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Suellaism is here to stay The war for the future of the Conservative Party has begun

Suella wants to take back control. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Suella wants to take back control. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)


November 14, 2023   5 mins

Rishi Sunak doesn’t know what he’s trying to sell. Suella Braverman does. Herein lies a problem for the Conservative Party.

Just over a year ago, Sunak claimed his mandate to govern came from Boris Johnson’s victory in 2019, a victory that was, he insisted, “not the sole property of any one individual” but that of the entire party. “And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto,” Sunak declared triumphantly outside No 10. “I will deliver on its promise.” 

Within a year, Sunak had junked it completely: corporation tax was hiked to 25% and HS2 scrapped. Sunak then spun these moves as part of a new mission to end the “30-year political status quo” which he wasn’t a part of. Then, a month later, he sacked Suella Braverman and made David Cameron Foreign Secretary.

In terms of short-term political tactics, there is a certain logic at work. The story — for a day or two at least — is no longer about the former Home Secretary or the “hate marches” that have so divided the Conservative Party since the mass slaughter of Israelis on October 7. But what are voters supposed to make of it all? Is Sunak still out to end 30 years of political failure? Or just the past seven years of failure since Cameron was last in office? 

The reshuffle reveals the terminal nature of the crisis now facing this Government. These are its dying spasms. A year ago, Sunak tried to resuscitate the Johnson coalition by appointing Braverman Home Secretary. The gambit inevitably failed. Johnson’s coalition was gone by the time Sunak took charge, killed by Partygate and Truss’s mini-budget. Sunak then tried the hopey-changey thing, but voters hated it, with polls at the weekend predicting a landslide defeat for the Tories worse than in 1997. Now Sunak seems to be trying to rebuild the Cameron coalition that was upended by Brexit. But Cameron’s coalition is also long gone. 

And the war for the future of the Conservative Party has begun.

For the Conservative Left, Cameron’s appointment to Foreign and Braverman’s sacking from Home is long overdue. “The fanatical fringe we call the Tory hardline Right will be the death of modern Conservatism unless Tories wake up to the reality that these people are not the party’s friends,” Matthew Parris wrote in The Times on Saturday, urging Sunak to sack Braverman. The most obvious option for Sunak would have been Kemi Badenoch, who also shares similarly “sound” views about cultural issues, but does not carry with her the same sort of melodrama. Had Badenoch been promoted to the Home Office, there would at least have been a semblance of intellectual coherence about this reshuffle. As one senior Tory who is fond of Cameron put it to me yesterday: “This isn’t a strategy, it’s about shafting your enemies.”

The political story here, then, is simple: Sunak defenestrating the Right of the party. It is, in a sense, Sunak’s coming-out party: the moment he reveals his real politics. He will now fight the next election as a moderate, liberal conservative. The problem for Sunak is that while Braverman might easily be discarded, Suella-ism will prove much harder to get rid of. Ultimately, she is expressing a feeling about modern Britain that is shared within the Conservative Party — beyond the fringes of its hard Right.

In many respects, Braverman’s downfall is her own fault: she botched her attack on the police in The Times, failed to clear it properly with No. 10, went too early and failed to use the power of her office to achieve concrete results. Braverman is far from the first Tory Home Secretary to take on the police; she is just the least successful. Theresa May, remember, took them on in 2015 and won. 

At the heart of Braverman’s attack on the police is a much more interesting ideological shift taking place in the Tory party, and one, whatever its faults, that has a far more coherent story to tell about British politics over the last 13 years than Sunak has yet to come up with. Her story is this: the Conservative Party has failed. It won elections, but failed to change the country. Yes, it took Britain out of Europe, but — and here is the essence of Suella-ism — the Blob remains in charge: the courts remain all-powerful, schools promote their own ideology, police declare that “jihad doesn’t mean jihad”. It is time, she insists, to take back control.

One fundamental mistake people make with politics is to constantly seek to dismiss people they don’t like as a throwback to some distant era. As such, Braverman is a modern-day Enoch Powell, or little more than the latest incarnation of the Tory party’s unchanging, loopy hard Right. But far more interesting is to see politicians for what they are: expressions of the Britain that exists now, with all its anxieties, paranoias, prejudices and complexities. Keir Starmer is not Harold Wilson — he is the leader of an altogether new Labour party, representing a new coalition of voters, which is why he is finding the crisis in Gaza so challenging. Likewise, the concern for those who so obviously loathe Braverman should be that she is touching a nerve about today’s Britain.

I have felt a sense of gnawing unease that something fundamental has changed in the country since October 7, and perhaps even in the West; as if we’re living through some kind of great national argument where things are being said that cannot ever be unsaid, images seen that cannot be unseen. The Braverman battle with the Met is part of this national row, but only one part of it. 

In the four weeks since Hamas’s orgy of slaughter, we’ve had four mass demonstrations in London, all in support of Palestine, which, taken together, amount to the biggest display of antisemitism in Britain since the Thirties, even though the vast majority of protesters were not hate-filled. In response, unlike France, we’ve had no mass display against antisemitism or sense of outrage at the hostages currently being held in Gaza, only a mob of nationalist hooligans rampaging around London looking for a fight. I can well understand why, for many Jews, this has been a far more profoundly unsettling moment than I can ever comprehend.

The images that I have found most unnerving over the past weeks are the little acts of social breakdown that now seem to be bleeding through everyone’s Instagram reels and Facebook accounts: the thugs in balaclavas surrounding the one lone man brave enough to stand with a placard likening Hamas to Isis; the fights breaking out in train stations; the racists on buses asking if passengers are Jewish; the placards calling Suella Braverman and Rishi Sunak “coconuts”. Even the degree of violent, elemental loathing for Braverman which seems to be considered fair game hints towards something darker underneath. “She’s fucking gross,” spat the comedy-commentator Jonathan Pie in one of his recent videos. “Full of hate and bile and lies; just lies and filth; utter filth that comes out of that monster’s mouth.”

We’ve lived through moments of murderous trauma before, of course: 9/11, 7/7, Charlie Hebdo, Lee Rigby, the Bataclan. But have any been quite as psychologically successful as this one in revealing quite so much division, quite so quickly? Each of the previous terrorist attacks brought about a moment of cohesion. The opposite has happened here. Part of this seems to be the nature of the violence that was on display. September 11 was purposefully cinematic in its scale; October 7 in contrast was made for the mobile phone: genocidal snuff pornography, its depravity the point. A pogrom designed to divide — and so it has.

It would take a brave soul to believe that the removal of Suella Braverman and the appointment of David Cameron as Foreign Secretary can somehow whisk us back to a time before the division, when common sense and level heads reigned. This wasn’t true then and isn’t now. If she wants to win the Tory leadership, Braverman is going to have to explain why she achieved so little in office. But whatever happens to Braverman herself, the Tory liberals are going to need a better story to explain their own failure if they are to defeat Suella-ism in the long term.


is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

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Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
5 months ago

This article touches on something which I’ve been ruminating on the last few days, watching all of this. Starmer, Braverman, Sunak et al might be politicians who are an expression of today’s Britain – but Sunak and Starmer are still looking to the past for the answers. Cosying up to Blair or appointing Cameron are the direct expressions of that need to reach for times past as a kind of comfort blanket.
But it is not going to work. The Britain (even the West) of the 90s, 2000s and 2010s is gone, forever. We are witnessing some huge, tectonic shifts in geopolitics which, in a globalised, multiculti society, are going to play out domestically also. I’m no fan of Braverman and think she’s been the author of her own downfall (own fault, love) but the reason she is so hated is that she is telling the truth about the here and now in many ways. And, as the Chinese proverb (?) goes, “whoever tells the truth needs a fast horse”.
Look at the Rwanda plan: nothing like this has ever been considered and it was always going to be controversial. Whether you’re in favour or not, the new and unsustainable levels of migration Britain and Europe are now seeing need new solutions. Several countries across Europe are now taking up this idea – unthinkable just a few months ago. I get why people are unwilling to move away from the cosy status quo and the known solutions of the past 30 years: no one likes change. And Suella has been the one saying “pull yourselves together people, we have to go this way!” She was always going to be vilified. In a year, we might consider her in a different light.
By the by: another truth which I struck on while watching Freddie and Flo talk to the protesters was how Britain’s education system has utterly failed in equipping its citizens with the skills to express themselves verbally. The most articulate of those interviewed was a 12 year old boy. All the rest simply waffled: no coherent argument or point of view could be discerned. Upon being questioned by the interviewer, those interviewed just shouted a bit louder.
And this is a facet of the new world we’re living in: driven by emotion and aggression rather than rationality and reasoned argument. Interesting times.
[P.S. Calling Jonathan Pie a “comedy commentator” is rather optimistic, don’t you think? Why anyone would find this guy funny is beyond me. Spewing unbelievable levels of hate and bile at someone he accuses of spewing hate and bile – only today’s smug liberals would actually look at that, laugh and entirely miss the irony. Or maybe that irony is the comedic element about it? Well anyway, I’ll stick with the Golden Girls for my laughs, thanks.]

Last edited 5 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Superb. Like the fast horse proverb. Our educational system has been so weakened by the progressive ideological necessity to drive 50% of kids into their Debt & Woke Uni Factories. Standards have plainly been eroded and the same anti meritocratic virus all set to be released by vindictive Class War Starmer on private schools and uni entrance. No History is taught to kids so there is no understanding of our past; hence the What Is Armistice About? Headlines.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The lack of verbal presentation skills goes way back. My secondary schooling in the 1990s was almost all concentrated on written skills – the only exception was what we then called “modern languages” where you had to do a short oral exam.
Continental education systems place a lot more emphasis on being able to present topics, answer questions and defend arguments verbally and the UK can definitely learn from this.

Dougie Undersub
DU
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Well, Sir Keir has advocated oracy lessons. Maybe he’s onto something.

Anthony Sutcliffe
AS
Anthony Sutcliffe
5 months ago

My thought exactly. And then I took a good, hard look in the mirror and asked myself how I had possibly come to that conclusion about Keir Starmer!

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Agree . And then there is the issue of what they are taught (no History after 14; music and arts sidelined) and how they are taught. I recall my absolute horror at how Examination Boards ‘marked’ history essays. Their system was so rigid and prescriptive, any form of free thinking and failure to follow set/ learnt ?/para by para replies would result in failure. The exam factory crushed the History Boy way. Analytical free thinking has been damaged, poor kinder.

