A new biography of Edmund Burke has been written by Jesse Norman, and it has attracted favourable comment from Charles Moore, official biographer of Margaret Thatcher.
Yet, like almost anything by Wilberforce, Shaftesbury, Disraeli, Chesterton, Belloc, or any Pope since 1891, almost anything by Burke would be screamed down in the Conservative Party that Thatcher has bequeathed, never mind in UKIP. The Independent Labour Party was said to include “even a variety of Burkean conservatism”. Anyone of such mind now has no political home but Labour.
Today, Labour alone stands in succession to those among whom there persisted an ancestrally Jacobite disaffection with the legitimacy of the Hanoverian State, of that State’s Empire, and of that Empire’s capitalist ideology. That inherited, theologically grounded disaffection produced Tory action against the slave trade, Tory and Radical action against domestic social evils, Tory and Radical extensions of the franchise, the creation of the Labour Movement, and the opposition to the Boer and First World Wars.
Labour is totally opposed to the cruel cuts in our conventional defence. To the ruinous reduction in provincial disposable incomes by the abolition of National Pay Agreements. To the further deregulation of Sunday trading. To the replacement of Her Majesty’s Constabulary with the British KGB that will be the National Crime Agency. To the devastation of rural communities by the allowing of foreign companies and even foreign states to buy up our postal service and our roads.
To Royal Mail privatisation, which would sever the monarchy’s direct link to every address in this Kingdom. To the return of the East Coast Main Line, the only publicly owned railway in Great Britain and the one requiring the least subsidy from the taxpayer, to the private sector from which it has already had to be rescued twice. And to the disenfranchisement of organic communities by means of parliamentary boundaries designed by and for “sophists, economists and calculators”.
Every single Labour MP voted to demand a real-terms reduction in the British contribution to the EU Budget. The number of Conservatives who voted with Labour was lower than the number of Liberal Democrats in the Commons. David Cameron has wholly failed to deliver that reduction. Ed Miliband has appointed Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor and Jon Cruddas to head Labour’s Policy Review.
As Prime Minister, Ed Miliband will fight for Britain’s national interest at European level in the tradition of the only party ever to have held a referendum on the issue, the only party ever to have fought a General Election on a manifesto commitment to withdrawal, the party that voted as one against Thatcher’s Single European Act, the party that provided three times more votes against Maastricht than the Conservatives did, and the party that kept Britain out of the euro.
Labour is the force for the Union against separatism on at least three fronts. Moreover, the vast area of England where Labour now massively predominates would secede from any Thatcherite rump state. The three regions of the Deep North alone have a combined population considerably greater than that of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
But the relative success of Labour at the local elections in the South in 2012 and 2013, capturing first Chipping Norton and then Witney Central, indicates that the Coalition’s vindictiveness is bringing the South East back into the United Kingdom.
However, the whole of England has been removed from the United Kingdom without our consent by the dismantlement of our National Health Service. That defining aspect of British identity still exists everywhere else. The BBC is blacking out this scandal. Only Labour supports England’s NHS.
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This post was written by David Lindsay