Tories Britain 

How the Tories can save themselves and Brexit

A general election in Britain in the near future is surely well-nigh inescapable. Whoever wins the Conservative leadership election — and as we can see from the histrionics of the past few days, Boris Johnson may end up destroying himself — both Johnson and his rival, Jeremy Hunt, have committed themselves to leaving the EU with no-deal on October 31 if they cannot renegotiate the withdrawal terms. Since it seems overwhelmingly likely — regardless of Johnson’s claims to the contrary — that the EU will not offer any concessions, the…

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Britain 

Can this leadership contest produce a real British conservative?

Boris Johnson has topped the first ballot for the Tory leadership with 114 votes, and it is being assumed that his bandwagon is now unstoppable. Is it? If Michael Gove, that intellectually formidable, competent and experienced minister is deemed by the admission of his past cocaine use to have a character flaw that makes him unsuitable to lead his country, how much more so is this true of Boris Johnson. His launch press conference was shoddy. Faced with awkward questions, such as over his own sampling of cocaine in the…

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america Britain 

Conservatism in crisis

I took part in BBC2’s Politics Live to discuss my Times column (reprinted in The Sun) on the crisis of conservatism. My argument was that the centre of political gravity has moved. The Labour party now occupies the far left. The Conservative party, which through funk and ignorance has adopted many of the tropes of what it perceives to be a changing culture, now occupies a mushy soft-left ground. Which means there’s an enormous hole where conservatism once was. A Conservative MP who was on with me clearly didn’t have…

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Britain 

The Tory party has betrayed conservatism

Many believe that the Conservative Party may be about to self-destruct as a result of the government’s failure to deliver Brexit. The problem is that conservatism itself has lost its way. Conservatism isn’t a creed or ideology but a way of approaching the world. As the name implies, it’s about conserving what is of value in a society. Leaving the EU is all about conserving national sovereignty and democracy. The Tory party leadership, though, has abandoned much more than that. When Soviet communism collapsed, many conservatives believed their political fox…

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Brexit Britain 

The real symmetry of extremism now threatening British politics

Both Theresa May’s government and the Labour Party leadership are now being threatened with a haemorrhage of their MPs. Both groups poised to revolt are posing as the beleaguered custodians of the centre ground which has been taken over by extremists in both parties. Seriously? Let’s boil down to essentials just what they’re all saying. The Times (£) reports: “About 100 members of the Brexit Delivery Group, which comprises Remain and Leave Tory MPs, warned the chief whip Julian Smith in a letter that they were prepared to force the…

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democracy Israel 

Betrayed Brexit voters will give up on democracy

Betrayed Brexit voters will give up on democracy Who can doubt the contribution to Friday’s Chequers debacle made by the storied ranks of Whitehall’s Sir Humphreys, skilled beyond measure in manipulating politicians into standing on their heads and swearing they are still the right way up? Right from the moment Britain voted to leave the EU, it was clear that the entire political establishment would unite to thwart this. On Friday, it won and the British people lost. With the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson, however, both the…

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