The Conservatives will never return to the ‘common ground’

She often comes in for a lot of stick, but Melanie Phillips often articulates the reality of a situation with supreme clarity. Consider this rhetorical contribution directed at the conservative-in-name-only in Number 10.

“Mr Cameron does not have to enter an alliance with UKIP in order to reconnect to Conservative voters. All he has to do — revolutionary thought! — is adopt Conservative policies himself.

Since the fall of Mrs Thatcher, British Conservatism has lost its way.

Mr Cameron wrote yesterday: ‘It’s not about being Left-wing or Right-wing; it’s about being where the British people are.’

Well, the British people want to get back from the EU the power to govern themselves. They want to live in a country that does not resemble an international transit camp, but where citizenship is based on a truly common culture.

They want to end ruinous and pointless green taxes, and to conserve the countryside against urban sprawl. They want armed forces that can actually defend the country and a drastic curtailment of international aid. And they want solid, unambiguous support for traditional family life.

That’s where the British people really are, Prime Minister. The problem is that you are somewhere else.”

So, sadly, are all but a tiny handful of senior Conservatives. While I wish well the genuine conservatives who in spite of everything remain in the Conservative party, my decision to resign as a Conservative Councillor and leave the party, because of the direction Cameron and his cronies were taking, has increasingly shown itself to have been completely justified.
What Phillips is saying is in her own way is what this blog has long said – the political class’ interests are wildly different from the interests of ordinary people.
The likelihood of the Conservatives rediscovering the common ground is so remote as to be negligible. The party leadership has been infested by people like Cameron, devoid of principle or belief, who want to govern for its own sake; and who think they alone should have the monopoly on decision making and therefore refuse the electorate’s wishes on a wide range of issues.
The concept of representative democracy is just that, a concept.  Something the Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduates learn under the likes of Vernon Bogdanor, before heading off into the world to maintain elected dictatorship.  Compare and contrast with the way things are done in what increasingly appears to be the last true democracy in the western world…  Until the status quo in the UK changes the politicians will never come close to sharing the common ground with the people.  Power to the people, Citizen Cam?  Not bloody likely.

16 Responses to “The Conservatives will never return to the ‘common ground’”


  1. 1 Clarence 04/03/2013 at 11:04 pm

    The Tory party has always been fervently pro-EU, since at least Macmillan.

    Cameron has not deviated from the fervently europhile script handed down to him via Macmillan, Douglas-Home (a devious federast when Heath’s foreign sec), Heath (enough said), Thatch (campaigned for a “yes to Europe” in 1975, guillotined debate on the Single European Bill, joined the ERM), Major (Maastricht), Hague (refused to rule out EMU for ever), IDS (I’ll get back to you), Howard (wouldn’t allow Tories to leave EPP), Cameron (see Heath).

    Fifty years of Conservative treachery. Why anybody expects Cameron to buck the trend is not obvious to me.

  2. 2 prometheus1938 05/03/2013 at 6:48 am

    Since the first Bilderberg Group meetings the death of Democracy began on a large scale. The people will have to take back democracy by a new Peoples Party forming for that purpose. There is no way that the Political elite will CHANGE, they have to be REPLACED

  3. 3 maureen gannon 05/03/2013 at 8:47 am

    I can only reiterate the above two comments and agree with Melanie Phillips.

  4. 4 Flyinthesky 05/03/2013 at 11:51 am

    It’s not just the Conservatives though is it, we seem to have sleepwalked into this situation, over the cliff and just waking up moments before impact.
    I think there must be a secret broom cupboard in No10 with a few men in black directing operations.
    They all seem to make the right noises out of office but once in become virtually the same as the ones they have replaced.
    The key question is are we waking up too late. The evil empire is in place and it has innumerable instruments in place to defend itself. It’s not going to be easy or pretty.

  5. 5 StrongUnitedKingdom 05/03/2013 at 12:59 pm

    Great article from AM and Melanie Phillips. Accurate comments as well.

