The new, revamped Board of Trade has a star name – Tony Abbott no less, former Prime Minister of Australia. His appointment was widely welcomed and his technical nationality was never an issue: the Old Commonwealth is a block of peoples not only not foreign to each other but seeming somewhat bewildered to be considered separate nations, and it outlines that Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders as as home here as on the shores where they grew to manhood. Mr Abbott will do well in his new role.
His position was threatened by a blast from the left which in past years has proven deadly to any candidate for office. The left-wing attack-mob did not get their scalp this time. Once they get their hooks into you, you’re a dead pigeon, so we have been led to believe, but not this time. Boris has proven more robust in protecting his appointments from the mob. That is an encouraging development. Theresa May threw Toby Young and even Sir Roger Scruton to the dogs at the whiff of a Twitterstorm in displays of contemptible weakness: Boris Johnson (who has himself been the focus of many such attacks) has started to turn the tide.
Interestingly, the artificial fuss over Tony Abbott distracted attention from the other appointments of advisers to the Board of Trade, from an international field, and so protected those who are less inured to such attacks.
The New Zealand government has privately expressed frustration at the inexperience of the British negotiators trying to create a free trade agreement with New Zealand, and that is no surprise as before Brexit there was no need to develop the talent and experience. Now there is now a team lined up who have that experience and they are to be unleashed upon the world. Who’s on first I cannot say, but Abbot’s name is the most prominent and the best at opening doors.
It is an impressive line-up. The Remoaners would have had a fit at Daniel Hannan being there, had they not been involved in dirty tactics against Tony Abbot, but as Mr Hannan is the founding President of the Initiative for Free Trade, he has the contacts to bring to bear on the enemy. In fact apart from the ex officio ministers, they are all heavyweights. It would not have happened if Boris Johnson had given way.
We may be winning then, or making the first steps.
The Culture War is not about culture at heart: it is about power. As Hobbes observed, in the first place, I put for a generall inclination of all mankind, a perpetuall and restlesse desire of Power after power. The left-wingers, cultural Marxists, Wokeists, call them what you will, have hitherto enjoyed power. Elections and Parliament mean nothing if feigned outrage and feigned offence force the government to your will, and by the time Mrs May’s ministry had run its course, they were in undisputed control, removing public servants from office at a whim. Then there was the election in December 2019, and it might not have made any difference to the structure of power, and no election for an age has done. Something changed though. The was cultural divide in the nation was made, by Brexit into a yawning chasm, and the revenge of the spurned was seen in the fall of the Red Wall. This was a mandate for change. Boris returned to Number 10 with Dominic Cummings at his side, now with the mandate and majority and manpower to make changes.
The new extremism amongst Cultural Marxists is to be expected; they are outraged that their power has been challenged. The counter-revolution against them is underway.
There has been no change in the Twittermob. People are still persecuted and sacked for transgressing the rules set by extremists. The police still make political distinctions between different groups of rioters, shops still make customers feel unwelcome with lurid rainbow flag displays, and television reporters have still not realised that “far right” does not mean what they have been telling people it does. However that all now though seems to stop at the doors of Whitehall. There is pressure on the Civil Service to align with the programme, and there is even a Tory as Director General of the BBC. There is now open talk of a push back, of fighting the Culture War. How, has not been explained. On our side, the culturally conservative side, we play with a straight bat out of principle, and to avoid accusations of tyranny – the irony is not lost. There are lessons to learn from Hobbes about all this: mankind has not changed in four hundred years, nor indeed in forty thousand.
For now, there is robustness in Whitehall. This may spread. The momentum cannot stop though, because the other side will not stop. The success in giving Tony Abbott the position he has, not as a political gesture but because he is a bonzer pick to do the job, is a good sign for the future.
- The Long March: conspiracy or accident?
- Man to Man is an Arrant Wolfe
- Rules for Radicals: Rules for conservatives?
- A system failing in the middle
- Between two fires
- A Hard rain’s a-Cummin’
- By Sir Roger Scruton:
- On Human Nature
- The Ring of Truth
- Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left
- On Hunting
- Where We Are: The State of Britain
- How to Be a Conservative
- Conservatism: Ideas in Profile
- A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism
- Kant: a Very Short Introduction
- Spinosa: a Very Short Introduction
- Beauty: a Very Short Introduction
- Green Philosophy
- Philosophy: Principles and Problems
- The Soul of the World
- Souls in the Twilight
- A History of the English-Speaking Peoples by Sir Winston Spenser Churchill:
- A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 by Andrew Roberts
- The Dream of Rome by Boris Johnson
- The Victorians: Twelve Titans who Forged Britain by Jacob Rees-Mogg
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson