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David Cameron destroyed the Tories His appointment is an act of necromancy

'A desperate act of political necromancy' (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu via Getty Images)

'A desperate act of political necromancy' (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu via Getty Images)


November 15, 2023   5 mins

When the collateral damage from the Gaza War is finally totted up, Suella Braverman’s political career will not top the list of those most deserving sympathy. When the Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley publicly mocked Braverman’s characterisation of pro-Palestine protests as hate marches, he did so in the knowledge her position was more precarious than his, and he was entirely correct: she was gone just a week later. 

In the past four years, we have had six Home Secretaries (including Braverman twice), four Prime Ministers, and eight Housing Ministers; in the past seven years of great geopolitical danger, we have had seven Foreign Secretaries. At around a year, the lifespan of those holding the great offices of state is as evanescent as that of a caged hamster, and their labours just as futile. If every Government minister resigned today, and let the civil service run the country until Starmer’s formal assumption of power, nothing meaningful would change.

But still the play drags on. In a desperate act of political necromancy, Sunak summoned Cameron from his lush Cotswolds exile to mark the end of the Conservative populist experiment. The Brexit referendum, which the former prime minister called and lost, was as much a rejection of his own record as of the distant European Union: of his underinvestment in infrastructure and demolition of state capacity, his failure to manage immigration, his reshaping of the British economy as a pliant provider of services to Chinese, Russian and Qatari capital, and of his misbegotten adventure in Libya, still collapsing African states like dominoes to this day. 

Through their pursuit of austerity, the Cameron and Osborne dyad created our current penumbra of decay and underinvestment. Britain’s trajectory of relative decline makes any town even in notionally prosperous southeast England visibly poorer and more neglected than a town of corresponding size in Poland or East Germany. In real terms, British workers are still worse paid than when Cameron came to power. 

Arguably then, Cameron did more than Blair to midwife 2020s Britain in all its squalid dysfunction. His was perhaps the last period when the unintended consequences of the Blairite revolution could have been painlessly undone; instead, he bedded them in, cementing Blair’s destructive post-1997 innovations as sacrosanct pillars of the eternal British constitution. The dismal calibre of Tory politicians we suffer today is the direct result of the selection procedures Cameron introduced, in an effort to weed out conservative thought from representation in the Conservative Party. Like Cummings’s recent appearance as a humble penitent before the Covid enquiry, subjecting himself to the mercy of a system he once wished to overthrow, Cameron’s return to Westminster is the symbolic endpoint to the Brexit revolution: whether or not the system is capable of reform, the Conservative Party is not the vehicle to achieve it. 

Reform of the British state should have been carried out quietly, with an air of unruffled competence just as Blair achieved, in an administrative revolution imperceptible to surface-skimming lobby journalists. Instead we were given years of shrill noise, breakneck Westminster gossip, and inaction. As a result, through its own dysfunction, the Conservative Party has managed to place all British conservatives in the role of dissidents: increasingly hostile to institutions of the state — the police, the judiciary, border guards — that are in other European countries seen as the bedrock of conservative order. 

How many times must we write the same obituary? The effigies to be sculpted may change with ever-increasing rapidity, but the cause of death remains the same. The Conservative Party was a victim of its own electoral success: in constructing a ruthless vehicle for achieving power, it forgot that power is merely a temporary means to achieve lasting ideological ends. It is doubtful that it is in the interests of British conservatism for the Conservative Party to survive the next election, but if it does, it must use its time out of office to define its core aims and how to achieve them if ever granted power again.

The useful analogy, perhaps, is with America’s distinct but parallel attempt to ride the populist wave of discontent. The Trump administration, in its first iteration, was similarly chaotic, facing similar hysterical opposition from an ideologically hostile press and equivalent internal sabotage by dissident state functionaries. There too, at the end, public officials took care to signal their opposition to their notional political masters and their loyalty to the incoming regime. But where America differs from Britain is the overall vitality of its organised conservative movement.

As the likelihood of Trump returning to power grows, American conservative ideologues have spent the past few years devising a comprehensive strategy for effective governance. The Project 2025 strategy centres on the parallel belief that “the federal government is a behemoth, weaponised against American citizens and conservative values”, a politicised deep state which serves in practice to stifle Republican rule. An entire waiting cadre of loyal officials has been recruited, trained and motivated to reform American governance at every level from the first day of the second Trump administration. Whether or not the results will be positive for the country, experience of political failure has given the Republican Party a purist ideological zeal, a theory of governance and a desire to impose its will entirely absent from their British equivalents. Where Republicans recruit and nurture loyal conservative footsoldiers, the Conservative Party weeds them out like unwanted gatecrashers at a garden party: the results are as we see.

The ongoing Tory civil war, reignited first in the letter from the New Conservatives accusing Sunak of betraying the Red Wall realignment, and then in Braverman’s poisonous dissection of the Prime Minister’s failings, is surely no longer a campaign to win a last few dismal months in Downing Street, but instead a battle for what comes next: either a vision for a new iteration of the party, harder-edged and keener to win, or the opening salvoes of a new Right-wing force in British politics. Perhaps the Conservative Party’s surviving remnants, dusting off the rubble of defeat, will follow their American equivalents in political exile by addressing the causes of their failure directly, and by devising a strategy for governance underpinned by a meaningful conservative philosophy. But the causes of popular dissatisfaction remain as livid as ever, the popular mood more febrile, and the desire for radical change grows ever more insistent. 

The brutal October 7 Hamas attack on Israel has been theorised as a case of catastrophic success for the terrorist group, and much the same could be said of the Conservative Party’s current term in office. The 2019 election was a victory from which the Conservatives may never recover: they have been buried beneath their own landslide. The voting public granted the Tories the opportunity to remake Britain in their image, and unfortunately for us they succeeded. 

But as well as euthanising Braverman’s ministerial career, events in the Middle East remind us, through the very existence of the state of Israel, that even the most unlikely sounding political visions, undertaken in the least propitious circumstances, are eminently achievable. As Herzl famously declared: “If you will it, it is no dream.” The demands of the British public for a stable, secure and prosperous nation are not impossible to satisfy. For all its relative decline, Britain retains vast untapped potential waiting to be unlocked, requiring only sufficient political vision, will and discipline to do so. In ridding ourselves of the Conservative Party, we may yet birth a vigorous and reformist British conservative movement. 


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Rob N
Rob N
8 months ago

“In ridding ourselves of the Conservative Party, we may yet birth a vigorous and reformist British conservative movement.”

Indeed. But I do worry how much damage Labour are going to cause in the interim.

Rohan Achnay
Rohan Achnay
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Aris’s article is largely misdirection.

What Suella was largely banging on about underlyingly is the slow but sure attrition of equal ethnic rights for white English people and the slow but sure discrimination against them especially in terms of free speech, liberty in beliefs and local authority decisions in multi-ethnic disputes.

In this respect, the rhetoric of far rightism is an attempt to dissuade certain British citizens from claiming their ethnic rights which was being facilitated by the Metropolitan Police with their heavy handed tactics to restrict access to the Cenotaph, a symbol of white English ethnicity.

