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The Unpopular ‘Popular Conservatives’ Blame the Voters for Their Own Defeat

The ‘Popular Conservatism’ Conference exposed a party firmly stuck in conspiracy-driven denial about why it just suffered the worst electoral defeat in its history

David Starkey addresses the ‘Popular Conservatism’ conference in central London. Photo: PA Images / Alamy

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“Now is not the time for blame”, the Conservative activist and journalist Annunziata Rees-Mogg suggested to her colleagues at the start of the ‘Popular Conservatism’ conference on Tuesday.

It was not a suggestion which any of them seemed willing to countenance.

Instead, over the course of more than three hours, a series of unelected and recently de-elected Conservative politicians revealed a long list people and institutions they blamed for the fact that their own brand of ‘Popular Conservatism’ had inexplicably proved to be quite so unpopular.

For the former Conservative minister and current peer, Lord Frost, the answer was quite simple. His party had been compromised by radical leftists pushing a “flabby mishmash of sub-socialist ideas”.

“On virtually every issue we have followed the collectivist Zeitgeist leftwards”, Frost told the room.

His former colleague and surviving Conservative MP Suella Braverman wholeheartedly agreed, insisting via video link from another hard right political conference in Washington, that her party had made the fatal error of trying to “mimic the Labour party”, while refusing to ever mention real Conservative ideals.

“We didn’t mention immigration,” said Braverman, who had mentioned next to nothing else during her time as Home Secretary.”

“We didn’t want to talk about it, we didn’t want to look at it.”

Later, an audience member suggested that this leftist infiltration had extended right into the heart of the Conservative party’s own campaigning machine, warning that Lib Dem sleeper agents must now be expelled from the party’s headquarters.

Whether such secret agents for Ed Davey included former Lib Dem activist and PopCon founder, Liz Truss, remained unsaid.

However, for Braverman the real problem of radical leftist infiltration goes well beyond her own party – to the country at large.

“We were going to stop the lunatic woke virus working its way through the British state,” Braverman told her colleagues sadly.

“[But] the harsh reality, this is a lesson we all need to learn and face up to, is that we did none of that”.

This failure to oust radical leftism from the heart of a 14-year-long Conservative Government, had dire consequences for some of the ‘Popular Conservatives’ at last week’s general election.

Among those rejected by their ungrateful electorate were PopCon founders Liz Truss and that direct shortcut to the sentiment of the masses – Jacob Rees-Mogg – who spent his own speech delivering a long lecture about nineteenth century Conservatism.

The cause of this rejection was unclear. Had the electorate themselves also been infiltrated by radical leftists?

It’s a possibility that the Chairman of the Conservative Democratic Organisation, David Campbell Bannerman, appeared open to.

 “I’m very sorry that Liz Truss lost her seat,” Campbell Bannerman told his colleagues, before suggesting that dark forces may have been at play.

“I would point out that the so called independent candidate, James Bagge, got 6,000 votes and had some very interesting company”, Campbell Bannerman muttered darkly.

“He got the European Movement to come up to support him – David Gauke and Dominic Grieve – So that’s what they were up to.”

The Europeans! Working in consort with radical leftist former Conservative MPs! The conspiracy gets deeper and deeper the more you look.

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‘Attack the NHS’

Of course all serious political movements need their serious intellectuals and for the ‘Popular Conservatives’, no intellectual is more serious than the historian David Starkey.

Starkey, whose offensive comments about race and the “damn blacks” have led to his marginalisation from public life in recent years, has seen his popularity remain undimmed among the PopCons.

Setting out his case for the cause of the Conservative party’s failure in office, Starkey pinned it primarily on Margaret Thatcher’s failure to “attack” the NHS and other public institutions like our universities.

“The NHS, she left untouched,” Starkey lamented.

“Incoming Conservative government have got to recognize that these are the points of attack. These are the points at which we have the soft underbelly of those opposite.”

Yet while attacking the NHS and university deans may have to wait until the party returns to government, attacking the ‘woke’ could begin right away.


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“Woke is essentially a form of female caring gone wrong” Starkey suggested, opaquely.

“It is a parody of Christianity’s concern for the weak.”

Yet for Starkey, such Christian concern had gone too far and the weak should now be left to their own devices.

Describing the “woke” view that poor people should be helped in some way by the state as “catastrophic” he insisted that “the way we look after the poor is by making the rest of us rich.”

Why hadn’t anyone thought of this before?

Yet before any of this can be achieved, the ‘Popular Conservatives’ first need to find a way to become popular. And for the group’s Director, and former Tufton Street think tank alumni Mark Littlewood, the solution is quite simple. The voters just have to be convinced that the Conservative party’s unpopular policies are actually popular.

“I am sceptical of some of the suggestions that elections are always won from the centre ground”, Littlewood explained to his colleagues.

“The true challenge, of course, is to get whatever the centre is to move towards you.”

And with that intervention the task for the ‘Popular Conservatives’ became immediately clear.

Don’t worry about your ideas being unpopular. Don’t worry about the fact that you’ve just lost your seats in the biggest rejection of your party in its history.

Just keep offering the voters even more of what they just loudly told you they didn’t want, while lecturing them about how you were right all along.

What could possibly go wrong?

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