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The end of the Conservatives Even the Right is praying for their destruction

(PAUL FAITH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)


May 29, 2024   6 mins

Protestors brandish Nazi symbols in central London. “A group of people” riots in Sheffield. Rapists cannot be deported because “human rights”. The economy is flatlining. A third of young people would rather swap liberal democracy for a military rule or a strongman leader.

Tory Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is concerned. But fear not! He has a solution. After reading all the Left-wing think pieces, in which the cure for crime is always — yes — more youth clubs, he has decided this doesn’t go nearly far enough. What we need is, in fact, youth clubs but on steroids: “a bold new model of National Service for 18-year-olds”.

Are the young enthused? As the kids say: lol. The general sentiment is outrage: the Tories locked them in their homes for two years, stunting education and proliferating psychiatric distress. They mortgaged young people’s futures to pay for a fleeting (and, in the end, largely illusory) sense of safety for their elders, leaving behind a legacy of zero growth, crippled businesses, and swingeing taxes to service stratospheric borrowing. They hectored young people about duty, while breaking out the cake and champagne for birthday parties. And now, they propose to impose yet another obligation to Pride and Duty and Cohesion on the young.

Among younger Right-leaning individuals of my acquaintance, the talk is less of voting Tory than of annihilating them. The more vengeful call for Zero Seats”: a coordinated plan of tactical voting, with the aim of ensuring victory for whichever candidate is most likely to defeat the Tory one. Others, from anons to mainstream journalists, wonder if Sunak has chosen so rebarbative a proposal in a deliberate attempt to throw the election. But I don’t think this is quite right. Rather, it’s a logical consequence of the Tories’ electoral bind, whose nature we can discern in the location he chose to announce the policy: the Mail on Sunday.

There, he told us cheerily that National Service would become a “rite of passage”. It would, he insists, “create a shared sense of purpose among our young people and a renewed sense of pride in our country”. We might, should we be so inclined, snort at Sunak’s delusional effort to reverse engineer a sense of national belonging, by reheating a policy that was only politically palatable in the aftermath of Second World War because that sense of national belonging already existed. We might gesture at the gulf it highlights between the majority-white and broadly patriotic Middle England retirees at which this dead cat — let’s not call it a policy — is addressed, and the increasingly multi-ethnic and post-colonial British Zoomer cohort now reaching maturity.

But what would be the point? Given the current state of polling, no one seriously imagines Sunak is ever going to have to implement this. It’s a fantasy proposal, launched in a newspaper whose average reader is 60, owns their own home, and lives in the South East. It’s addressed, with bleak cynicism, at an electorate whose likelihood of voting Conservative more or less rises in a straight line by age, with the 18-24 group least likely to do so. In other words: this policy is proof positive that Sunak has simply written off younger voters, and opted to speak over their heads to their boomer elders — the Conservatives’ steadily dwindling electoral base — as though the young were simply not there.

Nor, we’ve since learned, does this even represent peak Tory gerontification. Yesterday gifted us the “Quadruple Lock”: yet another guarantee for the state pension, clawed from the stagnant wages of Britain’s shrinking corpus of working-age adults. But if the Quadruple Lock is bare-faced clientelism, National Service is a wholly fake policy whose principal objective is to distract those boomers still solipsistic enough to vote Tory from the fact that, just as before Brexit, there’s little to distinguish the Conservative Party from the rest of the uniparty.

This uniparty, which comprises every mainstream political representative of the zombie-liberal consensus, views the British nation-state as effectively obsolete. It’s content-free. It has no culture, no people, nothing to offer other than tourist tat, a flaccid trading zone, and some services that may be obtained on a gym-membership basis by just showing up.

Our foreign policy has long been set by the United States. Our immigration policy is set internationally too, by a mix of corporate interests and international regulations. As for economic policy, the brief and lettuce-like reign of Liz Truss demonstrated (no matter how bonkers you thought her proposals) that any deviation from the City’s preferred approach results in prompt defenestration. Even environmental policy has mostly become a smoke-and-mirrors mix of Davocratic posturing and corporate subsidies, as evidenced by the simultaneous moves to reduce aviation emissions through complicated regulatory mechanisms, while also nodding through expansions to every major UK airport.

Perhaps, in time, we’ll look back on the older nation-state system and shake our heads at its insularity and instability. Meanwhile, though, the emerging system (let’s call it Our Democracy) still has some teething problems. For one thing, it affords no obvious feedback mechanism for managing popular disapproval of truly hated policies. Nor does it offer any basis for larger-scale solidarity, other than identitarian special pleading by “communities”: in practice, an engine for accelerating sectarianism, whose benefits are (to say the least) unevenly distributed.

As such, whenever these shortcomings become too obvious, Our Democracy has a tendency to fall back on invocations of solidarity in the older nation-state style. Here you’ll find the phantoms of “solidarity” or “patriotism”, usually invoked to stifle objections or to wring a few more drops of tax from what’s left of the faltering middle class. The first and starkest case in point was the international decision, after the Global Financial Crash, to use Quantitative Easing to nationalise the unsurvivable losses of “too-big-to-fail” banks that had spent the previous decade privatising the upside of their casino-finance practices. There have been many more since, of which the most recent and egregious is surely nationalising the costs of Human Quantitative Easing, in the form of crumbling infrastructure, GP appointment scarcity, escalating rents and ill-tempered public spaces, all while privatising the increasingly negligible gains in GDP growth.

Are we a nation, or are we not? We aren’t a nation, when there’s any question of preferential treatment based on shared history, heritage, culture or ancestry. We are, though, when it’s a question of coughing up to bankroll whichever set of client-group subsidies this iteration of the uniparty would like to prioritise. Perhaps you think I’m being cynical here, and perhaps I am a little. But the point is a serious one. Were Sunak’s National Service proposal a serious policy, designed to be implemented rather than simply fulminated over in the press, it would be crippled from the word go by a profound structural problem. That is: you can’t de facto abolish the nation state and then demand the yoof all do National Service.

“You can’t de facto abolish the nation state and then demand the yoof all do National Service.”

National Service both presumes a nation and also a sense of belonging and futurity, such that “service” feels like paying it forward. But it’s being proposed by a government which recently locked young people in a cupboard for two years, then deflated the value of their degrees and increased the price, then capered about making nativist gestures while starving public services and stoking a housing crisis via mass migration. Given this, young voters might be forgiven for thinking that they have neither a nation nor much future to speak of, and react with derision to the proposed inculcation in their breasts of “renewed pride in our country”.