Instead, what we have is Sunak pivoting the Conservative Party back towards social and economic liberalism and an entrenchment of unequal ethnic rights.

It is interesting that Aris uses the Palestine/Israel conflict as a metaphor when the ecological reality is that this conflict is borne from rapid population growth in both territories with Israel seeking to land grab in order to accommodate their population growth with Hamas and the Palestinian people seeking to protect theirs.

The same applies here of course with tensions rising about the internal distribution of British territory to accommodate the growing population of non-English ethnicities here in the UK.

As a result of Aris’s misdirection from population ecology in particular and ecology in general, he himself is unable to provide a positive vision for a future Britain because he too is unsure about the legitimacy of equal ethnic rights here in Britain.

Last edited 8 months ago by Rohan Achnay
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

Something no politician dare say.

Geoff W
Geoff W
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

“the Cenotaph, a symbol of white English ethnicity”
Tell that to (for starters) the descendants of the 120,000 Indian soldiers killed, wounded or missing in the First World War.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago
Reply to  Geoff W

Thanks for that. As an Indian, I have to point out that’s an irrelevant point.

Indian immigrants don’t commit terror acts or do grooming gangs, they don’t expect the Brits to change their country for us, and every Indian home I know enjoys both Diwali and Christmas.

Hence, while the actual racists do obviously hate us (a large proportion of those are blacks and muslims incidentally), the so called Leftists and anti white morons hate us even more.

We are all right though. As ultimately, we still have families and we respect the benefits of Western civilization. It’s the working class whites and blacks who are going to be thoroughly scr***d.

Last edited 8 months ago by Samir Iker
Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
7 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Very well said sir.

Rob C
Rob C
8 months ago
Reply to  Geoff W

A drive-by irrelevancy.

Last edited 8 months ago by Rob C
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Geoff W

It’s absolutely ludicrous to call the Cenotaph a symbol of white English ethnicity. It doesn’t just commemorate victims of the world wars, it’s a symbol of all soldiers killed fighting for the country. Race is irrelevant and anyone who thinks it a symbol of white English ethnicity hasn’t fought a war or even thought properly about it.
Just as there’s no atheists in foxholes there’s no ethnicity either. (all the ethnicity is on the other side…)
I just cannot comprehend this way of thinking. Despite the fact that the white british ethnics were looking for a fight, some drunk, some in possession of drugs this person thinks they deserve free access purely on grounds of ethnicity.
It’s laughable that he complains of the erosion of white rights when he’s actually asking for privileged access to parts of the country on shaky “ethnic rights” grounds to the exclusion of other ethnicities. Which is basically symbolic of the entire argument – he wants to preserve privileges enjoyed by white people.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

‘Ethnic rights’ sounds like something taken from an awful woke US university campus. I’ve come to the conclusion that the right and the left are as bad as each other with their obsession with racial identity.

Tony Price
Tony Price
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

Wow – a truly racist diatribe! “Cenotaph, a symbol of white English ethnicity” – absolutely not, but certainly what those fascist thugs want it to be, a symbol of hate, which is not what it should be.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

I do not consider the Cenotaph to be a symbol of white English ethnicity, but a reminder of the sacrifice of many, many people, from the British nations, the Commonwealth (emphatically including the Indian sub-continent), and from beyond, such as Nepal.

Douglas Redmayne
Douglas Redmayne
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Hopefully they will legalise cannabis and introduce physician assisted suicide both of which will be irreversible.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

I do like to read a variety of opinions but, in this case, I read it through and thought “weirdo”.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 months ago

What grounds are there for a rebirth of true conservatism? By that I mean a party committed to free speech, free enterprise, liberty and meritocracy? There are None. Aris is like the post 2010 Fake Tories, comfortable with the Blairite Settlement and Progressive Revolution. But that 40 Year EU/Blair New Order is the source of our economic decline (it is a Big State Big Bailout Welfarist addict). And via its Open Border Mutliculturalism and support for the poisonous Equality/Diversity cult it is destroying our social bonds too. Braverman is out because the modern Tories are part of a Uniparty wedded to the Progressive Order. What the people voted for is – in the Establishment’s twisted groupthink – ‘far right’. We are in a Cage. There is no true Conservative Party. They have stamped it all out. So down we will fall.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
8 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You say true Conservativism is “free speech, free enterprise, liberty and meritocracy”. Yes indeed, in part. Although that sounds more like liberalism to me. No mention of preserving stuff – as in conserving? That would mean a love for the English countryside, clean air, seas we can bathe in, and rivers we can fish in. Like we used to have. Tories however have become the party of environmental destruction. This is partly because in their weird world the environment means lefties so we can’t be like them!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

I would agree of course that there are many precious traditions and ways also worthy of conservation. And yes to the English Countryside, battered as it has been by ignorant urban interventions. The Common Law. A true democracy, not top down EU style Command/Diktat system. Scruton is a good guide to all this. The point is the political Old World which ran till 1992 has been extinguished. A Year Zero like 1997. The buildings are still there, suggesting continuity, but there is none. A new order inhabits them all, from Whitehall to the law courts to the BBC and the permanent Quangocracy. And by bowing to the Progressive Order, the Tories have torched themselves.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

UK carbon emissions per capita have halved in the past 30 years. At the expense of our industrial base. The numbers of deaths attributed to air pollution has fallen by two thirds in that time. England now has the cleanest bathing waters since records began.

Last edited 8 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

“England now has the cleanest bathing waters since records began.“
Really? Public perception is that both our beaches and rivers are awash with sewage and the Water Companies are NOT being held to account. Is that just an urban myth?

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
8 months ago

More measurement results in more info so who knows what it was like when sewage was discharged into the sea by design.
I think it is a scenario that suits those who wish to nationalise all utilities and have been taught that capitalism is wrong.
They do not remember the reality of public ownership with 40 day waits for a telephone connection, strikes and inefficiency.
Unless the mindset of our leadership changes we are destined to continue our terminal decline into an impoverished nation unable to provide public health and care for its citizens.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

Well I certainly agree with you there. The extortionate airfares of B.A.O,C and B.E.A, the horror story that was British Rail, almost continuous Mining Strikes , Dock Strikes et al.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

“They do not remember the reality of public ownership with 40-day waits for a telephone connection.”
40-day waits? Luxury!! Think 6 months where we lived.
Bring back the British Rail curled-up sandwiches and smelly carriages.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Alan Elgey

It was a long wait because the infrastructure wasn’t there. It takes much longer to physically install the connection than it does to simply switch over to a new company to bill.
The UKs fibre broadband rollout is farmed out to private companies and it is a shambles, with coverage much lower than comparable nations so let’s not pretend that privatisation is a magic bullet

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Carr

Very few think capitalism is wrong, although there would be widespread support for utilities being brought back under national control. Privatisation of them has simply led to under investment and the wealthy skimming healthy profits off the top. We didn’t even get the lower prices we were promised the competition would lead to

Rob C
Rob C
8 months ago

Perhaps public perception is wrong.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

…just an aside…they say, after the annual Glastonbury Festival, fish were tested in nearby waters to have high levels of cocaine and other ‘medicinal drug’ indicators…perhaps, there should be an ordinance against peeing in local streams ? : )

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Lucky fish, they must have been having a great time. It didn’t even cost them anything

P N
P N
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

“Tories however have become the party of environmental destruction.”
No they haven’t. That is grotesque hyperbole.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
8 months ago
Reply to  P N

A small voice from East Suffolk says ‘oh yes they have
.’

Douglas Redmayne
Douglas Redmayne
8 months ago
Reply to  P N

No it isnt. They have been captured by the polluting water industry who donate to them. They are corrupt and will have their head rightly stamped into the ground at the next election

Rob C
Rob C
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Martin, I agree that those things sound like classical enlightenment liberalism, but Tories (if I may speak for them) don’t want environmental destruction (who would?). They want a clean environment AND good jobs.
Conservatism means a return to a strong monarchy. Rule by kings. Does anyone other than a few “cranks” want that? It also means traditionalism (see Oz conservative), Conservatism is dead.

Last edited 8 months ago by Rob C
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Totally agreed. Also “meritocracy”? You cannot be conservative and believe in meritocracy because there has never been any meritocracy to conserve!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Meritocracy is the biggest scam going, a handy excuse by those at the top to avoid having to assist those left behind.
If we all had the same start and opportunities in life then meritocracy is fine, but we all know that simply isn’t the case

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

It is simply appalling that NO so called Tory heavyweights have rallied to the defence of Colonel Bob Stewart DSO, MP,*recently condemned at Westminster Magistrates Court after the most vexatious prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service (London, South.) that can hardly be described as “being in the public interest!

Not only are ‘we’ ruled by incompetents but know it appears also by arrant cowards.

(*Voluntary-Suspended Tory MP for Beckenham.)

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago

Indeed Suella Braverman does not seem to have prepared any plan to roll back the legislation under which this travesty of Justice has occurred nor has any other so called right-wing Tory appeared to have publicly commented.

Last edited 8 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Particularly disappointing that none of the former soldiers, WALLACE, MERCER, TUGENDHAT, SOAMES, etc have stuck their heads above the parapet!

I am currently preparing a dossier on Westminster Magistrates Court. Some very interesting facts are emerging.

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
8 months ago

Do tell.

Chipoko
Chipoko
3 months ago

Hear! Hear!

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Surely that is exactly what the writer is saying .

Rohan Achnay
Rohan Achnay
8 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The underlying point of social and economic liberalism (Progress) is to socially and economically accommodate rapid human population growth and thereby mass immigration, multiculturalism and globalisation.

The biological hurdle to this liberal dynamic is competition especially competition arising from the threat of territorial conservation in relation to the white English ethnicity and their cherished beliefs in the Monarchical Constitution, English values such as fairness and consideration and our Common Law.

These as you say are being eroded by the rhetoric of far rightism which in reality is an attempt to dissuade the white English ethnicity from claiming their equal ethnic rights. This rhetoric allows the multicultural Left to practice ethnic inequality in plain sight and the danger of course is that Sunak is now dangerously pivoting towards this ‘deep state ‘ institutional discrimination towards the white English indigenous.

This of course leaves the door wide open to the Reform Party and the SDP if they seek to ensure the end of State discrimination against the white English ethnicity.

Last edited 8 months ago by Rohan Achnay
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I don’t believe Aris has ever claimed to be anything. His views (what little he has disclosed) seem to fall slightly right culturally and slightly left financially, a position I’d argue that is probably in a majority nationally.
Too many who lament a lack of a true Conservative Party actually want the turbo charged free market financial liberalism of the Thatcher years, something that isn’t going to get anybody elected in the UK in the foreseeable future

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
8 months ago

Aris is a gifted writer – one of UnHerd’s best – so it’s a shame that his starting assumptions are so wrong, and that he favours poetic effect over clarity.
“Through their pursuit of austerity, the Cameron and Osborne dyad created our current penumbra of decay and underinvestment
It’s true that decay is all around us, but it’s not because of austerity, according to any traditional definition of the word.
Public spending and public debt are at levels unprecedented in peacetime. At no point did Cameron and Osborne balance the books, never mind reduce debt.
After Johnson & Sunak’s spending splurge, debt is now hovering around 100% of GDP, and interest on that debt accounts for about 5% of government spending.
Other countries manage to do much more with less.
“Investment” needs to be real investment, not just spending, and “state capacity” must mean wise choices, not just power.
We need houses, roads, reliable energy and utilities that work. There’s no reason we shouldn’t also expect beautiful, clean public spaces. If Hungary manages it, why can’t we?
Hand more money & power to our current ruling elite, and you’ll just get more wind farms, planning officers and diversity advisors.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

The orthodox critique of austerity is precisely that it does not reduce spending in the medium to long term. And so it proved.
The whole point of the credit crisis, is that there was less private sector money in the economy. If your response to that is to reduce the amount of public sector money at the same time (by reducing benefits and slashing capital investment) you make the recession deeper, thus eroding your tax base, making it harder to sustain your existing levels of debt and necessitating a new round of cuts. A vicious circle.
The effect of that policy on the “real” economy was so disastrous that the only way to keep the financial economy going was to hose the markets down with free money through QE – much of which was used for share buybacks and to inflate the value of assets (houses, art).
Which goes some way to answering your question. The reason we can’t have a beautiful public realm (or sound schools) is because, instead of directing investment itself, the Government relied on the market to choose the best thing to do with the money. and the market decided to enrich itself.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
8 months ago

My worry is that Labour will pursue a wrecking-ball strategy against every area of conservatism that still persists. They will indoctrinate a whole cohort of children in moral relativism, critical theory, transgender ideology and sexual depravity. They will destroy the little platoons. They will effectively proscribe much free speech. They will kill any chance of food or energy security. It goes without saying that they will bankrupt Britain in the process.

In the past, the country seemed to follow a broadly predictable cycle: Labour would trash the country economically and socially, Conservatives would attempt to pull the irons out of the fire.

Trouble is, the Conservative governments that followed the Blair/Brown years failed to undo the structural vandalism wreaked on Britain by Blair, the most narcissistic prime minister the country has ever seen.

Cameron’s government didn’t pursue a conservative strategy, except for (unintentionally) making Brexit possible. Socially they were more akin to the liberals. Teresa May was incompetent, anti-Brexit and more liberal than conservative. Boris was profligate and distracted by a woman (cf); Truss importune; Sunak – well, who knows what he stands for unless it be Sunak?

And no serious attempt was ever made to reverse Blair’s Long March through the Institutions, so that any properly conservative initiative was doomed, thwarted by those employed to institute it.

Boris/Cummings made a start but were derailed by ego, covid and Carrie. The rest seemed to double down on most of Blair’s iconoclasm.

So our nation is: broke; pursuing an energy policy that might have been expressly designed to bankrupt us; in thrall to a malign social theory that might have been designed to damage our cohesion; playing unwilling host to cultures who loath our society; and neutered by the ECHR, which appears to take pleasure in undermining our sovereignty, and over which we have no control.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist but if the successive Conservative Governments since 2010 had been paid by a hostile power to damage Britain as much as they could, they would have struggled to match what’s actually happened.

And now we’re about to let Labour into the driving seat.

History won’t be kind on this bunch of Conservatives. And neither should it.

N Satori
N Satori
8 months ago

As revolutionaries by nature the Left are always ‘struggling’ to bring about change – taking territory in other words. Conservatives, on the other hand are, by definition, resisting change – ie. defending territory. No wonder then that conservatives, as their territory diminishes, find themselves increasingly under siege – hoping to hold out until their fortunes change. The last time Conservatives defied that definition and became revolutionary was under the Thatcherites of the 1980s.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Yes. But there is a twist. The Tories since 2010 have made the choice to ‘conserve’/ defend and entrench the greatest anti conservative revolution of all time; the 30 year Blair/EU Progressive New Order which is systemically pathologically anti-Tory in its laws (from EHRC intervention to toxic equality/DEI/gender) and systemically anti Tory in its culture (EU prexautionary principle/sickly grievance entitlement victimhood/ Me not We) and systemically anti Tory in its methods of governance (Rule by EU style Diktat (Net Zero) and the NMI – the vast permanent Quango Regulatory Bureaucracy which has a grip on so many its levers of power (Bank/NHS/OBR/Supreme Court,). It is a dark black farce. The Progressive State is a black hole which will automatically shred impede and destroy any true conservative policy! Hence the Fake Tories. Hence the total failure to implement the 2019 Msnifesto. Hence the total wipeout of Conservatism. They have been dancing with the Devil itself.

Rohan Achnay
Rohan Achnay
8 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

This is because the Left supports migration led population growth which requires the Left to use rhetorical tactics to dissuade the white English ethnicity from claiming their equal and protected ethnic rights.

This began with the social liberalism of Blair and continued with the social liberalism of the Coalition and then with Cameron.

Aris’s thinks we can unleash multi-ethnic cooperation to better realise the UK’s productivity potential but the biological default is competition and the erosion of UK productivity as the growth dynamic falters under the strain of import dependencies and global population growth and as a result territorial and socio-economic competition develops into a zero sum game.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

The irony is that, whilst the left is relaxed about cultural identity, migration is now higher than ever under the Conservatives.
Why? Because the Tories, built an economy based on low wages, low skills, and “flexibility” and that economy is increasingly dependendent on migration to keep the lights on.
Labour might have opened the doors, but it is the Tories, who built an economy that can’t afford to shut them.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Exactly. Capital is rather keen on low wages and the immigration that provides it. And which party does Capital support?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago

Labour, from what I read.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago
Reply to  Rohan Achnay

..and what about externalities of increased migration re: the importation of ethnic conflict (gangs!) and intolerance of Western norms (women’s rights, gay rights)…and just plain bad manners!!!

Will Longfield
Will Longfield
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

“Gay rights” are “Western norms”, are they?

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Well, as a leftie, I’d say that, to the extent those things exist, they can be managed within the context of a self-confident metropolitan culture that is good at exemplifying the best of its own values. I would also say that on balance the benefits of migration outweigh its (perfectly real) perils. I would, however, admit that we’re not always as great as I would like at exemplifying the best of our own values.
But if I were a Tory who didn’t believe that and who continued to admit vast amounts of legal migration whilst performatively bashing the relatively small sliver of that migration which comes from the asylum system then I suppose I’d be a gigantic hypocrite.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I don’t think that this is going to come as a total shock to you N, but the Conservative Party isn’t actually conservative at all – not in the sense of cherishing the best of the past and securing its continuity into the future.
Conservatives have ushered in revolution after revolution. It is their particular genius to pretend that the dislocation associated with each successive re-ordering of the world, is somehow conservative.
Thatcherism was explicitly about the overthrow of the fusty old order – witness Murdoch’s successful battle to take over the Times, witness the big bang in the City. And, of course, witness the selling off of the family silver to the highest bidders (Council Housing, utilities, British Rail etc) and also acquience in the sale of industrial and technology leaders to overseas buyers (ICI, GEC/Marconi, ARM, Quinetic etc). It included the wave of demutualisation in the late 90s. And on and on.
The idea was that the flood of cash would remake the economy in a dynamic new way that would not be directed by the State (political or deep) but, instead guided by the dictates of the market. That idea has its merits but those merits are not conservative.
And that wasn’t the only anti-conservative revolution in recent Tory party history. Austerity was not a conservative idea. Brexit was not a conservative idea (because it deliberately united the continent against us and severed the means by which we extended our own inflence over our neighbours). And the current culture war iteration of the Tories isn’t conservative either.
I’ve got less of a problem with conservatives than you might suspect. But the Conservatives can do one.

Dark Horse
Dark Horse
7 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Selling off council housing was a huge mistake and has contributed directly to our current crisis along with uncontrolled immigration.
It would have been more true to Conservative values to make a gift of 50% deposits on houses in the private sector to families clearly able to pay off a mortgage – those in steady, reliable and decently paid employment. Freeing up their council homes for those in need – those on low wages in insecure employment. Far too many were encouraged to buy their council house only to find themselves redundant and repossessed in the ensuing recession. Their homes were then auctioned off to buy-to-let landlords and that is how we have our current disastrous situation. Far too many landlords are little more than criminals allowing our housing stock to degenerate into slums and many of them don’t even live in this country or pay any taxes. But they do make a fortune from our housing benefits system which is just public money down the drain – or into the pockets of said slum landlords.
Yes there are also decent landlords before anyone starts shouting at me. There are just far too many rogues and the system makes it all much too easy for them.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
8 months ago

“Sir Mark Rowley publicly mocked Braverman’s characterisation of pro-Palestine protests as hate marches”
And apparently he was right because he kept his position. Except that those marches are hate marches. So Sir Mark Rowley, this politically expedient POS has a job and Suella Braverman was fired. Bravo.
Reading a letter from Ms Braverman to Sunak makes clear that Sunak was just an errand boy send to England from the World Economic Forum to keep the country in line with the globalist agenda Brexit or no Brexit. And he is delivering, betraying everone including the British people.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andrzej Wasniewski
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
8 months ago

Nice try by AR to recover his reputation after last week’s disastrous article where he revealed his true colours, but this won’t do it. His use of “we” in the final sentence makes out that his interests include restoring “a conservative movement” when his keyboard must’ve almost combusted whilst he typed it.

The Tories are, of course, such an easy target these days that the writer couldn’t miss. His analysis was entirely unrevealing of anything new. What emerges from the ashes of Sunak’s premiership after pouring Cameron oil onto the fire will have nothing to do with anything he’s written here.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

So you seem to judge political analysis by ideological conformity with your own views! Well, typical enough, but depressing nonetheless.

It’s a pretty high – not to say silly – bar to demand that a commentator should somehow single handedly bring down a political party!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Absolute nonsense. I’m not a conservative for a start. My point was in reference to this article:
The post-America war has begun – UnHerd
Your uninformed response was just the typical “oh, it’s a different point of view” trope without taking any context into consideration.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“Aris wrote something I don’t agree with, now I’m going to childishly criticise all his other articles! I want my echo chamber!”

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You’ve been posting on here long enough to know better than that.

Last edited 8 months ago by Steve Murray
Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago

“If every Government minister resigned today, and let the civil service run the country until Starmer’s formal assumption of power, nothing meaningful would change.”
This is what drives Brexit, Trump etc, etc. No matter who you vote for the government always wins. People who are center-right, traditionalist or classically liberal have the most to lose in this environment, as the bulk of the administrative state is progressive-left in outlook, having gone through DEI degrees in DEI universities before looking for DEI jobs.
Do have government by the people or government by the bureaucratic blob?

Marion Dodd
Marion Dodd
8 months ago

‘ marking the end of the Conservative populist experiment’.
This word populist gets used in so many conflicting contexts that it is difficult to know what means
.even Rod Liddle couldn’t really help me 
see his column on its meaning.
Perhaps here it means the Conservative government acting like a patriarchy and ignoring the wishes of the majority of the people 
I.e. useful idiots who voted for them.
So much for democracy.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 months ago
Reply to  Marion Dodd

In contrast, modern Toryism is deciding that one did hate Brexit all along in the realisation that being anti-woke is not enough to lay the ghost of British populism.

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Seeming anti-woke, not being. The Tories have presided over the destruction of their own ideology despite holding the levers of power by saying a lot, yet doing squat.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

That’s because they aren’t real conservatives. They’re just a group of people who wanted power, then when they got the power they didn’t have a clue what to do.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy Moore

Dr Therese Coffey, exhibit A.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  Marion Dodd

Acting like a patriarchy?? Patriarchy protects and provides for its people. We’ve got a matriarchy, ruled mostly by emotion and betrayal and cancellation.

John Tyler
John Tyler
8 months ago

I got as a far as the assertion that the Brexit result was as much about Cameron’s premiership as Europe. Such an assertion is patent nonsense; one of the well-worn excuses of the progressive liberal elite for their condescending and arrogant attitude toward lesser mortals who have never studied post-modernism or critical theory and live outside Zone 2 or another university city.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
8 months ago
Reply to  John Tyler

I think there is truth in that, although it was more about what Cameron represented than anything else.
I think the scaremongering of the establishment incensed the public; especially when Cameron and Osborne went all ‘heavy guns’ on us and flew Obama in to tell us all what a bunch of back-of-the-queue losers we all were.
The Brexit vote was a rejection of the EU, but there was a large ‘plague on both your houses’ element to it as well in my opinion.

P Branagan
P Branagan
8 months ago

Thanks Aris. I really enjoyed reading it – astute and full of passion.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago

Agenda 47 and project 2025 were new to me. I don’t know whether to be heartened or terrified.

Having a formal project to introduce some genuine view point diversity into the blob seems like a good idea. Vetting all applicants for absolute ideological purity less so.

Paul Monahan
Paul Monahan
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Be heartened and pray

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The ‘Biden’ administration already did this to Trump people or people who didn’t object strongly enough when he was in power. They, meaning the various parts of the U.S. security apparatus, scoured the social media presence of their employees to find evidence of Trump support.
They screamed ‘fascism’ for four years so they could employ these measures with little or no comment from the media class. If Trump somehow gets back into office and uses similar techniques on his enemies, they will have no-one to blame but themselves.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Responding in kind is the only way to ensure that it will stop.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I suspect that those promoted to the influential ranks have been vetted for ideological purity for many years, now, and is almost complete.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago

In June, Aris Roussinos assured us that “Sunak’s foreign policy, aligning with Europe by rejecting open confrontation with China while maintaining sufficient distance from the rising economic hegemon, is unexpectedly modest and sensible: in different circumstances, he could have been a great Foreign Secretary.” Given that, surely Aris trusts Sunak’s judgement in this regard. The Chinese state media have already hailed Cameron’s appointment. And it’s not as if Sunak or Cameron have any conflict of financial interest when it comes to China.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
8 months ago

“Perhaps the Conservative Party’s surviving remnants … will follow their American equivalents in political exile by addressing the causes of their failure directly”. The last time this happened, “addressing the causes” consisted of the leopard-print, kitten-heel shod Theresa May giving her “Nasty Party” speech. I remember thinking at the time that a newly-formed Nasty Party might actually do quite well in the polls compared to the alternative on offer.
I like the phrase “catastrophic victory”. It reminded me of the 1982 Scotland vs Brazil football game. It seemed to be drifting towards a 0-0 final result (which would have been miraculously good for Scotland), but then, to our consternation, Scotland scored. Many of us knew that was a bad idea. The goal woke up the Brazilian team, who went on to thrash Scotland 4-1.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
William Amos
William Amos
8 months ago

“Reform of the British state should have been carried out quietly, with an air of unruffled competence just as Blair achieved, in an administrative revolution imperceptible to surface-skimming lobby journalists.”

It strikes me that in this Kingdom revolution or reform has never happened from outside in or the bottom up but always from the inside out. It was the Baronage, not the Commons of England, who brought King John to Runnymede. Sir Edward Coke, the Lord Chief Justice brought the Petition of Right through Parliament in 1628. It was the Earl of Essex, not Honest John Lilburne, who commanded at Edgehill. The Immortal Seven of 1688 were six Peers and a Bishop. Lord Grey brought the Reform Act.
Those who have made the attempt and failed have almost always been outsider-insiders and/or have misjudged the hour. The Duke of Monmouth and Lord John Russell for instance, or even Simon De Montfort.
It strikes me that Mr Johnson always belonged to this latter group and thus could never have been the man to carry out the revolution spoken of in this article.
He was often caricatured as a high-born insider but he was, in so many ways, an outsider fooling himself and his followers. By the end of his ‘premiership’ he appeared to have been permitted the final end of Lambert Simnel, spit-turning for real power in the land.
Suella Braverman? She’ll be lucky not to end up like Perkin Warbeck.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Amos
A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago

David Cameron destroyed Libya and Syria. The refugee and immigration crisis that followed destroyed the Tories. These were his biggest crimes.

As for the Tories supposed ‘populist’ experiment – it always fell short in one key aspect of most populist movements in the West – that of not starting foreign wars. Trump benefited hugely from his calls to bring troops home and to get the Europeans to pull their weight in NATO – he always performed better in US states with a high proportion of US military voters. The Malone movement in Italy & the German AfD likewise gained from challenging our endless support for the proxy war in Ukraine – even if the former soon fell into line once elected.

Western populations are always well ahead of our bought-and-paid-for political classes in this respect.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

To be fair Cameron destroyed Libya at the behest of the US although he was obviously delighted to play the role of “Macho Cameroni”.
However I for one did not regret the death of Gaddafi, if only because he had earlier supplied a small amount of Semtex* to the IRA.” You reap what sow “

..etc.
As for Syria that was, and still is an absolute disgrace for which Cameron and few others should be “drawn, hanged and quartered (to use Lord Jonathan Sumption’s description.) Fortunately Mr Assad seems to have triumphed despite the machinations of the odious Cameron & Co.

(* Plastic explosive.)

POSTED AT:11.21 GMT.

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Bashar al-Assad did a great deal more to destroy Syria than David Cameron.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Assad was fighting against a massively well armed and funded extreme-Islamist insurgency. The country and his regime had many faults, but as broadly secular and mostly peaceful in an area riven by strife. Have a little think about what the UK might have done had such an insurgency taken over the North of England and was threatening London.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

When the media was crowing about Leopard tanks being sent to Ukraine they somehow ‘forgot’ that Turkey was very unhappy with the performance of those tanks in Syria, where U.S.-armed jihadists easily disabled them with the same anti-tank weapons ‘we’ sent to Ukraine.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Quite so – it’s tanks in general nowadays though. Unherd resident neocone Prof Luttwak has made similarly bold claims about the general marvellousness of Israeli’s armour recently. Seems that plenty have been knocked out since.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

“.Achtung Panzer!”

Even the fabled Tigers and Panthers could be knocked out if deployed incorrectly. Lack of infantry support in close country being the usual blunder.
Like all tanks, turret side armour is always going to be ‘thinner’, and Leopard II is no exception.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

How dare you suggest that it, whatever it is or was, isn’t or wasn’t the fault of the evil white West? We should have intervened in Syria, unless we did, then we were wrong to. And we shouldn’t have intervened in Libya, unless we didn’t, when we should have done. op

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

How did Cameron destroy Syria? He unnecessarily put intervention to the vote in the Commons, and lost, whereupon Obama used it as his excuse also not to intervene, despite the use of poison gases by Assad (I suppose Obama was already looking for a way to avoid action).
That gave Putin the confidence to help. One more step towards today’s dire international situation.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

How did Cameron destroy Syria? He unnecessarily put intervention to the vote in the Commons, and lost, whereupon Obama used it as his excuse also not to intervene, despite the use of poison gases by Assad (I suppose Obama was already looking for a way to avoid action).
That gave Putin the confidence to help. One more step towards today’s dire international situation.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
8 months ago

A brilliant autopsy of the rotting corpse. I would have liked to have seen some glancing reference to the new Foreign Secretary’s fond relationship with the Chinese. They have long understood that one hand privately washing the other is the surest path to an agreed-on goal.

Paul Monahan
Paul Monahan
8 months ago

A good article; pity Ari is still cloaked in his attachment to “Hamas”. “Part and parcel” of the feeling of not belonging ‍

William Amos
William Amos
8 months ago

But still the play drags on. In a desperate act of political necromancy, Sunak summoned Cameron from his lush Cotswolds exile to mark the end of the Conservative populist experiment. The Brexit referendum, which the former prime minister called and lost, was as much a rejection of his own record as of the distant European Union: of his underinvestment in infrastructure and demolition of state capacity, his failure to manage immigration, his reshaping of the British economy as a pliant provider of services to Chinese, Russian and Qatari capital, and of his misbegotten adventure in Libya, still collapsing African states like dominoes to this day. 

Thats is a fine piece of prose.

Scott Coltrane
Scott Coltrane
8 months ago

There has been a lot written and said over the past few days about how ‘the system’ seems to have hounded out all of the more ‘radical’ conservatives who have tried to move the dial a little away from the neo-liberal political norms that have taken hold over the past 25 years, Braverman being the latest addition to a list of casualties that includes Johnson, Truss, Patel et al. I think there is a simpler answer – competency, or lack thereof. I don’t disagree that it would be to the benefit of the country for a realignment of the Conservative Party back towards real conservative values (whether or not one subscribes to that ideology is besides the point – the electorate needs to be offered a choice). But it requires much higher calibre individuals that the like of Boris, Braverman or (heaven forbid) the Rees-Moggs of this world. The ‘right’ of the Tory party needs to find (or attract from outside) individuals with the requisite intellectual prowess and political acumen if they want to relaunch the party as a viable Opposition, let alone a government that can bring about the change the country so badly needs. And I think many of the same accusations can be levelled at the Left – the only thing that is propelling Labour to victory next year is that they are not the omni-shambles of His Majesty’s current Government. They will use the next five years demonstrating to the electorate that they are exactly that. A sorry state of affairs indeed, but reading through the comments on this site and similar non-mainstream media news threads I am not without hope that this country is still producing deep thinkers, despite the decline in standards of our educational institutions. But it is little wonder such good folk are staying away from the Westminster cesspit.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
8 months ago

Eh? I was reading this and nodding along until the comments on the “vitality” of conservatism in the U.S.A. The Republicans have not devised an effective programme of governance; funded by extreme right-wing billionaires they have devised a policy for subverting the constitution and imposing extreme libertarianism. As far back as the 19th Century Conan Doyle remarked, via Sherlock Holmes, Britain follows whatever happens in the U.S.A. a couple of years later. If you think Britain’s social fabric has been rent asunder that goes double for America.
What we are seeing in Britain is not the last gasp of Blairism, but Thatcherism. Britain has reached the logical terminus of her ideological programme. We used to have an economy that was not based solely on debt. We had debt but it was more than covered, many times over, by state assets. These no longer exist, Blair & Brown continued on the path of flogging everything for a fraction of its true value instigated by Thatcher.
Of all her policies the biggest social diaster of the last 40 years has been the destruction of affordable council housing, all the good properties have been sold and the remainder are in effect social ghettoes. Most, around 87%, are now multiply owned by private landlords operating as property compoanies housing the same people that would previously have lived in them but at three times the cost if they had continued in public ownership. This has done more to emiserate people and the country than any other single action. Previously people could work, afford their rent and save a little. Now millions are in permanent, inescapable, poverty. Billions are splurged on Housing Benefit to keep people from being thrown on the streets.
In the meantime Britain has been de-industrialised and there has been the reinstatement of a rentier economy which benefits only those who own property and stocks and shares.
Blair & Brown, for all their faults, refurbished the public realm (except in housing), especially in the NHS and Education. Cameron and Osborne instituted 1930’s economic with 1930’s results. The only difference is that “unemployment” is low.
Except a great deal of “work” is hidden unemployment with 2 MILLION FULL-TIME workers officially in poverty, as well as another 2 MILLION part-time workers. Employers with businesses that would in proper circs be bankrupt receive heavy state subsidies to allow them to pretend they have real businesses offering real employment.
In the meantime we have seen benefits returned to 1930’s levels; the only difference between food banks and soup kitchens is that in the soup kitchens the food is given hot. My mum was abandoned with 6 children and was told to put us in care she refused. We managed on National Assistance and we were often hungry but never starving. If we had needed a food bank in the 1960’s or even in the 1970’s there would have been riots. Now we accept it with a shrug. But what would it have cost the state if she had followed Social Service advice and place the four oldest into care.
The argument of this article is not that we need the return of old fashioned conservatism but the import of the head-banging lunatic variety currently coursing therough the Republican party. Funnily enough we actually experienced this in the UK under a certain Liz Truss, enacting precisely the policies urged by the Adam Smith Insitute and the Insitute of Economic Affairs, both funded by flood of dollars from America to try and impose the same policies in the UK that they want to see enacted in the U.S.A. That went well didn’t it?
Truss also wanted to abolish the minimum wage, holiday pay, or even entitlement to holidays, the working time directive and whole swathes of environmental legislation and health and safety laws because of their ‘costs’. If she had succeeded we could have told the ghost of Conan Doyle that for once we were ‘ahead’ of America. Thank f**k we can’t.

