Who does David Cameron think he is? His party has just scraped twenty-eight per cent of thirty-five per cent. Not even one in ten registered voters. Yet he strings along and insults the Czech Civic Democrats, the Polish Law and Justice Party, and the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party. “Are they are worthy to sit with the Tories”, he presumes to wonder?
They are all far too good for Cameron’s Tories. They deserve British allies like the Labour MPs who mostly voted against Heath’s Treaty of Rome. Who all voted against Thatcher’s Single European Act. And who voted against Major’s Maastricht Treaty in far greater numbers than the Tories, including the only resignation from either front bench in order to do so.
The Civic Democrats deserve British allies like the trade unionists who have spent decades defending the high-waged, high-skilled, high-status jobs of the working class. Not for us the restriction of travel to the rich, or the arresting of economic development in the poorer parts of the world.
The Law and Justice Party deserves British allies like the Catholic and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce. Like the Methodist and other Labour MPs, including John Smith, who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling.
Like those, including John Smith, who successfully organised (especially through USDAW) against Thatcher’s and Major’s attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day, delivering the only Commons defeat of Thatcher’s Premiership. And like the trade unionists who battled to secure paternal authority in families and communities by securing its economic base in high-waged, high-skilled, high-status male employment, frequently marching behind banners that depicted Biblical scenes and characters.
And the Fatherland and Freedom Party deserves British allies with deep roots in the former mining communities, in the women’s suffrage movement, in the 1945 General Election victory, and elsewhere. We are unsullied by the weird cult of Winston Churchill. Instead, we can and do condemn his carve-up of Europe with Stalin. Just as we condemn genocidal terrorism against Slavs and Balts no less than genocidal terrorism against Arabs, or the blowing up of British Jews going about their business as civil servants, or the photographed hanging of teenage British conscripts with barbed wire.
Just as we condemn Ronald Reagan’s laying of a wreath at an SS cemetery in Germany, and the Clintons’ annual wreath-laying at Confederate memorials in Arkansas. Just as we condemn SS revivalism from Denmark and Flanders to Bosnia and Kosovo. And just as we condemn the neo-Nazi cesspit that was the 1980s Radical Right. Whatever happened to the 1980s Radical Right, Dave?
Those parties need these British allies in order to call them away from neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy, both of which have in any case collapsed. Nothing could be more destructive of national self-government, or traditional family values, or the historical consciousness of a people. Cameron is completely signed up to both.
He should say openly that the Tory Whip cannot extend to those who regret the three acts of European federalism that really matter, negotiated and pushed through by the Tories. Nor to those who object to the Tories’ introduction of abortion on demand up to and including partial birth, and of divorce legally easier than release from a car hire contract. Nor to those who think that the Soviet Union was anything less than a Jolly Good Thing.
Meanwhile, the Czech Civic Democrats, the Polish Law and Justice Party, and the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party should all tell him to get stuffed.