    Now what to do about it all? AM has been open in declaring his hand as a (former) Conservative Councillor. So I will be open in declaring I am a UKIP member and candidate, before I go any further. On checking you will find I have never sought to get people on this site to join UKIP as that approach is tedious. I have sought to represent UKIP accurately, make my point and then let people make up their own minds. This has not always been well received but that is the price of open debate.

    Back to the key issue we all face. The UK is on the wrong course for democracy, freedom, sovereignty, identity and prosperity. The three old parties are in cahoots as none of them even feign to undo any of the previous anti-UK legislation that has overwhelmed us in recent decades. So we need to remove these people from power and in time replace them completely.

    The only way this will happen is when like minded people join together and act in unison. Fragmanted groups, websites, petitions, and the like achieve little to nothing and can be ignored without thought by thoses seeking to complete the enslavery of our country against our will.

    UKIP is not perfect. It is still maturing as an organisation, it still has a ways to go in securing large scale funding needed to compete with the the other parties, public speeking opportunites are deliberately limited to hold us back, press and media actively work against us, the list goes on. But as the last 4 by-elections have shown, UKIP is the only credible alternative.

    The liblabcons cannot renegotiate anything with the EU and they have no intention of trying. None of them resemble anything that could be equated with the original meanings of conservastism, liberalism, democracy or the representation of organised labour. All of them are following the collectivist agenda, leading their people into serfdom under a foreign power. These parties cannot be reformed from within. There is nothing left to save in them.

    Again we come back to the central point. We need to stand together or we wwill achieve nothing. Whether you chose to join and support UKIP is a matter for your own conscience. But please revisit the reasons why. If you hold the bar so high that any party you move to needs to be perfect in all thought, word and deed, you can give up now. If you want a party that is 90+% in line with your views then you can easily see if UKIP fits the bill.

    AM you once replied to me and said if you joined UKIP you would no longer have a free voice. That is simply not true. More than that any open and honest party needs people who will challenge and question principle and policy. As UKIP grows and matures it will need to be refined and moulded into an organisation fit to govern. Certain people will need to change or be changed to make this happen. Leadership of this country must be set by example, not by the current school of do as I say but not as I do.

    When UKIP get into Parliament, Coalition or Govt they will make mistakes. The difference is that these mistakes will be made on the road to rebuilding a prosperous UK with a positive future. The other parties are making mistakes, dragging us down the Road to EU Serfdom. Each of us needs to decide which direction they want to support.

    I am told the art of politics is doing the possible. Doing the best you can with the tools and materials available. I believe UKIP, warts and all, is the best vehicle to achieve a strong, free UK once again and so it has my support. Parts of it need improving and that will happen with time and effort.

    Our spring Party conference is on March 23/24 in Exeter is anyone wants to experience the reality first hand. I’ll be there and would happily meet with any of you to address issues and questions. Join or don’t, but let us put aside minor differences and fight in the common cause that is our country and future.

  6. 6 Flyinthesky 05/03/2013 at 1:33 pm

    Nicely put SUK

  7. 7 maureen gannon 05/03/2013 at 3:53 pm

    From your Mouth to God’s Ears SUK

  8. 8 cosmic 05/03/2013 at 4:22 pm

    I see this ‘common ground’ as a purely Westminster Bubble construct, something the three main parties are comfortable with and if they stick together the comfy arrangement can continue.

    Areas which are of wide concern such as foreign aid, immigration, and a ruinous green energy policy can be avoided. Thus the gap between the electorate and the three electoral clubs grows ever wider.

    Then of course there are the various sops, such as Theresa May’s twaddle about the ECHR, which amounts to her either not knowing what she is talking about, or being deliberately deceptive.

