Conservatism above all else is about moderation. It is about conserving rather than overthrowing. It is for this reason that Conservatives reject both the extremes of Left and Right and the extremism of nationalist and secession movements.
The extremes of Left and Right are treated very differently in the media. There are Greens and Socialists elected in Britain who wish to overthrow capitalism. One of them was for some time leader of the Labour Party. It is essentially a revolutionary viewpoint quite different from the moderation of social democracy, which wishes merely to redistribute the profits of capitalism.
There are no Far-Right MPs and no Far-Right revolutionary goal that anyone seriously advocates. It is even unclear what such a goal might be. I have never heard of someone who wishes Britain to emulate Italy and Germany in the 1930s.
The Left has been most successful in overthrowing common sense ideas. Where previously the goal was racial equality which treated human beings as fundamentally the same to be judged by their actions and character, now we have the fundamental inequality of “white privilege” and inherited guilt for slavery. Identity politics privileges one characteristic be it race, sex, sexuality or gender into a hierarchy of victimhood which instead gives an advantage.
Feminism is above all about telling us how superior women are to men. Being black means you are absolved of the unforgivable sin of racism. You can say what you please about white people, make every generalisation you want, use whatever words you want about yourself and about them, but you will never be called a racist. Nor indeed will a feminist ever be called sexist. Having a certain minority characteristic means you are incapable of error and above all incapable of prejudice.
Common sense views that people are divided at birth into boys and girls or that marriage is between a man and a woman have likewise been overthrown. Being transgender gives you the privilege of not merely judging whether you are a man or a woman, it allows you to judge that everyone else no longer has this as an objective characteristic. If being a man or a woman is a choice for me, it is logically a choice for everyone. The transgender viewpoint changes not merely the transgender person, but everyone else. It gives the traditionally Godlike power to determine that this is a man, and this is a woman.
To suppose that men could marry men, would have throughout human history been considered a simple misunderstanding of the word “marriage”, but the Left’s cultural revolution has above all else been an attack on words. If it is no longer possible to say something, then it is no longer possible to think it.
The Left has brought about extraordinary cultural change rarely by means of the ballot box, but rather by a gradual process of mission creep. Strange ideas emerge from universities, ten years later they are obligatory.
It is important to realise that the Left’s cultural ideas are aimed at addressing its failure to achieve economic equality. Human nature has always prevented socialism from being successful because our common sense views about family and freedom resent the state forcing us to be equal. In a market economy, with competition it is inevitable that some will do better than others.
But if it were no longer possible to distinguish between people based on their results at school and university, by for instance abolishing exams, then the concept of intelligence being an objective characteristic would disappear just like the previously objective characteristic of being a man or a woman.
The point of turning objective characteristics into social constructs is that they can then be deconstructed, and human nature can be so changed that it is ready for socialism.
The task of the Right is to retain our common sense. It is only by preserving our traditional ideas about family and morality that we can protect ourselves not merely from the Left’s cultural revolution but more importantly from its economic revolution.
But the way to protect Conservatism is not by being revolutionary. All the revolution is coming from the Left, yet there is talk of America going through a Civil War or there being an insurrection. This is to give a credit to people wearing buffalo hats that they do not deserve. It is to exaggerate mere criminality into something that stood a chance of overthrowing, when it clearly did not. It is deliberately creating an imaginary threat when the real threat of revolution is elsewhere. It is a diversionary tactic like one used by a magician. But it is good politics.
For decades to come the Right in America will have to demonstrate that it is not Trump and that it condemns those who went into the Capitol. The Left will continually use these scenes not merely as a smokescreen that helps to hide its own cultural revolution, but to prevent the Right from opposing it.
It is for this reason that the Right must always be seen to be moderate. The Left is allowed any number of demonstrations and riots and vandalism, because such things are viewed sympathetically as at least in part justified.
Trump’s refusal to accept defeat was stupid, because it prevented him from fighting again and makes it harder for a different Republican to win. It has thus turned a tactical defeat (losing an election) into a long-term strategic defeat for the Republicans. No wonder the Democrats are so delighted. Their job is easier, not merely now, but next time too.
The Conservative Party in Britain is not remotely revolutionary and generally disapproved of Trump. Both Theresa May and Boris Johnson had to work with the American President whether they liked him or not. They both would have preferred to work with Obama or Clinton or Bush.
The danger of insurrection in Britain does not come from the Right, who remained patient even when the Left tried to prevent Britain from leaving the EU. The only people talking of taking the law into their own hands are the SNP. Scottish independence is the only really revolutionary change that might confront Britain in the next few years. Breaking up a 300-year-old country is about as revolutionary a concept as you can get.
The task for Conservatives is to find a way to prevent the Left from achieving its economic goals by means of cultural micro-steps forward, while simultaneously defending the territorial integrity of the UK.
The British politician most connected with Trump is Nigel Farage. This alone makes his Reform Party a pointless exercise especially in Scotland. If it is hard to sell Boris Johnson in Scotland merely because he is a Tory Brexiteer, what chance does Farage have?
I voted for the Brexit Party once in the European Elections in 2019. It was necessary to send the Conservatives a message. It worked, but after that the only danger for Brexit was that the Brexit Party would prevent the Conservatives gaining the majority needed to make Brexit happen.
We have gained all we could reasonably have expected from Boris Johnson. We have got a trade deal with the EU and we can make trade deals with anyone else. Remainers have become Rejoiners and are reduced to complaining about the birds and the bees because there has been next to no disruption no matter how they hunt for it or else invent it.
Farage’s lockdown scepticism will be obsolete because the vaccine will make lockdowns unnecessary. This leaves electoral reform, which is a boring topic at best a distraction at worst.
The task for the Right is to make Brexit work. It is possible to make a British economy that is much more competitive by gradually ridding ourselves of EU rules and regulations and by developing a low tax open economy willing to trade freely with everyone. This is the best antidote to the Left, which is one of the reasons it opposed Brexit. If Britain becomes more prosperous especially in relation to the EU it will also lessen the appeal of separatists.
In the short term we need to maximise the number of Pro UK MPs in the Scottish Parliament. Ideally, I believe the Pro UK parties should work together, but they show no inclination to do so. But the vote is already split three ways. It is hard to see how Farage thinks he will help this. If Conservative Brexiteers vote for Farage, they will simply damage the Conservative Party’s chances.
I’m not a great fan of Douglas Ross, but I will vote for the Scottish Conservatives because every Scottish Conservative seat will make it easier for Boris Johnson to say No to Sturgeon. If you live somewhere where Labour or the Lib Dems have the best chance it might be wise to vote for them. I will also support Alliance for Unity in the list seats, because it is the main voice of those of us who think Pro UK parties must work together. If you want that to happen you should vote for A4U too. Far from splitting the Pro UK vote Alliance for Unity is an attempt to unite it, but it is going to need electoral success to force the other parties to join in.
It is because I am Conservative and reject revolution that I oppose both the revolutionary Left and Scottish nationalism. Conservative moderation means we must preserve what we have gained from the past while gradually changing and evolving to take advantage of the future. The defeat of separatism and extremism from both the Left and the Right is necessary in order to do this.
This post was originally published by the author on her personal blog: https://www.effiedeans.com/2021/01/conservative-moderation-defeats.html