Thursday, 16 September 2021
I wish Nadine Dorries well, but she does not know what she wants instead. Conservative intellectuals are normal everywhere else, but the British Right militantly refuses to have any truck with such goings on, and then finds itself bewildered at the ease with which it is beaten hands down by successive generations of liberal and Marxist academics and cultural figures.
Monika Grütters and Roselyne Bachelot could be Conservative Ministers without raising an eyebrow, although they would have to keep quiet about their accomplishments. John Redwood once told me that he never mentioned his doctorate, because he would have got nowhere in the Conservative Party if anyone had known about it.
There are also those who claim that the art history of the CDU's Grütters, or the Verdi of Bachelot, late of the UMP and the RPR, is not part of working-class culture. But art and classical music certainly used to be. As Dorries ought to know, and no doubt does, since she is from Liverpool. Bringing down and keeping down Liverpool was always as important as bringing down and keeping down the coalfield communities, which are not "former", since the coal is still there.
Even more than they resented the highly civilised and highly politicised communities that were sustained by the high wages and the secure employment of the miners, the Thatcher-Blair-Starmer classes despised the fact that the single most important city in the popular culture of Western Europe, and arguably of the world, was somewhere Up North where they talked funny and stood up for themselves. The economic basis of each had to be destroyed. And it was. The question for Dorries is what she is going to do to build it back better.