RM Parker
RP
RM Parker
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Yes, the rubric-based, “criterion referenced” assessments which became so popular from the late 1990’s onwards have done a lot of damage. Not only is breadth of expression stymied, but also, any answer which does not appear on the list of approved responses must be marked as incorrect. Thus, an imaginative, “lateral” or in any way unexpected response is likely to be rejected, even if it might show depth of understanding beyond the requirements of the syllabus and indeed, the curriculum.
The benefit of this approach for examination boards was that (a) a lower level of specialist knowledge might be employed for marking scripts, (b) marking could in some cases be more automated (think multiple choice formats) and (c) students trying to get a reassessment couldn’t quibble as easily over the marking, as the examiner could simply point to the list of approved responses: sorted.
The disadvantages are, of course, obvious – and we’re witnessing a few of them.

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Sure, let’s assume that the Hamas attack did not happen. And that the crowd did not attack the Cenotaph…
How would it change the predicament of the current GOV?

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Evidently, it would relieve the Government of a very nasty foreign and domestic blowback issue!! Beyond that, as I have argued elsewhere, nothing will change and nothing be done to deal with the deep 20 year structural problems we are overshadowed by; the catastrophic cost of lockdown crisis and high inflation; our sick and broken health services, no energy security, mayhem in housing and planning, DEI poison and communal relations, a debased education system and the suffocation of private enterprise by the redistrubution only Brownite/Fake Tory high tax regime. So the simple answer is – nothing much will change. They are impotent, mangled by the Progressive System. They have lost all sense of purpose and have adopted all the moronic groupthink ideologies of the Blairite/Cameroon State; net zero, Equality mania and a disastrous QE/ bailout culture which has bankrupted the State. How could anything change??

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Good to see you back Jeremy,I thought you were lost to Luxembourg.

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
5 months ago

He just overcome by the fact that fellow members of the elite are now back in charge. It all been a terrible nightmare for him

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This has been coming for years, ever since the War in fact if not even earlier.
Well meaning, bien pensant socialists such as Attlee, Bevan, Macmillan, Heath & Co* thought just ‘throwing money’ at the working class would solve everything! It didn’t, in fact it damned nearly destroyed them.
Of course they were inadvertently aided and abetted by the national disaster which is state education. A more pernicious organisation would be hard to imagine, riddled as it is by the poison of communism mixed with bile of class envy.
No wonder nobody knows any history, for history is the ‘soul of the nation’ and ours (really England’s) is just too good to tell the masses. It might just reinvigorate their sense of national pride and purpose, and ‘Quislington’ and its supporters cannot have that at any cost.
However the antics of the last few days tell me that all is NOT lost, and interesting, if not violent times lie ahead.

(* The last two were technically Tories.)

Anthony Sutcliffe
AS
Anthony Sutcliffe
5 months ago

I often wonder about “British” history. Even the traditional, non-woke version of it is actually English history. I am very much in favour of Scottish, Welsh and NI children learning British history as well as the history of their own nation…but I have concluded that what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander, and English children should learn at least some Welsh, Scottish and NI / Irish history.
Coming to English history, to me it’s a travesty that English children are not told about the foundation of England. It’s not only a good story, the bad guys (the Vikings) aren’t around to complain about being badmouthed and are kind of fascinating in their own right.
Anyway, just wondered what you made of all of that, as a fellow enthusiast for history.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

English history is currently, to say the least unfashionable! Undoubtedly because it is the simply outstanding story of how a rain swept little island anchored off the north coast of Europe ended up ‘conquering’ *most of the world .

However it order to achieve that it had first to subject the rest of the British Isles, which has caused some smouldering resentment amongst the ‘dediticci’, the Welsh, the Irish and the Sc*tch.

I wholeheartedly agree that English children should also be taught the history of the dediticci, but it must NOT be apologetic except in truly exceptional circumstances. Rather it should be exultant about the benefits of the British experiment, so generously PAID for by England.

For example who can seriously doubt that the greatest event in Scottish history was the day they joined England in the Act of Union in 1707? The same for Wales with the destruction of Owen Glendower in the early 15th century and Ireland by the Act of Union of 1800.

I hope that answers your question.

(*With thanks also to our ‘prodigal son’, the USA, it must be said.)

Matt M
MM
Matt M
5 months ago

The way that the education profession has dealt with the fact that the story of England almost always engenders admiration on the part of the listener is to teach it thematically. One term on slavery, one term on women through history, another on immigration into Britain and so on. Death by a thousand topics.
If it was taught in chronological order there is always a real and present danger of fostering national pride among our youth. It is hard for young hearts to not swell at the story of Crecy, Agincourt or Blenheim. It is difficult to not feel inspired by James Wolfe at the Plains of Abraham or Nelson’s Patent Bridge for Boarding First Rates. The five hundred years from Henry viii to the Falklands, told in order, alongside a proper English literature curriculum would build the kind of knowledgeable, patriotic citizens the old country needs.

Last edited 5 months ago by Matt M
Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

In short CECIL RHODES was correct.

Richard Rolfe
RR
Richard Rolfe
5 months ago

My favourite Rhodes quote was to one of his proteges: “Never forget, my boy, that you are an Englishman, and have therefore won first prize in the Lottery of Life”.

Matt M
MM
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard Rolfe

I’ve always liked Nelson’s advice to a midshipman on what should be his three priorities:

Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.

Advice I’ve always tried to live by!

Last edited 5 months ago by Matt M
Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago

Oy vay!

Sue Sims
SS
Sue Sims
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Warning: this is a long rant.
Matt M: you’re quite right about the disadvantages of teaching history thematically, but there’s a worse problem with secondary school history (something I observed during 40+ years of teaching English in such schools): students’ ignorance arises not so much from subject content as from methodology. Most of us who read Unherd are old enough to recall that our history lessons consisted of reading (or being told) about facts: King So-and-so reigned between this year and that; such-and-such a political or religious movement began because X or Y took place. Then historians came along and said: “Hold on! Those ‘facts’ may not be facts at all – it’s really just a narrative, and alternative narratives may be equally valid!” And of course, their objections were quite correct.
So the National Curriculum (established in the late 1980s, and which took these criticisms on board) meant that the textbooks pupils used didn’t teach them ‘facts’: they provided extracts from contemporary documents – some written, but also a fair number of images – and invited the pupils to discuss how far each text could be trusted. Did it show bias? Was it polemical? Did it exhibit ignorance of other factors? All, of course, really important questions.
But the effect on history teaching was disastrous. When you start assuming that eleven-year-olds should all adopt the mantle of professional historians, being told to start weighing evidence, judging the amount of bias in contemporary documents, and providing those alternative narratives, you’re going to end up with a cohort who know no history at all, because nothing is firmly fixed. And since history exams, from unimportant Year 7 summer exams to GCSE, are all about interpretation, nothing can ever be taught as fact.
Don’t get me wrong: obviously history will always be subject to interpretation, revision and argument. But just as you wouldn’t start teaching Physics by trying to explain quantum theory to 11-year-olds, you shouldn’t teach elementary history by implying that everything’s up for discussion. They tried that with the New Maths, with the result that no one actually learnt any maths; and Nuffield Science, where pupils had (more or less literally) to re-invent the wheel in every lesson, and learnt very little science. But I suspect that it’s even more fatal in the teaching of history. And you can see and hear the effects on the streets of our cities.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sue Sims
Matt M
MM
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Excellent rant and very true.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Seconded.

Roger le Clercq
RL
Roger le Clercq
5 months ago

Thirded

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
EG
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

I was forunate enough to be a pupil at one of 12 trial schools trying out Nuffield Science curricula in the late 60s.
Personally, for me, it was one of the best educational experiences of my life. Undoubtedly this was in part down to the quality of the teachers I was lucky enough to have.
The miraculous part of this curriculum for me, however, was the way it was structured because it revolved around asking “why” questions – the most fundamental ones in science – why did this chemical reaction turn out this way, rather than another way ? why did this plant grow better in these conditions than this other environment ? why did this experiment go wrong ? ….
A not so subtle exercise in teaching me how to think like a scientist.
I really can’t speak with any authority in relation to history teaching (I had to reluctantly give it up as a subject after O levels) however, it always struck me as a perfect vehicle for teaching critical thinking and what was good and not so good evidence.
If you accept that critical appraisal of information is an important part of a basic education, in your view when and how should that sort of teaching be delivered ? – this is a genuine question on my part as my educational experience has been entirely with 25 y + individuals.

Sue Sims
SS
Sue Sims
5 months ago

Critical appraisal of information is, of course, vital. But first, you have to have the information. With the carefully filtered snippets of information (not necessarily chronologically delivered) provided by Key Stage 3 history textbooks, pupils don’t have that.
Your question is very sensible. The answer would depend on so many variables that I’m glad I’m not in charge of curriculum development! But in general, probably GCSE or even A level, always assuming that students have been given (and can recall) the basic historical outline of British history.

Matt M
MM
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

What is the modern English Lit syllabus like Sue? Is it still Chaucer, Shakespeare and John Donne etc? Or has it been modernised and globalised?

Sue Sims
SS
Sue Sims
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

If we’re talking A Level, it’s simplified but not completely dumbed down. In the AQA specification (the board my school used), students still have to do a Shakespeare play, and at least one other pre-1900 text, but it’s possible to spend the rest of one’s study on 20th and 21st century literature – it largely depends on the teacher. None of the boards are anywhere near as demanding as they were when I started teaching in 1975, however.

Jon Barrow
JB
Jon Barrow
5 months ago

I’m a builder, among other things. To create a decent young builder you don’t start with complexity but generalities and basics: mortar mixes, how to lay a brick or stone flat or use a chisel. All other knowledge or endeavours are the same. Broad categorisation creates falsehoods, but is how we understand the world.

Stevie K
SK
Stevie K
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Superb summary of the most of the problems in education. You have to learn the core cannon of the subject before you can meaningfully interrogate it and argue about meanings.

Laurence Siegel
LS
Laurence Siegel
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

What’s worse, you wouldn’t teach physics to 11-year-olds by asking them to weigh the evidence for and against quantum theory being true. That is a closer analogy to the “critical inquiry without facts” approach that was taken in history education until recently, when it became woke indoctrination (no critical inquiry, just one point of view pushed very hard).

Sue Sims
SS
Sue Sims
5 months ago

Yes indeed, Laurence Siegel: a much better analogy, and I wish I’d thought of it myself. As for woke indoctrination, you’re quite right. KS3 history lessons are now largely devoted to identity politics. And before Champagne Socialist can tell me that it’s all fantasy and isn’t happening (I’m awed by his/her omniscience), this link may help: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2021-10-22-history-teaching-has-substantially-changed-address-diversity-say-teachers. Note that this is a report from a group of researchers who approve of such teaching: in fact, their complaint is that it isn’t broad enough, and that, while pupils at KS3 are being indoctrinated, it’s not as easy at GCSE because those pesky exam boards haven’t yet introduced questions on “the history of people with disabilities…, the history of those identified as LGBTQ+…. or the history of Black and Asian British people.”

