If you’ve vowed never to vote Conservative again I really don’t blame you.
For me, the last of many last straws – not counting Brexit, of course – came this week when two up-and-coming Conservative MPs reminded us just how pusillanimous and politically correct the party has become since its last heyday under Margaret Thatcher.
Their names: Tom Tugendhat and Johnny Mercer.
Their crimes: cheerleading on behalf of the Twitter lynch mob that helped evict Britain’s greatest living philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, from a minor, unpaid government advisory role as a result of a carefully orchestrated sting by a journalist from the left-wing magazine the New Statesman.
Scruton, it is becoming increasingly clear, said nothing that was racist or untrue or in any way deserving of censure, let alone a sacking. The instigator of the sting, left-wing activist and New Statesman journalist George Eaton, it is also becoming increasingly clear, behaved dishonestly and in bad faith in order to stitch up Scruton. After Scruton had gone, Eaton posted up a photograph of himself drinking in celebration of a scalp claimed.
So my question is this: what in God’s name did these two Conservative MPs think they were doing allowing themselves to be sucked into a left-wing activist’s nefarious scheme?
Let me answer that question because I think it’s pretty obvious: both Tugendhat and Mercer got it into their empty little heads that there was more to be gained by throwing a leading right-wing philosopher to the wolves than there would be by sticking up for conservative principles.
— Johnny Mercer MP (@JohnnyMercerUK) April 10, 2019
Interesting use of the phrase “no brainer” there by Mercer: he appears to be so thick he hadn’t even heard of Scruton before he was roped into the BuzzFeed/New Statesman campaign to defenestrate the great man. In another tweet he refers to Scruton as “this guy”.
Because both Mercer and Tugendhat are ex-military men who have seen active service in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think many of us were prepared up until now to give them a bit of leeway.
But another old soldier soon put me right on this:
Don’t assume just because they served they are made of sterner stuff. I did 16 years service and the Officer Cadre was and is stuffed to the brim with SJW Wankpuffery. We were doing Equality and Diversity “training” in the early noughties under Blair’s adminstration
— Engines (@enginesucked) April 12, 2019
“Enginesucked” makes a good point. The fact that a chap has served Queen and country, seen the elephant and got dysentry while being shot at by AK-47s is absolutely no guarantee that he is going to make a good Conservative MP, especially if he comes from the Rupert – i.e. officer – class of servicemen. Pretty much all the ex-army Conservative MPs voted Remain not Leave, and belong firmly — if that’s not a contradiction in terms — to the squishily progressive side of the party (i.e. they’re not all that comfortable being Conservatives at all). What does that tell us about the political correctness that has now infected the Army as much as it has any other institution?
Mercer’s and Tugendhat’s behaviour in the Scruton affair is disgraceful. Even more so, their subsequent non-apology apologies in which they emerge both as arrogant and tone deaf.
Antisemitism and racism are wrong. Good journalism matters in highlighting issues. We can only act on the basis of information given, that's why accuracy matters. It seems I was misled by the New Statesman's report. https://t.co/fRGQHDQ7Du
— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) April 11, 2019
Here is Roger Scruton: An apology for thinking, that he has written, for balance. I disagree with him, and last time I checked, it’s still ok to disagree. Intellectuals love him – I get that; I am not a fan of some of his comments. Again, that is allowed. https://t.co/D8hfyaQnhM
— Johnny Mercer MP (@JohnnyMercerUK) April 12, 2019
Neither Mercer nor Tugendhat was a guards officer. But both of them most definitely qualify as Woodentops.
I mention all this partly to vent my righteous spleen and partly by way of an intro to a video I made this week in my new role as Breitbart News’s occasional Westminster correspondent. I’ve got a lobby pass which means I’m now allowed into the Houses of Parliament to report on the proceedings therein and to hang out with some of the MPs.
The MPs I spoke to this week are all members of the Conservative party’s European Research Group, or ERG — the irreducible hardcore of Brexiteer MPs who quite rightly will not tolerate Theresa May’s glitter-dipped turd of a ‘Deal’, recognising correctly that it has almost nothing at all to do with the Brexit people voted for in the June 2016 Referendum.
If you ever were tempted to vote Conservative again, these are the sort of Conservative MPs who would justify your faith: Mark Francois, Andrea Jenkyns, Owen Paterson, Andrew Bridgen, and Priti Patel. They’ve all stood firm on Brexit and rightly so. It’s what the people voted for and it’s what — unlike the majority of their parliamentary colleagues — they understand that they have to deliver.