Tories over there desperately reaching out to minorities, just like the Republicans over here

A reader in England asked me whom I supported in the Republican top presidential tier. I said I didn’t know, but

I do know that I would never vote for Giuliani, even if Madame were his opponent. I’m horrified by the conservative support for Giuliani. He would be everything Bush has been vis a vis the ruin of conservatism, only much worse.

The reader replied with some interesting observations about British “conservative” politics:

The problem the Republicans have over there is the problem that Conservatives have over here—Cameron is trying to convert the Tories into a clone of New Labour. The problem is that the core of the Conservative Party is composed of what I would describe as conservative “Middle England” and they don’t like New Labour. So Cameron is trying the old “there is no alternative” trick by co-opting Labour policies and also hinting at the core of the party that they have no choice because the alternative is a Labour victory.

In a recent by-election in Southhall in London (“little India” as they call it, its about 50 percent “Asian”—i.e. Indian and Pakistani), the Tories picked an Indian candidate—good looking young guy, divorced, who had donated money to Labour a few weeks before (can’t get more inclusive than that!) and the Tories lost to Labour (they didn’t just lose, they finished 3rd!). See Simon Heffer’s article, “Ealing tragedy that threatens Project Dave.” The problem with this strategy is that Indians or Pakistanis will always overwhelmingly vote Labour—just as with the Democrats, no matter how much the Republicans woo Hispanics or Asians, the Democrats can always go further. The same applies here—so when the Tories overtly try to win the “Asian” vote, it doesn’t work. It also alienates the more conservative English who are fed up with the direction in which the country has been going since Mrs. Thatcher resigned.

The problem with Cameron’s logic is that the UK isn’t America. In America, if you dislike the Republicans, who do you vote for? In the UK, if you dislike the Tories for becoming too soft, you vote BNP. Its true that the BNP is a very small and still disorganised party. But they are now a visible force in politics—and they are the 4th largest party. So at the very least, they are a viable protest vote for a lot of white people. You don’t have that in America.

In any case, the Tories are bleeding support constantly to the BNP. If Cameron keeps it up, the BNP will soon be sitting on a chunk of the Tory vote base. It could finish the Tories permanently.

Also, have a look at the thread below the article from Simon Heffer about the by-election. Enlightening. It really shows how dislocated from his vote base Cameron has become.

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LA writes:

Here’s one of the comments following the blistering Simon Heffer article. The commenter, David Baxter, sounds like a traditonalist:

It’s not just the Tory party that has failed: it’s conservatism itself. It is essentially a defensive posture. Conservatives are forever on the retreat. After the dust has settled from each of the battles with the Left, the Left has won half of what it was going after, while Conservatives have lost half of what they were suppose to be defending. But they will carry on as if nothing has happened, retreat to the new position in their rear and then defend that with the same ineptitude as they did the one they have just vacated.

Can anyone argue that this has not been the track record of British conservatism over the last sixty years?

What exactly are conservatives trying to conserve? For example, even if all immigration ceased tomorrow and every asylum seeker deported overnight, Britain would still have a population of around seven million people of non-European origin. Due to their higher birth rate and the increasing levels of miscegenation, the indigenous British population would still become a minority in their own country sometime this century. How many conservatives who proclaim themselves ‘patriots’ have had the courage to even mention this, much less propose a solution?

“After the dust has settled from each of the battles with the Left, the Left has won half of what it was going after, while Conservatives have lost half of what they were suppose to be defending.” That’s a neat gloss on Rabbi Schiller’s old critique of conservatism as the politics of “kvetch and retreat,” in which conservatives draw a line in the sand, lose the battle, and then just retreat and draw another line in the sand, never acknowledging that they’ve already lost on fundamental principles and that they are now merely fighting over relative degrees of liberalism.

Or, as I put it once, the Republicans’ strategy is “not of confrontation in the hope of victory, but of appeasement in the hope of limiting (slightly) their losses.”

And the answer to the conservative dilemma David Baxter laments, namely the absence of any positive conservative agenda, is that conservatism in its competition with liberalism cannot be positively FOR anything unless it is FOR something that is NON-LIBERAL. As long as conservatives share liberals’ basic premises and values, such as that diversity is the ruling principle and goal of society, and are merely trying to keep the liberal agenda from going “too far” or “too fast,” they have nothing essential to stand for. Conservatism can only acquire a positive agenda when it adopts a traditionalist, as opposed to a liberal, politics.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 21, 2007 04:31 PM | Send

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