During the process I came across a pamphlet written in 2005 by my friend Michael Ancram QC. MP, now Lord Lothian. At the time he was MP for Devizes, Labour with Tony Blair as PM, was in government, and it was pre-Brexit.
However, Michael’s words are as relevant today as then, despite having a Conservative government since 2010. Granted they did share office with the Lib Dems for the first five years, but his concerns regarding the direction the UK was heading then, are perhaps even more relevant today.
Michael began by saying that he believed the vast majority of the British people do not know what a Conservative really is or stands for. He said, “The stark truth is that since Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives as a party have lacked character, coherence and context. There has been no real vision, no real sense of mission, and only a limited understanding of how our country has changed.”
Michael was right then, and still today the party needs to re-establish what makes it Conservative. The imperatives being: The defence of our sovereignty. Strengthen individual liberty – not least by pruning back the power of the State. Quality support for those who need it. Putting concern for the environment at the heart of Conservatism. The key words being - Freedom and Fairness, Compassion and Conviction. Boris had the right idea.
Finding Michael’s leaflet was opportune as the clarity of his conviction made me understand my current frustration and despair while watching the direction this so called ‘Conservative’ government, which looks increasingly like a Labour government is taking.
The title of the pamphlet is ‘I am a Conservative’, and within its 18 pages Michael explains why he is a conservative, what the principles of being a Conservative are and what the philosophy and roots of the Conservative party stand for.
“At the heart of Conservatism, the driving engine is - Freedom to choose – Freedom to decide – Freedom to live one’s life – Freedom of expression – Freedom from Poverty – Freedom from Fear – Freedom under the Rule of Law.”
Today as under Blair, the State is overblown, interfering and hostile to freedom, including free speech. We were promised reduced bureaucracy, deregulation, decentralisation, protection of our civil liberties, a smaller state, and following Brexit, reclaiming our sovereignty.
If the Conservatives do not get a grip and return to their core values before the General Election, these values will be buried forever by Labour, the Europhiles, civil servants and left-wing PC elite from all parties, and Boris’s opponents will have won.
It will be interesting to see where Boris goes from here. The findings of the ‘kangaroo court’ with its biased chairman who declared at the start said considered Boris guilty, was disgraceful.