The leadership election has brought about a wave of Conservatives flexing about how diverse and inclusive the Conservative Party is compared to Labour. Among the first days of the elections, there were endless tweets about how the party has the most diverse leadership election in history.
Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine tweeted that the reasons why he’s proud to be a Conservative MP include “first trans MP” and “the most diverse cabinet in history.”
The online publication Spiked, released an article on how “The Tory leadership race is the most diverse in history. And this has sent the left into meltdown.”
The founder of Tories for Equality tweeted: “I feel proud that British children today, whatever their race, can look at the talented & diverse slate of conservative leadership candidates & think “I could do that”. I didn’t have that growing up under the U.K. Labour government. Proud of my country & proud of my party.”
This is a new attempt to call the left the real racists while celebrating how greatly diverse the Conservatives are. It appears that too many Conservative party members truly believe that to defeat the libs you must become one. Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
This is not to say that a candidates’ ethnicity and gender may be a key aspect of their campaign. After all, there’s merit to having a story of being an outsider or overcoming a struggle related to their identity. However, these MPs have been completely tokenised by those on the right. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done to these identity obsessed Conservatives, as long as their identity is good optics. And despite the attempted revision of history, this is not new for the Conservative Party.
The Conservatives have ridiculed the Labour Party’s anti meritocratic all female shortlists. However, it appears that the Conservatives are also guilty of identity politics hiring…
Under Cameron’s government, there was an active attempt to make the government less pale, male and stale. From David Cameron’s own account in a recent article, he wrote for The Times:
“I immediately froze the selection of Conservative candidates. I said that from our broader candidates’ list we would draw up a priority list, of which half would be female and a large proportion would be from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Associations in winnable seats would have to choose from this “A-list”, and they would be encouraged to select candidates through “open primaries” that were open to non-party members.”
Cameron admits that the call for positive discrimination was because “this wasn’t happening naturally”. Despite denying this was an act of positive discrimination, and instead dubbing it as “positive action”, Cameron states that “We headhunted great candidates from ethnic minorities and pushed them forwards.”
Despite Cameron’s doublethink to frame choosing candidates for the sake of their ethnicity as meritocracy exemplifies how the party has been poisoned by Blairism. How can the Conservative Party differentiate themselves away from Labour’s positive discrimination when it can be seen they acting in a similar nature?
Of course, this isn’t to state that the party leadership candidates aren’t deserving. The strongest, popular candidates are those from minority ethnic identities and/or women. It would be doing them an injustice to only celebrate them for their identity rather than what they believe. While the Westminster bunch pander to identity politics, it is clear that the party membership is focused on what a candidate wants advocates for more than the colour of their skin or what is between their legs.
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By Philip Diaz-Lewis — 2 months ago
One idea that I’ve fondly taken from Augusto del Noce is that ideologies have an internal logic to them, which unfolds as they interact with real-world events. Philosophies aren’t static, but constantly changing as they play out against one another historically. This view, while similar to the Marxist notion of praxis, finds ultimate inspiration from Joseph de Maistre. It’s de Maistre who writes that the French Revolution sweeps men up against their will and devours its own children.
Once put into practice, revolutions take on a life of their own, and like a wild tiger on a leash, drag their authors to new and unheard-of places. This isn’t to deny human free will; something I strongly affirm. It’s rather to recognise that rational humans, faced with circumstances, strive to act consistently with what they believe. This mechanism of consistency is what causes ideologies to evolve over time.
This insight is a powerful tool for understanding the long-term consequences of philosophies. The social sciences may quantify popular actions and opinions, but because human wishes are often nebulous, and people are fond of lying to themselves, there’s always room to dispute the results. The romantic primitivism of Jean Jacques Rousseau is one such ideology. Since being unleashed into the world from the bloody womb of the Reign of Terror, it has branched in many different directions and morphed into shapes Rousseau himself wouldn’t have recognised.