Last edited 5 months ago by Sue Sims
Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

You have never worked in education and you would be consumed alive with derisive laughter in an actual classroom.

Simon Blanchard
SB
Simon Blanchard
5 months ago

“ the simply outstanding story of how a rain swept little island anchored off the north coast of Europe ended up ‘conquering’ *most of the world”.

The Brittunculi were given a lot of Roman DNA.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

Indeed, ‘we’ had a very good start and something to emulate.

0 0
AL
0 0
5 months ago

I read somewhere that there is very little Roman DNA in the British population. They seem to have punched far above their weight. Would like to be proved wrong – Roman DNA would be good to have.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Most of the ‘Romans’ were NOT of Italian origin and in particular the Army, two thirds*of which was mainly of north European origin.

(*The Auxilia who made up about 30,000 of an army of 45,000.)

Alex Carnegie
RC
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago

More like 150,000 out of 300,000 in the imperial period. Plus the other 150,000 i.e. the legions were stationed on the Danube, Rhine etc and recruited locally so the Army ended up 95% non Italian.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I was only writing about Britannia! But Empire wide you are nearly correct.

Off course that is one the great things about Rome, it managed to make nearly everyone ‘Roman’ in the end, and the Army was one of the major factors in this process.

You may have muddled the figured slightly. During the early Empire or Dominate as ‘they’ now like to call it, ie: from Augustus to Diocletian there were approximately 30 Legions (of citizen troops) each about 5,000 strong , hence 150,000 plus the non citizen ‘Auxilia’ perhaps 200,000 strong max. Total 350,000. Not bad for an Empire of perhaps 75-8O million, spread over 3 million square miles.

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
5 months ago

This is a very biased comment. I would agree with you you on one thing, that Wales as a civilisation began with the defeat of Owain Glyndŵr. Before this event there were just the Normans and a few Welsh tribes.
But you then imply that afterwards we had just English history and that is plain wrong. England did not take over the world but Britain did. Welsh and Scottish people fought in all the wars and were part of the invasions. Wales provided most of the coal to fuel the ships of WW1. You died just as young in the mines as you did in the battlefields but Welsh young men were in the battles as well. To believe that our history is English, not British, is just arrogant – and wrong.
Of course, England did not exist until the Norman invasion and then it was really France. Maybe England was a country in the 13th century – just maybe. The ‘problem’ with Wales then, as it is now, was that it was too far from London. Way before Glyndŵr, richer Welsh families sent their children to England to be near to the power base.
Arguably, the problem with Britain today is that everything is concentrated around London. Maybe, just maybe, the London self-importance is actually driving us down as a country – Britain, that is.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I am sorry Cardog but when you say “England did not exist until the Norman invasion” you reveal that you know very little of the subject and thus further discussion is pointless.

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
5 months ago

Weak answer. Don’t you like disagreement?

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I like disagreement but NOT fantasy, but prompted by Red Reynard below, and not wishing to be accused of idleness I shall indulge you!
Taking your points in order, I am not sure there was anything approaching civilisation in Wales before let’s say the 19th century. No cities to speak of, just four impoverished Bishoprics and a handful of masochistic Cistercian Abbeys, and an ‘iron chain’ of English Castles.
If we take the starting date of the British Empire as the 1707 Act of Union, by that date the English Empire had already been well established without any help from the needy Sc*tch, Welsh or Irish.
The East India Company was ensconced in the East Indies (Bantam) in 1603 and the first successful settlement in the Americas in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia .This was soon followed. numerous West Indian islands culminating in the capture of Jamaica in 1655. The Navy necessary to police this Empire had been founded by the somewhat dissolute Crown and massively improved by the Blessed Oliver Cromwell, assisted by people such as the outstanding Admiral Blake.

Off course after the Act of Union the Sc*tch were permitted to join us in this happy enterprise of plunder and profit. The Welsh contribution, had with the exception of the pugnacious Pirate, one Henry Morgan, been minute as was the Irish, except as indentured servants/slaves. Come the mid 18th century the Irish and Welsh commitment certainly increased, particularly the Irish in the Army, and this trend would continue throughout the 19th century.

You will have to read up on the six centuries of Anglo-Saxon History, from circa 440 AD- 1066 AD. Learn about the Venerable Bede, Offa of Mercia, Alfred the Great, the Viking invasions, Edmund Ironside, and Athelstan the first king of a united England. Ian sure you will enjoy it.

It is quite natural that the Welsh gentry should be drawn to England just like ‘a moth to the flame’. If it is of any comfort so do the Sc*thch, and even the ‘new’ Irish. The elixir of English (London) ‘power’ is irresistible!

O by the way those magnificent Castles Wales boasts of are in fact English Castles. Paid for and built by Englishmen even if in some cases designed by a Savoyard.

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Stevie K
SK
Stevie K
5 months ago

Thanks for the historical detail woven so eloquently into a coherent story. I’m sure many will argue with you, but your proposition is nicely mapped out.

Laurence Siegel
LS
Laurence Siegel
5 months ago

England not beginning until the Norman invasion is absurd. England began well before it was unified by Athelstan, but let’s say it began then in 927. That’s 139 years before Will the Conq. Of course, the Normans changed the cultural and linguistic makeup of England forever, but England was most certainly already there.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

I think you should have addressed this to Chris Wheatley otherwise known as Caradog Williams.

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
David Ryan
DR
David Ryan
5 months ago

Athelstan faced a significant challenge in 937 however, from an alliance of Dublin’s vikings with the kingdoms of Scotland and Strathclyde. Resulting in Battle of Brunanburh. Michael Livingston’s book on the battle is worth a read

Scott Coltrane
SC
Scott Coltrane
5 months ago

I think you greatly underestimate the role of the other UK nations in Britain’s contribution to the rest of the world, unless that is you feel the territorial gains of Empire were the most important legacy. Looking at Scotland as an example, one could argue Edinburgh was the most important Enlightenment centre alongside Paris – Adam Smith, David Hume and James Hutton all resided, studied and worked in the city. Granted this period of history – which I’d argue is Britain’s most important in terms of shaping the modern world (and I agree is overlooked in school history lessons) – was immediately after the 1707 Union, but the educational institutions, laws and societal organisation that allowed Enlightenment thinking to flourish in this part of the world were well established and had little to do with the union with England. Indeed it might be suggested that the political union aided the flow of Enlightenment thinking southwards. The UK has a rich tapestry of history that I agree should be taught with less emphasis on the solely negative aspects. Indeed, mutual knowledge of other constituent nations contribution to the UK’s culture and shared history would perhaps foster a greater sense of British identity and pride and stem the rise in Scots, Welsh and (yes) English political nationalism.
And forgive me if it has been pointed out before (I am relatively new to these boards), but most Scots find the use of the term “Scotch” inflammatory (as I’m sure you’ll know), unless you’re talking about God’s own drink. Am all for light-hearted banter, but keep it civil.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Scott Coltrane

Keeping it civil, you MUST be aware that from at least the era of Dr Samuel Johnson if not centuries before the normal collective noun for those living north of the Border was the ‘Scotch’. The most recent advocate of this usage was the late Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre), and I am keen to see it continued, however ‘inflammatory’ some may find it. In fact these days the Scotch seem to find nearly every damned thing ‘inflammatory’. I put this down to small nation paranoia (SNP) and it seems to be afflicting much of Europe at present, very regrettably.

I take your point about the Enlightenment but maintain it would have been impossible without the wealth generated by the Act of Union.

I think you may also have missed my point about the foundation of Empire (1603-1707) which had NOTHING to do with Scotland, Ireland or indeed little Wales. In fact as I am sure you are aware Scotland even tried to set up its own little ‘Empire’ with catastrophic results.

Post the Act of Union I would be the first to admit that Scotland made an enormous impact, to the mutual benefit of us both it must be said.

Sadly that is all ‘history’ and most Englishmen now seem to regard Scotland as an ever ‘needy’ parasite living of the largesse generated by the wretched, so called Barnett Formula.

POSTED AT: 13.15 GMT.
15.11.2023.

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
David Ryan
DR
David Ryan
5 months ago

” those magnificent Castles Wales boasts of are in fact English Castles. Paid for and built by Englishmen”

Not paid for by the English. Edward I’s Welsh castles cost an estimated £80,000, or around £60 million in today’s money. Half of that money came from Ireland

Red Reynard
RR
Red Reynard
5 months ago

“…and thus further discussion is pointless…”
I think the irony of complaining about the teaching of History, and the passing-up of the opportunity to do so when it presents itself, is a perfect irony :-))
Come on Charlie, you can do better than that; tell the chap about Alfred, Athelstan, and our rich pre-conquest ENGLISH history 😉

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

we are self important – but then we are better!

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
5 months ago

We’ve been fed the line that nationalism is bad, while multiculturalism and globalism are good. Rather a strange notion to anyone with a solid understanding of human history both ancient and modern. As an American, I feel compelled to apologize on behalf of all Americans for inflicting this backwards ideology on everybody else.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Not to worry! We’d have done it ourselves given time.
Self hate seems to be all the rage these days in the West! Absolutely bonkers, but there it is.
However it will pass.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago

The problem with old school English people, Charles is they do hate everything about themselves – except the military and working class thugs.
This is because all the cultural greatness of England is poisoned by class snobbery and reverse snobbery. Eg Mark Rylance and a similar cohort claiming Shakespeare couldn’t have written the plays because he was a lower middle class/upper working class nobody from Warwickshire.
The English only become patriotic about kicking the living daylights out of other people – on foot or on a boat or in a dark alley.
Being pleased with yourself or proud of yourself is deeply unEnglish and considered boasting by the working classes, and ungentlemanly by the upper classes.
Now Liverpool could show you how it is really done – they have justified cultural pride and some prejudice to go along with it.

