David Blackburn

How British: a tea party

How British: a tea party
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Don’t you think that ‘The Ship Money Movement’ is a more appropriate name for a British anti-tax forum? You know, given the connotations of ‘Tea Party’ in these climes? Titles are instructive, and, as James wrote yesterday, the British right has a growing fascination with its American counterpart. Perhaps I’m over doing it, but it seems a testament to the State’s dominance in post-war Britain that the country’s libertarian tradition, extending back through Burke, Bolingbroke, Locke, Milton and to Hampden himself, is no longer the right’s primary inspiration.

Putting my slightly absurd ruminations aside, the coming of the Tea Party Movement to Britain is significant. Dan Hannan will address the meeting, and he writes:

‘If you happen to be coming to the Conservative Spring Conference, do please pop in: the Tea Party is five minutes’ walk from the conference venue. It is, however, outside the security zone, and anyone is welcome to come. Oh, and this being England, we’ll be serving actual, you know, tea.’

Convened by those disaffected with Cameron and Osborne’s economic policy, which remains wedded to Labour’s, the Tea Party isn’t yet so much as a storm in a tea cup. But Britain is about to embark upon an era of higher taxation, with or without a Conservative government. Combined with those inclined to vote UKIP and the increasingly marginalised right of the Tory parliamentary party, the fledgling Tea Party is a potential problem for Cameron.