Pete gets off the fence


Jul 01, 2024By Pete North

The Tory right is as much of a problem as the One Nation wets. They're the ones who backed the lunatic minford agenda of unilaterally eliminating all defensive tariffs. Thatcherism on steroids. They were completely unconcerned about what the impact might have been on the British auto industry, steel and agriculture. 

This, in my view, is the exact opposite of what Brexit demanded. Nobody voted for Brexit to deindustrialise further and make ourselves even more reliant on deregulated financial services. 

It is, however, something of a supreme irony that the Tory wets were the ones to destroy British steel, agriculture and car making by way of their bone-headed Net Zero ideology. As such, if there are conservatives in that party, they've kept a very low profile. 

All the same, we should be hugely suspicious of "Popular Conservatism" because it's MAGA infused zombie Thatcherism. It should also be noted that this is the remnant of the Tory party the Reform crew see as allies, and potential merger partners.

If we have learned anything in the last few years, it is that Britain's national resilience has utterly collapsed. Our farms are going bankrupt, we can't make the steel with which to make weapons and new nuclear plants. The owners of Vauxhall are threatening to quit the UK. Our community resilience is collapsing thanks to mass immigration and sectarianism. Our democracy in tatters and local democracy no longer exists.

This calls for a fundamental reform of British governance.  

To that end, we need a serious party, with serious policies, recognising that the age of neoliberalism is dying. The nation does not want re-heated Thatcherism, and thinks that their water authority, among other things, should not be owned by a Singaporean wealth fund. This is a country that wants to be self-sufficient in energy, and one that wants to be able to feed itself and defend itself. The people want a government that works in the national interest. 

This is why I'm not going to vote for the Tory party. This is also why I'm not going to vote for a dog-whistle populist that rubs shoulders with the ERG. The closest we have to a real conservative party in this election is the SDP. 

The British right are so far from conservatism they've forgotten what it even is. Economic liberals are not conservative by any stretch of the word. Nor are "one nation" liberal internationalists. 

British (c)onservatism is really just the desire for a functioning state that does well the things it's supposed to do, and lets private enterprise do what it's good at. We want accountable politicians. We do not want functions of government run for profit. We want government to be as big as it needs to be to ensure the proper enforcement of the law, but no larger. We want public services that work; Police who will investigate burglaries and prosecute shoplifters. We want ambulances to turn up when we fall. We want prompt hospital appointments. We want intelligent, sustainable immigration policy. We want good jobs, good homes, and strong defence.

Britain is at its best when all of these things are in balance.

We do not want an intrusive state imposing its values on us. We don't want Serco run services. We don't want foreign ownership of British institutions. We ant to make things and export them. We want a patriotic state, and thriving economy. 

The populists of Reform have no real answers to our problems. They have no vision, no policies, and no plan. They wouldn't have the first idea how to achieve half the things they promise. One minute they talk about destroying the Tory party, the next they flirt with joining it. I can't work out exactly what the game is because it changes by the day. They make superficially pleasing speeches, but there's no substance to any of it. 

Currently, there is only one party that really gets what Britain wants, and where we need to be - and that's the SDP. Labour offers only gimmicks and more of the same recycled, failed ideas. The Tories have nothing but obsolete economic liberalism and globalism to offer. And like Johnson, Farage wouldn't know how to useful wield power even if he could win. 

In the SDP there is a basis for a *British conservative* party that is closer to the economic and social values of the British people than any of the other parties. Britain won't vote for a tawdry populist party, but they will vote for a party when they see themselves reflected in it. Dignity and decency will win.

SDP 2024 manifesto aims to provide efficient and common sense government without the millstone of dogmatic politics