But what is Sunak to do? He cannot escape the electoral death trap that is the Tories’ ageing base of Middle England homeowners: the Mail readers who will nod at the prospect of making all those scruffy bus-shelter loiterers with their pronouns and weird little videos stand up straight and contribute to society through some gratifyingly coercive state intervention. And given everyone knows the Tories are going to lose, and that it’s really just a question of how badly, nuking an already written-off youth vote for a few more boomer X’s is — albeit in a short-termist way — grimly pragmatic.

So I doubt Sunak is trying to throw the election. This policy is less deliberate self-sabotage than a tragedy in slow motion: yet another sign, lest we needed one, that the Party of House Prices is circling the drain. And with each orbit of the abyss, his party grows more resigned to the death spiral. With each orbit, the young, bellicose, underground Right turns ever more bitterly away. What, after all, would be the point of trying to reform a party that doesn’t even seem to be aware of your existence, save as a fantasy bloc of doomscrolling skivers in need of improvement via Mental Elf, bans on TikTok and tobacco, and maybe a government-mandated stint wiping bottoms?

Meanwhile, beyond the event horizon of Tory annihilation, a new world beckons. It’s one in which One Nation Tories are no longer the gatekeepers of the Right. One in which the 30% of the youthful electorate who no longer believe in liberal democracy are old enough to wield real power. One in which, perhaps, we’ve stopped pretending that a now comprehensively post-national Britain is in any meaningful sense continuous with the pre-war entity of that name. And one in which we’ve resigned ourselves to a public life whose basic components are NGOcratic hectoring, trading-bloc standoffs, and multipolar post-liberal ethno-narcissism.

What politics will look like at that point is anybody’s guess. But somehow I doubt it will be as preoccupied with nostalgic clickbait.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
20 days ago

They conserved the stuff we didn’t want them to conserve, and didn’t conserve the stuff we did.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
20 days ago

Correct. Mary is right about the Uniparty and the total abolition by Blair and the Tory Progressive Quislings of the old Nation State when we became a province of the New Rome EU. She is wrong about the utility of some form of National Service for our under educated mentally unwell youth, battered by the race hate State credo and Greta Climate Catstrophe State nuttery; for these poor Jugend, to be white is to be a raycist, and even the superior non whites will also burn to death in 40 odd years when the world ends. It is just 20 years too late. Furlough/Magic Money Sunak is feigning being a Thatcherite. Just as Starmer is a patrioticTory and Rach loves enterprise! Its all make believe. The pathetic childlike pantomime of our sh3eivelled party politics under the benevolent gaze of the silent permanent Progressive New Order.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I can’t think of anything worse than a National Service system run by Common Purpose. Can you? It looks to me like a way to extend the brain-warping imposed by the universities on 50% of our youth to the entire young population.
Terrible idea.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It is not a great idea I agree. Its pure panto. Very Boris like in the way an idea is just put out to gather media attention without any serious prospect of it happening. If things goes **** up in Ukraine, the young may have something way more serious to worry about. What the announcement neatly highlighted is the way the core progressive credos – identitarian sectarianism, hooman rights entitlements – have in just 20 years undermined the idea of pro patria in younger generations. I think it is now an Over 50s thing. But what else can we expect when the Experiment was all about making the kids despise our raycist imperial History and be transformed from thick Brexitty pasty oiks into ‘New Europeans’ and be merged into an ersatz new multicultural superstate and empire?

ryan simpson
ryan simpson
17 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Good post Walter but did the notion of pro-patria not disappear long before twenty years ago? I imagine it was undermined considerably from the sixties onwards.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Mary may be right about the Uniparty, but so much else is wrong! Hidden away, ignored, on the mixed council/private (as in Angie*s type of privately purchased property)estates live many English (I presume Scotland and Wales have them too) patriots. Those whose families once, or still contribute to one or other of the Armed forces often fly Union Jacks and England flags. Come next month, even many of those who aren’t will put out the Flag of St George.
How do I know? Go and work for a parcel delivery firm for a year or so. IF you can get Royal Mail and a depot in and around the working class areas, even better.
Do they participate in politics? I suspect very few do. They see the establishment, and that includes councils, often the police, as well as Quangos/’Do Gooders’ and in some cases, the education system, as anathema. They would give them 2 finger salutes generally metaphorically, but sometimes literally.
Curiously they still seem to love the Royal Mail. Which is great, because so do many of the Royal Mail workers. Something about that red van and the Crown with EIIR and soon no doubt CIIIR seems to appeal – or maybe as kids they all loved Postman Pat.
BUT so many of these families are NOT divided as Mary and our Westminster or Woke, Left Whinge Liberals think. They are NOT divided on age. They are families. I am fortunate to be an older member of such a working class family. They get on with their lives, simply ignoring and by passing the Woke state, and happy to undermine it given a chance, but mainly they ignore it because they believe in each other. The generations believe in each other, help each other. Those rich home owners intend to ensure as much of those riches as possible flows down the generations.
Who will they vote for? I don’t know. Personally I’m working on all the generations in my family to vote Reform. Why? Because Reform will do 3 things, one intentional and in the manifesto if I’m not mistaken, and 2 as side effects.
1. It will scrap Net Zero. Net Zero is impossible, even the more insane Absolute Zeroists responsible for FIRES proclaim that in the very introduction to their insane option!
https://ukfires.org/impact/publications/reports/absolute-zero/
2 It will destroy the Tory party. Which, if it weren’t for the insanity of Net Zero and Starmer’s destroying the grid and the UK economy next parliament by decarbonising the grid, that would be my first priority. Destroy the Tories! As it is. Scrap Net Zero has to be first.
3 IF enough of us vote for Reform, it will also destroy the Labour party too. Labour isn’t a party more a coalition AND one bursting apart at the seams. That’s my 3rd objective too!
Now the politics apart. IF there came to power a conservative, patriotic party, who set about doing a Javier Milei on the Public Sector, Quangos, the Greens, the Lords and all that wokery that is anathema to them. Then I would be willing to bet the Armed Forces would see the return of white (and as I mention later not just white, though mainly those), working class men, and probably women.
The Lions are still around AND in bigger numbers than any of the awkward squads who currently are darlings of our ruling elite donkeys. It may be sound rather Kiplingesque, BUT they are there AND it there was a state worth saving I’d bet they would rise to the occasion. AND to be fair, it wouldn’t just be white working class. There are many migrants or even children and grandchildren of them who have taken to the culture our elite’s despise and would do the same.
Here’s a video of Canning Town Commuters and how they dealt with Extinction Rebellion. IF Reform are truly a conservative and patriotic party, then they need to harness these ‘Lions’
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-50079716
One other interesting fact, and Reform are strangely quiet on it.
https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/brexit-votes-by-constituency/
that shows over 400 constituencies with a Brexit majority. OK at the bottom end it is 50.1% ,BUT IF its still true, get ALL Brexiteers to vote Reform and we get a Krakatoa sized political eruption! A landslide for Reform that is probably the biggest since the 1900s.
So, maybe Unherd needs more writers to get a parcel job with Royal Mail 😉

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
19 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

City states look better and better as national governments get bigger and bigger.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
19 days ago

What does that mean? doh!