To define romanticism, I turn to Irving Babbitt and his 1919 work Rousseau and Romanticism. Romanticism sets itself in opposition to classicism. Classicism seeks standards for ethics and culture in universal types which it deems natural. It’s not the case that classicism seeks rules necessarily (lest we confuse it with Kantianism). Aristotle is the foremost classicist, yet he denies that norms are truly codifiable into rules. A universal type is rather an ideal based upon the nature of something. A classicist (like Aristotle) might say that being polite at the dinner table is something we should do, and this politeness consists of showing due moderation in eating, drinking, talking etc. But this isn’t a rule so much as a way of displaying the excellence proper to a human being.
Classicism isn’t opposed to emotion either. Rather, it subdues emotions to rational norms. Human nature has a standard of excellence which demands the proper use of emotion. In other words, emotions are good or bad depending on how we wield them according to a standard for the human species. The one able to do this is a universal type, what Aristotle calls the phronimos, or wise man. The later Stoics didn’t condemn emotions entirely, as the popular misconception of them. They rather encouraged natural emotions and discouraged the unnatural. Again, nature is a standard for ideal behaviour, external to individual fancy.
Romanticism, on the other hand, seeks standards in what’s unique and unrepeatable. Instead of conforming to generic ideals, goodness comes from spontaneous individual acts and thoughts. The cause for this is Rousseau’s doctrine of original sanctity. Classicism makes a distinction between ‘things-as-they-are’ and ‘things-as-they-ought’. Humans, animals, and plants don’t come into the world fulfilling an ideal; they arrive imperfect and must strive after their ideal. If we deny this, as Rousseau does, then to be good just is to be what one is. The generic ideal has no purpose and drops out. Authenticity to oneself as one is becomes the aim of life, and this can only find expression in unrepeatable spontaneous acts.
Indeed, once authenticity becomes central, it’s but a short step to rebelling against all standards which society imposes on the self. Since whatever standards society imposes must be ideal repeatable types, and no ideal repeatable types are authentic, no socially imposed standards can be authentic. And since goodness lies in authenticity, being truly good means casting off the standards society has imposed.
As Alasdair Macintyre wryly says in After Virtue, Enlightenment philosophes have the least self-awareness of all thinkers. They create new and revolutionary systems, but the content of their morality is entirely inherited from the civilisation they’ve inherited and which they despise. Thus, Rousseau’s ethics are stuffed full of quaint and puritanical Calvinist ideas from his Genevan upbringing. “Effeminacy” is one of his constant worries, and he applies the term, in boyish fashion, to anything he doesn’t like. Thus, in the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, he can condemn civilised man:
“By becoming sociable and enslaved, he becomes weak, fearful, and grovelling, and his soft and effeminate way of life ends by enervating both his strength and his courage.”
Take these relics away, however, and Rousseau’s romanticism has only its sentimental primitivism to act as a limiting moral principle. Goodness is whatever lies in the untainted human heart, freed from social corruption. What becomes of it then? I wager it must enter an eternal spiral of liberation. Romanticism is built on the idea that we’ll be truly happy only when we free ourselves from all external rules and uncover a pre-social authenticity. Since this is a lie, no amount of liberation will ever create happiness. So, to remain consistent with itself, romanticism must seek ever more shackles of oppression to shatter. It’s either that or admit error.
The progressive radicalisation built into romanticism is visible everywhere. The sexual revolution, for example, has no brakes, because it’s built on a romanticised and primitivist vision of sex that would be falsified the moment brakes are applied. The radicals of the mid-twentieth century believed that socialised sexuality was corrupt, and once the orgasm was freed from all external restraints, pure happiness would result (Wilhelm Reich, for example, thought-free love was the precondition to utopian social democracy). Free love hasn’t made us happier, however. So, the answer is to find ever more previously unknown sexual taboos, whose chains we must shatter if we’re at last to be free.