Jon Barrow
JB
Jon Barrow
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

It worked for you for a bit – while you had vast natural assets, no powerful local enemies and a neat Enlightenment founding document, supported by a majority population produced by the Enlightenment.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

The several million Americans who died in the Civil War and the other several million people who lived in slavery they were fighting about would probably say it only sort of worked. In a broader sense, though, you’re right. America’s success was all but inevitable given its size and the advantages of continent full of largely untapped resources and a native population barely beyond the stone age, no matter what loony philosophy they embraced. It’s basically like having a driving contest but giving one guy a Ferrari and the other guy a Toyota Camry. One can hardly tell who is the superior driver from such an unfair competition. The deck was rather stacked in America’s favor, despite what American elites believe.
The UK, on the other hand, managed to rule an empire that spanned across the globe with a homeland smaller than eleven of our fifty states. I concede that whatever America accomplishes or has accomplished, it is unlikely that it will ever compare to such a feat, never mind that the UK also has a claim on all American achievements, as the USA itself was born out of the UK as well. I must admit your civilization has a far more impressive history.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve Jolly
Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Er and without your immigrants and just descendants of the Mayflower alone, where would you be? Not in ‘America’ methinks and certainly without your greatest exports in music, literature and entertainment. In fact Nathaniel Hawthorne is your sole Puritan literary star and he didn’t like his own folk very much.

Will Longfield
WL
Will Longfield
5 months ago

“the simply outstanding story of how a rain swept little island anchored off the north coast of Europe ended up ‘conquering’ *most of the world .”
Simply marvellous.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago

Who can doubt? Scottish people, Scottish intellectuals, poets, comics,,,why go on.

Alex Carnegie
RC
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago

I would go further. I think that “World History” should be taught first so that the British, Scottish, etc stories can be placed in context. Many other countries use this approach.

As you suggest, it is very odd that English history normally starts in 1066. Most countries have a “foundation myth” which starts with liberation from a foreign oppressor; the English start with being oppressed. Alfred would be a better choice than William the Conqueror.

Incidentally, if you go to Orkney or Caithness you will find plenty of proud Viking descendants. Conveniently, the latest Scandinavian historians have reinvented Vikings as intrepid merchants and patrons of skilled craftsmen who only occasionally – and no more than anyone else – went in for murder, loot and rape. Really quite woke by ninth century standards.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

The fact that “Many other countries use this approach” ie: teaching “World History” first is NO recommendation!

We are not ‘any other country’, we are truly unique and have had a greater influence on this planet than anybody since Ancient Rome.

Incidentally my cohort of grandchildren know full well that Britannia was a Roman Province for four centuries, and that it was to be subsequently overrun by Germanic thugs, sanitised as Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who are their linear ancestors. They also know, as every child should, who Hengest and Horsa were. The English foundation myth is NOT one of “liberation from a foreign oppressor “ but one of conquest, and jolly good to.

.

Simon Neale
SN
Simon Neale
5 months ago

Good post, CS, but I’d disagree with this bit:

we are truly unique and have had a greater influence on this planet than anybody since Ancient Rome.

As Cowper wrote of Boadicea,
“Regions Caesar never knew,
   Thy posterity shall sway,
Where his eagles never flew,
   None invincible as they.” 

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Yes you have a point there, and perhaps my adoration of Rome has slightly distorted my view.

Additionally like most Englishmen I am ever mindful of the adage ‘self praise is NO recommendation’, although in this case that is rather hard to follow, as I am sure you will understand.

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago

An island off the fag-end of Eurasia taking over a quarter of the planet is so unlikely that if fictionalised a sensible reader would baulk at such a preposterous fable. The sudden volte-face into self-abnegation would also seem unbelievable.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I agree that English history should be taught in the context of World history. It is because the struggle for national or ethnic supremacy that is a feature of life throughout history is not taught that the absurd idea that the British were uniquely oppressive in their relationship with foreigners and should owe reparations is allowed to flourish.

There is a lack of proper comparison. I am not, of course, suggesting a return to highlighting the horror black hole of Calcutta that proved a staple of my childhood education as providing the sort of balance I have in mind but rather a wider historical canvas should be provided to the history of Empire. Children need to know that slavery was a familiar institution within historic societies and the British were beastly to their own people as well as exploiting the existing slave markets of Africa.

Peter Beard
PB
Peter Beard
5 months ago

There was also a certain degree of consent to the old Saxon Kings, their crown depended on being elected albeit having a large rapacious army in the adjacent field probably helped. I believe they are partly the reason why consent is so strongly rooted in the English psyche.
But also on the topic of consent we should definitely teach our children about Wat Tyler and Jack Cade, and hopefully Freeborn John. The latter, John Lillburn, is a hero of mine, no one did so much to bring down the court of Star Chamber, get Habeus Corpus enacted, and reawaken interest in the Magna Carta.
Where are these guys now. We need them more than ever.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Beard

Not to forget Thomas Paine!

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago

Don’t expect you are quite so keen on Wilberforce, William Blake, John Bright, William Cobbett .
Woke bastards all (except Wilberforce wasn’t)

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
5 months ago

Your comment on the socialists of the two parties “throwing money” at the working class (or more precisely at the mostly non-working class) mirrors the aid industry that has proved so detrimental to Africa.

Free money too often corrupts and encourages dependency instead of enabling independent enterprise – and it is only through enterprise that poverty is reduced. A redistribution of money does not add a single pork-chop, pair of trousers, haircut, house, healthcare or any other good or service to the world. This is only achieved by adequately rewarding people who devote their time to producing these goods or services.

Jon Barrow
JB
Jon Barrow
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Free money (like ‘free democracy’) often causes resentment of the parent-teen type.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

Unlike you right wing fools, much of the rest of the world looked on the NHS with envy and admiration.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago

Did you know the late Maurice Cowling?

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Only from afar, sadly!
Did you by any chance?

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago

Sadly before my time. Peterhouse sounds like it was a hoot!

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Where do you think Tom Sharpe got his inspiration from?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujrE4H5mpwI

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Niall Cusack
NC
Niall Cusack
5 months ago

You are echoing, perhaps unawares – though with you, I cannot be at all sure – the words of Patrick Pearse in his pamphlet ‘The Murder Machine ‘ (circa 1900), the ‘murder’ in question being the systematic eradication through the education system of any knowledge of or pride in the traditions and heritage and core values of the nation.
For Pearse, of course, it was the Irish Catholic nation. As he famously put it: ‘In 1800 the Irish people were a rabble; in 1900 we are a Nation ‘.
For psychological or perhaps mythological reasons Pearse was unable to accept that there are Two Nations in Ireland. But that is a discussion for another day.
When I read your para beginning:
“No wonder nobody knows any history, for history is ‘the soul of the nation…”
I felt like cheering!
Mutatis mutandis, our case is like yours, a systematic attempt to obliterate historical memory.
To my very great astonishment, Charles, you are turning into my tutor in English affairs!
Can you be that rārissima avis: a genuine Tory?
And what did you make of Roger Scruton?

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

I hadn’t read ‘The Murder Machine’, which I see rather poignantly, was published in January 1916, but will do so, thank you!
I liked Roger Scruton and much admired his forthright defence of the late Ray Honeyford, which nearly destroyed him, as it had destroyed Honeyford, as you may well recall.
I think I am going to enjoy Pearse, we may even think as one!

Niall Cusack
NC
Niall Cusack
5 months ago

This is where my reply fits.

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
5 months ago

You are such a nostalgist – I have a feeling I can guess your age!

Everything is ultimately connected, but the politics and society of the post war period bears little resemblance to what is going on now. The Labour Party were broadly patriotic and no one has been taught “communism” in our schools.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Laski, Miliband, Hobsbawm and many more were both communists and potential traitors.
Attlee, BEVIN Gaitskell and many more true patriots.

Let’s not get bogged down with semantics but if NOT communism then certainly socialism, which is just as appalling.

ps. I am probably quite a bit older than you, as you correctly infer.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago

I had a state education, Charles and I don’t think I have any problem at all outrunning you on intellectual grounds,

Alan Thorpe
AT
Alan Thorpe
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

A while ago I saw a reference to what John Masefield said about universities in 1946. I tells us what we have lost:
“There are few earthly things more splendid than a university. In these days of broken frontiers and collapsing values, when every future looks somewhat grim and the dams are down and the floods are making misery, when every ancient foothold has become something of a quagmire, wherever a university stands, it stands and shines; wherever it exists, the free minds of men, urged on to full and fair enquiry, may still bring wisdom into human affairs.
There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university. It is a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see; where seekers and learners alike, banded together in the search for knowledge, will honour thought in all its finer ways, will welcome thinkers in distress or in exile, will uphold ever the dignity of thought and learning, and will exact standards in these things.
They give to the young in their impressionable years, the bond of a lofty purpose shared, of a great corporate life whose links will not be loosed until they die.
They give young people that close companionship for which youth longs, and that chance of the endless discussion of the themes which are endless, without which youth would seem a waste of time.
There are few things more enduring than a university. Religions may split into sect or heresy; dynasties may perish or be supplanted, but for century after century the university will continue, and the stream of life will pass through it, and the thinker and the seeker will be bound together in the undying cause of bringing thought into the world. To be a member of these great societies must ever be a glad distinction.”

Anthony Sutcliffe
AS
Anthony Sutcliffe
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I think your insight in clinging to the past for answers is a good one. Looking forward to more.

Micheal MacGabhann
MM
Micheal MacGabhann
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Braverman trying to be more British than the British themselves.

Stevie K
SK
Stevie K
5 months ago

No just being proud and unashamed of the culture she was brought up in, and willing to be unpopular in saying so. She is a credit to our political culture at a time when few are.

Laurence Siegel
LS
Laurence Siegel
5 months ago

Born in Harrow. It’s hard to be more British than that.
You mean she’s isn’t white? Oh.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

On a clear day it is said you can/could see Eton from Harrow.*

(* Attributed to WSC.)

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago

oh, indeed.

elaine chambers
EC
elaine chambers
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes, I liked the fast horse proverb. We are witnessing the downfall of western democracy with a serious threat from Islam. This is just a small chip. Our liberalism has been taken for a ride, abused and used and never respected, but rather dispised as weakness. We now paradoxically have to take a move to the Right to combat this fact. It’s begun across Europe and it’s opening up here.
It doen’t help that our education system is awash with wokism. Witnessing the rainbow flag alongside the Isis flag on these marches is laughable in a sinister way. Also the number of women and girls who are preared to stand by a Hamas run Palestine leaves me gobsmacked! They are angry and don’t quite know where their anger ought to productively be directed so anywhere will do. These young people are just full of emotion and are now behaving much like the highly emotional men we once watched in blind hysteria over the ‘Satanic Verses’ and cartoons of Mohammed.
God help us we are sooo lost!

