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Tribal Britain won’t be governed The edgelords will rule the nation

Farage is picking up the disillusioned Tory vote.(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Farage is picking up the disillusioned Tory vote.(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)


July 2, 2024   7 mins

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference in London on the future of British conservatism, hosted by a thinktank funded by the Hungarian government. The future of British conservatism, it was swiftly revealed, was bleak — but not in the way the speakers intended. Like the Bourbons, British conservatism’s leading intellectual lights have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, clinging desperately to a cargo cult Thatcherism even as the British public prepare to win Starmer’s Labour a historic landslide. We need to return to “the classic texts of conservatism”, one elderly speaker told the audience: it transpired he meant the neoliberal theorist Hayek. Johnson’s thunderously successful 2019 manifesto would have failed in practice, a Tory big beast asserted, “because it was too social democratic”: the future, we were told, lay in unleashing the free market.

No-one appeared to appreciate the obvious irony that the event was hosted by a Right-wing government that ruthlessly utilises state power to advance its interests. Yet there is a reason, after all, that Hungarian conservatives aren’t attending events hosted by the Tory party, in order to learn from their success. Equally, no-one there appeared to grasp that the current volatility of British politics is a rejection of everything the Conservative Party holds most dear. For the past two generations, British conservatives have approached the state like an elderly non-driver suddenly given use of a powerful sports car: they don’t trust it, fundamentally they don’t believe in it, and would rather hand the keys to someone — anyone — else. And therein lies the root of their collapse. Having outsourced Britain’s governance to a coalition of hostile NGOs and a recalcitrant civil service, it is difficult for the Tories to inspire much fear about what Starmerism has in store for us: the worst we can expect is a slightly more competent version of what we already have.

The incoming Labour government will have no such qualms about using the state to advance its vision of the good. Take housing, one of the signature Conservative policy failures driving Millennial voters to political positions far to the Left of Starmer, While Conservative MPs made a conscious decision to appeal to the Nimbyism of their elderly base — only to be out-Nimbyed in turn by the Liberal Democrats and Greens — Tory-aligned wonks wasted time and frittered away power coming up with dead-end ideas such as “street votes” and tinkering with building codes, purely through an ideological obsession with appealing to the economic self-interest and aesthetic preferences of boomers. Labour, by contrast, plans to solve the problem through the simple expedient of forcing councils to build homes: the answer to the housing crisis is, as it always was, compulsion through state power.

In all Western democracies, 2024 marks the end of an order and the difficult birth of a new one. Yet in interpreting the failure of Britain’s current settlement, both sides retain their ideological blind spots. For those on the Left, Conservative failure was primarily economic, while for the Right, immigration is the Tories’ central sin: the truth is that both are correct. Britain’s toxic combination of economic stagnation and unprecedented immigration could not have been better designed if political instability was the conscious intention. The main story of this election is not the public’s resigned turn to Labour but the death of its centre-right, spiritually and intellectually exhausted by its suicidal commitment to both its own failed ideology, and in advancing the growth of that of its political enemies.

Yet with the coup de grâce about to be delivered to the ailing Tories by Farage’s populist Right, and even Starmer condemning the Conservative Party for its extremist Open Borders attitude to immigration, vowing to return asylum claimants from manifestly safe countries, Conservative wets lament that voters have abandoned their party for being too Right-wing. It is quite the opposite: the genuinely transformative effects of Johnson’s immigration policy have introduced a new radicalising factor in British politics that never before existed. All the old debates, about integration and British Values, have been rendered obsolete by the sheer, unprecedented scale of the country’s current migration wave. Even necessary Labour goals, such as their commitment to a house-building boom, will struggle to win support through the suspicion and hostility the Conservative immigration regime has needlessly injected into British politics. Having already plucked Farage from semi-retirement, Johnson’s most transformative contribution to British history has established the parameters for the 2029 and future elections.

It is a great irony, then, that Farage’s resurgent Reform Party represents Britain’s return to the political sphere of the European continent, a reflection of continental trends that even the great apostle of Brexit eagerly wishes to identify himself with. “Something is happening out there,” has become his catchphrase: he is right. The Conservative Party has radicalised much of Britain’s youth into wishing its destruction, and its replacement by something harder-edged on the Right. It is doubtful that the Labour wish to enfranchise 16-year-olds will long survive its first electoral taste of the zoomer vote. Even as European voters swung sharply to the Right, buoyed by increasingly radicalised youth, Brexit derailed Britain into the cul-de-sac of Americanised identity politics, whose worldview has been adopted by even the purported Conservative Right. Just as in Ireland the growth of Right-wing populism was until recently deferred by the rise of Sinn Féin, in Britain its energy was briefly absorbed by the Corbyn moment. That burst of Left-wing activism is now dead, with nothing to show for it, while the Corbyn outriders transfer their loyalties to a Green Party committed to a destructive combination of maximum immigration and minimum infrastructure: policies which, when implemented under the Conservatives, have proven to be fertile ground for Right-wing discontent. Farage himself is perhaps best understood as a Corbyn of the Right, a noisy and ephemeral protest against a system that no longer works: but if European analogies hold true, his mantle will surely be handed over to someone younger and harder soon enough.

If the coming electoral wipeout is a voter rejection of the double-liberalism of the Conservative Party, is this the first post-liberal election? If it is, then it is a bitter pill for the intellectual post-liberals who sought to construct a humane and prosperous society from the wreckage of the liberal order. The actually-existing post-liberalism we are getting is one born from the blasted wastelands of provincial Britain, not the Merry England dreams of Anglo-Catholic academics. Post-liberals failed to transcend liberalism: instead liberals collapsed it by themselves. London journalists perform their ritual pre-election tours of the wider country, reporting back in horror at their sightings: a land of high streets shuttered apart from dubious money-laundering fronts, of visible public squalor and degradation. Times journalists travel to the West Midlands to reveal rubbish-heaped streets and the open and newly-assertive tribalism of Birmingham’s new demographic majority. Novara’s Aaron Bastani reports back from once prosperous Middle England market towns where “blackpilled” zoomers proclaim their disaffection from a country changing before their eyes, and their loyalty to Farage. It is a bleak world the Westminster class no longer understands. This is the Britain the liberal Tories created, and it’s about to wipe them out: soon enough, it will wipe out Labour too.

For if Farage’s Reform presages a new ethnic identitarianism among Britain’s native population — a radicalisation almost entirely the result of Conservative immigration policies — then the electoral challenge for Labour is represented by the parallel identitarianism of the ethnic voting blocs whose support it once took for granted. It is not encouraging for Britain’s future that the Gaza War, in domestic politics, has taken the shape of rival Jewish and Muslim blocs contesting mastery of the streets and the state’s favour; nor that the Conservative Party, in openly courting the Hindu nationalist vote, has made the implicit ethnic factionalism of the British party system increasingly explicit. Within this context, George Galloway’s Workers’ Party is a genuinely fascinating development, in translating post-liberal politics for a Muslim voting bloc: indeed, except for its emphasis on “foreign policy independence”, its pitch effectively mimics Johnson’s 2019 manifesto. Deeply conservative on issues of sex and gender, it has identified the weakest point in the fragile Labour coalition and targets it ruthlessly. Similarly, the Muslim Vote campaign aims to mobilise British Muslim voters against Starmer on a pro-Palestine ticket, vowing a “25-year war” against Labour.

“This is the Britain the liberal Tories created, and it’s about to wipe them out: soon enough, it will wipe out Labour too.”

