Peter Hitchens

A party split from top to toe

Peter Hitchens says that there will be no credible opposition while the Tory party remains an impossible coalition of irreconcilables with no feeling for old Britain

No power on earth can sustain an idea whose time has gone. Can we all please stop pretending that the Conservative party is worth saving or keeping, or that it can ever win another election? This delusion is an obstacle to the creation of a proper pro-British movement, neither bigoted nor politically correct, which is the only hope of ending the present one-party state. The continued existence of the Tory party as a bogeyman with which to frighten dissenters is one of the few things that holds together the equally bankrupt Labour party. Without it, the frequent Blairite cry of ‘If you don’t back me, the Thatcherites will return’ could no longer be used. The Conservative party, in all its shambling ineptitude and pathos, is also a major reason for the growth of the Liberal Democrats, grateful recipients of the anyone-but-the-Tories vote, which is cast for Charles Kennedy not because of what he is but because of what he is not.

The Tories are an impossible coalition of irreconcilables. No coherent government programme could ever unite them, always assuming they were able to win an election. Euro-enthusiast and Eurosceptic cannot compromise without betraying their deepest beliefs, and should not be expected to do so. Supporters of marriage and supporters of the sexual revolution likewise can have no common ground. Supposedly conservative thinkers such as David Willetts cannot earn the praise of Polly Toynbee, as he recently did, without also attracting the loathing of the many who think that children should have the right to be looked after by their own mothers rather than watch them marched off into wage-slavery. Enthusiasts for mass immigration, on the grounds that it expands the workforce, cannot be reconciled with those who fear that immigration on this scale will damage a good and ancient culture.

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