Last edited 5 months ago by elaine chambers
M Simon
MS
M Simon
5 months ago

Abused children are angry and looking for a place to displace it. We are not fighting political ideas. We are fighting mental illness.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Great analysis. I share your concern that we will see mass deportations in Europe within my lifetime. Globalism is dying. The Pax Americana is ending, in no small part because America is changing as well. It’s peoples’ support for its own globalist ideology can no longer be assumed. Trump’s impact on American policy in the short term was exaggerated. The psychological effects of his election on the western world can hardly be overstated. Global hegemony necessitates, among other things, a willing and relatively stable hegemon, and America is increasingly and obviously neither. The political unity provided by the Cold War has given way to America’s default state of constant low level internal bickering. Each nation will have to look to its own survival and provide for its own prosperity, by choosing friends carefully, and keeping enemies at bay. That’s not racism or xenophobia. It is pragmatism, self-interest, and self-preservation on a collective scale.

Jane Watson
JW
Jane Watson
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“I’m no fan of Braverman and think she’s been the author of her own downfall… but the reason she is so hated is that she is telling the truth…

In a year, we might consider her in a different light”.

Well, more fool you Katherine. Braverman’s entire argument is that the clock is ticking. Avoiding decisive action for (another) 12 months is just that – avoidance.

Looking back in a year and saying ‘maybe Suella had a point’ (and even anticipating that you are likely to be saying that!) is cowardly.

As for “no one likes change”? Change happens all the time – recognise it, confront it, deal with it. Or watch as it leaves you sidelined.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

She is hated because she is a fool and a danger to public safety. bleating on about homelessness being a lifestyle choice when even many middle class families are struggling to pay an inflated mortgage being one prime example.

M Simon
MS
M Simon
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“driven by emotion and aggression rather than rationality”
The perfect description of some one suffering PTSD. Child abuse is the usual cause.
Hitler was an abused child.

Last edited 5 months ago by M Simon
james elliott
JE
james elliott
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Great comment *but*…..

Has the education system really ‘failed’ by churning out a generation of under-educated calves, seemingly incapable of critical thinking, unable to bear conflicting points of view and parroting the lines supplied to them by media?

A failure? Perhaps.

But if we assume this is a failure we have to believe the education system didn’t *intend* to churn out non-thinking dolts. And I’m not sure it didn’t.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

I have taught critical thinking and have a philosophy degree: I’ve yet to see any signs of it in responses to this post.
Critical thinking by definition means having the capacity to create arguments to counter an argument. It is also means being able to back it up with credible well sourced evidence.
Most people recognise Braverman as incompetent. Even by her own lights, she is incompetent. The Rwanda scheme is unworkable and a massive waste of taxpayer’s money.

Ben P
BP
Ben P
5 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Quite agree about Jonathan Pie – one of the last of the Lefty ‘comics’ still doing his schtick and thinking he’s on point.
The tectonic shifts you mention are real. Not having bothered to read mainstream publications recently I’m astonished at McCague’s rehashing of old liberal shibboleths – phrases like ‘hard Right.’ Or attempting to quote Matthew Parris for heaven’s sake. These are yesterday’s people, along with most of the mainstream media. They’re still playing their own silly little tunes even as the flames of radical hatred consume them.

Stephen Walsh
SW
Stephen Walsh
5 months ago

After his shambolic resignation, David Cameron could have made himself available to serve, either as an MP, or in the Lords, as virtually every former PM before Tony Blair had done. But that would have meant completing the declaration of members’ interests, and Cameron had no interest in that. Literally last month he was promoting Colombo Port City on behalf of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Now he is Foreign Secretary, Sunak is PM and Jeremy Hunt is Chancellor, without the shred of a mandate between them. Cameron is an utterly discredited figure, greedy and not very bright, regarded with contempt by most outside his clique of well connected chums. Sunak could not be bringing him back because he thinks it will be electorally popular. So he is doing it for some other reason. They are looking to their careers beyond the inevitable election defeat. And so for the next year the British state will be hawked around to that end. That is what Rishi Sunak is trying to sell.

Last edited 5 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

“…his shambolic resignation,”
The best thing he did. Coming back was/is his 2nd worst mistake (Brexit Referendum was the worst).
DC managed to make Tories electable in 2010. How did the previous Tory leaders perform?!

Mark Goodhand
MG
Mark Goodhand
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Brexit wasn’t a vote-loser. See 2019.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

True, and how you are witnessing all the contradiction of Brexit…aka Cakeism.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Britain has many problems. Being outside of the EU isn’t one of them.

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Not according to almost half of the population. How much with Brexit effect the next rounding of voting I do not know. But there is no Jeremy Corbyn to scare Tory Remainers.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

exactly Cakeism which is the opposite of critical thinking.

Jane Davis
JD
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Most have realised it was a mistake and that they imposed economic sanctions on themselves. The poll results all show that.
Yes, they oppose immigration – but Brexit has not helped with that.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

“DC managed to make Tories electable in 2010.”

No he didn’t. He ONLY achieve that with the support of the Clegg beast, much to the detriment of the country it must be said

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago

The previous leaders did nothing…that is the reality.

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Hardly. We ended up with a disastrous LibDem coalition, and then Ed Milliband kindly helped Dave to win in 2015.

Mark Goodhand
MG
Mark Goodhand
5 months ago

“9/11, 7/7, Charlie Hebdo, Lee Rigby, the Bataclan”
Is there some sort of rule that we don’t mention Manchester Arena?
If that didn’t wake us up, I’m not sure what will.

Bob Rowlands
BR
Bob Rowlands
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Mark you make a good point. However my feeling is that we are as a nation are still in a complete state of shock, disbelief and continue to keep our heads in the sand. Even after 9/11 etc we do not understand why the people who live amongst us do not really like us or our Anglo Saxon customs. External actors I’m sure are playing their part, but nevertheless as Hirsi Ali says, the indoctrination from birth to despise those who do not believe what you believe (turbo charged by internet sermons) is likely to bring the West’s 70 year post war bubble crashing down if we don’t steer the ship away from the rocks. Braverman was a buoy along our journey and we are now looking to see where to steer to next.

Matt M
MM
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob Rowlands

On day 1 of the Satanic Verses demonstrations we should have said
a) any suggestion that the law should be broken will be met with criminal prosecution,
b) any non-citizen engaging in any activity that is detrimental to the peaceful and harmonious life of the country will be deported,
c) no visas will be issued to citizens of countries that don’t have a record of accepting repatriations of their citizens,
d) no visas issued to anyone with a history of incitement or rabble rousing.
We should have had a general restriction on visas and asylum claims from majority Muslim countries and we should have had a deliberate policy of moving away from dependency on middle East oil and $$$.

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yes – that was where the line should have been drawn.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

When the Danish cartoon controversy triggered threats of Muslim violence every newspaper in the West should have printed them alongside cartoons making fun of Christians, Jews, etc. That would have put an end to it. Of course progressive newspapers were incapable of showing that type of backbone and so we have been putting up with intimidation ever since.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Quire correct.
The Press are such spineless scum*, NOT the sort of people you would want in a trench with you.

(*To use the vernacular.)

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

The IRA came within ‘an ace’ of killing Margaret Thatcher* and most of her cabinet at Brighton in 1984 and that didn’t “wake us up”, so I tend to agree you, nothing will until it is TOO late.

(* Later Lady Thatcher.
Thanks to correction by Sue Sims.)

Last edited 5 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
5 months ago

Yet they did not, which turned out to be a very good thing for them. Assassinating a sitting PM would be even worse, in the eyes of the public, than the successful assassination of Louis Mountbatten, which was a PR disaster for the Provos.

Sue Sims
SS
Sue Sims
5 months ago

Point of pedantry: she was Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. She could be addressed (or described) as ‘Lady Thatcher’, but never as ‘Lady Margaret Thatcher’, an honorific only allowable for the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl.

Matt M
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Excellent stuff Sue.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

I stand corrected, thank you!

J.P Malaszek
J.P Malaszek
5 months ago

It’s everywhere: my wife yesterday was sitting in a London school staff room where she’s a supply teacher, the general conversation was about how glad all are that Braverman has gone followed by ‘…yeah and her husbands a jew’. How on earth is this the new normal?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  J.P Malaszek

I bet the comment about Braverman’s husband was made with sheer multicultural joy.

Matt M
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  J.P Malaszek

That is really terrible.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

What is terrible is how gullible you are.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
5 months ago
Reply to  J.P Malaszek

It’s rampant in London. Before the attack on Israel I had to listen to the London-based Technical Director of a major engineering consultancy talk about “those Jews” and racist tropes about money etc etc, with his London team nodding along and chiming in. I was plain with my disgust and was happy to retreat back north on the train. If that’s what they say in a business meeting, just think what is said at private dinner parties and functions.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

It was forever thus.

Jane Davis
Jane Davis
4 months ago

hypocrite

Sue Ward
Sue Ward
5 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Working in the same sector I’d give my eye teeth to know who you’re talking about!

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
5 months ago
Reply to  Sue Ward

Don’t worry about it – it never happened. Another fantasist.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
5 months ago
Reply to  J.P Malaszek

‘…yeah and her husbands a jew’.
This never happened. Absolute fantasy.

Jane Davis
Jane Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  J.P Malaszek

Nobody I know who is glad about Braverman going would make the Jew comment – but Mr Stanhope, one of Unherd’s resident antisemites, certainly would.

J Bryant
J Bryant
5 months ago

I’m an American and UK politics only affects me indirectly because it reveals trends running through the Western world. Still, I’d say this article, although well-written, is a bit overcooked. All this talk of defining moments, things being said that can never be unsaid, the old order cracking.
All this has been said before, at least since the start of the Ukraine war, and probably going back to the rise of progressivism in the wake of covid.
Yes, the old order is passing. The old rules are being broken, and will continue to be broken. This is frightening but necessary because the old order doesn’t work for the modern world. In particular, the current system, in a desperate attempt to maintain itself, has censored speech that goes against the status quo, or at least against the wishes of the ruling elite (e.g., the elite belief that unlimited immigration is beneficial). But those contrary opinions have not disappeared, and the longer they’re suppressed, the more violently will they eventually erupt.
The Israel/Gaza situation is special to the extent it pits parts of the elite class against itself: rightly or wrongly, the Progressives view Palestinians as an oppressed minority, and Israel the oppressor backed by the two uber-oppressors, USA and UK. Discordance of opinion is particularly striking in this context, but just one example of how, as the West becomes ever more divided internally, opinions once repressed now find voice.
The hope in all of this is that something good will come out of the chaos. Perhaps we will finally have a conservatism that is truly conservative, not in an extreme way but in a balanced way that relies more on common sense and the lessons of history and our shared culture. Hopefully that will happen, but I doubt it will happen soon.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
5 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think there is a different aspect to the issue in Britain. I’m guessing all the pro- Palestinian stuff in the US is coming from the usual progressive, largely white, elites. The marches in Britain have been overwhelming Muslim. Yes progressives turn up and aid and abet, but the solidarity is visibly religious in nature.