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
20 days ago

So I’ll put you down as a “maybe” then?

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
20 days ago

Why no discussion of the much more likely votes for 16s? The cynical stupidity of this proposal is breathtaking in its degrading of the vote.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
20 days ago
Reply to  Roger Sponge

The biggest gerrymander ever!

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

The irony would be I suspect the 16 year old working class would hammer Starmer.

David McKee
David McKee
21 days ago

Hmm. Somewhere, in this borderline-hysterical piece with its purplest of purple prose, there is a good point screaming to be let out. I think. Well, maybe.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy our zombie-liberal consensus, as it indulges in Davocratic posturing against the doomscrolling skivers.

Simon S
Simon S
20 days ago

“rebarbative” … “lettuce-like reign of Liz Truss” Marvellous stuff!

Martin M
Martin M
20 days ago

Historically, “Bring Back National Service” has been the rallying cry for the old school Conservative, in the same way as “Tax the Rich” has been the rallying cry for the unrepentant Socialist. It sounds odd coming from the mouth of Sunak, who isn’t really the “Colonel Blimp” type character you would expect to be saying such things.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Spot on, it lacks authenticity…. Next stop bring back hanging.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

But, but, he has promised to spend an extra 2% of the budget on defence, aka prixy wars against Russia.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
20 days ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Proxy, sorry. My edit function doesnt work.

Martin M
Martin M
20 days ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Well that at least is something to be thankful for.

Andrew R
Andrew R
20 days ago

Brutal but true.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
20 days ago

I thoroughly understand why the young want the Tories annihilated – but if lockdown is one of the principle gripes here, why oh why would they vote for Labour? Weren’t they in favour of staying in lockdown even longer, even more vociferous when it came to bankrupting the country for that elusive feeling of safety?
Also, and perhaps this is just a weakness in the writing, but it’s a weird thing to accuse the Tories of stoking a housing crisis through mass immigration when you’ve already argued further up in the article that immigration is out of the reach of national regulation anyway.
But anyways, I shall just watch on from afar as Britain hands the controls of the sinking ship over to Labour. Maybe I’ll have a wry laugh when it becomes that ridiculous country where you can’t decide over your own marital destiny until you’re 18 but can help to decide the country’s political destiny at 16. Haha.
But mostly I’ll just be feeling very, very sad to watch the new captain of the Titanic aim straight for the 2nd iceberg and go full steam ahead.

AC Harper
AC Harper
20 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The punishment beating, which may not be as severe as the breathless media would make out, will also apply to Labour. In times past disaffection with Conservatives would switch at least some support to Labour. I don’t think Labour will benefit this time around – and may even be subject to another ‘Zero Seats’ campaign at a later General Election.
Yes, Labour will pose and proclaim and make promises, but given the quality and inclinations of the people available will they be able to do anything beyond the equivalent of a fresh coat of paint? Red or blue, it makes no difference.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
20 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I don’t think Labour will benefit this time around – and may even be subject to another ‘Zero Seats’ campaign at a later General Election.
By then it won’t matter (even if it does now) because the administration of the state will have been put beyond the reach of voters and their representatives. That was the essence of the Maastricht Treaty thirty years ago and, as we saw when the Brexit decision simply wasn’t implemented, the goal remains unchanged. By 2029 any form of dissent will be a hate crime.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
20 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Like a prophet…keep at it. So many even here have yet to understand the cage set by the bloodless EU/Blair revolution of the 90s and the subservience of all the political class to its will and progressive ideology.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
20 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Re: national service. I get why bringing it back would trigger a “WTF?!?” reaction.
But, living in a country which never got rid of it, I have to say I am a fan. When I first came to Austria, I thought it was terribly old-fashioned and retro in the way that Austria was and still can be.
Obviously, I know a lot of Austrian men who have been through it and have talked to them about it. Many shrug their shoulders, just saying it was an obligation which they had to discharge and they were glad to put it behind them. Some others rant about how it was a complete waste of 1 year of their young lives which they could have spent more productively (i.e. by going straight to university).
But I do think it helped them grow up a bit and instill a sense of discipline and order in the ones that – up until that point – weren’t exactly promising on that front.
(I will also mention that the only person I know who got themselves out of military service by having his (exceedingly robust) health deemed inadequate by a corrupt doctor is the least pleasant of all the other Austrian men I know. There’s probably no causal link between lack of military service and lack of personality in said male, but I thought I would mention it for the sake of completeness. And because I dislike the guy so much.)
So, it’s less about creating a national sense of belonging at the push of a button (that’s just silly), but about trying to create disciplined young people with a sense that sometimes you have to go and do stuff you don’t really feel like because it is your obligation to do so. And, I do think that, creating a generation with those kind of qualities and less of a sense of permanent entitlement gives you a greater chance of creating a stronger nation (yes, NATION) further down the line. So, in a roundabout and diffuse sort of way, you do get to the destination that Mary thinks impossible.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
20 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

About 20 years ago I worked with a mid 20s German graduate. He told me that he had the national service option of 6 months in the military, or 1 year of ‘social service’. He chose the latter and worked in a nursing home for a year.
It seemed like a good idea that was beneficial to society and the young people doing it.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
20 days ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

Austria has that option too – it’s known as “Zivildienst” and you can go and do things like helping to look after the elderly, taking care of monuments (e.g. those commemorating the victims of Nazism) or becoming a Rettungssanitäter (not sure how to say this in English, it’s someone who provides assistance as part of emergency medical calls). In the latter case, you do a proper training course – a super-useful skill for anyone to have. See: https://www.roteskreuz.at/oberoesterreich/ich-will-helfen/zivildienst
Zivildienst isn’t a walk in the park though. Someone I know went and worked for the emergency services and ended up having to attend the scene of a car crash with fatalities, including a child as I remember. Harrowing, but Zivildienst is about contributing to the life of the country, which inevitably includes the harsher side of it, like accidents and injury.
(Not sure whether this is an urban myth or not, but I would love to think it’s true: I’ve been told that if you go to do the Austrian military service and you happen to be tall, lanky and low in weight, you’re a potential target for being talked into ski-jumping. With such a physique, you’re going to be quite nicely aerodynamic and the Alpine Republic has a rep to protect in the sport…)

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
20 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

But it wouldnt be compulsory! You could choose to do 1 weekend a month helping out communities.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
20 days ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

A choice as to which weapon to be beaten with is not much of a choice

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
20 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Spot on. National Service would give people a cohesive sense of group identity and a sort of pride as well. The problem is that it is unlikely to happen; and if it does, it would be hopelessly watered down and attacked on all sides by Human Rights lawyers.

