Britain’s parliament has voted for yet another Lockdown. (Or a Tier System, as it’s euphemistically known).
Here is an excerpt of the letter I sent beforehand to my local MP Chris Heaton Harris, in the hope it might make a difference.
I never imagined that I would have to write to my local Conservative MP politely asking him not to vote to destroy the economy, kill jobs and small businesses and impose unprecedented restrictions on liberty… This is not why I voted Conservative. I hereby promise that if you vote for the tier system (Lockdown by any other name) I shall not vote for you in the next General Election. Nor will I vote Conservative on any other occasion. The policies being pursued by this Government are not remotely conservative.
If you believe in conservative values and the wellbeing and livelihoods of the people you represent, then this is the moment to take a principled stand.
Thanks for all the work you have done in the past as an excellent constituency MP.
It didn’t, obviously. Nor did I really expect it to. Peter Hitchens has been right all along about the Conservative party — it hasn’t represented Conservatism for years. Up until this year, I thought he was being unduly pessimistic. What I thought would happen is that the right-wingers in the party — Home Secretary Priti Patel, Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, etc — would steer vacillating Prime Minister Boris Johnson onto the path of righteousness, ditch all the social justice hogwash, and return it to the party of limited government, personal responsibility and fiscal restraint it more or less was under Margaret Thatcher.
How wrong I was!
All those cynics who said “Never trust a Tory. They always put party before country or people” were absolutely right.
As Hitchens has rightly long argued the only way to rebuild conservatism in Britain is first to destroy — and destroy utterly — the Conservative party, which is no longer fit for purpose.
The only good news on this dispiriting day in parliament is that at least some Conservative MPs made a fine showing and reminded us how it should be done.
One of them was Sir Graham Brady MP, leader of the 1922 Committee. (If you’re tempted to watch, look at the Prime Minister in the background. Haunted and hunted he looks like a broken man)
This is so important pic.twitter.com/YdEBJIuqpF
— Emma Kenny (@emmakennytv) December 1, 2020
Sounding remarkably measured, calm and restrained under the circumstances, Brady tells the House:
“Freedom is not an absolute. But it should be regarded as precious. And there should always be the strongest possible presumption in its favour. If the government is to take away the fundamental liberties of the people we represent then they must demonstrate beyond question that they are acting in a way that is both proportionate and absolutely necessary. Today, I believe, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Government has failed to make that compelling case.”
But perhaps the best contribution of all was this from Sir Desmond Swayne MP.
Now we discover that a vaccine may be a passport to the acquisition of your civil liberties. And without which you will find all sorts of things which you are able to do denied to you. Could I say that that would be absolutely disproportionate to a virus with a mortality rate of verging on 1 percent. It would equally be a terrible precedent to set for other vaccines and medicines. The way to persuade people to take a vaccine would be to line up the entire government and their loved ones – and make them take it first […]
The other thing any kind of coercion would do would be to set the seal on this government’s reputation as the most authoritarian since the Commonwealth of the 1650s.
The Conservative party is finished. So, unless the people get their act together soon, will be the United Kingdom too.