Muslims are by far the largest immigrant group in Britain. I think c12% of the population and many communities are not well integrated. You are right there is underlying resentment. The tension is there to be exploited by those with agendas on both left and right. So, to some extent, the situation in Gaza is different in that it is rapidly opening more than a culture war fault line.

Like you, I hope sensible middle ways can be found but that will require a quality of leadership on all sides that I can’t see anywhere at present.

Matt M
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

All true Martin apart from the size of the England and Wales Muslim population which was 6.5% (3.9 million) on the 2021 census. Even allowing for Scotland and for illegal immigrants, it can’t be more than 7%.
Funnily enough I think that common ground could be found between faithful Muslims and traditionalist conservatives (Suella-ists!) For instance, teaching more than just the birds and bees in sex education to schoolchildren is offensive to both groups. Pornography, transvestism and women’s spaces, pushing woke ideological agendas in workplaces, encouraging marriage and family formation, no-fault divorce, support for stay-at -home mothers, restricting mobile phones/social media for kids etc etc are all areas where true conservatives could win votes from Muslims.

Last edited 5 months ago by Matt M
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

We have had THEM now for nigh on sixty years and it patently hasn’t worked. Their primitive religious practices makes it impossible to integrate in a society as complex as ours They have FAILED the ‘cricket test’ as Lord Norman Tebbit put it so succinctly many years ago now.
A scheme of repatriation ought to be government priority, otherwise “ the River Tiber will foam with much blood” as someone else once said.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I agree there is a lot of common ground with a conservative non-woke world view but the religious element of that feels too extreme for a meaningful political alliance.

Matt M
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Perhaps a way to detach the moderately conservative Muslims from the fundamentalists?

Mitchito Ritter
MR
Mitchito Ritter
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

What option for uniting the justifiably aggrieved is missing here in Matt M’s summation?

The same RHINODINO we must deal with in our own Identity Politics riven Investor Class working relentlessly to advance their own networked investor groups’ Privatizing; Financializing; Daddy Warbucks aero-dynamic Militarizing, Deregulating Neo-Feudal Techno and Telecomm monopolizing cartel elites “managing” the Duopoly and Political Economy of the United States of Amnesia. Whether the locus of focus be the metaphorical Wall Street, London, Bonn, Zurich and Brussels or the bid-net capitals of the Asian Tigers who are less and less stage-managed by EurAsian nobility.

Institutional corruption is the missing variable and represents the greatest mass of non-bundled ethnoidentity pauperized and unrepresented body politic boilerplate urbanrural grassroots fuel that shares resentments and energizing off-screen rage at the tiny networked investor class that denies them any voice in the Mass Mediated This Week On Wall Street, Planet Money, There Is No Plan B., Financial Times and Axios axis or Fleet Street bid-net model residue.

What of The Left Behind? That vast majority of now utterly dependent Wage Slave Labor to the salaried wolves of Wall Street, Toronto, Brussels, Vancouver BC, London et al and what remains of Big Labor with its accommodations to the actual production and manufacturing absolutely ruled elite dominated supply lines of the Asian Tigers no longer manipulated by the EurAsian shadow play stage managers or Indonesian-based trans national peripheral gamelan and Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppet MastersMistresses who have become the real Movers & Shakers “players.”

There is more to organize a vast solidarity resistance movement among those independently resisting the trans national Shadow Puppet Elite whether based in California or Indonesian Java.

Mitch RitterParadigm Sifters, Code Shifters, PsalmSong Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion ListLookseeInnerEarsHearHere

Last edited 5 months ago by Mitchito Ritter
joseph wilson
joseph wilson
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I think your estimate of muslims in the UK are somewhat excessive.
The total non white population is around 10%.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
5 months ago
Reply to  joseph wilson

Per 21 census.

“Across England and Wales, 82% of people identified with a White ethnic group, 9% with an Asian ethnic group, 4% with a Black ethnic group, 3% with Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups, and 2% with other ethnic groups.”

Matt M is correct re the percentage of Muslims.

Matt M
Matt M
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Joseph may be right about the UK as a whole as Scotland and NI are pretty white. Unfortunately the SNP managed to f___ up their census and so we don’t have UK figures yet (as far as I know).

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I agree. In Britain, I think for once the progressives / woke are not the central issue. If one compares the situation with a generation ago – when both the media and most of the population were relatively balanced or neutral in their views on the Israel / Palestine conflict – there have been two contradictory trends.

1/ The political class and media have become more pro-Israel with the shift particularly marked in the Tory party.

2/ The Muslim population, which inevitably is more likely to empathise with the Palestinians (though not usually with terrorism), has grown considerably.

It is not surprising that in the last month these two trends have clashed with the latter outraged by the policies and coverage of the former and taking to the streets.

In terms of handling tensions within the UK, the smart approach is surely to allow both sides to have their say and crack down only on those who advocate or practice violence. It is profoundly unhelpful for British society to use overheated rhetoric or to encourage complete polarisation by attacking anyone with a moderate or nuanced view. In terms of these protests one should not assume that all who feel pro-Palestinian are also automatically enthusiasts for the Hamas raid let alone decapitating babies. A few will be but most are not.

Let both sides march peacefully without demonisation by cynical and opportunistic politicians.

Last edited 5 months ago by Alex Carnegie
J Bryant
J Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

It’s discouraging to see your balanced comment receive so many downvotes.

Jane Davis
Jane Davis
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Thanks for this, but due to the nature of Unherd, I’m afraid your very decent, sensible post will not be valued.

Allison Barrows
AB
Allison Barrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The recent revelation that Qatar, the leading funder/supporter of Hamas, has given over 200 American colleges and universities billions in cash explains the bizarre and completely ignorant student marches and violent Jew-hatred on campuses here.
Bret Weinstein said a few days ago that all the institutions of the West are hopelessly corrupted and beyond saving. Something utterly new will replace them. I think we’re seeing what that new thing might be.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m not as optimistic as you. The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece on how many students in the US have potentially ruined their future careers by their single-minded hatred-signaling of Jews. Many companies will simply not want to hire or be associated with such bigots.
In the long-term you may be right, but I have been quite taken aback by the fact that the people who in the past have claimed ‘silence is violence’ are now reveling in extreme violence against Jews, although looking back I shouldn’t be. I had the horrid misfortune of studying Critical Theory (I had no choice, it was a mandatory component of my PhD course). A lot of it implied that genocide against White people wouldn’t be a bad thing. At the time, I thought this label was only applied to those with European ancestry, but now I realize that it also includes Jews. It is no coincidence that many of the professors pushing for Hamas are black. Hamas is desperate to piggy-back of the West’s New Racialism in order to claim victimhood against Israel. They know how to manipulate the Left.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It is an opinion piece in WSJ – nothing more.
Plenty of those people will get job somewhere else. You might disagree but a degree from Harvard is still a degree from Harvard.
A Wharton Grad might have lost his/her job at a hedge fund but he/she will get a job at a big investment bank. They will be fine.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

You’re probably right. Many of them will grow up and have an epiphany of some kind.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
5 months ago

Sunak has no interest in winning the next election. Which is just as well, because he doesn’t stand a chance.
Braverman is right about lots of things, but too unlikeable to ever be PM.
Our only hope is that the Conservative Party is completely wiped out, as it once was in Canada, so a true alternative can arise.
But it’s not clear we can survive a Labour government that will take us full speed ahead into tyranny.
Hard to see a democratic solution to our current problems.

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago

A good article, especially when it turns away from the disintegration of the Tories and examines the more important deeper ‘national trauma’. We have watched anti semitic intimidating mass Mobs on our streets de facto condoning an Islamist Massacre and our Police yielding to them as they did the BLM. The 30 Year Progressive State and Order which has inculcated a twisted sense of privileged identity and this moral vacuum has been unmasked. The same State backed ideology sees the supposed ‘government’ failing to enact new laws to defend an open border. Politics in 2023 has unfurled its banners and we have entered a Traumazone. Actual power is patently not held by those elected into Downing Street. And all anti progressive resistance has ceased. Actual politics is State New Order versus a few totally impotent resistors in the burnt out Tories. Its so Soviet. Suella yelped but did not deliver any anti progressive kickback. No one has. Not on Brownite taxation, levelling up, lower tariffs, the DEI Industry, mass immigration, the rotten NHS. Nothing! No Conservative policies have survived contact with the hostile black hole of chiefly progressive laws and the vast permanent Quango or Technocratic State. The NHS loving woke idiots like May and Tory Left are Vichy type collaborators – they have surrendered to the New Order and hence developed the bland technocratic apolitical Uniparty. Tory resistance is over. Poor geeky Rishi does not understand the huge swelling but ever silent popular disquiet over the fruits of the Blairite/EU Revolution and has brought in another progressive wet collaborator in Cameron. All political resistance to the new state ideologies has ceased. Parliament is a charade, a Potemkin village. Politics is in a cage.

Kirk Susong
KS
Kirk Susong
5 months ago

“One fundamental mistake people make with politics is to constantly seek to dismiss people they don’t like as a throwback to some distant era. … But far more interesting is to see politicians for what they are: expressions of the Britain that exists now, with all its anxieties, paranoias, prejudices and complexities.”
This is an excellent point, in my opinion. Whether or not there are certain thematic connections between political questions, movements and leaders of the past and of the present, there is a limit to the utility of historical comparison. At some point, we have to accept that we are facing the problems we are facing, and retreating to historical comparisons can only go so far.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

All true, but I would like to point out that the real problem is the unwillingness of the Tory party to make hard choices. Just 3 examples that the Tory party (be left or right embrace to a certain degree):
You can not have “levelling up” without spending vast amount of money (see East Germany as an example – c. €67 billion a year). GOV papers about Renaissance Italy will not suffice.
You can not “pivot to Pacific” (geography aside) without spending an extra £30/60 billion on defense every year.
You can not promise to solve elderly care and not raise taxes or force people to sell their home.
The Tory/Brexit coalition is simply not sustainable, and the day after the electoral defeat the situation will remain the same. The Tories have to choose. To govern is to choose.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Correct, as with both The Great War & WWII were are ‘living well beyond our means’, or at least aspiring to do so.
All rather embarrassing really.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago

A good article. One correction, though. Braverman did not take on the police, she took on the police leadership. She’s not without support amongst the rank & file.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12738691/Suella-Braverman-right-biased-woke-policing-know-Im-officer-line.html

John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
5 months ago

Sunak hasn’t a clue what he is doing, or how much damage he did yesterday. Whether this is a complete absence of political instincts or bad advisors, who knows. All that will happen now is that Conservative Party will carry on with it’s civil war and be obliterated at the next election due to stay at home former Conservative voters. The entire Cameron affair, being made a lord to bypass the fact he is not elected, which means he is not accountable to Parliament is beneath contempt, and contempt is what this bunch will reap.

