Tories are toast

Professor Matthew Goodwin, Politics Professor at Kent University, has written an article arguing for the very things that we (The Teds) have been arguing for.  The only difference between what he suggests and what we already say is that he is still fixed on Britain and British.  Whereas, of course, we argue for England and the English.
Let’s work to get the Conservatives out of the way so that politics in England can be aligned with our Party(The English Democrats) as a genuinely patriotic alternative.
Here is the article:-
Disillusionment with the British Tories is heating up.
Speak to anybody and everybody around the British Tories right now and they’ll all you the the same thing —they are utterly disillusioned and fed up.
Cultural conservatives complain about the onslaught of mass immigration and the failure of the Tory party to stop the Woke tide in the institutions.
Social conservatives complain about the failure of the Tories to not only defend the rights of women, children, and families but to even raise these crucial issues.
And economic conservatives complain not only about the failure of the Tories to push back against higher corporation tax and excessive regulation but to ‘level-up’ the rest of the country and drive widespread, one-nation prosperity.
All of them have a point. And if, like me, you spend much of your week immersed in SW1 Westminster, listening to these complaints, then it is also not long until, after a drink or two, you’ll hear them all mutter the same question.
Is it time for a new political party in British politics?
Somebody else who asked the question this week is The Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein who, more than a decade ago, like one of my earlier books, successfully forecast the rise of Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) and then Brexit.
I don’t always agree with Finkelstein but like all great columnists he will always make you think and so is compulsory reading. Here’s what he wrote in the piece which was titled: ‘There’s a gap in the market for a Tory populist’:
“I’m writing this because I think there is now another hole in British politics. One that, again, I don’t want anyone to fill. But one that I think there will be at least an attempt to fill. Someone will try to become the mainstream leader of populism.
In Matthew Goodwin’s book Values, Voice and Virtue, the professor veers uncertainly between what I often thought an absurd and quite dangerous conspiracy theory about a “new elite”, and robust and informative political analysis. But the latter makes his book worthwhile.
Goodwin argues, with reason, that levels of education are the big dividing line in modern political attitudes and that the liberalism of those people with degrees doesn’t sit well with lots of voters. This argument has been taken up with enthusiasm on the right, leading to much unfortunate talk about the blob and the wokerati and so forth.
Yet as well as being a right-wing book, Goodwin’s tract is also a left-wing one, and this has been less widely noted. As well as wanting less immigration and feeling keenly the need to protect the country’s tradition and culture from too much change, Goodwin says a large wedge of voters believe they are being short-changed economically.
As he puts it … : “Two thirds felt the economy has been rigged ‘to advantage the rich and the powerful’, while almost the same share said ‘Britain’s political and economic elites do not care about hard-working people’.”
I’m not sure I’d describe the growing gulf between the elite graduate class and the rest of society as a ‘conspiracy theory’.
There’s now a broad consensus among political analysts that especially on cultural issues like immigration, diversity, identity, wokeness and more, elite graduates and non-graduates hold increasingly different, if not irreconcilable, views.
And I’m certainly not the only person to point this out. It’s also been extensively documented by people on the left, like Barack Obama’s former data analyst David Shor and The New Yorker, as well as dozens of academics in peer-reviewed studies.
In fact, while the new elite had a collective meltdown over my book, largely because I’m critical of how they’ve lost touch with -and show remarkably little interest in- the rest of the country, I’ve also yet to meet a serious analyst who thinks I’m wrong, who denies that this underlying trend is taking place.
Anyway, putting that to one side Finkelstein goes on to suggest there’s now a huge opportunity in Britain for a new populist leader who combines left-wing economic rhetoric with right-wing culture warrior positions —like what Donald Trump has done in America and, I’d add, what national populists are now doing in Europe.
But is anyone ready to take up this position in Britain? And how, if at all, would such a person navigate our country’s utterly brutal first-past-the-post majoritarian system, which is an extremely high obstacle for any would-be challenger?
Finkelstein is sceptical that either of Britain’s two Big Beast populists -Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson- are up to the task. Farage, he argues, is limited by his decision to remain outside the two-party system and by his right-wing economic policies.
While millions of voters would instantly warm to Farage’s strident criticism of the small boats fiasco, record levels of legal immigration, and the Woke infiltration of the institutions, his traditional Thatcherite position on economics would –much like Liz Truss discovered– rapidly alienate many of the same voters who simply do not want to roll back the state and slash taxes if it means even worse public services.
And while Boris Johnson is more flexible on economics, he’s far too socially liberal for the many voters who might otherwise be drawn into such a movement. As I’ve pointed out time and time again, Johnson ended up delivering the very opposite of what Brexit and 2019 Conservative voters wanted — even higher immigration.
This is why, alongside Partygate and Johnson’s general indifference to the millions of voters who put him in power, between 2019 and the end of his premiership the share of Brexiteers backing him collapsed from 76% to just 35%. He went from The Great Hope to The Great Disappointment and there’s no coming back from that.
Nor is that his only problem. A Boris Johnson 2, Finkelstein points out, would also inevitably alienate his more economically orthodox supporters —business liberal Tories who’d not react well to any attempt to depart from free market economics.
And I think that’s basically right. For all these reasons Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news. He’s too socially liberal, too economically incoherent, too obsessed with trying to please all the wrong people and, frankly, too unpopular to tap into the zeitgeist that awaits for somebody without his baggage. Plus, if you actually speak to Conservative MPs then most of them will now tell you that Boris was the answer to a different set of questions, namely how to Get Brexit Done.
So what would be the alternative route to mobilising a fresh populist rebellion? For Finkelstein, it would first involve holding a strong right-wing line on cultural issues, such as by demanding lower immigration, stronger borders, presumably a tougher stance on crime, and turning up the volume Trump-style on opposing Woke.
And he’s not wrong on this. I recently polled a very large sample of voters and asked them what issues they care the most about and do not feel represented on.
The three most popular? Slashing illegal and legal immigration. Opposing Woke Political Correctness (memo to politicians —only half of Brits know what ‘woke’ is but 90% know what ‘political correctness’ is, so say them together). And promoting Britain’s distinctive national identity, history, and culture which many voters feel are under threat from a woke new elite who are trying to repackage them in very bland, international, meaningless themes, like ‘diversity’.
The second part of the formula, beyond culture, would involve charting a route to a more leftish Tory economics. This does not mean embracing redistribution. Rather, it would mean robustly attacking China for its human rights record (and, I’d add, its increasingly malign influence over Britain’s economy, institutions, and universities).
It would mean advocating a more protectionist spirit in the economy, such as by offering subsidies for firms negatively affected by a more ‘nation-first’ approach and investing far more seriously in domestic British workers.
And it would mean launching a continual, all-out attack on business woke elites for routinely prioritising global free trade, tax avoidance, and ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ over the interests of the national economy and the national community.
I think Finkelstein is basically right but I’d add three points. The first is that if you want a theme that ties all this together and taps into the current zeitgeist then it’s security. Today’s voters want economic security from the cost-of-living crisis. They want national security from the small boats and mass immigration. They want cultural security from the acceleration of Woke political correctness. And they want physical security from a collapsing National Health Service and public services.
The second is I’d go a lot further on the leftish economics. Whoever steps into this space, if they’re smart, should present a series of trade-offs to voters. Why are we spending £1.8 BILLION on housing illegal migrants and refugees which is more than we’re spending on levelling-up funds for the entire north of England?
Why are we spending £11.4 BILLION on overseas aid when we cannot even deliver a national health service and social care system that work for ordinary British people? Why are our broken institutions and inefficient government departments spending an estimated £7 billion a year on woke diversity projects while simultaneously complaining about a lack of money? And how on earth can Britain ever fix its housing crisis and give our young people somewhere decent to live while building 200,000 homes a year and running net migration above 600,000? Can we get real?
And my last point is this —never forget the importance of sequencing in politics, especially in a first-past-the-post system like Britain’s. It’s true that a charismatic outsider such as Nigel Farage would struggle to convert a grassroots rebellion into serious numbers of seats in Westminster. But then it’s also true that he wouldn’t necessarily need to win any seats at all. He merely announces a two-step strategy.
“Step one. I want your votes to help me kill off the Conservative Party in 2024 -a party that for the last thirteen years has taken you all for granted, has given you nothing but a sluggish, high-tax economy, mass immigration, chaos at the border, and which allowed the Woke to go after your women, your children, your freedom”.
“Step two. Once I’ve ensured a Tory defeat in 2024 I’m inviting all those disgruntled MPs who lost their seats, all those MEPs who served in the past, and all those Reformers, Reclaimers, SDP’ers, and free speech champions to build a genuine cross-party platform—to say enough is enough. We need a new, credible, viable alternative to not just the Tory party but to all of the mainstream parties who no longer believe in Britain and no longer put the British people first”.
Would such a strategy ever happen? Watch this space and stay tuned.”
Yours for England,
Robin Tilbrook
Party Chairman – English Democrats
Get the latest Tap posts emailed to you daily