Chipoko
Chipoko
8 months ago

“Through their pursuit of austerity, the Cameron and Osborne dyad created our current penumbra of decay and underinvestment.”
Bullseye!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

Nonsense there was never any such thing as austerity. At no stage did the Cameron Government even come close to balancing the books.
The reason for the decay of our town and city centre is the internet. Companies such as Amazon are stripping wealth from this country like some Soviet trawler in the north sea

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago

After years of Labour largesse the sudden halt on spending had immediate effects in London. It wasn’t all the internet.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

You mean the sudden end of profligacy

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago

Labour rewarded their voters through largesse; it wasn’t mere wastefulness. They funnelled money to their clients through established channels and then created entire (nonsensical) industries and jobs via legislation.
Labour paid back their friends, rich and poor, for their loyalty. Once out of power they had the good fortune of the useless Conservatives doing nothing to staunch the flow of public money into the greedy middle class maw of organisations created between 1997-2010. 
It wasn’t waste. They maxed-out the credit card spending on their people and left others to pay it off. A great system if you have suckers to pay your way.

James Kirk
James Kirk
8 months ago

the Conservative Party has managed to place all British conservatives in the role of dissidents: increasingly hostile to institutions of the state — the police, the judiciary, border guards — that are in other European countries seen as the bedrock of conservative order.”
Hmmm..sounds good but British governments have been wrecking the country since the war with appalling architecture, loss of industry and untrammeled immigration. Wilson / Callaghan governed by communist trade unions, Thatcher dropped income tax too fast, too soon and beat the unions by the simple act of selling off the assets that employed them while squandering North Sea oil. Blair? Well…
This country clearly needs neither cult while still not angry enough or too indifferent to force a change.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
8 months ago

When it comes to overall majorities won by Leaders who are still alive, then Labour and the Conservatives stand at three each. Of those who have managed it for the Conservatives, one is 80 years old, and another can no longer be mentioned in polite society, if he ever could have been. Conveniently, though, the boundary changes have switched the focus back to the people, mostly in the South, who won the Conservatives the 2015 Election by switching to David Cameron from his own Coalition partners: pro-austerity at least for other people, socially liberal at least for themselves, ferociously pro-EU, and on all of those grounds more than averagely pro-war. So here we are.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

Fair enough, but I do wish people would stop making “faux coy” comments such as “can no longer be mentioned in polite society”.

What does that mean? Presumably it means Johnson, but surely that it is in the eyes of the beholder, as many others would excoriate Major and Cameron more …

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
8 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

You mean Boris?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago

Terrific as ever.

Chris Hayes
Chris Hayes
8 months ago

It will take the Conservatives two electoral cycles to recover from their current situation. Europe has split them and I don’t think they’ll recover: there is clear blue water between the vision for the UK that party members have (Truss) and what the wider electorate is prepared to vote for. I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago

What on Earth is the positive vision that Aris sees for or from the Conservatives? Increasingly ill-named, the Conservatives seem not only incapable of identifying anything they might wish to conserve but (worse) equally incapable of outlining any positive vision for the country.
Braverman’s letter is full of p1ss and vinegar about the failure to implement the Rwanda plan. But supposing that the Supremes had backed it and a dozen 747s full of bewildered refugees had left this morning, how would that have made the country one whit better? The Country would still be reliant on migrant labour and it would therefore continue to admit as many people people as before. Average wages wouldn’t rise and neither would productivity or community cohesion.
The Conservative party is entirely defined by its opposition to the world as it is. That would be pretty ironic for any ostensibly conservative party. For the Party that, more than anyone else, created the world that it is so upset about, passes through irony and borders on psychosis.
If the Conservatives wanted to limit migration in order to boost wages, wouldn’t they say so? If the plan was to protect some indiginous idea of Britishness, wouldn’t they say what it is that they want to celebrate and stop shredding every institution that supports it?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

If the Conservatives had managed to send off your dozen planes of illegal immigrants, it would have been an astounding step forward, showing that they were capable of changing things. But they didn’t, thus proving that this elected Conservative government, maybe any elected Conservative government, is incapable of imposing its will.
(The boat loads of young men turning up fresh off the French beaches don’t look like bewildered refugees to me.)

Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker
3 months ago

Cameron was identified as a future leader by the WEF, and was effectivelyntheirnplaceman. I doubt that he was ever really a Conservative nor his sidekick Osborne. They were entitled posh boys who had total contempt for the foot soldiers in the constituencies, which is why they were lumbered with candidate well to the left of the party.
i truly hope that the Tory party is well and truly trashed at the next election. Yes, the Labour years will be hard, but hopefully a new party will arise to give thus country the leadership it deserves.

Chipoko
Chipoko
3 months ago

“Through their pursuit of austerity, the Cameron and Osborne dyad created our current penumbra of decay and underinvestment.”
Superb!

rob drummond
rob drummond
8 months ago

You say ”David Cameron destroyed The Tories”– really? when was that exactly? – they have won a number of elections since 2010 (not least of which was them getting rid of the coalition in 2015 and being the sole party in government) – he was PM and that was 8 years ago (eight years ago).the British state should have been carried out quietly, with an air of unruffled competence just as Blair achieved”
Unruffled you say? haha! were you even born then? I have to ask as Blairs Premiership was far from unruffled.

David Barnett
David Barnett
8 months ago

Load of rubbish.

Bromley Man
Bromley Man
8 months ago

Project 2025 ends democracy in America, those not loyal to Trump are to be locked up. Can’t quite see why this analogy should be included in relation to British politics.

Peter Samson
Peter Samson
8 months ago

This is a story about British politics but the idea that the American Republican party under a possible second Trump presidency has “a purist ideological zeal, a theory of governance” is ludicrous. When Trump ran in 2020, the Republican party, at Trump’s behest, had for the first time in its history no platform at all. The Republican party today is not about ideology but about Trump, a man with no ideas, only resentments.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
8 months ago

I would have thought many Unherd readers would have loved Cameron – without him we wouldn’t have the Brexit nirvana we presently enjoy!

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Ho ho

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

The only thing greater than Cameron’s sense of self-regard is his level of incompetence.
Like most UnHerd readers I will never “love” Cameron, but I could not be more grateful that his appalling judgement resulted in the U.K. leaving the Brussels Reich.

Last edited 8 months ago by Ian Barton
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

I was grateful that he honoured the Conservative manifesto commitment, but came to despise his and Osbourne’s attempts to swing the vote to Remain, his prevention of the civil service from planning what would happen if he lost, and his immediate flouncing off the day after. This opened the way for a far worse occupant, given all that needed to be done with great urgency.
(“Brexit means Brexit”; her most famous gem of wisdom, pushing ‘nasty party’ into second place.)