Like other politicians of his generation, Starmer simply does not understand the country he is about to rule. The machine politics of ethnic voting blocs, once a Labour asset, now constrains him in both foreign and domestic policy choices. When Starmer vowed to return Bangladeshi economic migrants posing as asylum seekers, he was condemned by his own party functionaries in the East End, with Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum accusing him of “dog-whistle racism”, and the Labour deputy leader in Tower Hamlets resigning from the party in protest. The former Labour inquisitor Halima Khan, now running against the Party as a Workers Party candidate, even accused Starmer of “fascist rhetoric”. The idea that Britain may possess an asylum system functionally distinct from open borders is increasingly taboo among the identitarian activist base that Labour nurtured: yet his ability to grapple with the problem will determine whether British politics continues on its Rightward European path.

Observing this election vindicates the academic Philip Cunliffe’s thesis that Brexit should be understood less as a one-off withdrawal from a continental trading bloc, but rather as a revolutionary catalyst which would end up collapsing the Westminster system under its own contradictions. For all the inevitability of Labour’s victory, it is the overtly anti-system candidates on the fringes who are driving the debate, in a process perhaps analogous to the collapse of the centre driving French politics into historic crisis. Like expanding the franchise to the young, it is doubtful in these circumstances that the incoming Labour government will undertake any of the bold promises on electoral reform that seemed so attractive in their earlier position of weakness: but a strong showing for anti-system candidates, which is not reflected in parliamentary representation, will further accelerate the widespread belief that Westminster governance is increasingly divorced from the popular mood. None of this affords much optimism for Britain’s future political stability.

In the current election, then, the contours of Britain’s future politics are already visible, hazily taking shape. It is likely that this will be the last election of the old form of British politics, and the herald of the new, this year’s debates pregnant with all the coming malignities of the near future. The 2024 election reveals a system at an advanced state of decay but not yet at the point of collapse: yet neither the economic forecast nor the international situation present much hope that Labour will wrest the country from its tailspin. None of this is desirable, and none of it was necessary: but this is what British politics looks like now. The future will lie with those who can navigate the restive and suspicious country that actually exists, and cobble a path to power from among its tribal blocs and sullen electorate, translating the febrile mood of provincial Britain to the ramshackle edifice on the Thames that, increasingly nervously, still claims to represent it.


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

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Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
9 days ago

The failure of Borisanian conservatives is a direct reflection of their refusal to govern as conservatives.
In this, they resemble the “never Trump” Republicans, whose loyalty to principles weren’t as strong as their distaste for a parvenu, and their need to confirm to the creed of a ruling elite, and to distance themselves from the great unwashed.
Republicans who are primarily Democrats don’t fare well, as we see with legislators like Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger. They have neither alternatives, nor allies. Conservatives in the UK who are essentially Labor-left-liberals don’t, either.
Neither will capture the votes of the beleaguered working middle classes, who are still large enough to matter, and who absolutely have legitimate complaints.
Farage’s party, who actually have a credible vision for the UKs future, will do far better than pundits like the author of this article predict.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
8 days ago

If you could share what Farage’s vision is, I’d be intrigued.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

That’s not very difficult: priority to national demands: end to immigration; no wokery; sound finances; stick up for British interests; against supranationalism..

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 days ago

I almost can’t wait for Thursday night and the BBC Election Special. I think it is going to be another Referendum Event BUT even larger.
IF it is, then Farage will have made me richer by Friday. I effectively ‘shorted’ the Uniparty and bet on Farage winning.
Don’t let me down Brexiteers 😉

Sayantani G
Sayantani G
8 days ago

I cannot comment on the rest of this piece, but giving links to the rabidly opinionated Sam Bidwell – on ” Hindu nationalism” betrays the bias of Roussinos.
When in the same paragraph he then speaks of Galloway’s Workers Party as a ” genuinely fascinating development” for a ” Muslim bloc”, I am surprised at his callous ignorance of the phenomenon of Islamism and it’s opportunistic coalescing with extreme Marxism. When this trend co- exists with unchecked immigration, surely it’s a recipe for disaster?
This latter alliance is what a more discerning commentator would be more acutely aware of, given its ramifications for democratic politics all over the globe.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
8 days ago
Reply to  Sayantani G

Two weekends ago, I reread “Submission” by Michel Houellebecq. The first time I read it, I got all hung up on the alliance between the Islamist party and the left who decided they would do anything to prevent the far-right from getting into power.
What I failed to properly absorb in my first reading was that – in the end – it is the nativists and the Islamists that end up in bed together. Once the nativists get over their instinctive suspicion of Islam, they realise that their political objectives are quite similar (a return to religion and traditional family structures and gender roles).
Baking that into a future vision of Britain…ooof. Beyond maybe a brief frisson of schadenfreude at the left having trashed themselves by playing the useful idiots in the ascendancy of political Islam…not pretty, especially for women.

Sayantani G
Sayantani G
8 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

A prescient analysis is in the concluding chapter by Niall Ferguson in ” Civilization – The West versus the Rest”.
The iteration you speak of may not necessarily hold good. As being somewhat familiar with the concepts of political Islam, especially in its Wahabist forms, I wouldn’t assume a natural alliance of nativists with Islamists. That may be true superficially but in the end it’s about Dar Ul Islam in which all non- believers are to be conquered by force.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Interesting. But I am not convinced that a yearning for old religion and family structures are beliefs that are powerful here – certainly amongst the Under 50s. We have been a super secular multicultural society for 30/40 years. My takeaway from the book was the rather more probable base selfish attitudes of his native males – 5 compliant wives?! No bossy Girlz in the workplace!!? And more jobs!!!! That seems a rather more likely scenario!!

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You seem to be one of that appalling breed – the male feminist

Hence eager to sneeringly denounce male selfishness while nodding through far worse feminist selfishness.

Emergencies are good for religion – war, economic collapse and poverty, pestilence, hunger – all get people down on their knees pdq.

And as all those uncomfortable things are heading our way – and at speed – our super secular society will soon be no more than a memory.

And it won’t rise again. The Age of Abundance is ending.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Thats a deeply confused very funny post!!! Thanks!

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Your assertion about emergencies being good for religion leads directly to a conclusion: religion is an aspect of the human psyche that seeks answers in the face of uncertainty and travail.
PDQ – the well-spring of religiosity is entirely human, and the “god” fiction only necessary to bolster the whole edifice.
That this isn’t so patently obvious to everyone speaks volumes about the human condition, but little else.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
8 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

The arrogant atheist who would be God.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
8 days ago

The ‘in plain sight’ non-goddist. It’s religionists who display the same kind of arrogance as progressives with wishful thinking translating into dogma.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Atheism is so obviously wishful thinking.

And Atheists – pretending that the universe exists by magic – are so obviously crooks.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
7 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Which atheists think that?
Whatever the causal factors of the universe coming into being is an unanswered question. As unanswered as they come.
Filling a gap with god(s) answers nothing. It just defers exactly the same question.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
7 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

You speak as if you have authority when you do not (a symptom of arrogance). You have an opinion about something that cannot be known. That is all. Very little can actually be known: the existence of the material world cannot be known though it is an extremely widely held belief, which is no guarantee of truth. Agnosticism would be a more humble position: a recognition of human limitations.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
7 days ago

Theism refers to belief, atheism is the absence of belief. Gnosticism refers to knowledge, agnosticism the absence of knowledge. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
I am an atheist because I have no belief in god(s) and I am an agnostic because I have no knowledge of the non-existence of god(s).
There are some who prefix atheist with strong or weak. Strong being an active belief that god(s) does not exist and weak simply meaning no belief. Personally, I believe this to be redundant and the “strong” atheist position (being in itself a belief rather than the absence of belief) should have its own term.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Technically you are correct but the vernacular use of the term atheism is generally an assertion there is no God rather than a revelation of lack of belief or faith, and agnosticism a don’t know. Also, God by definition is unknowable as if God were knowable then God in some sense would be less than the knower, which makes the term agnostic when referring to God meaningless.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
8 days ago

Yes, it can all be said so much more easily: The trek from the right to the left is the trek from something to nothing. “You who are not birds, should not perch on abysses.”