4 Responses to “Tories are toast”

  1. NPP says:

    A Labour government is pending. Oh God help us. Starmer, Sunak, Boris, what’s the difference? Hell, hell or hell.

    I do wonder if the thought of carbon zero knee bending even harder lockdowns Starmer is scary enough to keep the dwarf Sunak in power.

  2. Tapestry says:

    How about a no lockdowns party called Teds? Break England out of the Union and nullify all treaties with world government bodies, which breach the Act Of Union 1707. Scotland could do similar. Wales and NI also.

    • NPP says:

      Put a TED candidate in my constituency & I can vote for TED, but here, you could put a Tory rosette on Tony Blair & he’d get in.

      The only threat ever here to the Tories were UKIP & Brexit.

      Bottom line, we have a pending Labour or Tory govt. failing some beautiful unexpected consequence otherwise.

      My village mostly wore face nappies & stayed in as the little submissives were instructed. They have zero concept of TED, an independent England or that Putin might not be evil. I am probably the only one challenging carbon zero here.

      I don’t know the answer.

      • Tapestry says:

        There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Nullifying world government bodies after England and Scotland terminate the Act Of Union is available as a pathway, as the UK/GB is in breach of its terms removing all our rights. You don’t need to win elections to change the pathway although it would help. We don’t have the Euro thanks to UKIP, and Brexit has half happened. The splitting of the disunited kingdom is the only way we can finish the job. Candidates can be found once a movement gathers momentum. Great oaks from little acorns grow.