In the current political landscape, it's evident that the Conservative Party is at a critical juncture. The looming threat of a catastrophic defeat in the upcoming general election is underscored by clear poll results. Despite Rishi Sunak's recent accomplishments in halving inflation and positive progress on other pledges, recent events have overshadowed these victories.
The Labour Party's internal divisions, highlighted by a significant number of MPs rebelling on a motion related to Israel and Hamas, should have played to the Conservatives' advantage. However, the Supreme Court's ruling against the Rwanda policy and the Prime Minister's strategic reshuffling of the Cabinet have shifted the narrative. The decision to replace Suella Braverman with David Cameron at the top of the Cabinet signals a notable leftward tilt and a departure from the current trajectory.
Beyond personalities, the government's response to the Rwanda ruling raises concerns about its willingness to navigate the complex web of international and domestic laws, potentially compromising Parliament's sovereignty. This pivotal moment prompts reflection on the essence that has historically held the Conservative Party together, making it the most successful political party in democratic history.
While some voices advocate for the demise of the Conservative Party, viewing it as necessary for the rejuvenation of Conservatism, there is a need to understand the reasons behind this sentiment and the current predicament. The Conservative Party's enduring success has been rooted in its adaptive nature, allowing it to respond to the evolving ideas and challenges of each generation. This adaptability, grounded in a positive attitude and core beliefs rather than a rigid ideology, has been the bedrock of Conservatism's political supremacy. However, acknowledging the challenges and addressing the concerns raised is crucial to ensuring the party's continued relevance and success.
At the heart of the Conservative ethos lies a profound epistemological humility—an acknowledgment that the scope of human understanding is limited. This humility manifests as a preference for tradition, a reservoir of wisdom to navigate the unknown. The Conservative inclination towards tradition is not merely a sentimental attachment to the past; rather, it serves as a pragmatic approach to managing aspects of society not fully comprehended.
Central to this worldview is the recognition that no government can perfectly organize society. Hence, the steadfast commitment to freedom, not because individuals are faultless, but precisely because they are fallible. In the Conservative paradigm, freedom becomes a necessity, allowing people the latitude to make non-catastrophic mistakes, propelling society forward through trial and error.
This unique blend of humility, entwining tradition and freedom, distinguishes the British Conservative Party. Unlike their counterparts in many European countries, Conservatives manage to amalgamate the traditional and the liberal. The party encompasses a traditional wing, rooted in rural and industrial heritage, and a liberal wing, representing the urban, bourgeois, and professional spheres. This fusion accommodates both the instincts for belonging and liberty, settlement and mobility, enabling the party to honor the old while embracing the new.
At the core of Conservatism lies an unwavering belief in the United Kingdom—its history, institutions, people, and their future. The Conservative patriot acknowledges the essential decency and good sense of the British people, eschewing the condescension of accusing the public of "false consciousness," a charge often leveled by some in the Labour Party.
Historically, the Tory Party has thrived by embracing democracy, epitomized by Disraeli's rallying cry to "trust the people" in the 19th century. Leaders like Baldwin, Churchill, Macmillan, and Thatcher expanded opportunities widely, reflecting the party's commitment to the people. However, in the 21st century, the Conservative Party finds itself at a crossroads. The long shadow of the technological revolution, spurred by the policies of Reagan, Thatcher, and their successors, has ushered in unprecedented global wealth. Yet, working people in the West have borne the brunt, facing substantial economic setbacks. Recent financial policies, such as money-printing, have led to stagnant wages, soaring asset prices, and societal repercussions, manifested in widespread welfare dependence, escalating crime, and a pervasive breakdown of family and community marked by chronic issues like addiction, loneliness, and ill health. This critical juncture demands a renewed vision and strategic direction for the Conservative Party to navigate the challenges of the contemporary era.
Our economic prosperity, though appearing robust, rests on the fragile foundation of an artificially strong pound, skewing the playing field in favor of Chinese imports while simultaneously crippling our own exporters. The real economy, barring a handful of exceptional companies often acquired by US or Chinese investors, frequently grapples with abysmal productivity. What emerges is a form of cartel capitalism, with major sectors like banking, energy, housebuilding, and supermarkets dominated by a select few entities that exhibit apparent disregard for the environment, customer well-being, and the communities they impact.
Compounding these economic challenges is the influx of a million people annually, choosing the UK as their permanent residence. The resultant strains on housing and public services raise legitimate concerns about whether the tenets of liberal politics can endure the pressures without fraying the fabric of our national cohesion. Recent disturbances, where radicals from both ends of the spectrum disrupted Armistice Day and defiled war memorials, serve as ominous precursors to potential civil strife.
