Tag Archives: national conservative conference

Liberals must speak out against conservative attacks on divorce and same sex marriage

Last week, Conservative MP Danny Kruger made some controversial remarks about marriage at the awful National Conservative Conference in London. He said:

The second truth is that the normative family – held together by marriage, by mother and father sticking together for the sake of the children and the sake of their own parents and for the sake of themselves – this is the only possible basis for a safe and successful society.

“Marriage is not all about you. It’s not just a private arrangement. It’s a public act, by which you undertake to live for someone else, and for wider society; and wider society should recognise and reward this undertaking.

I guess it is good in a way that these comments are now considered controversial. It does show how far we have come in the past few decades. Christine Jardine, our equalities spokesperson said Mr Kruger’s comments

show just how utterly out of touch the Conservative Party is with modern day Britain.

Conservative MPs are happy to lecture families on how to live, while making life harder and harder for millions of families through the cost-of-living crisis and years of unfair tax rises.

East Midlands Lib Dem commentator Mathew Hulbert did a good interview on Peter Cardwell’s Talk TV programme:

Mathew said:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

National conservatism – the road to isolationism

So the National Conservatism Conference 2023 has kicked off in London. For three days our capital will play host to a procession of right-wing, populist speakers ranging from government ministers to climate change deniers. 

Even before the event began, it was mired in controversy. Snippets of the speech to be given by the Home Secretary leaked, with suggestions she would suggest training our own fruit pickers would resolve some of Britain’s economic woes, and left-wing media organisations reported being barred from attending. OpenDemocracy reports that they, along with others, were denied passes to the conference due to space and availability, but claim there were empty seats at the conference today and that other less progressive media outlets were awarded passes after applying just days before the event.

But what a first day. We started with the chairman, Christopher DeMuth, telling the audience that he had been communing with the spirit of Margaret Thatcher who was, he was happy to report, “totally on board”. Perhaps that is a case of ‘enough said’.

It is hardly surprising to anyone, I would imagine, to hear Jacob Rees-Mogg align himself with the politics of isolation. He has defined national conservatism as “national political ideology by its nature in contradistinction to liberalism or socialism, which since their beginnings have had internationalist ambitions and have attempted to impose similar or identical structures on different nations”.

What was perhaps more surprising was his acknowledgment that the introduction of Voter ID rules was in fact a way for the Conservative Party to gain an electoral boost. “Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them – as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections,” he said (albeit mis-using the term gerrymandering, which really relates to what Americans would call re-districting and we call boundary changes).

He went on to say: “We found the people who didn’t have ID were elderly and they by and large voted Conservative, so we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well.” I have to disagree with the former minister here. There has been no conclusive examination of the data – most of which is still only slowly coming in – to suggest the majority of those who didn’t vote because of Voter ID issues were elderly. Rees-Mogg has also tried to say he was not massively in favour of the legislation, leading to a plethora of shared videos on social media showing him strongly arguing in support of the proposed changes on the floor of the House of Commons. 

Try as he might, to suggest the Tory losses in this months local elections were due to Voter ID issues is folly. The public turned out in droves to reject a continuation of Conservative ideology at local level; perhaps in protest at the national party, but they turned out all the same. The swing against the party was despite the new Voter ID legislation, not because of it. 

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments
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