In everyday morality, romantic assumptions have remade the life quest we each undertake for goodness, into a quest for authenticity. Finding one’s true self is now a drain on the wallet of the entire Western bourgeoisie. People of ages past underwent transformative moral journeys that turned them from sinners to saints, but theirs wasn’t a trek for authenticity. They did something far more mundane: they changed their minds. There’s an implicit vanity in the true-self doctrine. Changing your mind means admitting error. Finding your true self means you were right all along, but just didn’t notice it, because society was keeping you blind.
The cultural production of this quest is, I believe, simply inferior to the production of a mind that looks outwards from itself onto something else. Someone obsessed with finding his authentic self doesn’t have time to stand in awe of things greater than himself. What is falling in love, if not to be overcome by the sense of the intrinsic irreplaceable value of another person, without reference to oneself? We have all effectively become Rousseau writing his Confessions. A man who delighted in nature and other people only as frissons to express his authentic self, and could begin his book with the words:
“Here is the only portrait of a man, painted exactly after nature and in all her truth, that exists and probably ever will exist.”
In education, romantic ideas have done away with the rote learning that characterised pedagogy from Ancient Greece, through the middle ages and down to the Victorian Age. Twentieth-century educators like John Dewey, following in Rousseau’s footsteps, sought to remake schooling around the true self doctrine. Instead of moulding a pupil to conform to an ideal (a gentleman or citizen), modern education exists to help him discover his uncorrupted pre-social self. Self-expression without rules has become the educational norm, with the result that we have people who are experts in analysing their own minds and emotions, but incapable of self-denial or rigour. The excellence of mind and body requires constant training. We accept this more readily about the body because physical fitness is visible. But the mind, which is invisible, needs just as much training to be fit for purpose.
In the end, I see romanticism as an enormous civilisational gamble. The difference between classicism and romanticism is about what we think reality is truly like. The classicist sees a human race born lacking and sees culture as how a scaffold is to a building. Culture exists as an aid to human completion. The romantic, meanwhile, claims that human nature isn’t completable, but already complete, and merely corrupted. He wagers that if we accept this idea, we can remake the world for the better. Like any gambler, he doesn’t think about the stakes if the wager is lost. Here the stakes are social catastrophe if the assumption is untrue. If the truth is classical, then romanticism is akin to raising a lion on a strict vegetarian diet.
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By Christopher Winter — 11 months ago
When the Humber Bridge was completed in 1981, it was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. 41 years later, it has been reduced to a mere 11th place. The current longest single span suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo bridge in Japan, stands a mere 500 metres longer. This is an unfathomable disgrace for the people of Great Britain and is, quite frankly, a national tragedy and embarrassment. To add to this disgrace, another bridge, the ‘Çanakkale 1915 Bridge’ will soon be completed in Turkey. It will kick the Akashi Kaikyo bridge from its number one spot, and move the Humber Bridge to a measly 12th place.
Therefore, for my submission to The Mallard’s project 22, I would like to make a simple but resoundingly important proposal: build a second Humber Bridge (Humber Bridge 2 some would say) and make it precisely one metre longer than the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, therefore reclaiming Britain’s rightful place in the world as the country with the world’s longest single span suspension bridge.
This proposal is likely to ruffle some feathers internationally, and I imagine our friends in the East would be quick to try and build another, even longer single span suspension bridge somewhere else. The solution to this possible outrage is, of course, simple: Build a third Humber Bridge.
These proposed projects have a myriad of benefits that I am sure are obvious. I will however go over them in an attempt to convert the non-believers. Not only will these projects drastically increase the infrastructure of the East Riding of Yorkshire and Northern L*ncolnshire, they will also bring desperately needed construction work and employment to an otherwise overlooked region. The construction of perhaps five or six Humber Bridges over the next 50 years would create literally thousands of jobs for engineers, technicians, builders, and labourers.
Coming in with an estimated price tag at just over £2 billion each, I am sure you can see that these bridges would be an absolute steal for the price!
