quinta-feira, abril 12, 2007

Tristezas de Alma

Hoje não escrevo, mas deixo-vos esta reflexão do Peter Hitchens sobre a política partidária.

The question of what proper patriots should do in the approaching general election is one of the most important ones around, and is not yet being properly discussed anywhere else. But I don't want to go through the arguments again here, though I am aware that several of you are newcomers to this debate. If you go to the archives of this blog, you will find my arguments against the Tory Party set out in full, as well as my reasons for steering clear of trying to set up a new party until the Tories have collapsed.
My simple message is that people who wish to save the country should not vote Tory (or BNP). Voting BNP is positively dangerous and unpleasant. Voting Tory will encourage social liberals, EU supporters and cultural Marxists to think they have got away with taking over the Conservative Party, and ensconce them there for good. Refusing to vote Tory (frankly, I don't care who else people vote for, though it would seem silly to vote for the Labour or Liberal Parties either, since they are all in the same anti-British axis) is the first stage in a two-stage process. Stage one, split and weaken the Tories. Stage two, create a new party.
Why are two stages necessary? Why not start a new party now? Simple .The important thing is that the Tory Party must have obviously failed, and split into its component, irreconcilable parts. At that point, and only at that point, the millions of tribal, habitual Tory voters - who cannot be reasoned out of their habit - will be compelled to think because their old focus of loyalty has simply vanished from the radar screen of national politics. Labour, without the hatred of the Tories to hold it together, will suffer a similar fate. And that will be the moment when a new party, based not on class but on morality and patriotism, and transcending the old boundaries, may have a chance.
This is why I am NOT, as so many still believe I am, calling for a new party at the moment. It is also why I won't endorse any other party specifically. This would be futile until the Tory Party's tribal voters are cast loose.
This is discussed in the archives of this blog, where you will also find comments on the disgraceful rigging of the opinion polls to give the false impression of a Tory revival, so far contradicted by all real elections. What I'd ask my supporters to do is to see that these issues are more widely debated among conservative-minded people.
By the way, many of you may like to listen to the summary of my position I gave on BBC Radio 4's 'Start the Week' programme on Monday March 26. This can still be listened to on the BBC website.
I am, however, amazed that William Scales imagines I am still a member of the Tory Party, or that David Cameron is my leader. You can be a conservative without being a Conservative, and the distinction has seldom been greater - so much so that I begin to wonder if you can be a conservative and remain within the Tory Party, though I know some who try.
The central point remains that the Tories, even if elected, would govern as New Labour. What would be the point of that? It is not the job of the electorate to provide cast changes for a soap opera when the existing stars have become boring and tired. Our job is to replace a bad government with a better one.
I was specially grateful for Peter Charnley's quotation from C.S.Lewis's 'Abolition of Man', a potent and worrying essay which everyone should read (and whose title I partly stole for my 'Abolition of Britain' and 'Abolition of Liberty'.) The ideas in this brief book are also set out in Lewis's 'cosmic trilogy' - a series of novels which I know some people find tough in places but which is often captivating, and contains some brilliant depictions of how good people can allow themselves to be corrupted, of how there is no substitute for principled courage, and how attractive and seductive evil can be (but also how terrifying it can be, once you have sold your soul to it).
A Mr Lovibond maintains that the BNP has 'changed'. No doubt it has changed its image. Anyone can do that. Has it abandoned its constitution? Would he trust it with maintaining freedom of speech for its opponents? Are there no Holocaust-deniers still lurking in it?
Most tellingly, some correspondents rightly raise the problem - is the sort of society I advocate practicable? Can we ever return to a state, for instance, in which women are not forced by economic pressure to go out to work while they still have young children?
My answer is that, if not, we're finished morally and politically. And by the way, much of the money earned by women in this position, probably nearly all of it, is used to pay the incredibly high and oppressive taxes nowadays imposed on the most modest household.
And I don't imagine that we could transform things in a matter of weeks, months or even a few years. It has taken us 50 years and more to get into this mess, and it could take us just as long to get out of it. But if we want to raise future generations able to sustain an advanced free society, then we really do have to pay more attention to the vast gap in our child-rearing arrangements at the moment.
Some proper conservative measures - the restoration of preventive police foot patrols for instance - could be achieved in a month and would instantly transform our cities. The restoration of national independence would immediately greatly widen the number of things we are able to decide for ourselves. Other reforms, in education, housing, transport, town planning, family and marriage, could only be achieved slowly. What is certain is that the longer we wait to start repairing the damage, the harder it will be.
It is important, however, not to despair at the scale of the task. We live in a prosperous, free, ordered society - badly fraying at the edges and in dangerous decline, but even so a valuable and unusual achievement well worth preserving. We owe these benefits to the actions, in many cases centuries ago, of courageous reformers, troublemakers, campaigners, evangelists - people who refused to conform to conventional wisdom or accept that because something is so, then it must and should always remain that way.
Few of them lived to see any benefits of what they did, and died imagining they had failed, or even derided as hopeless eccentrics and espousers of lost causes. It is important to realise that we may be in the same position now, and not to be discouraged by that. Edmund Burke's poetic, haunting assertion that society is a compact between the dead, the living and the unborn has never been more true. Hold fast to what is good, now, and others, in a future almost unimaginable to us now, may yet be grateful that you did not give up.