“Brexit is so fundamentally un-conservative, it is hard to know where to begin”by Jay Elwes / March 17, 2017 / Leave a comment
What a happy time it is to be a conservative. We live in a swirl of change, uncertainty and outright nonsense, and yet throughout it all, the central tenets of conservatism are in the process of being proved yet again—but not necessarily in the way you might think.
First, the Labour Party, which has performed a useful and very revealing experiment on itself. The Labour leadership has wrung every last drop of conservatism out of the party, reducing itself to a hard-left liberal metropolitan core. The conservative values of country, work and self-reliance have no place in Corbyn’s Labour Party.
And yes, the Labour Party does—or at least did—contain a conservative element. As Clement Atlee put it in his 1920 The Social Worker, “In a civilised community, although it may be composed of self-reliant individuals, there will be some persons who will be unable at some period of their lives to look after themselves.” Note that the Labour Prime Minister, who fought at Gallipoli, saw society as composed of people capable of standing on their own two feet, of whom a small number “at some period” might need support. That support is now very substantial, far more so than Atlee could ever have imagined. According to the ONS, in 2015, the UK government spent £258bn on welfare—that’s 35 per cent of all government spending. Jeremy Corbyn has described the welfare system in Britain as akin to “institutionalised barbarity.”