Which is a pity, because it would work really well if implemented sensibly. Perhaps that’s why it would come under such attack.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
18 days ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

Half the lads would turn up in ladies dresses and full face make up demanding safe spaces, personal therapists and gender relevant loos..Imagine what battery sergeant Williams (AKA Windsor Davies) would have made of them…

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
20 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Thoughtful comments as always Katherine. However I don’t agree that this there is a paradox or that the Tories escape blame because of they don’t control the largely globalist institutions. They do deserve blame, They haven’t made a single meaningful attempt to control or roll back those institutions, which many Conservatives actively support. The party is at best divided, and at worst largely neo Blairite more than Thatcherite.

Dylan Blackhurst
Dylan Blackhurst
20 days ago

If I wasn’t disheartened by the prospect of this election I am now.

I’m going to disagree with Mary on one thing though. I think the Tory party is deliberately self destructing at this point.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
20 days ago

There is no Tory party, its membership is about 5% of what it was 40 years ago. There are just a few bald careerists fighting over a Tory comb.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
20 days ago

Whether it’s deliberate or not is questionable, but there’s no doubt the party is tearing itself apart.
When the leader calls an election you’d expect the troops to rally against labour, not against Sunak.
A decent period in the wilderness is necessary for a new vision to appear. Not a million miles different from the transition from Heath to Thatcher.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

It’s a rotten stinking corpse, just bury it or cremate it (hmm, the Green would object to cremation, too much CO2)

A D Kent
A D Kent
20 days ago

 Nice bit of Overton windows waltzing again from Harrington. Finally addressing the notion of our Uniparty, but in a very Unherdly way, dancing around some of the more obvious elephants in this particular room. Yes we’ve a Uniparty in socially liberal terms, but that’s a relatively recent conjoinment and one of less real significance than some which preceeded it. All our major parties have been neoliberal since Foot’s labour and since Blair’s grandstanding, all against openness, accountability and democratic control.

But the biggest, and the most relevant one to the National Service debate is the one related to war. Surely the decisions regarding who our Uniparty are looking to pick fights with and why ought to be at least mentioned in any discussion of a policy that proposes funnelling more of our young into our armed forces. Who it looks like we might be fighting and to further what ends seems like quite a big deal to me and I know it is to my young nieces and nephews.

I stand to be corrected on this, but I’ve a feeling that Harrington, like most here at Unherd, don’t mention this as they’re bang on board with the Establishment on this one. They’re happy to be told who our official enemies are and what ‘we’ must do about them.

Our Uniparty are all agreed that certain states have a ‘right to defend themselves’ – the rub here though is whether our kids are looking forward to being forced to defend them with their lives too.  

A D Kent
A D Kent
20 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

I should add that any discussion of our Uniparty has to consider not just their supposed leaders or members, but their management structures and that management’s full integration with our Establishment media.

The recent experiences of Corbyn’s labour being a case in point here – that the Uniparty controlled the management of Labour during his leadership (see the Forde report) meant he was always bound to fail. Likewise Liz Truss received the same treatment on the Uniparty’s other cheek.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
20 days ago

Sums up exactly how I feel about the Conservative Party. In 2010, 2015 and 2017, I voted Conservative as much to get/keep Labour out as much and anything else, only in 2019 did I actually vote FOR them. For me personally, the way they’ve abandoned that manifesto and watered down so much of it represented a massive betrayal.

In the meantime, it’s all well and good writing about this and getting angry, but what is the plan to change this? We need people like Mary and others like Matt Goodwin for example, to provide hope that we can change this. I suspect that there are things in motion, but we need a real, credible alternative for the right that doesn’t revolve around placating Boomers with click bait policies. We need meaningful change that will change this country forever and where we the people take it back.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
20 days ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

I think the Tories need to be shafted first, followed by Labour (who have no real ideas either) and then, maybe then (if we can tear ourselves away from TikTok and porn videos), something new will emerge.

But I’m afraid that things will have to get a lot worse first for us to get off our ever-broadening arses.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
20 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Yes, a lazy entitled citizenry is the root problem.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

People still want to believe that it’s 2004 and not 2024. Understandable, but also delusional.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
19 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

A lazy entitled citizenry created by one T. Blair.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
20 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

In fairness, the apathy is but the first step in this process. Sooner or later, that will eventually turn to anger and a genuine frustration at those in charge. However, what we generally lack in this regard is a vehicle to mount that challenge from. Some people will say Reform, but in their current state, they haven’t got the answers. They seem to wish that we can go back to the 1980’s and the party structure doesn’t allow anyone else to come in and lead it.

One thing that’s clear is that we can write off the Conservative Party as being this vehicle.

Robbie K
Robbie K
20 days ago

I noted yesterday how Unherd have it in for Sunak – I’m no fan of his, but imho they seem to be having quite a good campaign so far and the polls are already narrowing.
Seems to me that a lot of people have just reached max-cynicism, yet if these policies had come from Reform they would have been celebrated as just what is needed.
What we have here is exactly what was described a few days ago in the Unherd article ‘how to survive the election’.
9. Post-journalism
The press lost its monopoly on news when the internet democratised info. To save its business model, it pivoted from journalism into tribalism. The new role of the press is not to inform its readers but to confirm what they already believe.
https://unherd.com/2024/05/17-useful-concepts-to-survive-the-election/

A D Kent
A D Kent
20 days ago
Reply to  Robbie K

That the polls are closing I think has much more to do with the increased visibility of Sir Starmer, than it does with anything to do with Sunak. This trend will only continue.

Peter B
Peter B
20 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It’s not clear the polls actually are closing.
Last Friday, I confidently told some friends that the odds of 4/6 on the Tories losing >200 seats were way too low. Since then, we’ve had Sunak’s National service brainwave and the price is even lower (2/5).
The Tories are still digging … . I always knew Sunak (someone’s labelled him Soonout) wasn’t a campaigner. But I can only conclude he’s actually trying to lose. He can’t possibly be this inept, can he ?
I’m not sure he even has it in him to get a sympathy vote.
Yes, Labour are awful – the worst shadow front bench I can remember. But show me one person on the Tory side who’s any better.