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
8 days ago

The abyss is also part of the human condition. Coming to terms with it does not – repeat, not – require a religious stance. It does require a greater understanding of the human psyche than those predisposed to belief systems can envisage.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
8 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I don’t disagree. It is, however, the rare person who can “come to terms with it.” For the others, it is a desperate leap into faith.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago

Which supposes that Atheists are Tougher than ordinary mortals.

In reality, they are merely more cosseted.

Or dweebs who find hope and Belief in some form of politics.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

You are sneering at religious people as Believers, eager to Believe.

But the Left are even more prone to Belief – and no one’s saying they are religious !

btw In reality, the abyss isn’t despair or annihilation – it’s Hell, thoughtfully provided by God to house those who wish to be eternally evil.

As for greater understanding of the human psyche – read the Bible if you want that understanding. Reading books on consciousness or whatever won’t provide it.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
7 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Dante’s purgatory is generally considered one of the greatest works on human psychology ever written.

William Amos
William Amos
7 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

The ‘Human Psyche’ you mention is itself a Freudian metaphor borrowed from Pagan religious myth.
If you are truly resolved to go down into the Cave of Trophonius armed only with your unyielding ‘Will’ you too will need to shed the consoling language of religion.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

The human psyche is one of God’s creations.

It wouldn’t otherwise exist.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
6 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Why is female selfishness worse than male selfishness? And why is a male feminist one of ‘that appalling breed’?

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
6 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Yeah, but no booze.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Missionary religions like Islam and Christianity, find it hard to co-exist.

Therefore it’s unlikely that Islamists and nativists will “end up in bed together” except on an ad-hoc, short-term basis.

The fate of feminism is bound up with the fate of the middle-class, since feminism exists very largely on behalf of middle-class females (whatever it may pretend).

Stormy political weather, AI and the pursuit of net zero, may eviscerate the middle-class and thus feminism.

Incidentally, do NOT refer to us traditionalists as “nativists” as if we were Blood and Soil racists with SS insignia on our lapels !

mike otter
mike otter
8 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Tjis is very much my point – rousinso and his kind think that islamists are his tools and islamists think “useful idiots” like rosino are their tools – well they can’t both be right. Bit like UK where Liebore and the Tory/Pinochets think education will stop ppl voting fo rthem – gain they can’t both be right, what a bunch of eh?

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
8 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Islam is NOT going to merge or be influenced by anything, especially the “nativists” PERIOD! Islam is an ideology that uses religion for control. Once the Islamist’s get control you WILL be ruled by Sharia with all the whipping, hand chopping, stoning, and head chopping that follows.

William Amos
William Amos
7 days ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The synthesis you describe is truly fissile and has been conceived of obliquely for some time now.
Michael Young described in his book ‘The New East End’ (2011) the paradox that the hostility between old fashioned working class families in East London and the new Bengali immigrants belied the fact they had more values in common with each other than with the Liberal Progressives who rode the tiger of Bengali militancy. Overcoming the racial animus, on both sides, was the insuperable barrier to an otherwise unstoppable political force
As I say to anyone who isn’t bored of me already. While the disagreements between Jerusalem and Mecca are soteriological, historical and doctrinal her disagreements with Liberal Progressivism are fundamental, teleological and utterly existential.
We must make of that what we will.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
8 days ago
Reply to  Sayantani G

I think one has to take the rough with the smooth with Aris’s articles. I have him categorizeed as a big picture, broad brushstroke, dramatic panorama journalist. Take some big themes, throw them on the canvas, create some linkages between the major forms and, voila, if the strokes are bold enough a wonderful picture emerges, best admired from a distance rather than scrutinised up close – a sort of journo equivalent of a John Martin painting. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I think this one just misses.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
8 days ago

Yup. Modern art does little for me as well.

Fred Bloggs
Fred Bloggs
7 days ago

But it is a worthy effort, nonetheless.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
8 days ago
Reply to  Sayantani G

The issue isn’t actually, Islam – it is branches of Islam. For example, Iran has an Islamic Theocratic Government, desperately trying to hold down its own Islamic people. Pakistan on the other hand is a nominally secular Government, desperately trying to hold down it’s Islamist population.
We import the Islamists, and then are shocked when they behave as Islamists and blow up schoolgirls, or exploit them.
Europe too appears to have chosen to import Islamists. France may be worth watching to see how things are going to pan out for many a European Country.
I hear even Sweden isn’t improving.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
8 days ago
Reply to  Sayantani G

A valid criticism. I like Roussinos’ writing, but he has his blind spots as all of us do. Quoting someone else’s claim of ‘racial dog whistling’ conveys the same meaning as making the claim directly, with the added benefit that the journalist can easily dodge any questions of bias because he was reporting ‘what someone else said’. This is among the most common tactics of journalism. Roussinos uses it both well and often, but most journalists do, and there is some merit in reporting the opinions of various people even on the fringe. Roussinos supports Islam and Muslim causes fairly consistently while failing to mention things like Islamic terrorism or the brutal treatment of women in the Muslim world. He’s an excellent writer, but he clearly uses his talent to grind his particular axe now and then.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
9 days ago

I’ve long wanted to get a bumper sticker reading ENOCH POWELL WAS RIGHT.
I’ve also wanted one reading LORD SALISBURY WAS RIGHT.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 days ago

Oh no…there’s only one person you’ve left out ?

Instead of the rainbow flag or the Christian fish that graces people’s rear bumpers, you could just get a moustache as a sticker.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Are you claiming that Powell was Hitler ?

You’re a buffoon, if you are.

David Jory
David Jory
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Centrists claim they are the reasonable adults,and yet the mask has slipped in France with Macron urging people to vote for the violent,incendiary Left rather than RN.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  David Jory

There are no real centrists any more. They’re usually crazier than the “extremists.”

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago

What a smugster and imbecile you are.

David McKee
David McKee
9 days ago

I’m going to fly a little flag here, and we’ll see what people think. The visceral hatred of the Tories is not that they did anything desperately wrong – the huge surge in immigration was a cockup, not a deliberate policy – but that it drifted.
Ministers seemed out of their depth. “Take back control” was the message of Vote Leave. But for the last five years, it’s seemed that no one was in control.

The result was the voters felt disoriented – an unsettling and unpleasant experience. Hence the hostility.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

No. A rabble of incompetents, solely focused on filling their pockets and looking after their mates.

D Glover
D Glover
8 days ago

If both Sunak and Rees-Mogg are hedge fund managers couldn’t they fill their pockets even fuller in the City than they do in politics?
I still don’t understand why Sunak stood for parliament. He’s got a luxurious penthouse in Santa Monica with a view of the Pacific.

Lizzie J
Lizzie J
8 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

The Penthouse means he’s just a rich kid. PM of the UK gives him a free pass to the WEF VIP lounge – he hopes.

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
8 days ago
Reply to  Lizzie J

Agreed. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: just having money, even a lot of money, is not enough.
It’s another story to have a lot of money and on top of that also to have power, prestige, to be in a position to make decisions about lives of other people and to feel in control of all these little people with less money and with no power.

