Addressing the Annual Dinner of the Streetley branch of Richard Shepherd’s Aldridge & Brownhills CCA on 22nd October my theme is Tony Blair, the Revolutionary – overturning all our democratic institutions, disorienting the populace by undermining all the fixed points in our society and establishing alternatives to our traditional form of government with his Community Forums, Regional Assemblies, devolution and in the context of Europe, promoting the EU as the alternative to NATO and the WEU for Defence and the Council of Europe as the arbiter of Human Rights respectively, all at the expense of national Parliaments as representative of the sovereign voices of the people.
When I meet Wm. Hague the following Tuesday I run through the theme of my Aldridge Brownhills speech to which he listens with great interest and is kind enough to say that I ‘always say something to make him think’! I tell him that I am not intending to pressurise him on the subject of agriculture in the same way that I have pushed him on fisheries because of the proximity of the next election and he agrees that his EU ‘shopping list’ is already long enough. As I am leaving his office William says that he hopes that I have noticed how much of my advice he has already taken. In answer to that very generous comment I respond by saying that I’ve got no complaints on that score but that what I have had to tell him is, after all, only common sense! When I bump into William’s PPS later that evening I make the point that a counter revolution based upon common sense policies would, in my opinion, be an effective antidote to the revolution being prosecuted by Blair.
The next day I attend the Conservative backbench Defence Committee intent upon making a contribution based upon the theme of my speech at Aldridge Brownhills. In the event the only other attendees are Robert Key (Salisbury) and Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) – it later transpires that Iain Duncan-Smith and the other officers of the committee were, at the same time, sitting in a completely different committee room!
At the ’22 Executive meeting on Wednesday 27th the Chairman voices his concern about the Party’s failure to vote last night against the abolition of hereditary Peers. This is fair comment but symptomatic of the fundamental problem that is dogging the contemporary Conservative Party i.e. the fear of standing up for traditional conservative values, without which we can, of course, kiss goodbye to any prospect of winning the next General Election. In a nation that is intrinsically conservative it makes no sense to be tacking to the left – if the voters want socialism there is no shortage of political parties offering them just that. Throughout the land they can vote Labour or Liberal Democrat or, in Scotland, SNP and in Wales, Plaid Cymru. The Conservative Party is the only party that could, if it was so minded, offer a real alternative to this drab and dreary prospect but for as long as it continues to ape the socialists and ignore its USPs (Unique Selling Points) it will fail to realise its full potential. Why can’t the Party hierarchy recognise that clinging to the concept of Economic and Monetary Union, the concept of ‘ever closer (political) union’ within the benighted EU and a host of other misconceived notions, is the way to political oblivion? The answer to that question may not be so hard to discern. We have in our midst a number of senior colleagues who are not conservatives at all. They probably never ever were conservatives in the first place but attached themselves to the Conservative Party simply because it offered ‘wannabee MPs’ their best chance of being elected or, as seems to me more likely, for the enhanced opportunity that it would give them to promote the collectivist agenda. Are these people the latter-day equivalent of Burgess, Philby, Maclean and Blunt, infiltrating arguably the world’s most successful political party so as to destroy it from within?
Whilst Archie quite rightly raises the question of our stance on reform of the House of Lords I for my part say how disappointed I am that we did not oppose the Food Standards Agency Bill and warn colleagues that others will inevitably raise questions at the next full ’22 meeting about our failure to oppose the Financial Services and Markets Bill.
from CRACKING THE WHIP, the fast paced political memoirs of Christopher Gil MP