A New Year. A New Decade. A New Britain
BY REBECCA RYAN AND TIM DAWSON
2019 ended with the country in a far better place than when it began. This time last year: a beleaguered Prime Minister; a rogue Parliament buttressed by a rogue Speaker; Brexit – indeed, the very fabric of our democracy itself – in jeopardy. A nation in despair. And now: Boris in Downing Street; a Conservative majority of 80; our departure from the EU imminent; Britain uplifted, with a spring in its step again. There is much to celebrate.
The Left, meanwhile, are in free-fall. In the wake of an historic election defeat, Labour has learnt nothing. Their leadership candidates are absurd: John McDonnell’s protege Becky Long-Bailey; Miners’ Fund grifter Ian Lavery; Clive “get on your knees, b*tch” Lewis; Lady Nugee. And they refuse to properly analyse why they lost. Labour’s lies about the NHS are ramping up. The hysteria is becoming shriller. Voters are branded stupid, or worse. Indeed, on Corbynite social media, the tone is almost triumphalist: “We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority”. The “period of reflection” is not going well.
The Last Remainers’ heads are just as deeply in the sand, although many of its foremost white-walkers have finally conceded defeat. Of course, social media amplifies their pronouncements; but the truth is, Brexit is now inevitable. The battle is over. The test for the Liberal Democrats, following their poor result earlier this month, will be whether they can truly accept this.
For the Conservatives, the key message of the election was Freedom. Freedom from the EU. Freedom from left-wing dogma. Freedom from meaningless tribalism. Freedom from the Woke Mob.
We must now deliver for those “red wall” seats which have turned blue. That means harnessing the power of markets to rejuvenate their high streets; put more money in the individual’s pocket; stimulate business; and strengthen families. It also means a savvier, more modern approach to how we spend public money. Sajid Javid’s overtures on this are particularly welcome.
Perhaps the greater challenge will be liberalising our cultural space. Universities are pumping out Marxist drones, forged by three years of left-wing indoctrination. Meanwhile, the BBC’s social engineering project continues at pace – with its output never more divorced from ordinary people, and its funding model never more obviously, conspicuously regressive. Cultural vested interests need to be taken on; and we need to begin the work swiftly. Indeed, reshaping and unshackling our cultural landscape will form a central topic for Free Market Conservatives in the New Year.
The vampiric Cult of Woke also needs dealing with. No longer should people be fired for saying something which doesn’t conform with Leftist group-think. We need to re-embrace Women’s rights, and the rights of every individual to live freely, as they desire, under the law. And we should stop worrying whether the Lake District is “diverse” enough. True diversity is treating everyone equally, not tilting the playing field in favour of one particular group or another. It is testament to this simple, respectful approach that the Conservatives returned the most gay and bisexual MPs to this Parliament.
The country is optimistic. We enter the Roaring Twenties riding high on the Boris Bounce. Humanity is healthier, wealthier, happier – and living longer. But there is much to do. The British people – ordinary British people, not cosseted c’lebs and Guardianista pundits with second homes in Dordogne – voted for change. And, now, they must get it.
Rebecca Ryan is the Director of Stand Up 4 Brexit and Free Market Conservatives. Follow her on twitter: @beccyryan
Tim Dawson is a writer and journalist and the Editor of Free Market Conservatives. Follow him on twitter: @tim_r_dawson