In response to this tumultuous landscape, one noticeable phenomenon is the emergence of the "woke" movement—an often-dismissed pursuit of transgressive ideas. Woke culture, at its core, reflects a quest for identity in a world where traditional markers of identity—family, neighborhood, and nation—have been progressively dismantled in the name of modernity and inclusion. The psychic impact of this societal shift is profound, evident in rising rates of distress and mental health issues among adolescents. Tragically, young people, haunted by immediate fears of climate catastrophe, are forgoing dreams of parenthood due to Malthusian myths of over-population.
However, a more constructive reaction to these challenges is to champion the defense and restoration of an inheritance battered by technology and globalization. This endeavor seeks to recover and amplify the positive potential within these transformative forces. Modernity, when harnessed effectively, promises a society where people live more locally, work closer to home, and families shape their destinies in a sustainable manner. It envisions a future where the UK regains its leadership in high-tech manufacturing, enterprise, and innovation, heralding a renewed era of progress and prosperity.
The Brexit vote wasn't just a desire to exit the EU; it was a call for comprehensive change. The pain of Brexit could have been mitigated if the British state and broader establishment had embraced the decision, yet the journey out of the EU turned into a tumultuous process. Amidst the constitutional wrangling, it's crucial to recognize that Brexit was more about restoration than revolution—a bid to reclaim the core tenets of our constitution and politics, namely parliamentary sovereignty and public consent.
Brexit, viewed as a starting point in 2019, aimed at triggering a series of transformations. The plan included reforming the British state to enhance the efficiency of Whitehall, revitalizing the economy for nationwide growth, and pushing back against the excesses of woke culture. Despite the challenges, these changes remain achievable, contingent on fulfilling the promise to regain control of our laws.
At the heart of our democracy lies the principle that Parliament, with the King's assent, is sovereign. Acts of Parliament traditionally held supremacy over older laws, foreign treaties, international law, judicial rulings, and even decisions from judges in Strasbourg. However, a recent shift suggests that Acts of Parliament are considered inferior to treaties or conventions to which the UK is a signatory. The Emergency Rwanda Bill is a critical step to reassert parliamentary supremacy over the laws and international treaties invoked by the Supreme Court. This is not just a political matter; it's existential. Failure to address this issue risks not only electoral rejection but also the permanent fragmentation of our coalition.
In the midst of this uncertainty, the Prime Minister must adhere to the vision he championed until recently. The five pledges he made are reflective of the people's priorities, and he should resist pressures to appease conventional opinion in London. Restoring parliamentary sovereignty is imperative, and time is of the essence. The Prime Minister must act swiftly to avert a potential calamity, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to the mission he undertook when he assumed office. This is the path to securing not only political success but also the well-being of the nation. Danny Kruger, the Conservative MP for Devizes, underscores the urgency of this mission.
In conclusion, the journey of Brexit was not merely an exit from the EU but a profound call for transformative change. While the process was fraught with challenges and constitutional complexities, it was fundamentally an attempt at restoration—seeking to reestablish the foundational principles of our constitution, namely parliamentary sovereignty and public consent.
The vision set forth in 2019, encompassing reforms in the British state, economic revitalization, and a sensible response to societal shifts, remains within reach. However, the completion of the promise to reclaim control over our laws is pivotal. The bedrock of our democracy, parliamentary supremacy, must be reaffirmed, especially in the face of emerging notions that challenge its historic authority.
The Emergency Rwanda Bill stands as a crucial measure to assert this parliamentary supremacy, countering the influence of various laws and international treaties. The stakes are existential; a misstep could not only lead to electoral rejection but also jeopardize the cohesion of our political coalition. The urgency of addressing this issue cannot be overstated.
As we navigate these challenges, the Prime Minister's commitment to the initial vision becomes paramount. The five pledges, representing the priorities of the people, must guide the way forward. Resisting pressures to conform to conventional opinions and prioritizing the restoration of parliamentary sovereignty is essential. Time is of the essence, and decisive action is needed to avert potential calamities and secure the nation's well-being.
In the face of uncertainties, the concluding message is clear: Upholding the mission that propelled the Prime Minister into office is not only a political imperative but a commitment to safeguard the essence of our democracy and the future of the United Kingdom. Danny Kruger's insights from the perspective of the Conservative MP for Devizes underscore the urgency and gravity of this mission.