RA Znayder
RA Znayder
8 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

The oligarchs also need people actually in politics to do their bidding. Especially because the financialized economy needs the government lifeline to keep running.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

Power and arrogance drove him, and drive him.

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
8 days ago
Reply to  D Glover

Does he need an English major with passion for British history to manage his CA property.?.Room, board, company vehicle and modest allowance. Can begin immediately!

Stuart Maister
Stuart Maister
8 days ago

I so dislike slogan comments like this. As said below, the idea that wealthy and successful people enter politics to enrich themselves is patent nonsense. Far better to believe, as I do, that most UK politicians get into it out of vocation, purpose and, yes, power – but that’s part of how countries get run.
You can believe they’re incompetent, wrong or misguided without claiming they’re corrupt.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago

Worse. They were NOT disruptors!!!! We the people were! The Wet Cameroonian Conservatives had gleefully embraced the EU and Blair Revolution of the 90s!!! They failed not because they were ardent Brexiteers – they were a tiny minority in the party ..and tinier when the woke tinpot dictators in the Civil Service decided to black op & top the leaders Suella Raab and the Fool. They failed precisely because they were Progressive Quislings, bowing low to the Progressive Order and Laws – hence the gender and culture wars which pulsed out from the State. They failed because all inc sad Rishi were Treasury Orthodox Stooges – high tax madmen, magic money apostles, pro a 190bn wreck in NHS,, pro welfare heroin and 11m depressed – they were de facto Socialists. It is comic to read the familiar bleatings about our libertarian Far Right Government!!!! But lalaland and magic Think is a key part of progressive political culture so que sera. This will be no political counter coup. Its just ardent hardcore progressives sliding back into the bosom of the Blairite State, booting out their confused hapless kindred from Westminster.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Has anyone heard from Charles Stanhope, not heard from him for a while…

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

In a word… Covid.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Of course Covid laid bare Tory incompetence, but that lets them off too lightly, they were appalling and corrupt. I hope Labour’s anti-social bill pans out…

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

While that is all accurate, there were also the examples of Partygate, the mini-budget and toppling of Liz Truss, with the cherry on top being Suella Braverman’s sacking and effectively being replaced by David Cameron in November. For me and many others who voted Conservative in 2019 in the hope we might reshape and better prepare this country for the next 25 years or so, that was the last straw.

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

Put the Boats to one side as UK not alone in struggling with such illegal people movement. The key question perhaps is why so much legal migration been allowed? Ok so some is Hong Kong and Ukraine, but beyond that the Tories and the Right more broadly have ducked the choices we face whilst actually weaponising immigration. An old playbook for which they deserve everything they get. If we aren’t going to train more of our own, or fund higher/further education via different methods, we either collapse certain industries or allow more migration. It’s the lack of honesty and the lack of a national skills plan with too much reliance on some miracle of the market that’s done for Tories.
Our birth rate is now down to 1.55. We’ve a fundamental problem medium/long term that isn’t going away. We’ll have an older population that wants to retire at same time their parents did but dump the cost of that on a diminishing pool of our Younger who at same time are denied the housing and job security opportunities of their parents while mired in debt. Unacceptable and we need to grasp this quickly. The Tories won’t because their core is the Boomers.
Tories have made Britain even more unequal. The far Right won’t do anything about that but chuck some red meat to throw folks off the real scent.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

As ever, Remainiac JW totally forgets a thing called a two year lockdown which threatened unis and many businesses with extinction. I loath the Tories for their appallingly lax decision to bend to these and intra State pressures to open the gates in the aftermath (which explains the non HK non Ukraine surge). The dependents decision was insane. But at least recognise the messy reality. Criticize freely if you were a lockdown sceptic. If not, as a pots and panner, take some responsibility for the chaos the covid hysteria and the longstanding in built State addiction to open borders has induced.

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

LD1 strong support, LD 2 & 3, much less as we had time to be better prepared.
But the economic question is what happened to the £600b in furlough? As we know some fraud/abuse Tories simply haven’t chased sufficiently. But as we also know inevitable that this ended up being a transfer through to asset holders to buy more assets. The poorer folks spent it on the basics, food, rent etc. The rich couldn’t fly off on Holiday so what did they do with the money still flowing through to them – yes buy more assets. So we could have corrected this with some form of asset accumulation claw back. We haven’t. And thus paying for it now falls disproportionately on less able to manage as they need the services that are compromised. It was unintended but accelerated inequality even more. We might agree on this.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Any discussion of the impact of national lockdown/economic suicide HAS to start not with super rich snd poor but with the shattering inequality between those nestled in the public sector (excepting those in the Covid Only NHS hospitals) and those in the private sector – the unseen strivers (majority poor) in the vans in the shops – who could not loaf in garden WFH on a full taxpayer salary and vast pension whilst their savings ballooned. The ignorance and near contempt shown by the Idiot Fake Tories and State towards the owners and workers in hospitality was simply appalling. A deep unacknowledged chasm between a protected Soviet style Clerisy and Blob and the actual ‘working people’ who bore the brunt of the lockdown insanity has opened up. It will never ever close as the degrowth bureaucratic class warrior Progressives take power. All done to save the NHS of course.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Not sure why you’re getting the downticks, your key question:

The key question perhaps is why so much legal migration been allowed?

Is the correct one, although your conclusions are incorrect: “we either collapse certain industries or allow more migration.”

The actual answer, if you want to maintain a stable (and aging) population is investment in automation and efficient systems; that is the only way that one can improve the key metric of GDP per capita.

However the UK has been historically terrible at incentivising investment in automation and efficiency in both the private and public spheres, capital allowances and accounting treatments are terrible, returns on investment too low, taxes to high etc etc. However unbridled immigration also has a detrimental impact.

One small example of why immigration is the enemy of automation: carwashes. The number of manual carwashes has been increasing in recent years rather than declining, why? Because of illegal immigration and cash in hand sub-market rate employment practices meaning that machines which can do just as good a job stand idle on station forecourts. Machines that are regulated, had to have permits, have to charge VAT and be accountable and are sufficiently expensive to require being run through a P&L somewhere, whilst the erstwhile competition faces no of those obstacles.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
8 days ago

Don’t rule out the likelihood that hand car wash operations are (like barbers and nail bars and some take-aways) basically about laundering drug money.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Totally agree, the Tories have taken the p*ss over immigration, as you correctly say it is the Study and work aspects of legal immigration that make up the numbers. The audacity of Johnson and Leave to suggest they would stop immigration, they have allowed it to go through the roof, mainly to prop up Universities and the NHS (and Amazon et al)

Matt M
Matt M
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

The immigration c**k-up illustrates the problem perfectly. Had they done nothing – left the minimum earnings requirement for a work visa where it was at the start of 2021, not introduced family visas for students and care workers and not introduce the graduate visa – they would have had no problem. But instead they made uncoordinated and ill thought out changes to appease sectional interests – NHS trusts, the universities, various business groups. And the result was 700k+ net immigration in a year!
This is the very definition of drift. No one at the top of the government had an overarching strategy on immigration. Frankly, no one cared enough to form one, which is bizarre given that they must have known the attitude of their voters.
Boris or Sunak could have laid out the stall at any point: reduce immigrant numbers to below 100k, select immigrants for skills, focus on incentivising the native population to fill shortage occupations and firms to automate (Japan style), give native Brits precedence for jobs, social housing, health care etc, detain and deport all illegals.
Had they done that, they would have been looking forward to a fresh majority on Thursday rather than a bloodbath.