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago

Tories will need the time in opposition to fix their internal issues. It is a necessary – and you (as a citizen) should do the right thing. Vote for the candidate most likely to win in your area.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

A vote for the candidate most likely to win in your area is surely the route to perpetuation of the blob.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
5 months ago

Yes, it took Britain out of Europe, but — and here is the essence of Suella-ism — the Blob remains in charge: the courts remain all-powerful, schools promote their own ideology, police declare that “jihad doesn’t mean jihad”.

An interesting point about the nature of The Blob, and the debate over the fallibility of “experts” (often self-appointed) since we voted to leave the EU.
I don’t think people would mind all that much being governed and served by a cohort of experts if the experts actually knew what they were doing, and thereby earned their keep. But we are all familiar with the unintelligent placeholders at work who exercise power through elf ‘n’ safety, or create empires of fear through safeguarding “expertise”, or knowing about “radicalisation” or somesuch. The Blob is cut from the same cloth. The police are self-appointed experts in geo-political conflict, semiotics, and religious oppression, when we know they can’t catch or deter the commonest crimes. Teachers opine about issues of identity, rights, and ethics when most parents have horror stories about their failure to instil basic respect, literacy, and numeracy. Courts opine solemnly about political matters, yet can’t deal with a massive backlog of petty crime. Telling, isn’t it, with all these political pundits around – experts, every one, with deep insight into politics and their ears close to Whitehall – that none knew about Cameron’s momentous return.
We’ve got the internet, we’ve got access to a far wider range of opinions and data collectors. We can find things out for ourselves, and once stuff is online, it stays forever. We can at last hold people to account. The old bluff and bluster of those who want to tell us what to do, and tell us what is right, is beginning to fail.

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
5 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

The Blob phenomenon is a strange one. The civil service should be there facilitate the policies of the democratically elected government of the day. Anyone there who doesn’t want to do that, it’s justifiable to terminate their employment.

Peter Lee
PL
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

It is very hard to discern what is true on the internet!

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago

Ultimately, she is expressing a feeling about modern Britain that is shared within the Conservative Party — beyond the fringes of its hard Right.

There is absolutely no “hard right” of the Tory party.

The very fact that this article is framed around the notion that Suella’s comments (which polls show the public agree with) are “hard right” just tells us that almost the entirety of the government and media class have moved way, way out to the left, and redefined the “centre” as woke, high-tax, big-state, politically correct, open borders globalism.

Christian Moon
CM
Christian Moon
5 months ago

The line is being promoted that Braverman was an ineffective minister. Isn’t it equally likely that she received no support from Downing Street, so that everyone she dealt with knew she had no authority.
Those immigration numbers, for instance, are decided on by the PM and the Chancellor, not by the Home Secretary.

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
5 months ago

Kemi for PM

A D Kent
AK
A D Kent
5 months ago

Too right the Tories have failed and the replacement of Braverman with Cameron is a dirty great big emblem of that failure of that disaster. It’s just not for any of the reasons McTague lists here.

What Sunak has done is replace Braverman with the Tory most responsible for the problems Braverman has been show-boating about recently. It was he who pushed with the equally loathsome Nicolar Sarkosy for NATO’s destruction of Libya and behind the scene dirty war on Syria. It is he who helped turbo charge the refugee crisis – by rendering the country with the highest living standards in Africa to a failed state and by directly supporting jihadi head-choppers in the chaos of the Middle East. ‘We’ haven’t just lived through moments of trauma, we’ve been inflicting them again and again and again.

McTague is wrong – nothing fundamental has changed with the British Establishment, nothing in British politics, people can do these things and come away unscathed. Until that changes – when the sociopaths atop our rancid Establishment are brought to account – nothing significant will change at all.

Rob N
RN
Rob N
5 months ago

1 Things have changed because there are now even more immigrants who instinctively support Hamas and our own national identity has been weakened both by non-British numbers and by the Blob telling us that to think other than their narrative is racist.
2 Why do you say “only a mob of nationalist hooligans rampaging around London looking for a fight.” What I saw was a group of British citizens refusing to be cowed by the Hamas supporters and attackers of native British identity. They were looking for a fight only in so far as they knew a fight was likely to be offered and they would, quite correctly, not surrender and meekly run away.

James Davidson
JD
James Davidson
5 months ago

“mob of nationalist hooligans rampaging around London”. What does this mean? Something you read in the newspapers or saw on TV? Do you still not know that these people lie?

AC Harper
AC Harper
5 months ago

The Conservative Party has pivoted on major policies several times historically to remain electable. And perhaps this time they have missed the pivot. Boris Johnson’s large majority was a large hint that the Conservative Party needed to pivot away from the old pro-EU globalism.

“It is time, she insists, to take back control.”

I think that the last thing the current Conservatives want to do is ‘take back control’. I’m not sure that they could do so as taking back control means depriving the Administrative State (the Establishment) of their comfortable behind the scenes authority.
As for David Cameron – whatever happened to the bonfire of the QUANGOs? All the leaders that stood for this action have been side-lined or deposed. I rather expect even David Cameron has learned his lesson and won’t be rocking the boat.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

“the old pro-EU globalism.”
Yes, fewer Poles more Pakistanis.

Margie Murphy
MM
Margie Murphy
5 months ago

“Suellaism” is common sense. It is right thinking. It is what the majority of the country wants but since the country’s institutions have been taken over by an anti western, anti white ideology, a post modern Marxist divide and rule has taken hold with the minority within these institutions wielding a sinister control that is almost demonic. “Suellaism” needs to gain a foothold or Britain is lost to hate filled communists and rabid terror groups who cannot be co trolled nor is there a will to control them.

Chipoko
Chipoko
5 months ago
Reply to  Margie Murphy

Well said, Margie!

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago

As the Conservative Party are anything but Conservative and Labour are probably going to win anyway (goodbye Britain) I hope, against the evidence, that Braverman and the real Conservatives leave the party and form their own, join Reform or whatever. The Conservative Party has to be destroyed so a new real conservative party can be created.

j watson
j watson
5 months ago

Certainly no fan of Cameron. Can’t see that ending well.
However a fundamental problem with Suellaism (and it’s variants such as Johnsonism, Trussism, Frostism etc) is they are not very good at governing to say the least. It’s utter rubbish to default this incompetency to some Blob excuse. Pathetic snowflakey stuff and avoids proper reflection. These chumps have been the architects of their own downfall. As the article highlights what exactly did Braverman achieve? I strongly suspect she’s happy to be out and thus able to conjure a narrative that ducks accountability.
More broadly there is an issue about the length of tenure Ministers get in their roles. The merry-go-round inevitably leaves the civil service with more power. In working life as in politics it takes some time to get fully on top of a senior role, esp if next to no prior experience of governing. One Tory leader after another has put political calculation above good government and here we are.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Substitute the term “political leader” for “Tory leader” and you make some valid points.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve Murray
A D Kent
A D Kent
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Steve – Tory leaders have compounded all those issues with austerity though following on from their infantile nation-state-as-a-household financial fairy-tales. Rachel Reeves is about to follow suit though so you’re probably rather depressingly correct for the UK’s immediate future.

Last edited 5 months ago by A D Kent
Ken Bowman
Ken Bowman
5 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Could you provide your definition of austerity when every year we lived beyond our means?

Chipoko
C
Chipoko
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken Bowman

AUSTERITY (à la mode Cameron & Co):
Cutting public sector funding by swingeing general percentages (e.g. 30-40%, 30 police officers, reducing the Army to a risible 70,000, etc.) as an end in itself; rather than targeting cuts on unproductive, wasteful areas (e.g. top heavy, overpaid management, vast layers of bureaucracy feeding the Marxist Blob machine, dumping DIE managers and officers, cutting quangos, massive expenditure on paying for illegal migration, etc., etc. …
Between them Cameron and Osborn wrecked UK public services, and the dire situation that prevails today cannot any longer be blamed on Labour excesses and lack of financial control after 13 years of continuous Tory mis-rule. It is Rich Boys like Cameron, Osborn, Sunak, etc. who have played at the game politics because they are so hugely wealthy that the consequences of their mis-management will never impact on them, unlike most of us.
Labour will be just as bad – again.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

To govern is to choose. The Tories refuse to do so. They instead embraced “cakeism”.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Sixteen Housing Ministers since 2010. But even if they had more time, there is a limit to what any minister can achieve if they face a combination of determined institutional resistance, and a lack of Prime Ministerial support. The fate of Dominic Raab illustrated how little support Rishi Sunak would extend even to a supposed close political ally. Other ministers – and civil servants – inevitably take note.

Last edited 5 months ago by Stephen Walsh
Carol Forshaw
Carol Forshaw
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

With regard to your final paragraph, what is the reason for moving Steve Barclay from Health? He must have been beginning to get to a full understanding of the service and I understand is also in the middle of talks with the doctors. So why move him at this point? Victoria Atkins may be a very capable person but will need time to get to grips with the problems of the NHS. The civil service will be able to run rings round her, at least for the next few weeks. Sunak’s decision to move Barclay has left me baffled.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
5 months ago
Reply to  Carol Forshaw

Presumably he plans to cave to the BMA?

j watson
j watson
5 months ago
Reply to  Carol Forshaw

Yep makes no sense as regards good government. If he wants to settle the doctor disputes a change of Minister may help with the optics and refreshes the negotiations, but still feels tenuous. Whoever is there is going to be right in the eye of a storm this winter and again just maybe he thinks Atkins might get cut some slack with the public Barclay won’t?

Last edited 5 months ago by j watson
Christian Moon
Christian Moon
5 months ago
Reply to  Carol Forshaw

I just learned what beating to quarters used to mean, when a warship’s crew was summoned to man its battle stations.
Victoria Atkins is more telegenic to be the face of the Tories on the key issue of the NHS in the upcoming campaign.
In their publicity they called her “Vicky Atkins”, for the first time in her and my life, rather than Victoria. Shows their priorities.

