election campaign of early 2010, David Cameron – now the UK Prime Minister – was forced, finally, to address the issue of immigration. He promised to cut it dramatically, from several hundred thousand a year to “tens of thousands.” Since the election, however, immigration has risen 21%. No less significant, while 400,000 new jobs have been created in the UK, 87% – that is to say, nearly nine out of ten – have gone to immigrants. The proportion is even higher than under the previous New Labour Government. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Britain saw the highest rise in unemployment claims in two years this May, 2011.
Uncontrolled immigration has created serious problems that will affect Britain in the short and long term. In 2006, Rear Admiral Chris Parry claimed that mass immigration could ultimately lead to a situation for Britain comparable to “the 5th century Roman empire facing the Goths and the Vandals.” Uncontrolled immigration, he predicted, would mean a “reverse colonization” of European states, with those from other countries using the internet and cheap flights to retain a distinct identity and an allegiance to their own group. “When you combine the lower prospects for communal life with macho youth and economic deprivation you tend to get trouble, typified by gangs and organized criminal activity,” Parry observed. “When one thinks of 20,000 so-called jihadists currently fly-papered in Iraq, one shudders to think where they might go next.”
Gang culture and immigration have been back in the news in recent weeks. Documents recently published by Wikileaks show that in Sweden, “immigrants or Individuals with at least one immigrant parent perpetrated about 45 percent of all crimes during the period 1997-2001. In regard to the most serious felonies – murder, manslaughter, assault and rape – the percentage was even higher.”
According to a study, funded by the University of Nottingham’s Integrating Global Society group, “following the [recent] riots [in England] people felt more threatened in specifically two ways. First, people were more likely to feel that their safety was threatened, i.e. they were more fearful of increasing violence and vandalism in their neighbourhood. Second, they were more likely to feel that wider British culture and society was under threat, i.e. they were more fearful that British culture is threatened.”
From video footage and photographs, the perpetrators, sadly, seemed to be almost exclusively Black. Areas were also “defended” by groups that were of one ethnicity and/or religion – Turkish and Middle Eastern Muslims, Sikhs, and Whites. If this was not an illustration of how the country could split along racial and religious lines at some future point, with the potential for inter-group conflict, then one wonders what might be.
It is not only on immigration that the Conservative Party appears not to be in any way conservative.
Under Prime Minister Cameron, the party has abandoned its long-standing support of Israel, and has instead become one of its louder critics. Notably, Cameron himself stood on stage in 2010 with his Turkish counterpart, in Ankara, and denounced Israel for turning Gaza into a “prison camp,” even though it has been wholly autonomous for over five years, ever since the Israelis forcibly removed their own citizens from it — and for preventing a weapons-loaded flotilla from reaching Gaza.
This only one area in which the Conservatives appear to have relinquished their conservatism to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), whose leader, Nigel Farage, had earlier publicly attacked Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism.
Perhaps Cameron is a pacifist. While the tax payer-funded, but anti-British, politically correct and appallingly tendentious BBC television and radio broadcasts operate on an annual budget of more than $4 billion annually, both the armed forces and the police are facing huge budget cuts, introduced by the coalition Government. The country’s aircraft carriers are likely to be scrapped, leaving the Falkland Islands vulnerable to potential Argentine aggression again; and thousands of troops will also be made redundant. Similarly, large cuts in the police force ironically came in the aftermath of the worst rioting Britain has ever seen, and which, in many areas, the police seemed unable to control.
Then there is the questionable alliance with the European Union. In 2007, Cameron wrote an article for The Sun newspaper, giving a “cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government, we will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.” Cameron’s signature was even printed along with his article, giving it the look and feel of a contract. Having become Prime Minister, however, Cameron has reneged. There will be no referendum on membership of the EU, or any further relinquishing of British sovereignty, so long as the word “treaty” can be avoided – which it will be.
There are also significant issues relating to “Englishness” and devolution. In Scotland’s Parliament, dominated by the Scottish National Party and Labour, the Conservative Party barely exists, and there has been much talk of the Scottish Conservatives disbanding and forming a new center-Right Party for Scotland which would be allied to the Conservative Party elsewhere. If the Scottish Conservative Party does fold, it will add even more weight to calls from Scotland for the nation to leave the United Kingdom.
England has also seen a rise in nationalism in the last decade, due to institutional hostility, and discrimination against the English. Unlike other regions of the UK, England does not have its own Parliament, and English taxpayers have been forced to subsidize Scotland to keep the issue of independence off the table.
****After more than a year in power, the verdict on the Conservative Party is damning. For those who support Israel; who believe the UK should withdraw from the EU; who believe in law and order and strong military deterrence; who want to see immigration cut and the English treated fairly, there is simply no possibility of supporting the party as it currently exists under David Cameron.
This is something that the United Kingdom Party’s leader, Nigel Farage, understands. He believes that his party will not only pick up the protest vote (which has previously gone in large part to the LibDems), but will continue to pick up more Conservative votes, as the party’s faithful realize that they have elected merely a version of New Labour.
In his speech at UKIP’s recent annual conference, Farage railed against Cameron, the Conservatives, and the political class as a whole, which he aptly described as being “so hidebound by the European Union and political correctness that they simply refuse to stand up for the nation.” Among UKIP’s most noteworthy positions, Farage suggested that it was now the party of the working class. There had, he said, been a “betrayal of working class people in this country by [the] Labour [Party] by pursuing an open door immigration policy depriving British workers of jobs.” Clearly, the situation has only become worse under the Conservative-dominated coalition Government.
While Farage announced that UKIP will campaign for an English Parliament, he also suggested that the issue was bigger than that. “There is a growing feeling in England – and certainly I feel it,” said Farage at the conference, “that our leaders are ashamed of the very word ‘England’. We are discouraged from describing ourselves as English. Our leaders seem to reel in horror at the idea of [the flag of England,] the cross of St. George.”
Neither of these positions seems to be on UKIP’s natural ground. Like the Conservative Party, UKIP has a largely middle class base. Interest in England specifically also appears myopic for an anti-EU party with “United Kingdom” in its title. Farage, however, knows that this is precisely the territory that his party – or any up-and-coming center-Right party in England – needs to occupy. Earlier in the year, a Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new party committed to cutting or stopping immigration; tackling Islamist extremism; and that “would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.”
Although Farage’s message will resonate with some former Labour and LibDem supporters, it is clear that he has set his sights on disgruntled conservatives who had naively looked on Cameron as the last best hope to revive England. Many had already realized that, under his leadership, the Conservatives had turned into little more that a version of New Labour, and had defected prior to the election.
In 2010 the UKIP vote cost the Conservatives ten seats and an outright majority. Farage is clearly aiming for more than that in the next election. He wants to win seats and to replicate the success his party has had in EU elections, and in local and UK national elections. “If you’re a patriotic, Euro-skeptic, Conservative voter,” Farage announced at the annual conference, “under David Cameron you’re party has now ceased to exist. If you want to vote for what you believe in, you must come and vote UKIP.”
If Cameron wants to prove Farage wrong, time is running out.