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

You missed one of the biggest – social care. Much bigger demand and gaps than in the NHS.
What would you have done? Let the Care Homes close and Care packages cease? Or implemented Dilnot 5-10yrs ago, fund it properly, create a proper career structure and pay sufficient to get more of our own working in the Sector? Why didn’t they do that?
On the last question – the politics are difficult to be fair, but they could be more honest about it. They weren’t and the critics of undue migration to cover gaps are being a bit dishonest too.

Arthur King
Arthur King
4 days ago
Reply to  Matt M

The Liberals in Canada did the same thing. Mass immigration drovedown wages and raised housing prices. They are now hated.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

The surge in immigration was a deliberate policy, driven by Business’s constant thirst for cheap, docile labour.

It was thus a deliberate kick in the teeth inflicted by the Tories on their own supporters !

Clever, eh ?

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

In part yes. But would you have voted for an increase in social care spending to train and attract more of our own ?
And if the crops weren’t harvested you happy we are more dependent on imports and higher food prices?
Are they solely to blame therefore?
Etc

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Those who pick the crops are paid
in peanuts.

Pay proper wages (subsidised.by government if farmers genuinely need subsidy) and you’ll get the labour.

Many modern Brits have been wrecked by a decadent capitalism and its decadent lifestyles, drugs. entertainment etc.

But those still capable of work aren’t “job snobs” – they merely wish to earn more than peanuts.

j watson
j watson
6 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

I agree. Pay more and we may need less migrant workforce. So you are happy to pay more for your food and be explicit to the UK public that’s the requirement?
Good on you if you are. The Tories, and Reform too as they duck this reality, are clearly not.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

No. The heart of the Tory party is T.May. ie not a clue.No idea. Lobotomised.

Peter Wren
Peter Wren
8 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

Yes. Oversaw the failures of Home Office, Border Agency, collapse of policing. The one minister that needed to be Conservative and Competent… wasn’t

And as for triggering Article 50 before having a strategy, let alone a plan, what exactly was the thinking behind that?

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  Peter Wren

I think the thinking was to get out of the EU, because the people voted for it.

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

My sense is the lobotomised element may be the members who bought into twaddle about cake and eating it.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
8 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

I think it was that they forgot what it was they were supposed to be conserving: secure borders, biological reality, freedom of expression, rule of law, trust in institutions – you know, the basics. It’s that old Marcus Aurelius adage – understand and know the nature of the thing itself. If you no longer look to act in your own nature then in the long run you will cease to be, which is what is going to happen to the conservatives.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
7 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

Those comments ignore the global disasters of Covid, Ukraine impact on energy costs, the supply of goods and labour shortages. Does anyone seriously think that the Shadow front bench would’ve done better? They certainty wouldn’t have done it cheaper.

Mustard Clementine
Mustard Clementine
9 days ago

I really don’t think edgelords will rule anywhere, ultimately. If nothing else, because it isn’t productively motivating to focus solely on what’s wrong (unless, as a Canadian, I am simply missing how unbelievably and decidedly miserable Brits may be determined to be).
What I think will win, eventually, is someone with a more positive view of the future, someone who talks less about what’s wrong and more about how we can make things right. Focusing on what could be possible is more enduringly energizing than focusing on what we need to stop. The problem is too many people, on both sides, are fixated on everything wrong, providing consequently miserable, defeatist “solutions” no one really wants.
I actually spent some time pontificating on that, in honour of Canada Day, in part inspired (if you can call a response to negativity that) by some of the dour British-oriented ideas I have seen on this site. The real issue is a lack of inspiration, not a harbinger of being ruled by downers – who, by definition, can’t lift anything up and only drag us down to their level. Ultimately, I don’t think most people want that. Most will respond better to anyone emerging with a more positive way forward.

Hugh Jarse
Hugh Jarse
8 days ago

Agreed. We desperately need leadership from government and leadership requires a vision. One that is clear, easily articulated and readily understood.
And then supported by action.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago

So tell us what isn’t wrong.

Martin M
Martin M
9 days ago

For all the inevitability of Labour’s victory, it is the overtly anti-system candidates on the fringes who are driving the debate, in a process perhaps analogous to the collapse of the centre driving French politics into historic crisis“.  The beauty of the British first-past-the-post electoral system is that those candidates on the fringes mostly don’t get it.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 days ago
Reply to  Martin M

Until they do. The French single member constituency, two round system if anything makes it harder for outsiders to break through. But ultimately the centre cannot hold if people stop voting for them. That day is coming, if not at this election then soon. Labour may well win a landslide victory with a lower vote share – and fewer actual votes – than achieved by Corbyn in 2017.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Much as Blair won a landslide in 1997 with fewer votes than Major had won in 1992.

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well, sure. The fact is that British elections (in England at least) have historically produced lots of Tory MPs, lots of Labour MPs, a smattering of Lib Dem MPs, and the occasional “other”. That means that mostly the Tories or Labour get to govern. In Europe, on the other hand, lots of parties get seats, and coalitions are common. Maybe this election will buck that trend. Maybe it won’t.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
8 days ago

The term “dog whistle” seems kinda nostalgic already.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
8 days ago

“Labour, by contrast, plans to solve the problem through the simple expedient of forcing councils to build homes: the answer to the housing crisis is, as it always was, compulsion through state power“. At present state power – through planning, environmental and employment regulations – is directed towards making house building slow and expensive. Labour plans to do nothing about that, but merely to layer down targets from the top, an approach which has proven highly ineffective in other areas. State power is a function of economic strength. A state which strangles private enterprise merely weakens its own power to deliver. Separately, Roussinos’s suggestion of a Jewish bloc contesting mastery of the streets seems rather fanciful.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
8 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

You say that state power ‘..is directed towards making house building slow and expensive.’ I’d say it’s really aimed at making it slow but very, very profitable – and the default planning approach (through Local Plans and the NPPF) is already ‘say yes unless there is a very specific reason to say no’. Even when planners say no (eg Sizewell C, to take a monstrous example) there will always be a Secretary of State to call it in and overrule. The power of the State, for the last 20 years or so, has been trammelled by the profit ambitions of the housebuilders, not its own caution.

RA Znayder
RA Znayder
8 days ago

A Ponzi, of course, merely seems very very profitable, until its not.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well said! Its hysterical. Starmer and Ange rage at evil bloody planning!! But only a few months ago they commanded Labour in the Lords to defend the deranged EU laws on Newts!! Say it loud – these are YOUR laws! The EU regulatory System Labour embraced and loves so much they are happy to adopt – even though we now have no say in them. Doh! Their love of NGOs and Quangos and joy in bureaucratic bossiness is the brake on economic growth. They are so dim!! They are like a sleepwalker fighting themselves in night.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Very good. What is astonishing is the failure of Rach to articulate and develop fully her vision of the Active State. First she went full Biden – the Red is Green massive intervention in green energy. But then she realised we have no dollar so the 28bn became 2bn. Doh!! Then she began burbling all Trussy about ‘growth’. But no one in Labour likes wealth creation (nasty pasty patriarchal privileged rich a-holes). It can only be administered top down in Soviet style planning. And finally- without ever saying the words PFI – she grabs at another of Uber God Toniz old policies. All those nice City banks and funds are going to cough up!! No need for higher taxes!!! Oh dear. Someone send Rach to all the PFI Hospitals drowning in debt and stripped of expensive hospital beds. 200bn. God save us from that partnership again. Its back of fag packet dumb politics. But hey – we want ‘change ‘ right?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 days ago

Had the U.K. left the EU earlier – when it was still generally a trading block – then maybe we would not have collapsed the capability of Westminster to run the country. Brexit did not cause this problem – it was remaining so long that did.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
8 days ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I fundamentally disagree. That’s typical of the ‘we haven’t got the Brexit we wanted’ notion, even though Brexiteers had no idea themselves of what Brexit would look like. They didn’t actually know what they wanted beyond leaving the EU they hated.

