Strong, wise and honest government is desperately needed in Britain today — more than at any time before. Yet now is the time when weak and dishonest government is most in evidence. Let us face the issue: our modern democracy has got out of hand. It neither governs responsibly nor is in fact democracy. It combines the worst of two polar opposites: it is anarchy at one end of the scale and dictatorship at the other. It is anarchical in its failure to exercise true leadership and authority in the great national tasks where leadership and authority are most needed; it is dictatorial in its pursuit of policies for which it has no mandate from the electorate. It represents the art of government brought to its very lowest level, where bribery, flattery and deceit are the essentials of success and where the national weal becomes subordinated in an orgy of factional conflicts and personal drives for power. At various times in the history of every nation affairs have reached this state, where the sediment has risen to the top, the political tradition has been perverted and corruption rules the scene. At such times bold surgery has had to be applied or else the social order has collapsed and the national body decayed into oblivion. Britain has reached such a state now. We are in a crisis that is at root a crisis of leadership.
Never before in British life have the standards of leadership, integrity and public duty been as low as now. Never has so ludicrous a selection of ruling figures occupied the national stage. Never have government policies been so clearly shaped by the rat-race for cheap electoral advantage and in desertion of the real needs of the nation. Government and politicians in Britain today have, hardly surprisingly, earned the deepest contempt of all but the most diehard partisans of the ruling parties.
No aim of national revival can ignore the need for urgent changes which will eliminate the most damaging abuses of present government. Such 'changes call not merely for a new type of political party but entirely new types of men to take over the nation's destinies. We have got to create new standards of leadership and a new appreciation of the duties of government.
We want a government of the nation, which is not linked to the interests of any particular social class; we need a higher level of political life on which great questions are determined according to the principles of statesmanship rather than by the voice of the mob; we need government with the will to get the things done that have to be done if we are to make our way as a modern nation.
Let us briefly consider a few aspects in which leadership has been utterly lacking in Britain in recent times.
No-one needs telling that our country today is suffering from mounting anarchy and disorder. Universities have capitulated to the rule of a revolutionary rabble. Our city streets have become the scenes of the most violent demonstrations, with the Police asked to bear an intolerable strain which increasingly diverts their manpower from the task of tackling normal crime. In Northern Ireland things have developed to the point of civil war.
In the face of this disorder the initiative of
government has been pitiable. To begin with, our elected leaders seem
be oblivious to its source. They think, speak and act as if the
is spontaneous, owing its existence to nothing more than the normal
within society and the normal protest of youth. They appear to have no
conception of the fact that disorder is being deliberately promoted on
an international scale and from an international source, employing vast
funds of money and the most sophisticated revolutionary techniques; that the mobsters on the streets, whether they be in Belfast or Grosvenor Square, are nothing more than the minor stooges of an immense worldwide organisation for subversion and insurrection.
As the source is not recognised, neither is the source tackled. Disorder is dealt with purely on the spot, after it happens and then always inadequately because there simply are not enough police to go round. The Police do a magnificent job — within the limits of their strength and of the powers given to them. but the fact remains that for every mobster that is caught and punished (lightly of course) there are fifty that get away with it.
And today we have reached a state where the mobsters
have so much taken over that government cannot decide whether to
them or the law-abiding citizens that are their victims. When a
of extreme left-wing thugs threatened to disrupt by violent means the
ancient and peaceful British custom of playing test cricket, whom did
Labour Government order to desist from their activities? Not the thugs
but the people playing cricket! And Tory Government so far
has shown itself to be little better. When the perfectly peaceful and legal march of the Orangemen in Ulster was threatened with counter-demonstrations calculated to develop into violent attacks, instead of banning the counter-demonstrations it tried to put pressure on the Orangemen to call their march off. Fortunately, the pressure failed.
With such a conception of the duties of government, how can it be a surprise that there is a declining respect for government?
