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LEGACY OF FAILURE c

Minister was to her enemies, then and since, a tyrant. But one whose faults, however legion, never included weakness. She was in control. However, whatever the public’s perception, she was anything but dominant. Endlessly she bemoaned her lack of good men. And as Tory leader she ran, and governed, against her own party and government. Up to the point of publicly bewailing what “the Government” did. She was, in short, oppositionalist even to what she in offi ce was doing.

not up to it. But at least she knew that conservatism was facing its greatest challenge since socialism.

As Lee Reynolds, a non-Tory Brexiteer, notes, it is hardly surprising that a parliamentary party is in the state that it finds itself in, given that so many of its MPs are in the Commons chiefly thanks to the promise to “get Brexit done” even although they didn’t want todo it. Nor

The tone of Thatcherism for Thatcherites was habitually regretful — “if only!” — rather than triumphant. Yet she got more done than any other prime minister in the last century. Whoever leads the Conservative party after the next election will need to hone their skills of opposition, as that is where they shall assuredly be — and in such a minority that they will regret bitterly the failure of leading Tories to oppose what this government has done in offi ce.

All polling points to Sir Keir Starmer being in Number 10, the oldest person to enter it as occupant in half a century. Labour’s majority will be overwhelming, and — unlike the one gifted to them in 1997 after John Major’s government disintegrated in sleaze and inadequacy — it won’t come wrapped up in any supposed great narrative.

Few will credibly claim that Starmer’s Labour won because the tide of history has taken it there. Labour will be in power because the British people are now firmly settled on simply booting the Tories out. The result will be negative, determined and bloody.

As the joke goes, the answer depends upon where you think “here” is. Rohan Watt, sometime advisor to Liz Truss, reminds us that after what had been twelve years of Conservative-led government, Truss thought that “here” was a disaster.

Truss not only had a sense of the size of the problem, but also of the scale of the response needed. It is unkind to note that she, serially overpromoted by all her predecessors since 2010, was personally have they objected that, by and large, its possibilities have been junked.

Sometimes the world is just. The problems these Tories left unaddressed are social in nature as much as they are the economic ones that Truss aimed to remedy. They continue to be built up, layer upon layer, by what Reynolds calls the watchdog state — which is as unaccountable as it is ineffective.

Yet Reynolds’s gravest charge is the utter Tory failure to build the things that matter: infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. Of all the Brexit freedoms squandered, this is by far the most culpable, with the worst long-term problems looming in consequence.

The Tory failure is, as Helen Joyce mordantly details, spiritual too. The care of souls is what Trans extremists have squarely set themselves at, and this Tory government has, in law and administration alike, conceded to them. Penny Mordaunt, Maria Miller and Caroline Nokes head a very long list of Tory MPs who have not just done the bidding of Stonewall et al, they have cheered them on and denounced their critics.

To coin a phrase, is there no alternative? Is it our settled path to be governed by Blairism with characteristic Tories?

No Westminster-model country has suffered a revolution like the one Pierre Trudeau inflicted on Canada. A man who

Failed five: David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak

Labour will be in power because the British people are now firmly settled on simply booting the Conservatives out sat out the war against fascism — going to Harvard instead, after failing to get his Rhodes Scholarship — remade Canada in his own image. Symbolism, the hard stuff of law, belief in country: whatever there was to undermine, Trudeau père did so.

What Tony Blair did to Britain is as nothing compared to what Canadian liberals have done to their own country. Perversely, no other (mostly) Englishspeaking country now has such poor immunities against American fads as the one the elder Trudeau left behind him.

His son, Justin Trudeau, has built upon this dismal legacy. He introduced possibly the most extreme repression in the name

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THE CRITIC 2 OCT 2023

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