I know what you’re thinking ‘He can’t be serious! This is a joke right?’. No, I am being very serious. As the nation which invented the bridge, I think it is perfectly reasonable that Great Britain goes to great lengths to have the longest one in the world, the lack of one is wounding to our pride. If you do not support the construction of perhaps eight or nine more Humber Bridges in our lifetime, not only are you a coward, but I can only assume that you are also working in favour of foreign governments, which makes you a traitor, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here and be lectured by some fifth columnist.
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By Samuel Martin — 2 months ago
For several years now, we’ve been told the British political class is solely concerned with the pursuit of wealth, choosing to prioritise GDP above every other consideration. We’ve been told immigration is in our nation’s interest because it grows the economy, the dissolution of the nuclear family is necessary to boost productivity, and MPs are itching to pave over Every Field and Hedgerow with soulless newbuilds, concrete monoliths, and glass skyscrapers.
It is true that mass immigration is an irremovable component of Britain’s post-war political orthodoxy, one which is continuously propagated by supposedly serious economists and journalists. Even people considered economic radicals by the political mainstream, such as former Prime Minister Liz Truss, wanted to significantly increase immigration during her historically short period in office, making her popularity with the Conservative grassroots, and even sections of the anti-Tory right, all the more bizarre.
Next to Net Zero – a loose amalgamation of targets and reforms to overhaul consumption habits to lower Britain’s carbon emissions, especially in large cities – the UK government’s flagship policy has been Levelling Up – a loose amalgamation of targets and reforms intended to grow the national economy, especially regional economies outside of London.
However, this perspective has experienced pushback in recent years. Specifically, it is increasingly argued the establishment’s support for immigration is moralistic as well as economic, with a hegemonic left-wing sensibility playing a more important role than any technocratic justification.
Likewise, there is truth to this perspective. After all, it is an observable fact that Britain’s economy is stagnant, and no less than 30 years of mass immigration hasn’t made a discernibly positive impact on our national economy, leading to the suppression of wage growth for those on lower incomes and giving monopolists a steady supply of cheap labour.
If Britain’s political class were narrowly obsessed with prosperity, wages wouldn’t be flatlining, productivity wouldn’t be at a standstill, and basic necessities wouldn’t be borderline unaffordable to many. Therefore, it is concluded by some that Britain’s political class is not obsessed with economic growth, but seemingly indifferent to it, with swathes of the establishment showing considerable sympathy for the aspirations of the Degrowth movement.
Herein lies a contradiction which I have yet to see addressed: if the political class cannot be characterised as growth-obsessed due to Britain’s worsening economic conditions, how can they be characterised as eco-paranoid zealots if our environment also continues to worsen?
Given a cursory glance, the British establishment is staunchly committed to the natural world. Environmental organisations can sue the government over its self-imposed obligation to achieve Net Zero by 2050, the planning system prevents power lines being built in an energy crisis, and ULEZ expansion has been implemented, despite its intense unpopularity with the affected communities; a move which has activated several little platoons of anti-surveillance activists, who are shown no quarter by the police, unlike the eco-activists who block roads and vandalise artistic masterpieces with impunity.
Based on these facts, one would assume Britain’s environment is in pretty good shape, that whatever problems we may be facing, Britain’s wildlife is more than protected from harm. However, we needn’t assume anything – the results of our leaders’ ‘efforts’ lie before us and they’re far from satisfactory.
Britain’s stringent, cack-handed regulation of development hasn’t resulted in a safer or richer environment. On the contrary, much of our wildlife remains on the brink of extinction, the quality of our water is some of the worst in Europe, various forms of animal cruelty go unpunished, and conservation organizations routinely deviate from their stated purpose.
Considerable ire is directed towards the localist cadres and uppity bureaucrats who obstruct housing developments in the name of protecting hedgehogs, yet little-to-no attention is directed by right-leaning wonks and commentators towards the significant decline in Britain’s hedgehog population. Sad!
