Saturday, July 12, 2008

The abandonment of social conservatism and the rise of the BNP is not a coincidence

I wrote a couple of days back about my upbringing and the reason for my conservatism despite being brought up in a very working class and, on the whole, natural Labour territory. The reason why is that the working class of Britain was very conservative - with a small c - and, on the whole, they still are very socially conservative.

They tend to have views which, in modern parlance, would be considered right wing. They don't really care whether the police step on the toes or break a few noses of criminals and wrongdoers as long as they have law and order for those who want to live by the law. They don't really care about multiculturalism, diversity and inclusiveness, but they do care about their homes, jobs, schools and towns being taken over by "strangers".

They tend to be people who are very traditional, proud and resistant to change. Natural conservatism - and that should be something which a natural Conservative party should be able to tap into - as Thatcher did in 1979. The reason why they haven't been able to do that for a long time since is summed up very nicely by Matthew Parris writing in The Times.

The [Conservative] party has a sincere belief that every corner of Britain deserves to hear what it has to say. It knows that though only a minority of the poor are receptive to the Conservative message, that minority is substantial and stalwart, and should not be written off. So I have knocked on thousands of doors in scores of council estates in some of the worst parts of London and the Midlands.

And all who have done this will agree: For a Tory, a day of canvassing sympathisers in “bad” areas leaves you urgently convinced that an uncompromising right-wing message on the undeserving poor is a vote winner.

Got that? An uncompromising right wing message is a vote winner - although, what he really means is an uncompromising socially conservative message.

The deserving poor do not like the undeserving poor. They feel very deeply that when you don't have much, and you struggle to be honest, to look after your family, to keep up standards and to stay in work however badly paid, the handouts available to the lazy, the greedy and the dishonest are a kick in the teeth to everything you've stood for.

You feel ..... it is a Tory duty to represent (as the socialists never will) these estimable but forgotten citizens, trying to be good in places where it's much harder to be good than in Eaton Square. You feel the strongest urge - backed now by direct evidence - to speak out for the virtuous poor.

Having said all that, you'd think Parris was suggesting that this is the right thing to do. But, no.

Resist it. You are not the man, and your party's voice is not the voice, to do this.

See - the Conservative party is not the party to stand up for conservative values. That is why the Tory party fell apart post Thatcher - the likes of Matthew Parris and his ilk who now dominate that party. Parris's answer is to be dishonest about your aims - presentation over policy.

What Parris fails to realise is that the old Labour party, which was also socially conservative, no longer represent those people. For a short while they found a champion in the unlikely form of Margaret Thatcher - someone they voted in and never voted out again (the Tory party did that themselves when it got taken over by the likes of Parris).

Whatever you call them - the deserving poor as Parris refers to them or, as I prefer to know them, the genuine working class - they have been abandoned by the two parties that used to offer them social conservative values with different ideas on how to manage achieving those. Those who favoured a planned society voted Labour, those who voted a market driven society voted Tory. Now both parties favour a planned society and neither offers social conservatism.

It is hardly surprising then that a party that does should gain considerable ground in those areas where Matthew Parris found "an uncompromising right wing message" was a vote winner. That party is the BNP.

The reason why BNP have made such progress and UKIP haven't is simple. Traditional Tory voters are not the ones being effected by the abandonment of social conservatism. They have the money to insulate themselves from the effects while the working class do not - and it is primarily the working class whose lives are most impacted by the abandonment of social conservatism as their jobs move abroad or are taken by foreigners at lower wages, their schools are swamped by children who have no English and their streets become virtual no go areas for indigenous Britons.

The rise in popularity for the BNP has nothing to do with an increase in right wing extremism - it is entirely due to the abandonment of social conservatism and the love affair with progressivism of the two main political parties.

These people don't have a voice. The Labour party no longer speak for them and Parris tells us the Tories aren't the party to do it for them - so it is only natural that they will seek out someone who will.

The BNP does.

1 comment:

JuliaM said...

"That is why the Tory party fell apart post Thatcher - the likes of Matthew Parris and his ilk who now dominate that party."

Particularly the one currently at the top....