Responsible and enlightened government would of course tackle violence and disorder at its roots — by penetrating to the heart of the organisations that plan it and acting against those organisations according to the ethics of war which are the only ethics that they themselves recognise. This has nothing to do with the suppression of lawful dissent or protest, only the suppression of those bodies and individuals that by organisation, training and incitement ensure that protest will be used as a pretext for civil disorder and violence.
Every government in history that has failed to act firmly and ruthlessly against the forces of violence and insurrection has sooner or later succumbed to violence and insurrection.
The same criminal neglect of government responsibility can be seen in the failure to act against anarchy in industry, with disastrous results to our economic well being.
Volumes have been written about the reforms necessary to restore harmony and peace to British industry to the point where there is absolutely no lack of formulae, and it is not the purpose here to add more — if it were possible to add more — to what has already been put on record. It is sufficient to say that government, whether of the left or the right, has had ample data and ideas upon which to act — but has not so far acted because the will and the character has not been there to do so.
Naturally, action in this field, as in the field of disorderly demonstrations. involves treading on toes. But let us understand whose toes. Just as firm action against violent demonstrators does not infringe upon the right of protest and dissent but purely on the rights of certain subversive bodies to turn that protest and dissent towards their own revolutionary ends, firm action to penalise industrial disruption does not infringe upon the right of workers to freely negotiate wage-agreements but only upon the entrenched privilege of union bosses to bring the economy to a halt at any time that it suits their political purposes to do so.
Responsible national leadership would have acted a long time ago to press through all the reforms needed to make our system of industrial relations as modern and efficient as any in the world, calling the bluff of left-wing union bandits and ignoring the whines and screams of the liberal press. And able national leadership would at the same time have persuaded the mass of workers that such action was as much in their interests as that of their employers. But neither qualities have been shown and industry continues to lurch along governed by the methods and attitudes of the Nineteenth Century.
The refusal of successive governments to act firmly against disorder, as against industrial anarchy and ordinary crime, is very largely the result of a hypnosis created by the opinion media, which in these times have become the almost complete monopoly of permissive liberals.
More will be said later of the obnoxious influence of the media. What must be said here is that one national leader after another in modern times seems to have succumbed to a kind of paralysis of mind and will as a result of paying too much attention to the media and thereby obtaining a picture of national consensus that is likely to be totally distorted. The judgement that every politician brings to an issue today is two-dimensional: one voice within him asks "what is the right thing to do from the standpoint of the national interest?" Another asks "what is the course most likely to be well received by the opinion-forming elite, on whose support my position depends?" It is the second voice which today is heeded the most, but in fact what we need are political leaders who will be guided entirely by the first. Real leadership does not frame its actions to court popularity; it acts according to its own judgement and then wins a measure of popularity first by persuading others that the action is right and finally proving by events that it is right. It is this leadership that we need today, but this leadership of which today we have almost none.
And there is another feature to this mentality: the belief that actions must bow to the mythical altar of 'world opinion'. Here the results for Britain have been catastrophic.
We have heard quoted to excess the Johnsonian
assertion that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". Far more
applicable to our times would be the statement that 'world opinion' is
the last refuge of a traitor — and indeed of every doctrinaire
who would jeopardise the interests of his country. In three
fields of policy, ultimately related, our leaders have made 'world
a ridiculous sacred cow. The first is in the matter of our relations
South Africa and Rhodesia, two countries that are our firm and loyal
We have betrayed this friendship at enormous cost to ourselves in trade
and world power largely to appease 'world opinion' in the form of a
of agitation from the Afro-Asian bloc. In the same cause of
and of the same bloc, we have shirked the duty of immigration control
Britain for far too long. Finally, for the
same reasons again we have surrendered to the superstition that it is the solemn moral obligation of the advanced countries of the world to give away a portion of their hard-gotten wealth every year to the backward and the ill-governed.
It is bad enough that our politicians actions are so much dictated by 'world opinion' in any shape or form; it is ten times worse that they are compelled by that very section of world opinion that is the least enlightened and most bigoted and which on the basis of true weight of power has the very least right to be listened to.
