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UK Conservatives to Choose Between Liberal Boris and Liberal Hunt. Or Rebel.

Britain’s Conservative Party has now completed its internal “knock out” stage in its process to appoint a new leader and therefore Prime Minister.

The next step – a membership ballot between the liberal Boris Johnson and the even more liberal Jeremy Hunt – leaves party members in an appalling position with a lack of real choice.

JOHNSON VS HUNT

Johnson is likely to govern in a dangerously liberal fashion.

Johnson, known for his floppy hair and bumbling demeanor, is likely to govern in a dangerously liberal fashion.

His girlfriend – for whom he recently divorced his wife – is a hardline environmentalist liberal vegan. Johnson is said to have been allowing her to fashion his campaign and his impending premiership thus far.

Hunt, who may be the lesser of two evils, represents the pro-European Union establishment wing of the Conservative Party, but at least he doesn’t really pretend – like Boris – to be a real conservative.

The pair come nowhere close to representing the grassroots of the Conservative Party, whose membership numbers have literally decimated since Sir Winston Churchill’s time as party leader and prime minister.

Image by the BackBoris campaign 2012

In the 1950s, the party had one million paying members. Today, the party claims to have just over 100,000. Though it is suspected to be much fewer.

There is one more choice Conservative Party members have: reject both.

In a Johnson vs Hunt square off, the party finds itself having to choose between one establishment neo-liberal who wants to “leave” the European Union but retain open borders and basically all the pitfalls of being an EU member (Johnson) and Hunt, who wants to Remain in the European Union altogether.

Nowhere is the nation’s social conservatism reflected.

Nowhere is the nation’s weariness over mass migration reflected.

Nowhere are the nation’s concerns over tax and spend policies, nor are concerns over rapid social justice issues in day-to-day life reflected.

Johnson and Hunt represent continuity [David] Cameron, and present party members with a dire choice in the same way Theresa May did just three years ago.

A MEMBERSHIP REBELLION

There is one more choice Conservative Party members have: reject both.

While Boris is the hot favorite, the party’s Brexit-supporting base could refuse to take part in the leadership election.

In doing so, an extreme scenario of non-voting may lead to Jeremy Hunt becoming Prime Minister. This is an ideal situation for small-c conservatives in the medium term, who have already made clear they would prefer to see the party destroyed than a real Brexit not realized.

Hunt as Prime Minister would see an exodus of conservatives to the Brexit Party in a way that might not happen under Prime Minister Johnson. This in turn would pave the way for Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party to take a Commons majority.

UK Parliament

But this depends on Conservative Party members having the mettle to stare down their establishment party leaders. The evidence to date is they are somewhat reluctant, when push comes to shove.

So, on October 31st, the government will be left in the same position as Theresa May.

YouGov recently found a majority (54 per cent of Tory members) would be “willing to countenance the destruction of their own party if necessary” to get a real Brexit.

“Only a third put the party’s preservation above steering Britain out of the EU.”

Further data from YouGov shows that “Conservative members are most likely to describe themselves as Thatcherites (56%), Free-market Conservatives (43%) or Traditionalists (31%) than One Nation Conservatives,” despite most leadership candidates clamoring to establish their credentials as “One Nation” Tories.

The data shows the party leadership and future leaders completely out of touch with their voter base – something Farage and the Brexit Party should urgently take advantage of.

“Only 25% don the title of Liberal Conservative, and the ranks of the Modernisers have thinned to just 20%”, the poll reported.

PROBABLY BORIS – THEN WHAT?

Almost certainly, the Conservative Party will turn out for Boris Johnson and make him the new Prime Minister.

Almost certainly, Johnson will fail to secure anything new from Brussels, and will also fail to get anything that resembles a real Brexit through the House of Commons.

So, on October 31st, the government will be left in the same position as Theresa May.

At this point, Johnson will be forced to call a General Election, the country’s third in four years, with the aim of securing enough seats in parliament to deliver a “no deal” Brexit.

Image by Stuart Mitchell/Inc Monocle

That, or he abandons the whole thing altogether and either calls a second referendum or tries to pass a weaker deal that even Theresa May achieved. Either of these would tear the country further apart.

In order to win a General Election, Johnson will have to confront the Remainers in his own party, as well as somehow sell to the country the idea that the thus far incompetent Conservative Party and its MPs (rather than Brexit Party candidates) are better to back in order to create the required Commons majority to pass No Deal.

ENTER THE BREXIT PARTY

If Farage and his party get their messaging right and their grassroots campaigning going (their ground game is currently non-existent), they could either command the balance of power in Parliament, or indeed be the single largest party.

Historically anti-Farage and anti-Brexit, Symonds could stroke Boris’s blonde locks late into the night, whispering lies into his ear about a soft Brexit, and Johnson’s place in history.

This will be no easy feat, but Farage is already setting Johnson up for a fall by giving him enough political rope by which to hang himself.

The Brexit Party leader recently commented that if Boris was willing to present No Deal to Parliament and lose, then go to the country and campaign on the issue, Farage would ensure Johnson commanded a strong majority after an election. He certainly has that power.

This gives Farage the ability to pick off dozens of typically Conservative parliamentary seats at an election and tell the voters, “He tried, he failed. Now let me have a go”.

It helps that some big Conservative Party donors are on Farage’s side for the time being.

Whether Boris Johnson will listen to those urging this semi-unification tactic, or whether he will pursue a Conservative majority without Farage, is a consideration some fear he may leave to his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds.

Historically anti-Farage and anti-Brexit, Symonds could stroke Boris’s blonde locks late into the night, whispering lies into his ear about a soft Brexit, and Johnson’s place in history.

Johnson’s so egotistical and unwise, it just might work.

Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of Human Events

Written By

Raheem Kassam is the Global Editor-in-Chief of Human Events. Previously the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart London, as well as the former senior advisor to Brexit leader Nigel Farage, Kassam is also the bestselling author of 'No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You' and 'Enoch Was Right: Rivers of Blood 50 Years On'. Kassam is a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, a fellow at the Bow Group, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum

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