In Britain, democracy has long since been abandoned with all three main political parties holding more or less identical positions on Europe, on ‘climate change’, on immigration, on tax, on equality, on the ailing ration-era National Health service. Political correctness reigns. There are now, operating in parallel to the British judicial system, at least 80 sharia courts, where wife-beating is sanctioned, where divorce if you’re a woman is all but impossible, where for a rape case to be considered the crime must have been witnessed by four males.
In the EU … no, let’s not go there.
These are just the very edited highlights and in every case they happened because conservatives let them happen. Why? Because apparently there were more important battles to fight, like the positioning of sweetie packets in supermarkets. And because ‘elections are won in the centre ground’. And because the kind of zealots who believe in truth, empiricism, small government, liberty, responsibility, entrepreneurship, equality before the law and equality of opportunity (but not of outcome) have no place in forward-looking ‘progressive’ conservatism.
That last weasel cop-out is an especial favourite of Cameron’s conservative crowd: ‘If we throw a few of our own off the back of the sledge to feed the ravening wolves, maybe they won’t come after us quite so hard.’ But of course those wolves will. It’s what wolves do. So all that ends up happening — ‘detoxifying the brand’, as it’s known — is that you do the enemy’s work for them, while sacrificing your bravest, best and most articulate ideological allies. ‘Conservatives are particularly vicious with their own kind,’ says Horowitz. ‘They particularly hate warriors like Glenn Beck. That’s because rather than confront their enemies, conservatives prefer to appease them or win favour with them.’
What applies to Glenn Beck in the US is true over here of Douglas Murray and ‘Mad’ Mel Phillips (‘Mad’ being the favourite dismissal for awkward truth-tellers, in much the same way that all those who predicted the EU and the euro were going to be a disaster were called ‘swivel-eyed’ and ‘barmy’) and Peter Hitchens and others I’m far too modest to name. We’re hated by our own because we’re a daily reminder of what cowardly, loathsome ideological sell-outs the rest of our kind are.
Still, I asked Horowitz, who understands the Gramsci culture war better than anyone on the planet, whether there was any room for emollience of the kind ‘pragmatic’ conservatives advocate? ‘Sure there is. Politics is an art,’ he says, sounding for a second worryingly moderate. ‘If you’re adopting a mellow tone to deceive your enemies that’s good, if it’s a Trojan horse that’s fine. But if you’re just doing it to make yourself liked, that’s Stockholm Syndrome.’
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