Kathleen Burnett
Kathleen Burnett
20 days ago

“circling the drain”; brilliant in its economy and accuracy.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
20 days ago

I really do not like the term ‘Out Democracy’ to describe the post nation state entity. As Mary notes, it is profoundly anti democratic and is direct the legacy of the political revolution of the 1990s which made us a province of the new EU Empire. It is better described as the Progressive State, one dedicated to the weakening of Executive power in these nations and the creation of a permanent bloc of unelected technocrats governing above the now emasculated Executive. Knowing this, Mary wastes her time with bloodcurdling yoof rage at Tory scum. The entire political class – the Uniparty – & perma Progressive State all wanted lockdown, all allowed the Bank to ‘miss’ inflation after a two year suffocation of economic life, all sign up to the deranged groupthink of Greta net zero degrowth, the worship of the broken NHS and the appeasement of street mobs. It is a collective utterly detached from the real nation and hostile to its wealth creating sector. Proper Tories yearn for the annihilation of what is a Quisling Fake Tory Party!!!!! The whole point of the revolution is – all anti progressive policies are made impossible by the bedrock of 30 years of Progressive Laws and the poisonous human rights culture they have engendered. Stop pretending that the Uniparty rabble competing to sit in a Parliament whose authority has been trashed by the anti Brexit alliance matter. They don’t.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
20 days ago

Award-winning stuff.

Mr. Swemb
Mr. Swemb
20 days ago

The irony is armed forces recruitment is collapsing as the traditional reservoir of working class boys for squadies and public school boys for officers (not 100% an exaggeration) no longer want to risk their lives for what this country has become (in which they are seen as the deploreables). It’s not worth defending and national service won’t change that.

Terry M
Terry M
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Swemb

Is it ‘the country is not worth defending’ or the leaders continue to get involved in undeserving causes?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Swemb

Besides, as we have seen, they are not wanted. Only the diverse. Both army and air force refuse to hire competent white nen.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
20 days ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Being white is a distinct disadvantage. White people are systemically discriminated against, and the “protected classes” (everyone else) are still screaming about white “privilege”.

Chipoko
Chipoko
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Swemb

Who would want to risk their lives flighting for a country (UK) who elite Establishment hates the nation, decries its history and reviles its ethnic roots? Not me, Gov!

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
18 days ago
Reply to  Mr. Swemb

Who wants to fight for a nation where a huge chunk of the population want, indeed pray for the country to go down the pan?

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
20 days ago

Since the.anywheres have destroyed.any notion of somewhere, they cannot expect people to.fight for somewhere should that necessity arrive towards the second half of this decade. Indeed, the more recent progressive hatred for the nation’s history would require us to defend the undefendable. The “demoralisation” of the West has been done by.ourselves – it will have far reaching consequences. Even if.you can re-imdustrialise.your defence industry,.a nation’s psyche is a rather different matter.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
20 days ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Well said. Somewheres were the bedrock that supported everything else but persistent state-sanctioned demonization and denigration has re-defined them has a dangerous far-Right fringe.
It was the Somewheres that held together the ideas of nationalist identity which are now abhorred. We have witnessed this throughout the West and it’s starkly reflected in Thomas Sowell’s “The Vision of the Anointed” or what David Starkey called “the tyranny of the Know-Betters”.
There is no being British. Britain is just somewhere where you live. Canada is the same as well as other Western countries.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
20 days ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Ireland as well now. Just a passport and mediocre services for whoever happens to be living here

B. Libbrecht
B. Libbrecht
20 days ago

Interesting. Especially as (if I understand correctly from the last few sentences) Harrington does not join the choir of post-liberals (as John Gray and co do). Liberalism needs rethinking, not abandoning.

R Wright
R Wright
20 days ago
Reply to  B. Libbrecht

There is nothing to abandon besides a stinking corpse.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
20 days ago

A piece of savage indignation reaching poetry in its expression.

Among many vital points: “Are we a nation, or are we not? We aren’t a nation, when there’s any question of preferential treatment based on shared history, heritage, culture or ancestry.”

But without a shared history, heritage, culture or ancestry … what is a nation?

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
20 days ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

History is rife with multicultural polities: the Turkish Empire, the Habsburg Empire, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and others. While they lasted, they depended upon a strong unelected central government to hold them together, but all the same they’ve broken into their constituent parts.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

IF ever there is a civil war in the UK, then the Left are going to be stunned by how right the majority are, even though we’d ALL happily chuck petrol on a Tory party on fire.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
20 days ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Globalised capital rules the world and it views nation states as an obstacle.

Steven Farrall
Steven Farrall
20 days ago

Toryism is ‘entryism’ into Conservatism. As the Marxists are entryists into Labour. Tories are simply rent seeking crony corporatist self servers whose primary ambition is power. Their platform has been to pretend that they can run socialism better than the socialists. They are de facto lefty fascists. In the same way as Blair / Starmer are the fascist left.
What we are now witnessing is the end game of of those twin philosophies of evil and the economic collapse of welfarism. Trouble is the interests hugely vested in the welfarism machine – The Blob – are determined not to see their power, control and stipends disappear. They will destroy us all rather than yield and admit to their predictable, abject and unremitting failure.
Starmer will double down on this failure. I predict UK bankruptcy with about 12 to 24 months of Starmer getting into power.
Buy gold whilst it is still cheap in Sterling terms.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Steven Farrall

Shhh, don’t be telling everyone! Silver isn’t too bad either. Despite 20% VAT my investments in 2020/21 are now ALL in the black! I advise the bullion to be UK legal tender, that way no Capital Gains taxes. (OK Ange?)
PS it isn’t just UK, it’s a Western thing – though, Ironically, the US may escape for no other reason than they are currently producing something close to 30% of the world gas/oil. AND when the Green refuse to allow it to be exported , and so gas is $2 per Million BTU – it takes some effort to go bust. Ironically Germany and the EU are also stuffed by the US Greens “No more LNG export terminals” “Oh for a couple of Nordstreams” the German’s must be thinking!

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
16 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

The Minsk Agreements look very generous, as seen today.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
20 days ago

I feel it’s entirely decadent to wish for the destruction of the only party of the Right able to make an electoral impact in the UK. But that’s exactly what Mr Cummings sought in the debacle of the Johnson government.
In electoral politics, creative destruction is internal to political parties. It’s not particularly creative in Labour’s case vis-a-vis the Left but it seems to have been effective.

Saul D
Saul D
20 days ago

Who’d be a young person? Student loans. Rent going up. House prices too high to get on the housing ladder. Told to drive electric. Everything on subscription. Told you shouldn’t fly. Meat becoming a luxury. No cigarettes. Language police. Cameras everywhere. Can’t drive in cities. Two years lost education. Porn instead of sex. And now National Service. Tramlined by their elders – so do we ever get to see a counter-reaction?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

Tramlined is probably something only the Woke families do. We plebs are all equally belligerent to Labour as well as Tory. We just bypass all that cr@p they try to put on us. Don’t you remember the beaches during COVID when the sun came out? 😉

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
20 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

Add to that a CBDC and AI.

