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The Tory Party is not a pro-liberty party

Sadly none of Britain’s mainstream political parties are, they just vary (slightly) in who they want to benefit from their regulation of civil society. When it comes from choosing amongst which tribal faction of statists will regulate your life, we are spoilt for choice.

So next time you have an earnest young Tory hopeful turn up on your doorstep asking for your vote and pledging to save you from those beastly Labour socialists, ask him where his party stands on the issue of ID cards, which will naturally start off as ‘National Health Benefit Cards’ and then very quickly become mandatory for pretty much anything you try to do, such as open a bank account or rent an apartment.

And then look ‘earnest young Tory’ in the eye, explain why his party is part of the problem rather than part of the solution and then tell him to fuck off. A choice between a party which brought us Michael ‘a touch of the night’ Howard and one which has brought us David ‘RIP’ Blunket is no choice at all. But if you cannot bring yourself to resist the syren call to the ballot box, vote UKIP.

15 comments to The Tory Party is not a pro-liberty party

  • Tony H

    Absolutely, and though I wouldn’t wish it to be thought that I have a neurotic obsession with firearms controls, it must be pointed out that Labour was responsible only for one of the Firearms Acts, the 1967 one – the Tories carry the can for all the rest, including the 1997 handgun ban which they simply handed on to Labour for enactment virtually unaltered.
    I attended a Countryside Alliance meeting a couple of years ago, out of curiosity, and had an interesting but unsurprising illustration of Tory double standards on liberty. The speaker was eulogising Tom King for being “sound” on fox hunting, and I pointed out that he had recently chaired the committee which vomited forth the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill; my suggestion that this was a profoundly illiberal, police-state measure contradicting King’s supposed love of liberty & non intervention was met not so much by hostility (though some clearly thought any criticism of a leading Tory was infra dig) as by massive incomprehension. The Shire Tory heartland simply hadn’t a clue what I was talking about.

  • In my experience, The Shire Tory heartland simply hadn’t a clue… about much of anything really… and the Tory Party is a faithful reflection of that cluelessness. They talk about ‘liberty and liveleyhood’ and then shake hands with Chris Patten whilst demanding subsidies for their little niche of the countryside.

    Not all are like that of course but a depressing number are.

  • G Cooper

    It’s certainly hard to see the Conservative Party as any kind of defender of essential freedom.

    True, Conservative policies are somewhat more inclined towards allowing economic freedom, but the party’s record on social or personal freedom (be it sexual morality or gun ownership) is atrocious.

    As for the UKIP, I grow increasingly frustrated by them (and yes, I have indeed voted UKIP). Is it that the party is simply not being reported by the media in the UK, or is it that it has, largely, disintegrated?

    Does anyone know?

  • Mitch

    One thing (among many) I don’t get about UK politics is the absence of the appeal of smaller government and wider distribution of power to local levels. Why is that so much a part of the debate in the US and not elsewhere? If this is unique to us, then God help Britain in resisting the EU, and God help Iraq in preventing the rise of a new tyrant. the only way to keep a bad guy from seizing absolute power is to make it unavailable to the “good” guy, too — the good guy being generally understood as the one you agree with.

    Despite what the purists say, there is an ongoing struggle in the US Republican party between the social conservatives — the Buchanan/Robertson bunch — and the libertarian-influenced economic conservatives — Reagan, Bush II. Where are Margaret Thatcher’s heirs? Why is Thatcherism a term of abuse?

  • G Cooper

    Mitch writes:

    ” Where are Margaret Thatcher’s heirs? Why is Thatcherism a term of abuse?”

    There is a good doctoral thesis waiting to be written about the vilification of Margaret Thatcher – by no means all of which took place at the hands of the Left.

    A significant component of the hatred aimed at her is just plain, old-fashioned sexism: something I greatly enjoy using to taunt members (one uses the term with caution) of the “right-on” Left.

  • “One thing (among many) I don’t get about UK politics is the absence of the appeal of smaller government and wider distribution of power to local levels. Why is that so much a part of the debate in the US and not elsewhere?” (Mitch)

    Here’s conjecture for you on that point:

    I think at least part of the answer might rest in a tradition of power-distribution radically alien to British history. In America, there is an enormous complex of concepts built into the fact of “fifty states” — even so decadent as it is, and has been since FDR, at least. Nonetheless, there is still at least a latent idea of power on a scale smaller than the nation that I think has far greater facility in most American minds than anything available to common British experience and thinking.


