Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens has continued his weekly attacks on Britain’s increasingly leftward-drifting Conservative Party, this time remarking upon how similar Tory policies are to those of the newly crowned Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Last week, Mr Hitchens told Owen Jones that the Conservative Party is now full of socialists who just don’t know they are socialists. This week, he develops the point, claiming that the Tories are also the party of high taxation and support for the European Union.
In fact, Mr Corbyn is potentially more of a Eurosceptic than Mr Cameron and most of his Conservative Party cabinet.
Mr Corbyn reminds mature people of the days when the big parties really differed. He impresses the young because he doesn’t patronise them, and obviously believes what he says. This desire for real politics isn’t just confined to the Left. Ken Livingstone is right to call Mr Corbyn Labour’s Nigel Farage. Ukip appeals to a similar impulse.
Millions are weary of being smarmed and lied to by people who actually are not that competent or impressive, and who have been picked because they look good on TV rather than because they have ideas or character.
Indeed, ideas or character are a disadvantage. Anything resembling a clear opinion is seized upon by the media’s inquisitors, and turned in to a ‘gaffe’ or an outrage.
Actually, I dislike many of Mr Corbyn’s opinions – his belief in egalitarianism and high taxation, his enthusiasm for comprehensive schools, his readiness to talk to terrorists and his support for the EU. Oddly enough, these are all policies he shares with the Tory Party.
But I like the honest way he states them, compared with the Tories’ slippery pretence of being what they’re not.
My hope, most unlikely to be realised, is that a patriotic, conservative and Christian equivalent of Mr Corbyn will emerge to take him on, and will demonstrate, by his or her strength of conviction, that there is an even greater demand for that cause than there is for old-fashioned leftism. In any case, I think any thoughtful British person should be at least a little pleased to see the PR men and the special advisers and the backstairs-crawlers of British politics so wonderfully wrong-footed by a bearded old bicyclist.
Earlier this week, the Conservative Party supporting editor of the Spectator magazine urged David Cameron and his party to move even further towards Blairite politics in order to capture voters that Mr Corbyn may well leave behind.