December 24, 2005

Dear Father Christmas

Please, may we in Britain have something for Christmas that we have not had for some years: a real Conservative Party. You know the kind I mean, one that believes in small government, individual freedom and responsibility, low taxes, entrepreneurship, private property and, of course, constitutional democracy. I am sure you could find one of those somewhere in your sack. If you have not got one ready made, perhaps the elves could produce one during the twelve days of Christmas. A lot easier than keeping all those birds happy, not to mention the lords a-leaping and the ladies dancing, I should have thought.

Look at what we have. The members of the party might be happy at getting a fresh-faced Boy-King but what about the rest of us? We should like to be able to vote for a party that believes in all the ideas mentioned above but, in effect, we are disenfranchised in the country that invented many of the political ideas that lie at the root of modern democracy. Now, is that fair?

Look at what the party that calls itself Conservative produced just before Christmas. There is Master Oliver Letwin (hereinafter known as Leftwing) happily wittering about redistribution of wealth. That means taking money in large amounts from those who earn it, to give to someone else, designated by the civil servants, whose number will go up and up and up.

Master Oliver, another old Etonian, has been known in the past as a man of parts but over the years his behaviour and pronouncements have become more and more erratic. As Simon Heffer pointed out in todayís Daily Telegraph, whenever he makes a statement, we have to sit back and wait for the explanations and adjustments.

Already we have had the Boy-King, Master David Cameron, rushing in there to explain that Master Oliver did not mean that the Conservative Party believed in redistribution of wealth but just that it will concentrate on poor people in the future. And, presumably, on the public sector, which is to run those poor peopleís lives.

This is quite breathtaking economic and political ignorance. To have the Conservative Partyís policy supremo come out with comments that indicate he thinks of national wealth as one big cake to be cut into various slices as fairly as possible is deeply depressing. Does he not realize that the only way the poor can stop being poor is by being able to participate in a growing economy?

And what of the Boy-King himself? Well, his ideas about Christmas are somewhat pedestrian. True to his touchy-feely-greeny image he has been encouraging people to recycle the Christmas wrapping paper.

Now I donít know about the Cameron household but in this one Christmas wrapping has always been recycled, as it has in most households I know, not least for reasons of economy. Memo to Compassionate Conservatives: quite a lot of people whom Master Oliver and the Boy-King would describe as poor have developed ways of creating family festivities without spending unaffordable amounts. Yes, they do it all by their little selves, without instructions from above.

What none of us want to hear is tosh like that from the leader of the Conservative Party or his appointed policy co-ordinator. It seems that the party that insists on calling itself Conservative has two modes: smile and say nothing or show signs of political foot and mouth disease.

So you see, Father Christmas, we do rather desperately need a new Conservative Party. A real Conservative Party. Could something be done about that, do you suppose?

Posted by Helen Szamuely at December 24, 2005 11:59 AM

Very well said, Helen! How Blairesque that Cameron has suggested recycling Christmas wrapping paper! What is he doing trying to get inside people's homes to give them instructions? It's bad enough when the ghoulish Tony Bliar does it, but when the leader of the Conservative Party does it, it's downright alarming.

For the benefit of our mainly American readers (I don't mean you're "mainly American but also part something else!") we ought to relay the best known incident in which Oliver Leftwing has been involved to date. At 6:00 on a London morning, Leftwing's doorbell rang. He answered it to discover a man he didn't know standing on the doorstep who asked if he could use the toilet.

Now, many of us would react to this bizarre request by slamming the door shut, bolting it top and bottom and hastening to the phone to call the police. The brainy Mr Leftwing, however, invited the stranger in and showed him the way to the loo, whereupon the stranger mugged him and made off with some treasured household possessions.

This man, such a successful guardian of his own resources, is now Shadow Chancellor of the United Kingdom.

I echo Helen's request: Santa, can you please drop a Conservative Party down our chimneys? Or if there isn't room for a whole Party, we could make do with just a Conservative Leader.

Posted by: Verity at December 24, 2005 02:35 PM

I am afraid that Santa has responded in a fashion which does not appear to be immediately helpful.

He's left a mysterious pile of stuff, with only a cryptic sheet labelled "some assembly required". The stuff as you pick through it turns out to be a "build your own Conservative Party (from scratch) kit". The problem is, the "some assembly", according to some fine print on the back of the sheet of paper "may take from one decade to one generation. Start well before Christmas." Santa is very good to us, though, since there is a lot of really cool stuff in these crates. Among the stuff is the collected works of Hayek, and a picture of Margaret Thatcher on a tank, and another one of Douglas Bader standing next to his Spitfire, and another one of John Bright with his muttonchop whiskers, and here's one of Darby's iron bridge, and there's the guys laying the transatlantic cable, and there's the Victoria Cross of that fellow from Rorke's Drift, and this thing here seems to be Alfred the Great's battle axe, and there is Lord Coke's ink stand. Why, by Gosh it is if Santa has dumped the entire attic of British history on us, all piled up in crates, with a few odds and ends, like a picture of William F. Buckley for some reason ... .

Anyway, I think he is saying the stuff is all there, it just needs to be put together right, sold to people right, made convincing again, made to live and breathe again.

A fully assembled one would have been no fun, Santa is chuckling to himself, they wouldn't get as much out of it ...

Can it be done?

Only one way to find out!

Forward the Anglosphere.

Posted by: Lex at December 24, 2005 11:24 PM

we do desperately need a new Conservative Party. A real Conservative Party.: Quite so, that has been my view for a decade or more. Perhaps the left, left leaning of Boy King might prove too much for the true conservatives in the Parliamentary Party. Could perchance lead to a palace revolution and a clean out of the many pseudo conservatives therein, might even lead to a break up of the Party. A new Party from the ashes of the old, not a happy scenario, but may need just that if we are to have a Conservative Party for conservatives.

Posted by: Thomas at December 25, 2005 07:23 AM

Why, by Gosh it is if Santa has dumped the entire attic of British history on us, all piled up in crates

Well, you might as well use it, nobody else is claiming it. But watch out, if you use it you might be prosecuted as "xenophobic".

Posted by: Jim Bennett at December 25, 2005 03:16 PM

What's the matter with the elves? Gone on strike? Yes, indeed, we can use the whole of British history (the whole of Anglospheric history, if you like) to reconstruct a real Conservative Party but I was hoping to see one in my lifetime. (On the other hand, I did not think I'd see the Soviet Union collapse in my lifetime, so there is hope.) No point in relying on any of the parliamentary party - most of them are swamp. They will follow whatever the leader and Central Office says. Ditto for most of the members. Those who do not like it, left long ago. So, to borrow another organization's slogan: Ourselves Alone. I am going back to my idea of an educational academy that teaches nothing but British history, which, as we know, is really the history of the world, and certainly of the Anglosphere.

As for being accused of xenophobia (yes, indeed, it is now a crime under the European Arrest Warrant and the European Evidence Warrant, so admired by some American commentators on the right, well, it is only a matter of time before me and mine are accused of something or other along those lines. The police, as Verity's posting explains above, have little else to do these days.

Posted by: Helen at December 26, 2005 04:06 AM



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