BEL MOONEY: Only the Tories understand the values I cherish... (2024)

For me there has never been any doubt in my mind: I will be voting today for the Conservative Party, for the very best of reasons.

Never mind criticisms, never mind disappointment, I am with Boris Johnson when, with his customary charisma, he roared: ‘If you want uncontrolled immigration, and mandatory wokery and pointless kow-towing to Brussels, then go right ahead and vote for Starmer.’

To that list of what to expect under Sir Keir-the-Corbyn-friend, I’d add: ‘If you want the rights of women to their own spaces to be further curtailed, violent trans-activists to gain more power, children to be indoctrinated with the notion that there are any number of genders, then vote for the man who lies awake at night wondering whether women can have a penis.’

Rishi Sunak addresses a Tory party rally at the National Army Museum in London this week

But there is so much more — profound reasons to know that the Conservative Party, for all its shortcomings, is the one that has at its heart what’s essential about being British. Few people talk enough about those values, which should always be at the heart of political debate. Conservativism rests on a central belief in who we are.

The Left has always laid claim to values, to idealism, to virtue. I used to believe them. How wrong I was. In February 1974, I pushed my newborn in his carrycot all over Balham, in South London. Both pram and I were laden with Labour Party leaflets; I walked the streets in the freezing cold, posting them through letterboxes and handing them to passers-by with all the smiling conviction of a Labour Party member.

I suppressed my reservations. At 16, at a summer school I had heard anti-British propaganda for the first time. At 17, on a CND march in London, I had been horrified by the careless violence of the far-Left.

Read More SARAH VINE: God knows I've had my beef with the Tories, but they're still the least bad option...

Four years later, I’d been shocked again during the Vietnam protest in front of the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square. How naive I was to imagine that the Left was all about ‘peace and love’ when screaming protesters attacked the police. Was this really my ‘side’?

At University College London, my idealism was shattered. I sat, silent, bored and disillusioned, as Trotskyists argued viciously with Maoists, and Marxists wrangled fine points of theory, and they all treated women like dirt. But they never mentioned ‘the poor’. What was I doing among such opinionated thugs?

At university, for the first time in my life, I met people who had been to posh schools, lived in smart houses, drank wine and theorised confidently about the workers whose ‘cause’ they vociferously espoused — but about whose lives they knew nothing at all.

Brought up in a council flat in Liverpool, Idid know. And as I moved into the middle class, liberal-Leftist media elite, I often felt uneasy that the values I was brought up with could be so readily mocked and trashed by my new friends and colleagues. As they still are. Look at the BBC, and the universities... exactly the same arrogance.

My working-class inheritance — patriotism, hard work and aspiration — was formed by the Family, the concept that was the bedrock of our society until it became diluted during the Blair years.

My grandfather, who fought in two world wars, read the Daily Mirror and voted Labour. My young father, then a blue-collar worker, read the Liverpool Echo and Daily Mail and voted Conservative. Yet there was never any talk of politics at home.

My people were preoccupied with earning a living, bettering themselves in every way possible, always putting the family first (even if it meant sacrifice), and living by the unspoken values which they knew made life worth living — and made Britain great.

Ask yourself which party embodies — at its heart — those values. Family. Home. Country. Christianity. Monarchy. Aspiration. Resilience. Respect. Standards in education. Duty. Sacrifice. Freedom. Tradition. Individual Responsibility.

Keir Starmer speaks to Labour supporters on the final day of election campaigning in Wales

Although each of those abstracts is worth an essay in itself, Labour’s Clement Attlee (prime minister when I was born in 1946) and the great Winston Churchill would have recognised and embraced them all. But they’re remote from Starmer’s Labour.

In 2010 (after some years as a Lib Dem) I voted Conservative for the first time — propelled by the preservation of the green belt, now under threat from Labour’s building plans. I always thought old Labour friends would agree on the kind of society we want to hand on to our children and grandchildren.

But then came the irresponsible cesspit of the internet. The divisive fury of Brexit. The irrational but very real toxicity of the culture wars. The ‘capture’ of institutions by those who would do Britain down — the worst being the Left-leaning civil servants who have far too much power.

The sheer lunacy of ‘woke’. The hypocrisy of media and arts-world peers who lazily espouse progressive issues such as unrestricted immigation that won’t affect the streetstheylive on. The fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’ if you dare to say you don’t want Great Britain to be cowed by radical Islam.

Sadly, I see the kind of people who were once friends and colleagues living, as it were, within a gated community of privileged virtue, while the rest of the population lurk miserably outside their shining walls, wondering what happened to traditional British values.

At the heart of Conservatism is a deep respect and affection for ‘kith and kin’. ‘Kin’ is easy — there isn’t a culture in the world that doesn’t put family first. But ‘kith’ signifies a rich, cultural mix of home, neighbours, community, shared values, and a profound need to belong and to protect.

When Winston Churchill roused the British with ‘We shall fight on the beaches... we shall never surrender’ he ignited deep emotions that still make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Where are the Labour voices proclaiming a passionate love of Western civilisation?

Recent memory hears the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner calling Conservatives ‘scum’. Does that deserve high office?

The image of Starmer and Rayner ‘taking the knee’ to Black Lives Matter remains seared on my brain. Who — remembering what D-Day was about and how there are still people alive who bear faded concentration camp tattoos — could vote for a party that still harbours anti-Semites?

My visceral hatred of far-Left and far-Right was (and is) as powerful as ever. A healthy democracy like ours should encompasses the best of political traditions and never allow extremists in either main party to take over. Woe betide us all if a political landslide allows Labour to be unrestrained. It must be stopped.

BEL MOONEY: Only the Tories understand the values I cherish... (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated:

Views: 6480

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.