What we need in the future is a breed of statesman who will follow what his conscience knows to be right for Britain and for the British people and when 'world opinion* objects to tell it in no uncertain terms where to go!
Another characteristic of government in Britain for many decades now has been the utter incapacity to think and act in the long term — in the interests of posterity. Mr. Heath, in his speeches during the 1970 Election, talked of policies being framed 'towards the long term', but in practice there is not the slightest sign that his party is any the more influenced hy truly long term considerations than Labour; on the contrary, there is every sign that its concern is purely for its month to month electoral prospects and its rating in the now mostly discredited opinion polls.
By the phrase 'long term' we must understand of course a way of thinking and planning that puts priority upon the fundamental needs of national survival, not only in coming decades but indeed in coming centuries.
Policies conceived from this point of view would
consider first of all the need for the British people to acquire and
resources which would provide adequate nourishment for scores of unborn
generations without all the environmental evils of a crowded, polluted
urban existence such as we have today and without the unhealthy
necessities such as population control, which if followed to conclusion
will keep our numbers down while' other nations in the world, not all
them friendly, are expanding at an enormous rate. Such policies would
for a provision for the dispersal of the British race on a vast scale
the open spaces of the Commonwealth so as to develop the
resources of the latter to the very full for our own ends. They would be encouraged to live off the land they have settled and to sustain large and vigorous agrarian communities instead of all moving in hordes into the cities. When these things are considered it will be seen that previous British Governments have not been too much imperialist but not nearly imperialist enough. Now with the old imperial structure destroyed, it is nevertheless vital to pursue within the new Commonwealth structure the same kind of development, but nowhere in the thinking of the old parties and the old type leadership is there even the beginning of a recognition of such needs.
Right now discussion of environmental problems
such as city crowding and pollution has become a fashionable thing, and
so-called 'experts' representing many nations are frenziedly convening
together debating this theme with all the self-importance of men who
suddenly hit upon a newly discovered truth. In fact from Britain's
of view the problem should have been seen many decades ago as an
result of our chosen path of economic development. Wise economic and
policies determined upon and firmly put into action then would have
the present misery, but no such policies were forthcoming. Thinking in
the long term was not, and is not, a British political habit. Now
we wilt under the problems of our modern environment as if they were a
phenomenon that has suddenly descended upon us through an unkind whim
the gods. The foresight of earlier generations of political leadership
could in fact have spared us these problems or at least handed them
to us in greatly lightened form. The foresight of a new generation of
can lighten them to an extent within our lifetime and perhaps save
The same concern for long term survival would
be reflected in many other fields, such as the flat-out development of
the depressed areas of Britain itself and the halting of population
away from them, an intensive programme for a modern motorway system,
greater afforestation, development of greater agricultural
from a strategic as well as an economic point of view, town planning
would consider traffic needs generations ahead instead of just a few
years ahead. In these and any number of other spheres government thinking has either been non-existent completely or just tuned to the short space of time that exists between winning one election and fighting the next. Far-sighted planning has been ceaselessly sacrificed for quick profit and expediency,
In no department has this shortcoming been more
dangerously manifest than in national defence. Each successive
has made a political virtue out of economies in defence spending and
accepted as axiomatic that the latter should be adapted to the national
budget — whereas in truth the reverse should be the case; It is quite
that a party that lays claim to about half the nation's votes and is
under present circumstances to be in power about half the time should
as a basic element of its philosophy that strong military preparedness
is an archaic concept fit only for the support of upper class blimps
romantics — instead of being a fundamental
national necessity accepted by all classes alike. But it is hardly less appalling that the party with a claim to the support of the other half of the population and which is in power the other half of the time should be so prepared to compromise with such a philosophy and to so readily act against its inner conscience in order to avoid the troublesome reality that modem military power is as necessary to Britain as it ever was and that modern military power cosis a great deal of money.