No matter when the UK left it was always going to be messy.
Imposing economic sanctions on yourself always is.
Because whether anyone wants to admit it, that’s precisely what the UK has done

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

In order to escape the increasingly dreary and fragile hell-house that is the EU, where Euroscepticism is growing rapidly.

It looks increasingly likely the EU will be gone – or be unrecognisable – by 2030.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

The clock is only at five past the hour. Trade links and patterns take much longer to develop. Also, a man that has been semi-castrated takes time to heal and become a man again. In the case of our civil service and most of the politicians, they would obviously prefer to remain castrated and let others take the decisions, but they won’t live forever, fortunately.

I went for an interview once in Edinburgh for a job as head of economics and statistics in the MAFF. They explained all about their data collection operations and the importance of the annual farm census. OK, I thought, that’s the statistical collection side. What do you do with the data, I asked, what types of analysis? DO? WE don’t do anything with it. We send it to London. And what does London do with it, I asked. Why, they send it to Brussels, of course. So you don’t do any economic analysis here? The panel appeared shocked at the very notion. Dr Haynes, the chairman said in a very civilised Edinburgh accent, the tail does not wag the dog. Our function is to supply the data they request. Brussels is in charge now.

I had been living abroad for the previous eight years so perhaps the last bit was to inform me how things had changed. Needless to say, they didn’t want anyone who might question what they were doing and I had no intention of becoming a numbers collector. Still I had flights from Oz and a holiday in the UK to console me.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Peter Shore’s “Separate Ways ” shows the EEC was always a political not a trading institution. The politcs were : prevent a war between France and Germany which was achieved by the Schuman Declrartion to unite coal and steel; destroy Prussia, De Gaulle not being invited to the Potsdam Conference in 1945; resentment of the English Speaking World, fear of a communist take over. After 1948. The communist parties were the largest in France and Italy post 1945.
Separate Ways: Britain and Europe: Amazon.co.uk: Shore, Peter: 9780715629727: Books
Basically, the EEC was a Catholic Conservative entity with the aim to recreate the Empire of Charlemagne. We joined beause the FCO had a nervous breakdown over Suez and collapse in industrial output from mid 1960s onwards. Heath and the other Europhiles deliberately lied when they said there would no loss of sovereignty.
A Free Trade zone with membership of NATO would have produced a far more innovative and agile entity with no currency and central bank. Let each country develop in a manner which best suits them.
The EEC was deliberately created to produce a oligarchic bureaucracy to prevent the will of the people electing a fascist or communist leader.
We now have Oban undermining the EU by being friendly with Putin because Hungary has some ancient conflict with the Ukraine and Slovakia has elected a communist who is pro Russia.
We live in a world where speed, in fact acceleration, and agility is more important than size. Force is mass times acceleration, kinetic energy is half mass x velocity squared. Look at the speed at which Nvidia has grown.
The EU is large, slow, cumbersome, clumsy and brittle- there are too many fractures.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
8 days ago

Splendid and insightful writing. Not sure about the final sentence. The future belongs to a leader of powerful charisma who can enthuse the sullen electorate and depolarise the tribal blocs. Reforming the centre with the magnetic pulls of an exceptional personality, not trying to adapt & placate edge lords at every extreme. Granted, I write in hope not in fact.

Hugh Jarse
Hugh Jarse
8 days ago

The Edgelords won’t govern, but they most certainly will shape how and who will govern. Meanwhile we have to work through ie endure a few more years of mess before some clarity emerges.
Those of senior years, and historians amongst us may recognise the many similarities between now and the mid 1970s. A key difference though, is that now we are by no means the ‘sickest man in Europe’. One wonders if that (not being an outlier) could be a positive factor in finding our way out of this….?

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
8 days ago

Another writer indulging himself in his political failure theories but seemingly without a clue how to build a better future.. Another articulate observer of incompetence who himself lacks the ability to identify a set of constructive proposals for change. That we are in a mess is hardly a great insight. Coming up with an intelligible and deliverable plan to change things for the better would be good. But I guess that is not the role of the Commentariat. It’s the role of the politician, God help us. Maybe we can only pray that cometh the hour cometh the man or woman.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Nil desperandum; David Lammy is waiting in the wings.

Simon White
Simon White
8 days ago

“… Brexit should be understood less as a one-off withdrawal from a continental trading bloc, but rather as a revolutionary catalyst which would end up collapsing the Westminster system under its own contradictions”

But they told us ’twas just a bunch of thickos who couldn’t understand what they were voting for.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 days ago

Aris Roussinos makes a fair point that the Conservatives have squandered their time in office, preferring to make minor tweaks to ‘the rules’ rather than address the underlying issues. Even Brexit, which was forced upon them, was trimmed and watered down to ‘fit the rules’.
Meanwhile Labour was no better – they too preferred to debate changes to ‘the rules’ rather than address the underlying issues. Perhaps the election of Corbyn could have altered this stance, but the electorate thought differently (then).
And now the electorate want more than minor tweaks and the main party politicians have forgotten how to respond.

Jimmy Snooks
Jimmy Snooks
8 days ago

I think Aris’s comparison of a Tory government being handed an unexpected victory in 2019 to an elderly non-driver being handed the keys of a sports car is perfect.
Unwilling to take on the apparent complexity of the latest model, they handed the car to a load of NGOs, quangos, and regulatory bodies, and said ‘You drive’.
They completely forgot what they were there for (being a conservative government), assuming that their stroke of luck in storming the 2019 GE was their droit de seigneur being made manifest.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
8 days ago

So much right so much wrong Aris! The starting point must be a clear understanding of the Progressive New Order established by the EU & Blair. That State rules us – and as you say totally suffocated accomodated and ultimately destroyed the supposedly Brexit Fake Tory administration, stuffed with Wet Quislings who bow to the New Gods of identitarianism and equality. We are out – but remain frozen as a fully functioning EI style Progressive State with its permanent army of Regulatory Quangos, captured Civil Service and Blob, compliant State media and commanding judiciary and laws causing communal division and economic stagnation via enforced degrowth. This coercive NHS State is a failed State. So the future of a new Conservatism must begin by demolishing all the destructive negative behaviour of the Progressive State (coercion/magic money/redistribution only tax/London property Heist) and building a new model from the ruins in an AI era. This week sees the final triumph and ascendancy of the progressive movement. But their belief that the Active State is a only power for good, their belief in coercion, welfarism and anti meritocracy; their blind faith in extreme eco Pol Potism; their love of regulatory diktat (good luck with demolishing YOUR EU planning barriers!) and their poisonous sectarian/apartheid style race think will surely see them steer this leaking national tanker onto the rocks – again. Then new Conservatives must be ready again to deliver the medicine – to support wealth creators and enterprise as per Anglo-American dynamism not the turgid timid EU; restore the function of the National Executive/health of democracy and smash the permanent rogue useless Quangos; reform the laws on int asylum, HR and equality, strip back EU red tape and demolish a State akin to East Germany or Hungary in the 80s than the pre EU nation state of Thatcher. But first must come the Fall.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Don’t worry – the sums don’t add up and we’re massively in debt (as country, government and public).

