Nick Cohen Nick Cohen

The left are the Tories’ best friends

Modern British history is largely a history of Tory rule and misrule. The Tories governed Britain from 1886 until 1905 with only the Gladstone/Rosebery minority administration of 1892 to 1895 breaking their dominance. They were in power every year from 1916 until 1945, either on their own or in coalition, except for 11 months in 1924 and from 1929 to 1931, when minority Labour governments clung to office. The Tories governed on their own from 1951 to 1964, and from 1979 to 1997. They governed first in coalition and then on their own from 2010 until…Well, think of a number then double it.

Opponents who know that the Conservatives are not only a party of privilege but are perfectly capable of betraying the best interests of every class in the nation ought to fear them. They ought to know that the lesson of history is that once in power they tend to stay there for a generation or longer, and dedicate all their energies to removing them.

Listen to the far left clique now in control of the Labour party and much of the trade union movement and you can make the mistake of believing that it wishes nothing more than to fight them at every turn. For it is true that the left in general and the far left in particular hates Tories. But they are not frightened of them. Not remotely. If they were frightened, Labour members would never have gifted the Conservatives the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, not once but twice, a recurring act of self-indulgent infantilism whose stupidity is best captured by W. B. Yeats’ old  denunciation:

 ‘You have disgraced yourselves. AGAIN!’

If they truly feared the Tories, far leftists would be saying in public that Corbyn is every bit the disaster his opponents warned he would be, and showing that they have learned from their mistake.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in