Thursday, April 30, 2009

The rise of social conservatism

One thing about the previous post I didn't mention was the possibility that the surprising number of prospective Tory candidates who are socially conservative is indicative of a growing trend in Britain which may at last be filtering through into the political class.

I've mentioned before that at least part of the reason why the BNP is making progress is that they combine a mixture of Old Labour socialism with working class social conservatism - a mix that strikes a chord with a considerable number of working class people who would, traditionally, consider themselves Labour supporters. This is nothing new among the older generation who were used to social conservatism from both main parties before they switched to the progressive agenda.

What is new, in my opinion, is that many of the next generation are turning to social conservatism as a reaction to the progressive agenda. This shouldn't really be a surprise either as they have grown up with progressive liberalism and have been the ones most affected by it.

We're now seeing people come into politics who were going through the education system in the nineties by which time the progressive dogma had been firmly entrenched in our schools and universities, but was also the time when those who were going through that system were being exposed to explosively high rates of crime, rampant political correctness and unrestrained immigration which was causing massive social upheaval and division in their local communities - and, as is often the case - the young are often the ones most affected by these things.

My generation - the generation of Blair, Cameron et al - grew up during a time when Britain was still predominantly socially conservative, more ordered, more law-abiding and more certain. The progressive policies of the time being pushed through by the likes of Roy Jenkins and David Steel were seen as "liberal" and forward thinking, but the full impact of progressivism and those policies was not to be felt for another 20 years or more.

This is why the generation of power today - my generation - is so arrogant about the progressive agenda. Their experience of it was almost entirely positive and by the time it became apparent that those policies were having a detrimental effect on the ordinary people and the nation as a whole, they had moved away from "ordinary" into the political class and were completely detached from the reality of high crime, teenage pregnancy, rising abortion rates, rising divorce rates, family breakdown and so on that was ravaging our society.

To them they were nothing more than statistics which could be dealt with by more of the same progressive medicine - only it didn't work, but they have no other solution and are so deeply engrossed in progressivism that they could not see the wood for the trees.

The next generation - the one breaking through now - were still, for the most part, ordinary people during those times when all these things were going wrong and were much more effected by it than my generation or the previous generation. They lived through the hell of progressive liberalism first hand, experienced it at close quarters and aren't particularly happy at what they were forced to endure. As a result, more and more of them are looking back to the times before Britain went progressive and thinking "why can't we be more like that?" Without knowing it, they are becoming socially conservative.

And from what I've seen, the generation after this one currently breaking through is likely to be even more socially conservative. It is this which gives me hope for the future of Britain - even though I believe we are going to be living through some very tough and troublesome times for the next decade.

As I've said before, in a hundred years time the historians will pore over the last 50 years of progressivism and use it as a lesson for future generations of what must be avoided. They'll wonder at how we could have allowed such a thing to happen in the first place and point out that this nation is a precious heirloom which it is our duty to care for and nourish - not a toy to be played with, pulled apart and left smashed and broken for the next generation to fix.

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