An escape route from this reality is of course
sought by the politicians who seek to make good the shortcomings in
defences by reliance upon such concepts as 'interdependence' and
security'. But this kind of policy rests upon an absurd supposition
existing world allignments are fixed and permanent and indeed on the
supposition that those with whom we are alligned will necessarily die
our interests in any and every contingency. In truth,
while there is a place for international alliances in every defensive scheme, that place should never be exaggerated, and it becomes dangerously exaggerated when it embraces reliance on foreign factories for the most basic items of contemporary weapon power.
If there is to be a return to fully responsible government in this country it must include a willingness to commit the national budget to the very fullest defence expenditure that national security demands, and furthermore to recognise national security as meaningless so long as it does not include the capacity to maintain itself entirely from the nation's own industrial and technological resources.
These then are a few of the requirements of government if it is to be considered fit to lead. But government in Britain also has to function under the terms of British democracy, or at least if it does not it has no right to claim treatment under those terms. And government cannot function under the terms of democracy while on great fundamental issues it functions in contempt of a large part of the electorate.
In recent years the issues of the Common Market,
Immigration and several spheres of permissive law-making, notably
punishment and abortion, have provided glaring examples of government
consensus of a liberal minority and without the remotest mandate from
population as a whole. It is a complete mockery of the term 'democratic' to permit government to be carried on in this way.
No serious person would suggest that the Government
ask the permission of the electorate before every minor day to day
is made; that would not be government at all, since such decisions call
for an expertise that the electorate as a whole simply does not possess.
But government, and in particular government resting on democratic foundations, is treading on highly dangerous ground when without any indication of popular consent it becomes committed to policies that involve changes in the nation's entire way of life and in the entire foundations of its existence. Government under these terms has become a modern habit, and as such has no right whatever to be judged according to the ethos of democracy.
Not only do we in this country need strong and responsible government, we have a right to demand at the same time that it is representative government, and to be that it must in some way establish mandate from the electorate in all issues where a crossroads has been reached in national destinies.
If the reader has grasped the point of this chapter he will gather that Nationalists seek a type of government with a firmness and strength that we have not seen in this country for at least half a century, but at the same time a government that acts within the democratic terms on which it has been elected. Firmness and strength can more easily be exercised within a dictatorship; within a democracy of the British character they call for leadership of a very high order. Persuasion rather than suppression must be the usual practice.
If we are not to have dictatorship, what we certainly
do need is a governing party that can gain an ascendency in British
of sufficient dimensions, and for a sufficient period of rime, to
vital tasks uninterrupted until they have become part of the permanent pattern of British life. How is this to be done?
There seems little likelihood of it being done
with the present political balance as even as it is. The assertion that
the two leading parties can lay claim to roughly two halves of the
more or less true—at least in respect of habitual and ingrained loyalties. The balance at each election is, as we know, tipped by the floating voter who never comes to shore long enough to give any
government worthwhile security of tenure. It is perhaps hardly surprising that the floating disease eventually affects government as well.
To get away from floating voter politics effectively and permanently we require one leading party to be able, in addition to retaining its own traditional elements of support, to make vast inroads into those of the others—in other words, to break the habits of generations and to bring about a complete reallignment of voting groups within British society.
Given the character, image and psychology of Conservative and Labour parties, such a prospect seems remote. Long standing class divisions, however irrational, do not appear as if they can be reconciled by the traditional followers of one attaching themselves to the other.
Such a reconciliation could only be achieved by a synthesis of both elements in a new political movement which by tradition was identified neither with one class nor the other; a movement which would truly embody the national unity to which Tory and Labour pay lip service but just cannot somehow achieve themselves.
The old parties cannot bring this about; only a new party can.
This then is "che object of Nationalists in Britain:
a new party of the character that can capture a majority following from
both sides of the present political spectrum so as to be able to obtain
a long and assured term of power necessary to its tasks.