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Spiked -- This is the death of the Tory Party as we knew it by Brendan O'Neill
'Theresa May’s survival speaks to the stasis and cowardice of the Conservative establishment. -- We couldn’t have asked for clearer proof of the Conservative Party’s political disarray and intellectual paucity than Theresa May’s survival of the confidence vote. Her victory, by 200 votes to 117, is not down to any vision or decisiveness on her part, but rather speaks to the absence of ideological dynamism and even basic courage in any other wing of the Conservative Party. May survives by default – the default being Tories’ supine unwillingness to do anything that might shake up politics for fear that it would expose their own internal, existential confusions. -- May’s survival speaks to the Tory Party’s death. This is a PM who has clearly betrayed the largest democratic vote in British history, and most of her party colleagues, Leavers and Remainers, know this. And still they cannot muster up the courage to push her aside. This is a PM who is reneging on the Tories’ own manifesto promise to leave the Customs Union and the Single Market, and her MPs know this. Yet still they cannot bring themselves to utter the words, ‘No confidence’. -- ... The most alarming thing in recent months has been the absence of any clear ideological factions, and of any individual with the moral authority or political nous seriously to challenge May. People talk up Boris or David Davis or Dominic Raab – but it is striking how much even individuals like these come off like spectators of the Tory Party’s zombie-like staggering onwards, rather than as potential authors of a new direction. No one appears decisive, or authoritative, or brave; they’re like those bystanders who film a car crash on their mobile phones rather than doing something to help. -- Many will say, ‘So what? Tory disarray is not something I am going to lose sleep over!’ The problem is this: at precisely a time when Britain needs courageous, ideal-driven politicians, we have cowardly technocratic ones. In the wake of a mass democratic vote that requires confident leaders to see it though, we have leaders who rule by default and compromise on command. It is hard to remember a time when the disparity between the public’s political energy and the political class’s moral lethargy has been so pronounced. We vote for radical political and national change and they can’t even even bring themselves to change party leader. The political elite is not up to the momentous task of Brexit. They can disguise that fact for a while, by keeping the technocratic lid of Theresa May’s rule on the boiling pot of public displeasure with the status quo, but not forever.' -- Cuckservatives
rkselectiontheory  decadence  faggotry  conservatism  socialism  UK 
2 days ago by adamcrowe
Saint Louverture | Helen Andrews
She says subsistence farming reduced the Haitian economy to a "nullity", but doesn't mention diplomatic isolation or the French indemnity.
revolutions  haiti  conservatism 
2 days ago by daniel.c.mccarthy
Theresa May is now a lame duck – too weak to take back control of her party | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian
More profoundly – much more profoundly – this vote was a wake-up call about the terminal sterility of a certain kind of Conservative vision. It’s a kind of Conservatism that is a confluence of two different traditions, and the Tory party is too respectful to both of them. On the one hand, there is a white establishment tradition, largely English rather than British in mentality, that has not come to terms with the loss of empire, dislikes foreigners, and which somehow equates Brexit with the restoration of British superiority and power. On the other, there are Thatcher’s children, often self-made, self-confident, petit bourgeois, anti-foreigner and anti-state, flirting with Ukip, beguiled by the Great in Great Britain and irreconcilable to any European engagement.

May’s critics are genuinely hopeless at politics. They can cause a lot of trouble. But they cannot, will not, take responsibility for practical action in government. They appear to believe that there is a Commons majority for their faith-based, crash-out, free-at-last, ourselves-alone Brexit if only they can install a true believer and bring the DUP back onside. The vote confirmed that is not true. The naivety is breathtaking. Such a Tory leader would lose any Brexit bill or confidence vote. Luckily for the Tory party, most MPs proved today they are not so foolish.

In the end, it’s the recklessness over Ireland, an instinct that lies deep in the DNA of part of the Tory party, that is the most frightening piece of foolishness. These fanatics, playing footsie with a DUP clique that puts sectarianism above the wider needs of a Northern Ireland that voted remain, are the direct political descendants, though with half the talent, of people such as Lord Randolph Churchill in the 1890s, FE Smith in the 1910s and Enoch Powell in the 1970s. All of them tried to play the Orange card. All of them did so with awful results for Ireland and Britain alike. As Talleyrand said of the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing – and they proved it again this week.
UK  politics  ToryParty  leadership  MayTheresa  TheRight  Brexit  authority  dctagged  dc:creator=KettleMartin  conservatism  nationalism  xenophobia  Thatcherism  neoliberalism  delusion  Ireland 
4 days ago by petej
Daniel Hannan: We still have time to switch course from disaster. Just. It’s up to Conservative MPs to act now. | Conservative Home
In which Daniel Hannan forgets who is actually in government, and who isn't.