Point of Information
Point of Information
20 days ago

“Are we a nation, or are we not? We aren’t a nation, when there’s any question of preferential treatment based on shared history, heritage, culture or ancestry.”

Silly stuff, despite other on point statements in this article.

Did Victorian mill workers get “preferential treatment”? Miners (including children and women)? Indentured apprentices? Serfs? The Welsh/Scots/Romanies/Saxons under the Normans/Britons under the Romans? This is a queer definition of nationhood unless you expect “preferential treatment” on the basis of your ancestry because all your friends and relations have had this. It is simply not true for most people with British ancestry.

Not to say a nation or culture doesn’t exist, but there are many better definitions than “preferential treatment”.

Peter B
Peter B
20 days ago

“yet another sign, lest we needed one, that the Party of House Prices is circling the drain”
Exactly. Another unforgettable phrase from Mary.
The last 25+ years have been precisely that – fake everything hidden behind a facade of “economic growth” unsustainably built on a house price bubble, manipulated low interest rates, a one-off win from cheap Chinese imports (an effect now going into reverse), cheap energy (also being actively reversed) and cheap labour (EU and third world immigration). And asset stripping pensions.
Reality is about to hit very hard. Bring it on.
Meanwhile, we’ll have more of these fake policy announcements. Anything except reality.
“National service” that isn’t.
Labour’s “Great British Energy” – a company they propose to create without any clear objectives or plan. What could possibly go wrong !
and on and on

Aidan Anabetting
Aidan Anabetting
20 days ago

‘circling the drain’ – an inspired placement of words. MH’s writing is at the intersection of journalistic and literary forms. This is the main reason I subscribe to UH, despite being a New Statesman kind of guy.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
20 days ago

Wow. Pretty good. But the party of house prices? G Brown was admonished back in 2004 by the IMF over house prices rising. . After the 2008 crash, we had QE to keep prices high : the Labour MPs flipped away madly. Osborne and Sunak carried on the tradition, but they didnt start it.

David
David
20 days ago

If Labour is to win the election, then it’s important that there’s an opposition. That can’t be “One Nation” Toryism, which will have neither the inclination nor the courage to oppose the further leftward lurch. Nor in my view can it be US-style Christian conservatism, for which the market in the now predominantly secular UK is vanishingly small for a party which wishes to remain the official opposition. Surely the biggest challenge to Labour must be in terms of the size and reach of the State. The post-election Tory party needs to be blend of Thatcher (for the older generations, who do vote, Sunak’s right about that) and a social and economic liberalism that can appeal to entrepreneurial younger generations keen to break away from Nanny. There is such a large public sector rentier class for a new group (call it Popular Conservatives?!) to focus its attention on.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
20 days ago

Robert Colville post about the huge and increasing weight of the over-55 vote, because of demographics, distribution of old across constituencies, and because the young don’t vote so much.
https://x.com/rcolvile/status/1795368865322713200

David Iain Craig
David Iain Craig
20 days ago

I think it’s our society with it’s presumption of unlimited plenty that is circling the drain. Democracy is too big to be democratic, It’s only when society comes face to face with implosion, when people realise whoever you vote for, the government gets in and all the subsequent dancing on the waves no longer works that some responsible reality may take hold.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago

“Energy is the economy, NOT an input” – Doomberg
The more energy you can use , the better your standard of living.
Given enough energy, you can make anything
Only Malthusian’s lack hope and vision.
Scrap Net Zero, ditch the Greens, frack, drill and burn fossil as we scrap the insane Green rules making Nuclear expensive, while we turn the grid Nuclear. ALL of those can resurrect a modern, progressive and wealthy state.
Hinckley C was a standard design in use elsewhere in the world and cheap to build. The “Green” blob and their obsession with Nuclear produced over 700 modifications to an existing safe design. SO it is costing us a fortune. EVERY Green in any position of power or authority needs to be removed ASAP.
Finally, the whole Universe is on track to an ultimate Heat Death. So stuff the Greens and lets use the heat transfers that will happen anyway, to keep us in a lifestyle to which we could become accustomed.

Vote Reform, the only party not committed to Net Zero insanity.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
16 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Hinckley C was a standard design, but has been plagued by problems.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
20 days ago

“Perhaps you think I’m being cynical here, and perhaps I am a little”
Yeah, a little. And perhaps the Pope–even with his reformist inklings–is still some version of a Catholic.
Ms. Harrington is becoming a bit of a self-caricature these days, at times reminiscent of the SNL character Debbie Downer. I know it’s not her job, nor is it within a writer’s practical power, to provide solutions to the real problems she finds or the general idiocy she diagnoses. But I’d like to see more than a secular jeremiad in which gloom tends to overwhelm the nuggets that might otherwise be mined from Harrington’s intelligence and frustrated humanism. That’s my unsolicited diagnosis, filtered through my nostalgia for the Mary Harrington of about 16 months ago.

tom j
tom j
20 days ago

My God Mary Harrington is good

Bored Writer
Bored Writer
20 days ago
Reply to  tom j

At what?

William Cameron
William Cameron
20 days ago

Britain has far too many MPs Councillors etc etc.
The USA has 435 in the House of representatives and 100 in the senate. (Population 333m)
The UK has around 635 MPS and 780 in the Lords (Population 70m)
If the UK had comparable representation as the USA there would be 90 MPs and 20 in the Lords.
So if we are looking for economies there is a good place to start.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
20 days ago

A meaningless comparison given the federal structure with each state having its own senate, Congress and supreme Court.

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
19 days ago

Good lord! 780 Old f**ts (Lords)? That is totally anachronistic…

Drew W
Drew W
20 days ago

Bang on the money.

Christopher Goodchild
Christopher Goodchild
20 days ago

This article is complete nonsense

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
19 days ago

Your comment is complete nonsense!

Paul Smith
Paul Smith
20 days ago

It wouldn’t be Labour that wants the Conservatives destroyed, anyway; they’re more than happy to have another neoliberal party squatting on the political right.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
20 days ago

Eventually, people are going to get what they claim to want, good and hard, until they realize they didn’t really want it to start with. In the US, multiple jurisdictions are in the good-and-hard phase, having failed as yet to connect the dots between elections and consequences.
As to “Our Democracy,” it exists in name only. One need only look at the myriad of things, from Covid policy to funding the deaths of Ukrainians to the climate cult, that arose without a single one of us casting a single vote in favor or opposition.
While Rishi’s national service proposal serves as its own punchline, it does point to a larger issue, however unwittingly it gets there – the absence of a sense of nation. John Cleese was roundly attacked for daring to notice the obvious about London. Like we’ve done in the States, some in the UK took to toppling statues and demonizing past figures for failing to live by today’s standards.
You’re not quite at the level of school-taught self-hatred, but you have a far different issue from a particularly noxious and growing demographic. It’s not hard to imagine the Zero Seats proponents growing up a bit and seeing these as the good old days.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
16 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The climate cult needs informed discussion before a vote.