So the Progressive Order will simply collapse, along with its distinctive social classes.

David Jory
David Jory
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

They can ignore reality,but not the consequences of ignoring reality.
Atlas will shrug.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
8 days ago

Many of these issues apply to countries other than the UK as well. I get the feeling that we’re no longer in the boat; we’re in the water!

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago

True. And that’s happened very recently.

Which is why people are quoting Lenin’s ominous remark:

“There are decades when nothing happens. Then weeks, when decades happen.”

Martin M
Martin M
7 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Lenin may have been an evil communist, but he said the odd interesting thing.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 days ago

“Labour, by contrast, plans to solve the problem through the simple expedient of forcing councils to build homes: the answer to the housing crisis is, as it always was, compulsion through state power.”
Labour will also exacerbate the housing crisis by entrenching and institutionalising continuous mass immigration. The UK will end up covered in concrete for the benefit of foreigners.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

At which point the entire population, both migrant and non-migrant, will succumb to hunger – since you can’t eat concrete.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
8 days ago

Brilliant piece, thank you.

Point of Information
Point of Information
8 days ago

Despite Aris writing intelligent and non-partisan analysis, he does resemble “the end is nigh” pundits in other reaches of the political spectrum.

I have extended family in poorer areas of the Midlands and the North, and – aside from dire NHS provision – they lead happy (save for the random tragedies of ordinary existence) and productive lives. Kids go to school and learn, and although a set lives a town with among the lowest educational levels in the UK, the kid is literate, numerate, and chatty. All the adults without severe physical disabilities work, have friends and go out. A northern relative who is disabled is more determined to enjoy life than anyone else I know.

The most depressed and intermittently non-working person I know is upper middle class and based around London.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
8 days ago

But such fiercely beautiful prose. A St John of Revelation for Unherd. A conductor sweeping the instruments of the orchestra into a swirling sound. The blood tingles, the breathing increases. The body is clothed with a spirit of a grim destiny.
The Seer reveals hidden meaning in the currents surging to the surface of the country, pregnant with boiling fury. Apprehension steels the muscles as the edge of night approaches, and in the red-streaked sky over lawless Middlesborough gangs steal chocolate from failing businesses and the social workers formerly known as the police visit people with disabilities to check on their wellbeing and ignore the crime. Visions form of the lords who edged the Western Roman Empire as it shrank from the Imperial City into swamp-ringed Ravenna.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away. (Matthew 24:38-39).

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago

The cops spend their time checking menacingly on those with Christian, conservative or other unfashionable beliefs.

Martin M
Martin M
6 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Well, there’s no excuse for being unfashionable.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago

The Maastricht Treaty cemented in the folly that Arts, Humanities and Social Science graduates from ‘either university’ could run the country, run an industrial company, or an infrastructure programme, successfully, without any regard to the Laws of Physics, let alone any Engineers, or Natural Scientists. When you don’t have any basic knowledge of the relevant STEM subject, it’s easy to ignore these professionals and pander to the political activists. After all, they might be in Brussels, but they speak the same political language, and agree with you.

Converting the polytechnics, that taught wealth creating skills, to second tier universities, that ‘improved the minds’ but made their intake less employable, has reinforced that folly.

And it isn’t only STEM skills that have deteriorated: Business skills, Craftsmanship, Education and, ironically, much in the Arts, have declined in rigour. After all, we can always outsource those jobs, and keep the important stuff for ‘us’: WRONG!

Many prospective STEM workers ended up in the Information System Engineering industry, aka Computing or I.T., which has created wealth, but it has hampered Britain’s ability to create the manufacturing jobs that would make the country less dependable on imports.

Military wisdom has also suffered. Encouraging war, without ensuring the military are ready, with a fully trained Army and air cover, dependable equipment and supply of ammunition, is to be expected.

Expecting NET Zero policies to create Green Jobs, in the UK, not abroad, is fantasy, with the high Energy prices that we have. Blowing up coal-fired power stations, when there is an Energy shortage, and every country expecting to import Energy, when the wind doesn’t blow, is more than a logical amusement. The politicians, the BBC (though I am repeating myself), and the dwindling number of the public not aware of this calamity, need to reassess what they have been told over the last twenty four YEARS, and work towards a better outcome.

So, the choice isn’t which political agenda should be followed, it’s that we have to choose Reality, choose wealth creation, and spend less, much less, on crackpot ideas.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago

I presume by ‘reality’ you ate confining yourself to ‘economic reality’ ..correct?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
8 days ago

‘Chaos is a ladder’ – Petyr Baelish.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

..with many bustedrungs one presumes?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
8 days ago

We don’t learn anything useful at school, we either don’t work or work unproductivey, we don’t have children, we don’t build strong families, we rely on rentier economics or benefits and we are hand to mouth hedonistists in our leisure time. What ‘government’ could make a silk purse from this sow’s ear?

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Most people work hard. If unproductively, that is due to a lack of business investment, resulting in turn from millions of cheap immigrant workers.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

If everyone’s view is equally valid, wisdom will not flourish.

If genuine expertise is ridiculed, what hope Common Sense?

Would you invest your pension fund into that culture?

Would you want anyone else to invest your pension fund into that culture?

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago

Who determines what views are most valid ?

Education and IQ won’t cut it, as clever, well-educated people are often idiotic (or worse) – witness the technocrats of Communist Russia and Nazi Germany.

There is expertise in technical (and to a lesser extent) financial matters. But not in political matters.

And how do you determine (except by painful trial-and-error) who has Common Sense ?

Wisdom is, in fact, a spiritual gift. It requires, for a start, humility – which clever. well-educated people generally possess even less of than others. Esp in societies like ours that worship sharpness and education.

Above all, wisdom is a result of God’s grace acting in a virtuous person. And since our society lacks virtue, it lacks wisdom.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Commonsense is sadly, nowhere near as common as people think.. indeed common stupidity is more common. More common still is the inability to tell them apart! I’m quoting an English judge I think.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

It’s no good looking to ‘investment’ under current circumstances. Without the right workforce only a fool would invest. International corporations might site an enterprise on UK soil for logistic or tax reasons but it will just import the suitable labour. We need to get our people educated in useful ways, have discipline, self-reliance and build from the bottom up.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Why on earth should they bother ?

Why not glug the cider, watch the footie, tap the gizmos etc ?

Esp as everyone knows we’re heading for world war, climate emergency and societal breakdown.

Where’s the hope that will motivate the effort ?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
7 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Without effort success is impossible and failure is certain.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Your real name is Niail Istic right?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Agreed. First you need (them) to lose their silly notion of ethnic superiority / entitlement and realise that the Empire had short-term benefits only with frightful ongoing negative side effects, paradoxically.. Thanks to you, our overlords oppressing us for 700 years, we were spared all such grandiose notions of ourselves..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Nope.. the immigrants have a strong work ethic, John Bull has none!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

By George I believe you hit the proverbial nail on the head there! Immigration is yer only hope..

David Jory
David Jory
8 days ago

To the old parties: thankyou so much for bringing us sectarianism and immediately trashing human rights over the Pandemic and vaccination programme that you once pretended to espouse for decades.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  David Jory

When you said sectarianism and trashing human rights I was sure you were going to cite a8ding and abetting the genocide.. wasn’t it important enough to mention..

Geoffrey Kolbe
Geoffrey Kolbe
8 days ago

So, the incoming Labour government will be “more competent” than the outgoing Conservative government.
Well, you heard it here first…

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Kolbe

Labour would struggle to be less competent than the Tories.

The Tories have thrown away their traditional selling-point, their competence.