"The best way to stop Brexit, they reasoned, was to ensure that the terms on which it was offered were so dreadful that even Leavers would see them as a deterioration of our current position. They encouraged Brussels to take the hardest possible line. “You don’t need to worry that Britain might walk away”, they whispered to Eurocrats. “We’ll make sure that Parliament won’t allow a no-deal Brexit”.

Does that sound like a conspiracy theory? Am I alleging that British politicians would side with EU negotiators against their own country? That they would actively work against a mutually advantageous deal? Yes, that’s precisely what I’m alleging, but it’s not a conspiracy – except possibly in the sense of what H.G. Wells once called “an open conspiracy”. On the contrary, it has been brazen. Two months ago, for example, John Major, Nick Clegg and Michael Heseltine – a former Prime Minister and two former Deputy Prime Ministers – co-authored an article in a German newspaper urging the EU to hang tough."

Yeah Dan. It sounds like a conspiracy theory.

"If there is a second referendum, Leavers will surely organise a boycott."

Oh please. Oh please.

"And in the meantime? In the meantime, Britain would have suffered a reputational collapse worse than Suez, having tried and failed to recover its independence. Our democracy would go through its worst trauma since 1832. And – it seems almost a small thing given the scale of the national tragedy, but for what it’s worth – the Conservative Party would be finished."

Guess who helped to organise it all, Dan?
brexit  brexitlies  conservatism  opinion 
5 days ago by np
No, it’s not The Incentives—it’s you – [citation needed]
A random bystander who happened to eavesdrop on a conversation between a group of scientists kvetching about The Incentives could be forgiven for thinking that maybe, just maybe, a bunch of very industrious people who generally pride themselves on their creativity, persistence, and intelligence could find some way to work around, or through, the problem. And I think they would be right. The fact that we collectively don’t see it as a colossal moral failing that we haven’t figured out a way to get our work done without having to routinely cut corners in the rush for fame and fortune is deeply troubling.

It’s also aggravating on an intellectual level, because the argument that we’re all being egregiously and continuously screwed over by The Incentives is just not that good. I think there are a lot of reasons why researchers should be very hesitant to invoke The Incentives as a justification for why any of us behave the way we do. I’ll give nine of them here, but I imagine there are probably others.
academic-culture  publishing  social-dynamics  social-norms  conservatism  attention-desert  ethics 
7 days ago by Vaguery
Two Roads for the New French Right | by Mark Lilla | The New York Review of Books
“This is very interesting on the new Catholic social conservatism in France - a kind of Blue Labour with added Gramsci https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/12/20/two-roads-for-the-new-french-right/“ https://twitter.com/davies_will/status/1072019387576696834; “When I had a piece in the LRB on Tory Brexiteers earlier in the year, someone got in touch after pointing out one thing I’d missed: that the leading figures (Charles Moore, IDS, Rees-Mogg, Liam Fox, Bill Cash) were all Catholics...” https://twitter.com/davies_will/status/1072020080941256704
politics  conservatism  Catholicism  France  NYRB  2018 
7 days ago by Preoccupations
The Right’s Climate Change Shame | Andrew Sullivan
For allegedly intelligent conservatives like Stephens and Goldberg to devote energy toward climate skepticism while turning a blind eye to vigorous Republican climate vandalism is, quite simply contemptible. I am not reading their minds here. I’m reading their columns. On this question – as on fiscal policy – they’re not skeptics or conservatives; they are dogmatists, sophists and enablers of environmental vandalism. They reveal Republicanism’s calculated assault on the next generations – piling them with unimaginable debt and environmental chaos. This isn’t the cultural conservatism of Burke; it’s the selfish nihilism of Rand.

Let me finish with a quote. It was the first time a major global leader spoke to the U.N. on the question: “It is life itself — human life, the innumerable species of our planet — that we wantonly destroy. It is life itself that we must battle to preserve … The danger of global warming is as yet unseen but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices so we may not live at the expense of future generations. That prospect is a new factor in human affairs. It is comparable in its implications to the discovery of how to split the atom, indeed its results could be even more far-reaching … We should always remember that free markets are a means to an end. They would defeat their object if by their output they did more damage to the quality of life through pollution than the well-being they achieve by the production of goods and services.” That leader also made a core moral argument: “No generation has a freehold on this earth; all we have is a life tenancy with a full repairing lease.”

Those words were Margaret Thatcher’s in 1989. She devoted her entire U.N. speech to conservation and climate change. If the subject was real enough in 1989 to make sacrifices and changes, how much more so almost 30 years later? The difference between Thatcher and today’s Republicans is quite a simple one. She believed in science (indeed was trained as a scientist). She grasped the moral dimensions of the stewardship of the earth from one generation to another. She did not engage in the cowardice of sophists. And unlike these tools and fools on today’s American right, she was a conservative.
climate  conservatism  from instapaper
16 days ago by ayjay

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