by Spencer Pearson
On the 9th of April 1992 the Conservative Party won a general election and with it absolute control of the British state. A feat they have failed to repeat in four attempts over twenty one years. Recently Tory leader David Cameron attempted to rally his party, which is currently polling a full 12 points behind their adversaries in the Labour Party, by effectively reminding them that technically they could still win the next general election in 2015. The situation the party now finds itself in is dire and publicly they appear mystified as to why this might be.
Consider the last general election in 2010. According to conventional political wisdom the Conservatives should have won a landslide victory. Their opponents in the Labour Party had been in power for thirteen years, that alone is generally enough to ensure a defeat for the ruling party in British politics. After a long period in power any government is likely to have pissed off large sections of the electorate and sheer boredom with the status quo becomes a significant political force. In this case the Labour party had the additional disadvantage of having presided over an economic disaster unprecedented in living memory. For good measure they were also saddled with a candidate for Prime Minster with all the charisma of a lung tumour. Never the less despite the abject condition of their opponents the Conservatives failed to win an outright majority of seats in the House of Commons and were forced to enter into a coalition with the third placed party, the Liberal Democrats.
The fact that the Tories ended up with their boy as Prime Minster prevented them, and the rest of the British nation, from understanding the actually implication of the election. The “mainstream right” Conservatives won 36.1% of the vote while the “mainstream left” won 52% (29% for Labour and 23% for the Liberal Democrats). What this tells us is that the “mainstream left” have developed a “natural majority” which is now sufficient to prevent the “mainstream right” winning under any normal circumstances.
This natural majority for the left is comprised of a core of people whose political interests are those of the progressive left; state employees, ethnic minorities and those dependent on the welfare system. Those groups are enormous and the overall trend is for them to increase in size, even if the state’s employment role has slightly contracted of late. In addition to that core there are a considerable number of people who have been so completely indoctrinated with progressive ideas through the media and the education system that will support progressive left parties come what may.
While there has been little public discussion of this “left” natural majority the effects in political terms are easy to recognise. For the Tory leadership it is obvious that they must win over “the centre ground” in order to maximise their potential support at the next election. In practice this means that the Tory government is inclined towards pushing the most progressive aspects of their agenda. This need explains such measures as the legalisation of gay marriage and massive increase in foreign aid which have been enacted by this Conservative government. Effectively even if the “mainstream right” is in power then it is forced by the existence of the natural majority of the left to do whatever they would do rather than whatever its own supporters would want it to do.
The consequences of this “hostage” effect for opponents of the “progressive” agenda is that conventional traditional politics is not an option. I could elaborate on this point by pointing out that the “natural majority” of the left includes a substantial proportion of the Conservative Party itself including, crucially, almost of its leadership. This means that there is absolutely no prospect of opposing the progressive agenda via supporting the traditional “right wing” vehicle in the Conservative Party. However since the “hostage” effect created by the existence of a natural “left” majority alone is sufficient to guarantee the enactment of the progressive agenda by the state any discussion of the attitudes of the Conservative leadership is entirely moot. Which is to say that even if every Tory MP suddenly adopted an explicitly anti progressive mindset political considerations would force them not only to not act on that mindset but to push forward the progressive project.
So the development of a natural “left” majority in the UK means that there is no prospect at all of the mainstream right countering it through conventional political means. It also means that the Conservative Party is doomed. While the only viable strategy it can pursue is to try and move “leftwards” and appeal to the least fanatical progressives to do so inevitably means alienating its own supporters and thus massively increasing the “stress” on the party as an organisation. This “stress” is likely to be exacerbated by the certainty that the strategy is going to fail which manifests as a constant stream of defeats at the polls. This effect is already apparent in the UK with the rise of UKIP, a party which advocates a more traditional mainstream right agenda. Ironically, the implicit strategy of UKIP is to drag the Conservatives towards a more right wing position, however since the adoption of such an agenda would ensure a Labour government the strategy is counterproductive.
The implications of the development of a natural majority for the progressive left are profound, we are talking about nothing less than the failure of the “democratic” system in the UK. From here on out electoral politics and participation in Parliamentary elections are not an effective or viable strategy for anyone other than the progressive mainstream left. Traditionally there is only one alternative in such an environment for people who are not able to accept the situation, and that is to attempt to make up for numeric inferiority with simple force. It may seem fairly unlikely that the aged ranks of the Tory Party are about to take to the hills at this point, however the corrosive effects of marginalisation are bound eventually to force at least some opponents of the progressive orthodoxy to consider “alternative methods”.
Given this dismal situation perhaps we might hope that those inclined to a “moderate” or “mainstream right” position might sooner or later come to accept the premise of “pan secessionism”? Since the conventional alternatives are either to constantly lose elections or lose a civil war just the once. Wishful thinking perhaps?
We might argue that pan secessionism has a good deal to offer the traditionally conservatively minded. The appeal of pan secessionism to the simple reactionaries faced with the alternative of an endless progressive tyranny is obvious. However in addition to the more thoughtful Tory it offers a meaningful realisation of the values of self reliance, citizenship, community and liberty. We might be tempted to point out that the “Merrie England” of Tory folklore was a nation of semi autonomous communities by virtue of the fact that the pre Modern state was simply incapable of a more interventionist stance. Indeed wasn’t almost all of the British state’s functions conducted by local government until the reforms of Ted Heath back in the 1970’s (*1). We might even suggest that the very organisational structure of the Conservative party itself is based on the practical advantages of autonomous units because at some level it has long recognised the strength and flexibility of decentralisation.
However perhaps such arguments are unnecessary since there appears to be a substantial element of the Conservative Party who have joined the dots for themselves. The most radical aspect of the current Conservative lead government has been the Localism Act (2011) which removed many restrictions on the freedom of action of local government. It also allowed for local referenda to be held on many issues and made provision for communities to exercise a greater degree of self governance by adopting elected mayors. The Two conservative politicians usually credited with successfully promoting the concepts which inspired the Localism Act are Daniel Hannam MEP and Douglas Carswell MP. Both of which are associated with more radical proposals such as the institution of localised direct democracies. Tellingly both are generally considered to be “further right” than the average Conservative. Meanwhile in the small town of Totnes in the English South West the local Conservative group has quietly set about making the town the centre of British localism. Not only holding the first primary elections in recent times for the group’s candidates but also in adopting a comprehensive program of “relocalist” measures inspired by the Transition Towns movement.
The demographic and political realities of the situation in the UK make it inevitable that the mainstream right must, sooner or later, radically reconsidered the idea of the nation state. The only solution to the problem of being a political minority, at least the only one which is either practicable or justifiable, is secession. The ultimate irony being that a Conservative party which championed community autonomy might well find that it’s bitterest enemies on the radical left and right as well as in certain minority communities were converted into at least de facto allies. Thus giving it the numeric strength to achieve its aim.
*1 While Heath was technically a Conservative prime minster his name is considered a dirty word by most Tories on account of his government’s decision to join the European Union.