Last edited 8 months ago by Colin Elliott
j watson
j watson
8 months ago

The Right is acutely struggling at the moment to understand what has gone wrong despite 13years of power. Scapegoating and generating fictions like the ‘Blob’ twaddle, show it’s not yet really got to the stage of reflection needed. (And even though I’m not instinctively Right wing we all benefit from effective Pluralism).
The Author’s argument is Policy-lite. He implies the opportunity for a revolution was missed. Aside from fact Conservatism naturally struggles with ‘revolution’ is this not the fundamental problem – they’ve not got beyond slogans, statements of intent etc, to actual coordinated joined up Policy. A project of national renewal needs some hard-yards done on the detail. Everywhere we look short termism has been crippling us.
One fears Articles like this continue to miss the real learning. The preparation for Govt in the US of the MAGA form also lacks substance and detail. What exactly are they proposing? Of course much will be about vested interests in the shadows. And besides Trump would just spend 4yrs settling scores.

Andrew R
Andrew R
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Can you write any thing other than argument free, banal cliched twaddle.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Why are you so dismissive of the ‘blob concept? Don’t you acknowledge the enormous influence bodies like Stonewall are having in the education sector and the ideological underpinnings of DEI. Do you seriously imagine that significant percentages of BBC, education sector and civil service staff would ever vote Tory?

If you follow the article links to what the American right is doing it is very definitely joined up thinking. They’ve recognised that the left’s march through the institutions has shifted the language to such an extent that relatively central beliefs (border control, men can’t be women) are routinely painted as far right. Their answer is to kick start a counter march through the institutions by filling them with right wing ideological purists

That is proper long term thinking. Given the American propensity to take everything to extremes, perhaps also a bit worrying.

j watson
j watson
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Blob is conspiratorial nonsense. You’ve no facts to back up your prejudice. One could as easily suggest the real Blob is the high finance echelons and leaders who favour a certain form of economics and have distorted the UK economy over a number of decades. But that’ll be way too simplistic too.
On the ‘counter march’ in the US – I do agree some push back on campuses needed, and one can see that beginning to happenin some institutions. (However I’ll share something with you – Kids grow up and eventually become adults). What though actual Policies are worked up under the guise of this ‘march’? Got beyond a slogan? Sort of thing that’ll draw sufficient support through Congress too? Practically worked out? Or dependent on tearing up parts of US constitution?
I sense you, and some of the other comments here, just reinforcing my point. It’s not that there aren’t issues that many, not just the Right, would like handled differently, it’s that the Right has got fundamentally lazy on moving beyond slogans and reaches for the scapegoat as a snowflake excuse far too easily..

Andrew R
Andrew R
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

“Blob is conspiratorial nonsense. You’ve no facts to back up your prejudice”.

LOL

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Do you remember when U.S. journalists spent four years saying there was no such thing as the Deep State, right up until they boasted how the Deep State saved American democracy?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

As it happens I would agree the blob includes the high echelons of big business. The evisceration of the political left’s old raison d’etre – protection of the indigenous working class – in favour of promoting carefully selected minority interests, is very much in their interests.

The blob is not some conspiratorial entity. It is the embedding of left wing thinking in the educated classes – who run everything.

Re policies: border control, re shoring industry and de-radicalisation of education, seem to be on the cards in the US as does rowing back on some of the more obvious lunacies in the green movement.

Add in sorting the housing issue and you’d be onto a winning, conservative manifesto here as well.

By the way, sorting the housing problem involves attacking multiple second home ownership (vacant holiday/investment homes not buy-to-let investment) and developers land banks. Neither party will go near that.

PS you didn’t answer the point about ideological conformity in the civil service, education and the BBC and the outsize influence of hard left organisations like stonewall.

Last edited 8 months ago by Martin Bollis
AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Reducing political arguments into simple mottos:
1) The aim of Brexit was to ‘Take Back Control’
2) Boris Johnson won the Conservatives a huge majority by promising to ‘Get Brexit Done’
3) The opportunity was not just missed but ‘Thrown Away’
Arguably the Establishment deliberately obstructed taking back control, it declined to rush and get Brexit done, and it chose to throw away the chance of change. Bringing back Cameron is just the ornamental cherry on the top to show the populace that they should know their place.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Please outline the ‘Right wing’ policies you keep saying the Tories have enacted since 2019 or even for the last 13 years (set aside Brexit for later).

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Not so easy, is it ?
Frankly, they’ve been all over the place with policies – look back and try to find some coherent pattern in wht they’ve done. Perhaps they should rename themselves the “Hokey Cokey” party.
I don’t see “right wing ideology”. I just see chaos. Just look at the ministerial turnover (check the sheer length of Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle list).
The worst thing is that most of these were completely avoidable – what in tennis they call “unforced errors”.
Without taking sides on these issues, I simply note that they’ve taken both at various times.
For HS2 – now against it – there’s been no leadership or consistency on transport projects – or energy ones (like new power stations)
For Covid lockdown – then suddenly against it (in the end it got dropped through a combination of fatigue and political opportunism rather than any principle)
Claimed to be for lower taxes – perhaps they did initially – but raised them
Claimed to be for simpler taxes – but made them even more complicated
Claimed to be for “sound money” and low (2%) inflation – but actively pumped it up
Claimed to be for defence – have wound it down like all preceding governments
Claimed to be for smaller, more efficient government – more government and quangos than ever
Claimed to be for free speech – have done nothing to protect and encourage it
Claimed to be for equalising constituency sizes – they’ll finally do something after 15 years in power
Claimed to be doing “levelling up” – little evidence they’ve achieved anything yet
Claimed to be “taking back control” – yet they’re not even in control of themselves !

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

In short ‘A National Disaster’.
It brings to mind that wonderful little poem by ‘you know who’!

I could not dig: I dared not to rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall server me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago

Didn’t know that poem – thanks – learnt something again today. I assume we’re still allowed to mention Kipling by name here.
I forgot for/against Heathrow third runway. But there are so many to pick from …
If only there was a better alternative. I haven’t spotted one yet. Let’s hope for “no worse” then.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Hard as it is to imagine, Labour will be worse.

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

I feel we must pray that Labour are even more incompetent than I imagine and don’t succeed in implementing their policies. But they’ll tax more and waste even more regardless.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

But the civil service and the countless public-funded alternatives to democratic control will all be pulling in the same direction.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Would it be unfair to include THE GREAT POSTOFFICE SCANDAL in that litany of failure?

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago

Hm – I think that started a little before 2010 and was a combination of Fujitsu and Post Office incompetence and cover up. Not so much a government thing for me. Absolute shocker nonetheless – and hard to believe it still isn’t properly sorted (not that it ever can be – innocent people have died as a result).

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The Democrats and their media functionaries declared before he was even inaugurated that they were going to impeach Trump. They did so, twice, for crimes they themselves committed. They spent his entire presidency thwarting every common sense initiative he proposed, and hounded him after they rigged the election for the reanimated corpse they installed. They’ve been siccing their corrupt state attorneys general on him for made up “crimes” in order to rig another election.
When he regains office, he’d better go after those who have brought our country so low.