Last night’s one-off return of To The Manor Born was sublime. And it was also very timely, in that it gave attention to the normally taboo subject of the rift between the transnational big business interests that fund and run the Conservative Party (and the other two as well these days), and the agricultural interest that continues to give the very staunchest electoral support to the Tories (although that is a very recent phenomenon on the part of smallholders and farm labourers, bizarrely paralleling almost exactly the rise to monolithic status within that party of an ideology utterly opposed to the existence of British agriculture).
To my delighted astonishment, the programme ended with the former’s contrite capitulation to the latter. Would that that ever happened in real life.
For the fact is that one cannot believe both in agriculture and in the “free” market, nor can one believe in national sovereignty and be anything other than incandescent about the importation of the bulk of our very sustenance. And one must believe both in agriculture and in national sovereignty in order to be a conservative. The Tories simply are not conservatives, whereas the British People is overwhelmingly conservative.
That is why it favours the State action necessary in order to conserve all those things that define conservatism. In other words, because it is conservative, the British People favours social democracy, including, for example, farm subsidies, though (as for their first thirty years) at national rather than supranational level.
Whereas, just as the Tories no longer support social democracy (with or without using the term) because they are no longer conservatives, so New Labour, because it is not conservative as Old Labour was (with or without using the word), does not support social democracy.
What is the British People to do? This.