Too late they have discovered that, oddly enough, competence matters to the public.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Kolbe

The level of competence needed to improve on Tory ‘competence’? ..a bar set at ground level.. actually to do any worse would take serious effort I think and maybe classes in buffoonary and shameless corruption.

Geoffrey Kolbe
Geoffrey Kolbe
8 days ago

“the answer to the housing crisis is, as it always was, compulsion through state power.”
There is a simple rule of thumb that the more the State intervenes in housing, the higher the price of housing. This has been borne out time and time again – but I do not expect the Labour government to learn from history.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Kolbe

It depends entirely on what the State is doing. If it bashes landlords, the supply of rented housing will fall and rents will go up.

But if the State gets housing built, housing costs will go down.

Moreover, if the State doesn’t get social and affordable housing built, they won’t get built at all – the housebuilders don’t find them profitable to build, unless government subsidised.

Arthur G
Arthur G
8 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

The way to have “affordable housing” is to increase the housing supply and decrease demand (by limiting immigration and taxing non-resident foreign ownership of homes). As long as housing is in short supply, market rents/prices will be high. Giving a select few subsidized housing is not a cure. Take a look at the effects of rent control and massive public housing in NYC; it’s made NY one of the least affordable places on earth.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  Arthur G

On rent control, I agree. But why the problem with a large supply of public housing ? (unless favouritism is used)

Public housing was provided by the Tories in postwar Britain, without causing societal collapse !

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

First intelligent comment I read here..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Kolbe

It’s simple alright.. simplistic even.. actually no, it’s just silly isn’t it?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 days ago

but if European analogies hold true, his mantle will surely be handed over to someone younger and harder soon enough.
The sooner the better

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago

..give us a few names: Lawrence Fox, Douglas Murray?

General Store
General Store
8 days ago

Early days yet. The collapse has to come first. Stopping mass immigration has to be first. The political economy will come over decades of experimentation. Social democracy took exactly 100 years to unfold

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  General Store

You guys will never get it will you? Immigration is neocolonisation where you don’t even have to get off your fat arse.. when you expelled the EU immigrants GB nearly ground to a halt.. when you send home the others your NHS and everything else will grind to a halt. It’s the same in Ireland.. I’m in hospital here.. staff, top to bottom are 80% non indigeous Irish but we welcome immigrants and make them Irish ASAP.. sure we did that with you English so much so our freedom fighters (or as you call them, terrorists) were largely 2nd or 3rd generation English.. Irish is a state of mind.. it does not have a colour, or a religion or meritless superiority, or bigotry or racism. You guys need to move on from the old Empire days! Wake up, smell the coffee – it can’t be grown in GB you know!

Stephen Feldman
Stephen Feldman
8 days ago

Britain did well as province of Rome.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago

You are talking about nearly 2000 years ago, not the recent Club of Rome, aren’t you?

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
8 days ago

Interesting article, and seemingly expecting a large majority Labour Govt.
Not so fast, the revolution in process started with the run up to the Brexit referendum, which was exacerbated by the Westminster political class trying to overturn it, with the backing of corps. and the professional middle classes.
This 2024 election is only a blip along the path of the revolution started by brexit, it will continue at a more tumultuous pace and expect another 2 elections before 2030.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago

Eh …no.

mike otter
mike otter
8 days ago

When will you conos, of which roussinos is the worst, realise that political theory does not translate to real politics as applied – as his old NSDAP bosses called it: “realpolitik” Well putano rosse, your theory has failed – even if your kind are lucky enough to own a bunker i expect it will become your tomb. Do not “misunderestimate” humanity you POS because we have much more to give back to you and your kind than whatever you think you’ve taken from us humans.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  mike otter

What are you raving on about ?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

You’d probably have to re-live your whole life to understand..

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
8 days ago

“the answer to the housing crisis is, as it always was, compulsion through state power.”

No, Aris, you are quite wrong, that’s just your own “big state” preference shining through. The answer, lies, as it always does, in the state removing the barriers of legislation and regulation and letting people get on with it.

In this instance wholesale reform of the benighted 1947 Town and Country Planning Act and the neutering of the endless quangos who act as blockers on any development: Natural England, English Heritgae, SPAB, etc. etc. The Act in its current form essentially bans any building without ‘permission’, there is very little genuine permitted development.

This proscription should be inverted such that if plans comply with a determined set of standards, requirements and architectural lexica then the presumption should be that planning will be permitted. Combine this with some sort of LVT on developable land would stop the practise of land-banking and the construction of the horrendous, minute, expensive ticky-tacky identikit houses so beloved of developers, for whose sole benefit the current planning system has been designed to serve.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago

Demand needs to be reduced first. Otherwise, it will never be reduced.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
7 days ago

Yes, obviously

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago

..if you fail to consider the gouging by the predatory class, the diktats of the J-lobby, the unbridled greed of the 1% you’re missing a lot of the picture..

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
8 days ago

I think it is misleading to tag the populist nationalists with the pejorative “edgelord” — someone who deliberately talks about controversial, offensive, taboo, or nihilistic subjects in order to shock.
What you mean, dear writer, is that the populist nationalists say things that our overlords have decided they are not allowed to say.

Shelley Ann
Shelley Ann
7 days ago

Quite

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 days ago

“…. has taken the shape of rival Jewish and Muslim blocs contesting mastery of the streets.”

Jewish blocs in the streets? When? Where? Muslim population 6 million and growing fast, Jewish 350 thousand and falling. There were no Jewish blocs in the streets.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

There were a few, in a plucky. underdog way.

And their ranks were increased by conservatives, as the Muslim blocs were by leftists

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Correct! The Jewish bloc is not a bloc it is a lobby.. population irrelevant. It is the most powerful lobby in the UK puppet mastering your pathetic govts, deciding who lives, who dies, who eats and who starves.. you govt counts for very little, your ordinary people count for nothing at all.. “Goyim are mere animal excrement” Granpa Rochchild on his death bed!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 days ago

Can someone explain why Johnson invited Africa to move to the UK?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Sure.. the steps are easy..
1. Colonise, loot and oppress.
2. Insist natives speak English
3. Explain how everything British is AbFab
BtW under the Dublin Agreement (EU) you could have sent them all back to France. Now you can’t!
IF YOU..
1. ..had not colonised, looted and impoverished they would be prosperous now and stay at home, pre BE India GDP 23% of world: post BE destruction, India GDP 4% of world!
2. ..had had the foresight you could’ve forced the natives to learn French or Dutch or Spanish.
3. ..rejoin the EU you can invoke the Dublin Agreement and return them all to France, NL, Spain etc..
What can I say: you guys really screwed up! Now you gotta suck it up! Enjoy the slide..

Arthur King
Arthur King
4 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

To lower wages

leonard o'reilly
leonard o'reilly
8 days ago

I have a possible solution to the British migration crisis: get all those migrants subscriptions to Unherd so they can have a steady diet of Aris Roussinos. The prospects for their country of origin will not look so bad by comparison and they will all go back home.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
7 days ago

The way Britain’s heading, they will anyway.

Vici C
Vici C
7 days ago

Correct that Farage will go in the not too distant future – and be taken over by a younger, prettier, leader (his words). Maybe Zia Yusuf. But Britain will never be a far right country. More Saxon than Norman, as Mary says. Yes, it is obvious we are at the starting point of cataclysmic change. The power will slowly but surely go to the people. Ultimately, though, what would an AI dominated Britain look like? How many people would be in work? All the knowledge and power would be in the hands of a few, conversant with the technology.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
4 days ago