Bored Writer
Bored Writer
20 days ago

Who cares? The vast majority of “automatic” voters are thick, those with “political ideals” are narcissistic and the modern media is demented. We’re overall a pretty awful species, one Mozart doesn’t counterbalance one billion turds. And don’t worry the planet will be absolutely fine when we’ve misgendered ourselves off it. Just point and laugh. Cheers.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Bored Writer

Speak for yourself.

0 0
0 0
20 days ago

Boris broke the Conservative Party by Big Dogging it. Smashed up any centripetal processes not centred on him, it’s all been centrifugal since.

And as the various forces propagating right populism have nowhere else to coalesce, their effectiveness will fade. Sentiment now shows people realise that getting good things for themselves and their families depends on setting things up so most people can get good things most of the time. No longer an opposition between individual and collective wellbeing. Matthew Goodwin can go and weep. The supposed subject of his research has evaporated.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  0 0

So Woke May and Heir to Blair Cameron had nowt to do with it?

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
20 days ago

Having reviewed the comments I have a very strong suspicion that those in favour of some form of National Service as proposed, are too old to be eligible to do it!

Andrew Salkeld
Andrew Salkeld
20 days ago

Dear Mary, I usually agree with every word you write here and in your blog. But in this instance I believe you have used a rhetoricians trick of taking a sample of a complex structure and magnified that to represent the whole. This is a rant. Now, as you usually do, you must give us a plausible alternative. I’d rather an anarchist than a sneering, finger-pointing critic. Let’s have a constructive next step or two from you. You can do it. We look to you to help us create our own world-view of viable futures.

David Butler
David Butler
20 days ago

The coming election will certainly not herald the end of the Conservatives, for the simple fact that there is no conservative party.

There hasn’t been a conservative leader since Maggie Thatcher. She summed up the last fourteen years quite succinctly:

“To me consensus seems to be —the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects. —the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?”

Good riddance.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
20 days ago

There’s also the Big Flag.
It appears at Conference. It appears in doubled form behind any senior member of the uniparty when they make a television appearance. As if there were still a nation-state and not a province in someone else’s empire.
The BBC and others do service in trotting out anniversaries of the Battle of Britain and D-Day, as if the people in Britain in 1940 or 1944 were the same as anyone in the UK today, apart from the centenarians from that past age. D-Day 80 is prehistory.
If there were anyone aged 60 or over who was socially conservative, the Tory Party is the last party they would vote for. Unless from their bath chairs they still hope that they will get what they vote for in reality rather than just its mirage magicked up by the Tory Conjurer-in-Chief.
If Mr F wants Reform to be the opposition party after the General Election, he needs to run for MP. Just to ensure that there really are Zero Seats. Or perhaps the hope is to merge the rump Tories that survive with Reform to provide that opposition: the Reformatives. Just so long as they aren’t the Conformatives.

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
19 days ago

Who’s Mr. F?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago

My father did national service, resented it, and was a lifelong Tory voter who hated the Labour party. I’m sure the fact that it was Attlee’s Labour party that introduced national service had something to do with that.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
20 days ago

Young people voted overwhelmingly for a European future. Brexit was and continues to be the most egregious crime against young people this nation has experienced since the second world war.

Andrew R
Andrew R
20 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Did they though?

zee upītis
zee upītis
19 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Love how all the old farts around here are downvoting this.. 😀

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
20 days ago

It’s Brexit and the resulting loss of one nation, socially liberal and younger Tories that’s done for the Conservative brand. The loss of fiscally Conservative but socially Liberal Remain voters is not made up by so-called Red Wall northern voters, who voted Conservative purely to achieve Brexit over Immigration – but aren’t really smaller state, aspirational people.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
20 days ago

There seems little point to the continued existence of the Conservative party. The radical right would be better served by Reform UK, and the centrists either with Labour [under Keir Starmer] or the Lib Dems.
There is also the emergence of the Social Democratic party, which is putting forward candidates in some constituencies. This is not the SDP of old, that Shirley Williams and David Owen left Labour to form. A quick look on their website indicates policies that are economically left wing and intriguingly right wing/small c conservative on social and community issues. It will be interesting to see whether this group manage to build a following that would enable them to become a serious player in UK politics.. Reform UK could also achieve breakthrough if the Tory party collapses altogether. It should be remembered that it took 24 years for Labour party to form its first government after its formation in 1900. The younger generations may not want to wait that long for change, and could start to clamour for electoral reform along PR lines.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
20 days ago

There’s nothing wrong with Conservatism: it’s just the actual Conservatives who give it a bad name.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
20 days ago

Experts agree that the one thing that must not happen is to reduce Sir Humphrey Appleby’s pension.

leonard o'reilly
leonard o'reilly
19 days ago

The yoof will do national service one day alright, but it won’t be because they were asked to by their betters. It will be because of an old exigency. According to law, the land belongs to whoever has title to it. Absent the law, the land belongs to whoever can hold on to it. So what do the yoof look like these days?

Jake Raven
Jake Raven
19 days ago

We are no longer a nation, devolution tore the country apart, adherence to international laws removes our ability to govern ourselves and mass immigration has diluted any sense of country, culture and social cohesion we once were proud of.
I used to be proud to be English and British, but no longer feel any sense of belonging to any tribe, culture or society.
It’s now a dog-eat-dog existence in this once proud country that has had its heart and soul ripped from it along with and obligation of duty to the state.
I hate what our country has become, and it’s all down to our weak, pathetic lefty uniparty politicians. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but what our politicians and media has done to this country can’t just be down to incompetence and ineptitude.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
19 days ago

Interesting and pretty much accurate but a little light on how we get out of this.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
19 days ago

Well, you get what you vote for. So who you vote for may be distasteful, but the alternatives are worse.

The Gaza vote is a good example.

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
19 days ago

Of course there is no response from above to the general dissatisfaction of the masses. Since the war the ‘political class’ has followed a divergent evolution resulting in it’s Emperor’s New Clothes sense of superiority and it’s blantant revulsion for the petty concerns of the populace they claim to represent.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
19 days ago

Its pretty easy to sell national service. Its an automatic job.