We can debate the sincerity of the NIMBYs’ convictions all day, what matters is the hedgehog population is declining and the sooner a solution to this environmental problem can be incorporated into a radical political agenda, the less we will have to pedantically scrutinize the intent of others. I needn’t labour to ‘prove’ that rewilding is a Blairite psy-op or a Gnostic conspiracy. If I accept the definitive principle is good, I am free to support it in to whatever form or extent I choose, and why shouldn’t we rewild Britain?
It is the height of Metropolitan liberal hypocrisy that Alastair Campbell can walk to and from his recording studio without being stalked by a hungry lion. Indeed, the life of every failed statesman-turned-podcaster is worthless compared to the life of a happily rewilded beaver.
This said, we mustn’t satisfy ourselves with half-measures. It goes without saying that rewilding beavers into unacceptably dingy water is like selling a rat-infested apartment to a young couple. Just as trains are viewed as a symbol of progress, water is a symbol of life itself, and any political movement which can portray itself as taking on corrupt monopolists and their spree of sewage dumping will be popularly received by literally every section of British society, especially when the damage of such dumping threatens to increase water prices in an already uncomfortable economy.
Contrary to what some claim, dumping raw sewage, molten slag and microplastics over a raft of otters without second thought doesn’t make you a progressive Victorian industrialist, it means you’re spiritually Azerbaijani. Bee bricks aren’t a well-informed method of helping bees, but the idea is more good-natured than relishing a sense of superiority derived from conscious indifference.
Since leaving the EU, Britain is no longer beholden to its rule of unanimity. As such, it is within Parliament’s immediate and sovereign power to crack down on live imports/exports, vivisection, and battery farming, yet it has not done so. The government banned American Bully XLs after a brief online campaign yet shelved legislation to prevent an obviously cruel and unnecessary practice, one which exists solely to benefit the bottom-line of multinational corporations, run by who think they can treat animals as inanimate property.
The idea Britons must subsist on cheap and nasty processed slop from overseas is a bare-faced lie. Politicians, wonks, and commentators are waking up to what we nationalists have been saying for years – outsourcing energy production is politically stupid. If they can understand that gutting your domestic capacity for energy production doesn’t necessarily make it cheaper or more secure, they should learn to accept the same logic applies to food production as well.
After all, food prices aren’t rising because of “Anglo sentimentalism” or anti-cruelty laws. On the contrary, food prices are rising despite Britain’s laissez-faire approach towards such practices. Indeed, if prices correlated at all with Britain’s love of animals, prices would be way higher than they are currently!
This is because “Anglo sentimentalism” is the most powerful force in the world. Britons collectively donate tens of millions to The Donkey Sanctuary on an annual basis, money which could fund a private military to topple the government, yet few in our circles see this as a power worth harnessing. Consequently, those who have managed to harness this power are using it to ride roughshod over everything the average patriotic Englishman holds dear.
The National Trust, which markets itself as a conservative membership-based organization dedicated to repairing manor houses and protecting historic woodlands, spends its time and resources promoting Gay Race Communism. There are efforts within the National Trust to steer the trust in a more conservative direction, and I’m sure a few of our guys could lend them a helping hand in one form or another. That’s certainly preferable to dismissing the mission of custodianship altogether.
When environmentalists say Britain is in crisis, they’re unironically correct. When the Anglo sees global pollution erasing Britain’s native species, he sees the erasure of himself. Just as his philosophy of life is held together by a pearl of poetry, his existence is held together by a drop of sentiment; one which tells him that to be has an inherent value. This sentiment has birthed his capacity for entrepreneurism and his love for emerald pastures; it has given him cause for confidence in his own self-worth and an eagerness to apply himself to something greater than the merely and immediately convenient, doing so without a hint of contradiction, despite those who accuse him of being an intrinsically anti-intellectual creature.
Our leaders may not be ruthless mammonists, but they’re not unyielding naturalists either, and their record is more than sufficient proof. Beneath their apparent gormlessness, their way of thinking about matters of great importance is foreign to the average Briton, and the sooner this fact is realised by would-be reformers of the British state, the better.
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