Sleepy British conservatives rub their eyes and say, “Eh wot, Cameron’s not really a conservative, is he now.”

In the May 1 Telegraph, Peter Mullen writes:

This Conservative Party is more socialist than any government I have seen in my lifetime

The Tories will not recover from the catastrophic election defeat which faces them this week. They don’t deserve to — because they have spent the last two years alienating their core supporters. These supporters, of whom I used to be one, are very largely old-fashioned, traditional middle class voters. I suppose we can be described as “respectable” — before, as GK Chesterton said, that word became very unrespectable.

The Tories have alienated their core supporters only in the last two years?

What Mullen now sees, I, on the other side of the pond, saw seven years ago, at the moment Cameron became party leader, and I kept repeating the same in the years since then. How it that I, who know next to nothing about British politics, saw something that someone who inhabits British politics did not see until now?

I ask the question, not to boast of some great faculty of insight, but to point to a way of seeing that is available only to those who have stepped outside the liberal paradigm (including the liberal paradigm that is called conservatism). If you are outside liberalism, you can understand the essence of liberalism, and this enables you to see liberalism the moment it appears. You don’t have to have enormous evidence hitting you in the teeth.

As I’ve often said:

A reactionary or traditionalist recognizes a threat to his society the moment it appears; a conservative only recognizes the threat to his society after the society has been half destroyed; a liberal only recognizes the threat to his society after the society has been completely destroyed, or, in any case, after it’s too late to do anything about it.

Before and after the parliamentary elections in 2010, I said that the Conservative victory was the worst possible outcome, because it meant that Cameronism had won, and therefore that any conservative aspect of the Conservative Party was finished. I said that the only hope for a revival of conservatism in Britain was the defeat of the Cameronized Conservatives. But in 2010 Mullen and others still believed Cameron was a conservative.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 09, 2012 10:42 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):