Last edited 5 months ago by Christian Moon
Andrew R
Andrew R
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

We have a whole political class that is unfit to govern, it exists for its own self interest. It works in combination with other self interested group, the so called Blob to deliver nothing at great cost to the taxpayer, It is a parasitic relationship.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Democratically elected. BoJo was not beamed from space.
The (sad) reality is that BoJo was/is right about cakeism.
To govern is to choose , the current Tory party refuses to choose.

Mitchito Ritter
MR
Mitchito Ritter
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

“It works in combination with other self interested group, the so called Blob to deliver nothing at great cost to the taxpayer, It is a parasitic relationship.”

To these North American ears with eyes and surface FearFlight senses being media massaged more than managed to focus on the eastern Mediterranean CronyOcracy, admittedly not well-versed in your UK Anglo vernacular with no glossary of Political Economic terms to consult, the so called Blob sounds, looks, talks and walks like Dead Man Bibi and his Israeli political and multi-media high tech Neo-Feudalist (in Anand Giridharadas terms) platformed machine.

Bibi’s machine itself a high tech Neo-Feudal adaptation of the institutional corruption long associated with the Palestinian secular state-building movements and micro (nationalist) macro (global jihad) Islamic movements. Either way, too self-centered, nihilistic and communally solopsistic to achieve anything much but the perpetuation of classical Mediterranean Cycles of Tragedy and Perpetual Reprisal. That is to be our shared result of the greatest concentration of wealth and privileges in the his\herstory of peer-reviewed and quantified studies of so called Civilisation….

Mitch RitterParadigm Sifters, Code Shifters, PsalmSong Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion ListLooksee\InnerEarsHearHere

Last edited 5 months ago by Mitchito Ritter
Martin Butler
Martin Butler
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Yes I mainly agree. The point has been made many times that the crude populism which Suellaism and its variants (Johnsonism, Trussism, Frostism) encapsulates is by its nature oppositional. It’s about headline grabbing statements, simplistic beliefs and nuance free thinking. Good government is for the most part slow and boring, Populism is a form of entertainment for those whose own circumstances are secure and so they find the policies that actually affect most peoples lives (like housing, childcare, heath, environment) tedious. Much more fun to go on about ‘culture war’ issues which for the most part exist only in the writings of overpaid columnists.

Last edited 5 months ago by Martin Butler
Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Huh? Culture War an invention and limited to newspapers? Thats lalaland. The mobs on London’s streets is culture war!

Martin Butler
MB
Martin Butler
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You mean those attacking the Cenotaph incited by Braverman or the mainly peaceful Gaza demonstration. Where were most of the arrests made?

A D Kent
AK
A D Kent
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Great comments Martin. Could you imagine what havoc a ‘mob’ of, depending who you ask, 300K to 800K people might have done to London at the weekend if they’d been such a terrible ‘mob’ of hate-mongers? We’d be clearing up the mess for weeks.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Ah, the old ‘mainly peaceful’ anti Semitic riots that follow or precede every ‘mainly peaceful’ pogrom, eh?

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

My my. No doubt you sat silent when the Rushdie books were burnt. No doubt you applauded the peaceful BLM march during lockdown and those wicked police horses who somehow beat themselves up. No doubt you yelped for anti lockers to be driven from the streets with your pot and pan. No doubt you did not react when the police ripped down images of kidnapped Jews and told them to stay off our streets. No doubt you somehow missed, just could not see the banners, the Islamic flags and the vile chants to intimate those Jews. Naturally you call for Peace and an Armistice, so letting 1400 innocent Jews be murdered without – how dare they!- permitting Israel the right to seek out and punish the true genocidal fanatics.

A D Kent
A D Kent
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I’d applaud none of those things – nor will I be making any statements about what you are ‘no doubt’ doing in the privacy of your house as the Gaza death toll races upwards. FYI Haretz now say approximately 1,200 were killed on October 7th. As of mid October they’d identified at least 300 of those as either soldiers or other members of their security services. As an occupying power you can subtract them from your count of ‘innocent’ victims – tragedies, yet, innocent, no. Given that the IDF’s response in the immediate aftermat was to shell & strafe cars & houses containing both Hamas insurgents & hostages in them I think we may take a few more off too (google The Hannibal Directive if you’re not familiar with it already.

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Ooh. Ok! Lets subtract the dead pretty Jew girl soldiers then!! That makes the massacre of innocents a whole lot better!!!! What???!!!! Only monsters are content with the slaughter Iran/Hamas have unleashed on both peoples since October 7 to obstruct the Saudi peace process. The difference between us – you and the silent majority of Britons – is that we recognise the barbaric genocidal ‘No Peace Ever’ Armistice breaking Islamists of Hamas as gleeful monsters who warrant being wiped out, just as the Free World wiped out the similarly supremacist Nazi Terror to liberate the Germans in 1945. Where are the Jews in the ‘River to Sea’ in that worldview they chant for? The only path to a genuine Two State solution will be impeded by base Western public opinion appeasement of Islamist Jihadi Hamas. They must be broken and a new PLP leadership found. That path is not truly being called for by the one-sided, anti Western and intimidating street marchers. When the war stops and Netanyahu goes too, the world must sieze the chance for a fresh push for peace. 2 state not one.

A D Kent
A D Kent
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Walter – we know Netanyahu specificallly supported Hamas to scupper the 2 state solution. Likewise the Israeli policy of slicing up the occupied West Bank with (mostly Mizrahi) colonial outposts. That ship has sailed. Hamas committed war crimes on October 7th, but facts do matter. Don’t assume anything about my views just because I point them out to you and readers here.

Dougie Undersub
DU
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Don’t count numbers of arrests, that’s just the police gaming the system to get the headlines they want. Count the number of people charged – seven.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

Considerably less than that at most major football matches.
Their chant “YOU’RE NOT ENGLISH ANYMORE “ was interesting, and is perhaps an indicator of where we are headed.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

“Populism” is just a pejorative used by people who are miffed by the popularity of politicians they disagree with.

Martin Butler
MB
Martin Butler
5 months ago

Not that popular now are they? The truth of their incompetence has been revealed.

Last edited 5 months ago by Martin Butler
Dougie Undersub
DU
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re right, Suella’s (and Priti’s – remember her?) failure to deliver is not just about the Blob, it’s as much to do with the fact that the majority of Tory MPs are team Nokes, not team Braverman. There’s as much opposition to the Rwanda policy on the Tory benches as there is on the opposition benches.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’d have to disagree with you about the ‘blob’. In thirty years of working as a contractor for public sector clients I’ve become increasingly depressed by the poor quality of our public servants – the group think, the refusal to be accountable and the utter lack of any knowledge or understanding of the world outside. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen the leader of a failed project just to get them out of the way. I can’t imagine how any politician can accomplish anything when confronted by the bovine apathy of these jobsworths. Major reform is needed.

Hugh Bryant
HB
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Promoted

j watson
j watson
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Public servants is pretty broad – everyone from an Infantry cadet, to a Policeman, to a doctor, to a senior Civil servant to Tax office clerk etc. I suspect you mean the more senior Civil servant or Executive for a Local Authority or Health organisation etc?
Certainly there will be variability – the Covid Inquiry surfaced some pretty damning evidence on the behaviour of some senior Civil servants didn’t it – and take your point about some getting recycled (like Cameron perhaps), but one also wonders how we recruit the v best when the value is rubbished? Always been an eye opener for me how much difference between the value one felt when in the Armed Forces as compared to subsequent public sector career, yet the work as hard and difficult (when not in a war zone, which was/is v rare). Blob narratives, as well as being wrong and silly, also undercut ever improving standards don’t they?

Andrew R
AR
Andrew R
5 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Then offer evidence that Blob narratives are wrong and silly, instead of just saying they are.

Everytime the government draws up a policy some unelected NGO, charity or think tank dismiss them almost immediately using “culture war” (a Left wing invention) language because it doesn’t suit their “progressive” narrative.

We also have Quangos and parts of the Civil Service promoting a lot of this nonsense with the current Conservative government doing almost next to nothing to change it.

You can expect the new Labour government to be continuity inertia.

j watson
JW
j watson
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Err, could you give me the example to underpin your 2nd and 3rd paras?
I think beholds the holder of the conspiracy to show evidence.
Let’s also set the rules of this game – the NGO or whatever has to have actually blocked or stymied what the Tories wanted to do. Expressing a disagreement insufficient, unless you are claiming the Right is so snowflakey it can’t handle the conveyance of criticism or alternative perspective.

Denis Brown
Denis Brown
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

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Shrunken Genepool
SG
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago

Only if she joins forces with Farage and creates a Conservative Party with momentum and ideological coherence to forge something radically new…..a complete break with the consensus of multiculturalism. Integration – coercive if necessary – can be the only foundation. This means teaching our history, conscription, life long service, a ban on Sunday trading and a whole raft of measures designed to reforge a national and civic solidarity

Shrunken Genepool
SG
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago

And yes they ARE hate filled. WOKE = hate. Islam = hate.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
5 months ago

It seems to me Suella Braverman speaks plainly and honestly; both are rare in the political class regardless of party. The “hard right” label attached to her by the press shows they are part of the London bubble that is so divorced from the lives of common people.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
5 months ago

Lord D. Yet another reason to abolish the House of Lords.
The 2015 referendum helpfully demonstrated that the constituencies that were previously represented by the Conservative and Labour Parties no longer exist to a large extent. The large demonstrations in London over the past few weeks have somewhat emphasised that. The Prime Minister is trying to stop the new tectonic plates moving and bringing down the San Francisco of the Tory Party.
Mr Parris could have asked who the Tory Party is the friend of. And if the ‘new Conservatism’ isn’t their friend, do they need another party to represent them? Why should the ‘fruitcakes, closet racists and swivel-eyed loons’ vote for a party that despises them and all that they believe in?

Anthony Sutcliffe
AS
Anthony Sutcliffe
5 months ago

What is the significance of the scenes that can’t be unseen, Tom?
Is it that, whereas before, Islamist activity and the meek government responses to it were dismissed as isolated and one off whereas on our screen we see large numbers of people interested in only one side of a story amongst whom hide antisemites and Islamists?
I’m interested to know – most commentators on here were probably aware of the problems being stored up in our country. But most people “out there” probably weren’t paying attention because they have lives to live after all. Has the mood “out there” changed? How do you know?

M Simon
MS
M Simon
5 months ago

Islamists are antisemites.

Adrian Smith
AS
Adrian Smith
5 months ago

This latest turn of the UK parliamentary merry go round is just more proof, if we needed it, that none of them have any real solutions to the real problems the country faces.

Susie Bell
SB
Susie Bell
5 months ago

Team Braverman❤️

Last edited 5 months ago by Susie Bell
Chipoko
C
Chipoko
5 months ago