BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
At public school, the powers that be insisted that your bed in the dormitory was located a few feet away from your enemy’s. Over a fourteen-week term, this was meant to be character-building.
So, for the first couple of years, I found myself next to my enemy, who we shall call O’Flaherty.
O’Flaherty and I really disliked each other, so much so that he’d read The Troubles while I’d read Oliver Cromwell, England’s Greatest General. On unruly Saturday nights when the Housemaster was out, he’d swig on cans of Guinness, while I’d toast the finest English potatoes comprising my London Dry. If one of O’Flaherty’s socks landed in my territory, I’d drop it out of the window. If my boxers ever strayed into his territory in the dormitory, he’d be sure to send them back to my territory in shreds. We’d wind each other up most days and we’d often end up scrapping.
One day there was a fire. We urged each other out of bed and worked as a team to get our schoolmates out of the dormitory. On the rugby field against other schools, hooker O’Flaherty would drag me – a winger – out of mauls and, after rounding the full-back, I’d occasionally give him the glory of a try (on those rare occasions chain-smoking O’Flaherty kept up).
The Conservative Party, despite some recent exceptions, has many Wightmans and O’Flaherty’s. Members who will happily punch each other in the face in the evening but positively respond to requests at breakfast the next morning to “pass the sugar”. In my opinion, that is why the Conservative Party has outlived every other major party in the world – the consistency of its cement is sufficiently binding and its instinct is, more often than not, adequately tuned.
While the Tories find common cause despite internal differences between members – now mostly centred around Brexit and Europe – Labour has relied in the past on comradeship to bind it. Labour’s anthem The Red Flag tells party members, “With head uncovered swear we all, To bear it onward till we fall; Come dungeons dark or gallows grim, This song shall be our parting hymn.”
Comradeship can be a fine thing. It’s impossible to knock the comradeship of the miners of the Rhondda Valley, of the steelworkers of Scunthorpe, or of the shipbuilders of Dumbarton. The risks taken by those fine men and women and their ancestors are nothing short of remarkable. They were an economic dynamo that forged huge progress for Britain over many years and merit respect.
Alas, the comradeship of Westminster is an altogether different matter.
Compared to the Conservative Party, Labour is a relative newcomer. And it would seem that its comradeship has now vanished. Destroyed first by the Blairites who, with their monetary strategies and war in Iraq, chose to ignore the penultimate verse of the Red Flag: “It suits today the weak and base, Whose minds are fixed on self and place, To cringe before the rich man’s frown, And haul the sacred emblem down.” Then trodden into the ground by Ed Miliband by his dismissal of action in Syria and the rewriting of party leadership election rules. Finally, stolen by Corbyn, assisted by Momentum and Unite, to form a ragtag extremist Labour, which will never be elected and now forms something of a protest group commanding the gravitas of an ASLEF or RMT.
Labour has been living with a deep wound for twenty years now. It’s a wound that has grown to become mortal. And, of course, during those two decades sinister groups have sought to exploit it:
Today there are calls within the Labour Party for safe candidates to be parachuted into Northern Labour areas where Islamists, working on the back of block votes in areas of voter apathy, have assumed the Red Flag as cover and now seek to dominate councils and suckle on the public teat. The theme of Trotskyite infiltration of Labour is something we have covered here in the pages of Country Squire – and the Guardian covers it too.
Considering recent confirmations by the US intelligence community that Putin attempted to sway the 2016 US elections, should we not be asking what influence Putin has been exerting in the union-dominated Labour Party? Is it a stretch too far to ask was union-elected Red Ed not simply doing the Kremlin’s bidding by ensuring Cameron’s failure to win MPs’ backing for military intervention in Syria thus thwarting America’s push for action against Syria’s brutal ruler, Assad?
I’ll leave that for the historians to decipher.
The facts of today show that the Conservative Party is still a rock, while Labour is fast turning to gravel. It’s for exploitation by Britain-haters and can no longer be trusted as it was in 1997 by the British Electorate. The SNP is a dangerous Britain-dismantling deflection. The Liberal Democrats are a blancmange. UKIP is Farage – without him it’s a shambles.
I reiterate the desperate need for the shaping of a strong rock of opposition to today’s Conservatives. One that attracts and unites the Wightmans and O’Flahertys. A party built along the same cohesive strategy as the Conservative Party with a dash of working class comradeship. Without the rise of a new party built for the whole country, including Scotland – a fresh centre-ground, mainstream entity not riddled by parasites exploiting historical fissures – Britain is less Great, British Democracy is less thriving and Freedom, sooner or later, will pay the cost.