Rob C
Rob C
17 days ago

I don’t like the use of the word “conservative”; it should be replaced by “traditionalist”. Most “conservatives” today are actually classical enlightenment liberals.

D S
D S
16 days ago

A bunch of self serving hypocrites the Tories. Will never vote for them again. Hope they get annihilated this time. Used the immigration bogey to win votes but presided over record migration. The Tories only seem to be interested in a low wage economy that is run on mass immigration to ensure stock prices and hence their net worth does not go down.
At least with Labour what you see is what you get, Tories say one thing and do the exact opposite.

Chris Reardon
Chris Reardon
16 days ago

Halt immigration for the entire term of the next parliament and increase the tax thresholds. Do that and they win the election. They won’t though because it’s too Conservative.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
15 days ago

The over-64 demographic that is socially conservative will only ever shrink continuously. Those who attain that age will retain their left-wing or centrist views.
A striking piece of evidence can be found it postcard photographs. Those of Eastbourne seafront in the 1960s show large numbers of elderly people sitting in deckchairs along the two promenades. Today, no one sits there. As the Good Book says, their place knows them no more.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago

The Author always majors with a negative portrayal of modern Britain, with some pseudo-historical science twaddle usually buddied with the blame on some egregious Actors. She didn’t use the term Blob here but she implied.
This of course is her version of the Tories just playing to gerontology vote. Soothing for her base and allows confirmatory bias rant amongst a few likeminded folk who can’t work out what’s gone wrong and need someone to blame.
Fundamentally the default to some vague, broad-brush Blob is too easy and lazy. Mary would do better to zero in on why the v rich have continued to do exceptionally well and get her Nat Cs focus on that. The problem of course is it is the hand that feeds so they veer away from it.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

The ‘Rich’ you always denigrate happen by and large to be the people investing in UK business and giving employment to British people. But have no fear. Labour are already driving them away to France and Dubai with their non dom class envy, the promise of yet more bureaucratic over regilation and the insane assault on the jewel of our private education sector which has helped attract the best to our shores. Angela’s dumb reforms will screw up our labour market and drive many tax pummelled SMEs to the wall. Yipee!! Less Rich! You and Rachel R believe that state bureaucrats and zero life experience student politicians know far far more than private enterprise capitalists about investment opportunity in global sectors like tech and energy, so bring on your hapless GDR style British Leyland2 Energy!!!! Its tragi- comic, the sheer arrogance ignorance and destructive nature of your progressive groupthink and antipathy to the wealth creation your vast greedy groaning broken public sector depends on.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Bit chippy there WM and as result missed the point. The question is why have the v rich got much richer whilst the implied trickle down benefit you outline has not materialised? You need to take a step back and think about this a bit more, and also why the capital investment culture in the UK, even though we have the City of London financial sector, is so poor. I sense your real understanding of UK capitalism and why it’s not working is underdeveloped and you may be trapped with ossified views..
Folks getting rich for endeavour and generating wealth and opportunities for others too is good and needed.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

A not very convincing bit of backtracking with added ‘arrogance’ – just to confirm Mr Marvell’s marvellous points.

j watson
j watson
20 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Unfortunately Mr Marvellous forgets the Right been in power for 14yrs. He also previously swerved responding to my query as to why only 2% of UK pension funds are invested here, why we’ve had a huge reduction in UK ownership of our biggest businesses and why privatisations like Water have gone so badly wrong. Instead we get the same sorry tirade each time. What about yourself – any thoughts on these?
(I’m actually trying to help here as until the Right begins to ask itself these questions properly they are knackered, and UK does need an intelligent Right)

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Oh dear….the reason UK pension funds investment here has shrunk to 2% is all because of the cackhanded destructive intervention of the regulators and your technocratic progressive Blob – not the Evil Neo Liberal Rich. You may remember a Gordon Brown utterly shattering our savings base long term with his windfall tax on dividends; an act which outdoes his selling off our gold for a few MacciDies in the catalogue of great national harms. It was your regulators who then doubled down with yet more strangling regulation which actually forced the pensions industry to invest in bonds…oh…just when the bond prices shrank to near zero!!!!! Scorched earth..a warm up for the Bank’s brilliant wheeze of 875bn QE…and then forgetting that shutting down an economy for two years might…just might…create a thing called inflation. Impossible they said. Doh!! Look up the LDI crisis which helped sink Truss too. These battered pension funds had been forced by your heavy handed regulators to go and gamble; otherwise how were they to meet pension liabilities! Eh viola! Now they have to grapple with yet more of your progressive deranged interventionism in the form of ESG – green BS which rightly is driving the best companies to escape this proto East Germany and flee to the US. Yet JW sees wicked nasty Rich neo liberals ruling the roost in our economy, and STILL calls high tax, magic money, nationalising degrowthb F Business semi socialists like the Fool Johnson May Cameron and Sunak ‘far right’!!! Dream on JW. It is the wretched inadequacy of your suffocating EU/Blair new governing system – its braindead suffocating technocracy and weedy uniparty politicos – that is speeding us to ruin.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

But they won’t admit to it! Truss is forever seen as useless and incompetent, and driven from Office by the Markets!! – However, a different opinion was expressed in the Washington Post (although then VERY quickly removed – fortunately the ‘Way Back Machine’ had copied it first!) and The Critic also assesses why Truss was removed, and whodunnit?

https://web.archive.org/web/20221124115656/https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/markets-didnt-oust-truss-the-bank-of-england-did/2022/10/26/dd92c4d2-54eb-11ed-ac8b-08bbfab1c5a5_story.html?utm_source=reddit.com
https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/december-january-2023/how-the-bank-broke-the-government/

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
16 days ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Chosen by the party, not MPs, Truss could see Fraccing would bring hope to the capable.

That’s why she had the stopped.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

The ‘Right’? LOL – Perhaps
Matthew 7:16-23King James Version
is apt here.
Though, to be fair, May says she was Woke, and Cameron et al always said they were ‘Heirs to Blair’ – and weren’t lying, though Blair’s Nu Labour claiming to be the Heir to Thatcher, was lying. 🙂

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

We must look on the bright side however. As we measure poverty with a relative scale, the more rich people/wealth we drive away, the fewer poor we have though the poorer we all become. I await the day that Starmer & Co stand stunned at going the same way as the Tories despite saying “But we eliminated poverty!” Many will the be on that equality breadline wishing poverty could be restored! 😉

Andrew R
Andrew R
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Well those are words JW, I’m sure they meant something to you.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
20 days ago
Reply to  j watson

As a tutor of mine once said “Sometimes the easy answer IS the answer.” 😉