  • I think history and size play a large role in the local government phenomenon in the US. There was never really one whole America; it started out decentralized and is becoming more and more centralized. The states came first and after that the federal government. Then the Civil War further centralized power. Then FDR. But people still remember.

  • What of UKIP? Well Mr G. Cooper, here is where you may find the answer regarding UKIP.

    I applied to stand as an MEP candidate for UKIP in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections set for a year from now.

    What I encountered has been detailed on a regular basis on the Blog:-


    The party’s depleted National Executive Committee are meeting, for what will probably be a final showdown, this afternoon, following which, I regret to say, there will probably be many more ex-UKIP members also seeking a political home.

  • cydonia

    “[the] issue of ID cards, which will naturally start off as ‘National Health Benefit Cards’ and then very quickly become mandatory for pretty much anything you try to do, such as open a bank account or rent an apartment.”

    Passports already function as ID cards. You can’t get a bank account without a passport and you can’t rent an apartment without a bank account.


  • Andrew Duffin

    Off-topic I know, but I had to bite…


    It doesn’t bother me in the least that I need to show my passport to open a bank account.

    What does bother me, and what is different about the coming “entitlement cards” is that some goon can stop me in the street and say “Papers please”.

    THAT is where we cross the Rubicon.

    I give it about three years.

  • Mike

    Mitch writes:

    ” Where are Margaret Thatcher’s heirs? Why is Thatcherism a term of abuse?”

    Despite Hague and Duncan Smith claims to the contrary they are to scared to be truly Thatcherite. Not surprisng really as the Tory divisions are still there, just underneath the surface. A new Hestletine would be behind their back with knife in hand.

    There isn’t going to be a Thatcherite Tory PM until the Euro issue is dead.

  • Liberty Belle

    Mike – and the euro issue won’t be dead until we get a new Thatcher, man or woman, to slay the dragon once more. This time through the heart, and keep the blade in until it’s bled to death.

    And yes, Duncan Smith is frightened – Hague somewhat less so, but frit nonetheless.

  • Doug Collins

    As a bemused American reading over the foregoing comments about our (conservative and to some extent libertarian) apparent preference for local government over federal government, I have to make a clarification. Our actual preference is for as little government as possible, and that as responsive as possible. The objective is maximum individual liberty. In some cases, where particularly entrenched local governments hold power, a more distant government might be more favorable to individual liberty.

    An example occurred here in Texas about 15 years ago. A couple of small towns on the interstate highway near Houston had found increased traffic citations to be a handy way to lower their local property tax burden. This got taken to an extreme, including coerced confessions, that finally moved the state government to set a percentage limit for police generated local revenue. Exceed it and your property taxes go up and most of the money goes to the Texas state government. This was a situation where the locals liked things as they were and were unlikely to change.

    The point is that bigger versus smaller is not the question, however much the looming threat of the EU behemouth may make it seem so. The question is individual liberty.

    Concerning the Tory Party and it’s refractory nature, I have an ignorant American question to which I would appreciate a knowledgeable British answer: Regardless of the disregard for liberty in the Tory party, what is the support for liberty, and the level of concern for it in the general British population? I always thought Burke’s metaphor of the English oxen ignoring the buzzing political insects was a good thing, however in the present situation placidity in the doorway of the abattoir may not be a virtue.

    If a politically significant part of the British nation, say 15%, is concerned enough with the situation, some enterprising group ought to be able to mobilize that interest group to get active in the Tories, “throw the bums out” and start repairing things before it’s too late.

    If there is not enough interest, it doesn’t matter what the Tories do or think and you had better start thinking about emigration. I hope the interest level is high enough. It’s difficult to believe the same people who defended to the death at Calais wouldn’t resist EU federasty.

  • Mike

    Doug wrote “If a politically significant part of the British nation, say 15% is concerned enough with the situation”

    I’d say it’s more than 15% easily. But the Tories still believe we can stay in Europe without signing the Constitution or adopting the Euro. They are too scared to really take the bull by the horns.

    And the Daily Mail was calling for a referendum last week so for the Tories to adopt that policy today really shows that they have missed the boat again.