  9. 9 Antisthenes 05/03/2013 at 4:31 pm

    I am all for giving power to the people even if only because I believe that those who are governed should be in control of those who govern them and what better way to do that than they govern themselves. However if power is given to the people what will they do with it? I suspect initially at least they will behave no better than children in a sweet shop where all things on sale are free. Of course we know what that will lead to and eventually the clamour will be for a return to a controlling authority and we will be back to square one or maybe worse.

  10. 10 Sam Duncan 05/03/2013 at 6:40 pm

    Clarence hits the nail on the head.

    Despite – or perhaps because of – the SEA, Mrs. Thatcher eventually figured out what was going on and opposed it. 25 years ago she made a speech in Bruges that horrified the eminences grises of the Conservative Party, and they determined to get rid of her in order to save the European Project. That they achieved in 1990. Party membership started falling immediately, but thanks to opposition in the country to Thatcher, a lot of “new broom”-type propaganda connecting her personally to the Community Charge (which was also a useful cover for her removal), and continuing distrust of Labour, there was a strong electoral bounce for the ’92 election. (Much to the chagrin of the BBC, and amusement of everyone else.)

    However, it’s been downhill all the way since then. The Major government’s embrace of the ERM got it into no end of trouble, and the old battles weren’t simply forgotten, which led to internal strife and a smaller pool of competent potential front-benchers that the new leadership could trust. As a consequence, Labour’s 1997 landslide was no great achievement: its popular vote that year would still have seen it lose in ’92.

    The Tories have been losing support hand over fist for a quarter of a century, to the point now where they can’t even win an outright majority against the most incompetent and damaging sitting government in living memory. And it’s all, directly or indirectly, due to their support of European unification. Their protests of “Euroscepticism” (whatever that is) no longer cut any ice. The only thing that would save the party now is concrete action on British independence. And that simply won’t happen.

    I don’t doubt that people will shy away from UKIP come the general election, and the Tories might scrape together another coalition or win a respectable opposition, limping on for another five years, but that could be the worst outcome of all. The Left is ruthless. Here in Scotland, the popular narrative is that “the right” is dead: that there are “no” Tories in Scotland. That kind of talk started when one in four of us was still voting Conservative, and it’s become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If UKIP wants to save conservatism in Britain as a whole from the same fate, it must take the Eastleigh result as a rallying point and come out all guns blazing until the next election, presenting itself as a party ready for government. Otherwise we’re all in trouble.

  11. 11 Vanessa 06/03/2013 at 3:09 pm

    Which is why they haven’t a hope in hell’s chance of winning the next election with a majority and also which is why cameron’s “promise” of a referendum on the EU will never be implemented.

  12. 12 bullopill 06/03/2013 at 5:24 pm

    Modern communications and networks mean that the model of mass political parties operating nationally has become obsolete. “Top Down” command and control parties, even new-ish ones like UKIP are past their sell-by date. Which is why approaching half the electorate are no longer interested in voting.

    If democracy means anything at all, surely the push needs to come from local communities UPWARDS. LibLabCon “localism” is just a handy distraction for those determined to hang on to the levers of power whilst preventing true democracy.

    Why do we need 650 placemen in Westminster “representing” us? They shipped their “power” out to Brussels years ago. It wasn’t theirs to ship anywhere, but they did it anyway.

  13. 13 james higham 06/03/2013 at 8:59 pm

    Theresa “Merkel” may lead us out of the wilderness.

    Then again – not.

  14. 14 John 13/03/2013 at 12:59 pm

    Nothing, and nobody, will lead us out of the wilderness.
    We, or our children, will have to fight our way out of it.

  15. 15 NickM 17/03/2013 at 11:49 am

    Good post, and good comments. I especially agree with Sam Duncan. But James Higham is being over-optimistic: Theresa May is just an opportunist and has no more principles than Cameron.


  1. 1 How the welfare state undermines altruism | Melanie Phillips | nebraskaenergyobserver Trackback on 05/03/2013 at 12:02 pm
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